GOP goes to war with Twitter over McConnell campaign account freeze
Republicans are going to war with Twitter after the platform froze the Mitch McConnell re-election account this week because the campaign posted a video of threats directed at the Senate majority leader, just as President Trump is planning a separate crackdown on left-wing social media bias.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Thursday said it won't spend money on Twitter until the situation is "adequately addressed." A top official with the Republican National Committee also said the RNC and the Trump campaign would not spend money with Twitter "until they address this disgusting bias."
Meanwhile, the White House for weeks has been hinting at possible action in relation to how social media outlets treat conservatives. A White House official told Fox News the administration is "exploring all policy solutions." The administration has circulated drafts of a possible executive order from Trump, following a summit last month where he met with conservative social media influencers, according to Politico.
TWITTER LOCKS OUT MCCONNELL'S CAMPAIGN FOR POSTING VIDEO OF CALLS FOR VIOLENCE AT HIS HOME
“If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system,” a White House official told the outlet. It is unclear what the order will entail or how it would aim to curb social media bias but it reportedly deals with other issues as well.
The latest example of conservative outrage at social media: Twitter froze the McConnell campaign’s "Team Mitch" account this week after the campaign posted videos of protesters outside McConnell’s home, which included violent threats against the Kentucky senator.
The episode prompted the McConnell campaign to slam Twitter for political bias, saying the social media platform had effectively blamed the victim. Meanwhile, Republicans noted, Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro remains active on Twitter, even after he posted the names of San Antonio residents who donated to Trump.
MORE TRUMP DONORS WHO ALSO GAVE TO CASTRO BROTHERS SAY THEY'RE IRKED BY DEM'S TWEET
“Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell," McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden said in a statement on Wednesday. "This is the problem with the speech police in America today."
Golden said that the campaign appealed the suspension and Twitter upheld it, saying Team Mitch will remain suspended until the take down the video.
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"The users were temporarily locked out of their accounts for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety," a Twitter spokesperson told Fox News. The website's policy states that users cannot share content that includes threats against an individual or group of people, regardless of context.
In addition to a potential executive order, the White House is planning a summit with technology companies on Friday aimed at combatting extremism online. This comes after President Trump discussed the dangers on the internet during an address following last weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The El Paso suspect had been linked to an online manifesto that expressed hatred toward Hispanic immigrants.
Fox News' Alex Pappas, Blake Burman, Mark Meredith and Gregg Re contributed to this report.