Republicans Boycott Twitter Ads Over Lockout Of Mitch McConnell’s Account
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) became the latest GOP organization to announce it would stop advertising on Twitter Thursday after the social media platform froze Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign account Wednesday for posting a video of protestors screaming outside the senator’s Kentucky home.
“I have directed the @NRCC to immediately halt all spending with @Twitter until they correct their inexcusable targeting of @Team_Mitch,” wrote NRCC executive director Parker Poling on Twitter. “We will stand firmly with our friends against anti-conservative bias.”
I have directed the @nrcc to immediately halt all spending with @Twitter until they correct their inexcusable targeting of @Team_Mitch. We will stand firmly with our friends against anti-conservative bias. https://t.co/j2dhIkmWvb
— Parker Hamilton Poling (@parkerpoling) August 8, 2019
The National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), the Republican National Committee (RNC), and the Trump campaign have each announced boycotts of Twitter advertising over the issue.
The McConnell campaign confirmed to the Courier-Journal Wednesday that the social media giant officially suspended the Team Mitch Twitter account for posting a video featuring angry protestors hurling profanity and violent threats at the senator’s home in Louisville.
“Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell,” campaign manager Kevin Golden told the Courier-Journal. “Twitter will allow the words of ‘Massacre Mitch’ to trend nationally on their platform, but locks our account for posting actual threats against us.”
The hashtag #MassacreMitch trended for hours on the website this week in the aftermath of two back-to-back shootings in Ohio and Texas over the weekend. A spokesperson for Twitter told the Washington Post that Mitch’s campaign account was suspended for violating its policy regarding violent threats.
“The user was temporarily locked out of their account for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety,” the spokesperson wrote to the Post.
The company’s guidelines say posting any content containing violent threats is prohibited from any user, regardless of the context of the post. But the original video of these death threats against McConnell was allowed to remain on the platform hours after McConnell’s account was blocked for retweeting it. The hashtag #MassacreMitch also remains on the site from prominent accounts with large followings.
Twitter also targeted other accounts that shared the original video of protestors at McConnell’s house, including Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra, who pointed out the platform’s inconsistencies in applying the rule to other accounts in similar cases.
This pic is of Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, who was falsely smeared by the media
Sandmann and his school received death threats over what happened
Twitter took no action against this tweet
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 7, 2019
The video, which has since been hidden from the public, showed a group of protestors gathered at the senator’s home mocking his shoulder injury and saying he “should have broken his little, raggedy, wrinkled [profanity] neck.”
The woman who made the statement has been identified by the Courier-Journal as Chanelle Helm, a Black Lives Matter leader in Louisville. According to the paper, Helm followed the statement with “Just stab the mother f—er in the heart, please,” while someone else can be heard in the video screaming “die!”
The McConnell campaign said they have contacted law enforcement over the threats, according to the Courier-Journal. Helm later told the paper that she does not regret her comments at the senator’s home.
“McConnell doesn’t care about people who actually do break their necks, who need insulin, who need any type of medication, because they want to stop and prevent health care for all,” Helm said.