- President Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican Party have stopped spending money to advertise on Twitter after the platform briefly locked Sen. Mitch McConnell out of his campaign account.
- Twitter locked McConnell out after he posted a video showing protesters hurling violent insults outside his home in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Sen. Mitch Mcconnell’s campaign account has sent no messages since Tuesday, with a tweet containing video of protests outside his home now linking to a Twitter page explaining the site’s “enforcement options.”
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President Trump’s campaign, the Republican party and several major GOP groups have pulled advertising money from Twitter after the platform locked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel’s campaign account when it shared a video of protesters shouting violent threats against him.
Twitter locked Kentucky Republican McConnell out of his campaign account – which uses the handle @Team_Mitch – Wednesday, after he shared the videos showing protesters outside his home, where he is recovering from a broken shoulder.
According to reports, in the now removed video protesters can be heard shouting obscenities outside McConnell’s home in Louisville, Kentucky. One suggests making a voodoo doll of McConnell, and another shouts: “Just stab the m—– f—– in the heart, please.”
The tweet once containing the video now contains a link to Twitter’s “enforcement options,” and no messages have been sent from the account since Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Twitter told Business Insider: “The user was temporarily locked out of their account for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”
Under Twitter rules, users are not allowed to post content containing threats of violence, even if the target of the threat is the person posting.
In response to the incident, numerous senior Republicans are now accusing the platform of holding an anti-conservative bias.
“Twitter’s hostile actions toward Leader McConnell’s campaign are outrageous, and we will not tolerate it,” Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee told Politico.
“The NRSC will suspend all spending with Twitter until further notice. We will not spend our resources on a platform that silences conservatives.”
GOP chief of staff Richard Walters tweeted that the Republican Party and the Trump campaign stands with McConnell, and would halt spending on the platform “until they address this disgusting bias.”
The @GOP and @TeamTrump stand with the @Team_Mitch and the @NRSC. Any future ad $ either organization was planning to spend with @Twitter has been halted until they address this disgusting bias. https://t.co/IVXjjDkizA
— Richard Walters (@rww_gop) August 8, 2019
Several major Republican groups announced on Twitter they were following suit.
— Dave Rexrode (@DRexrode) August 8, 2019
A Republican source told the Associated Press that the GOP and Trump campaign had planned to spend $300,000 to $500,000 this month advertising on Twitter.
In recent months, Trump and the GOP have accused social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook of being biased against conservative voices. Twitter and other tech companies have denied allegations of bias.
At the same time the Trump campaign has massively outspent Democrats in advertising on digital platforms, spending $10 million on ads on Facebook and elsewhere.
According to Politico, the Trump administration is drafting legislation designed to tackle the alleged discrimination.
The president has made a series of unsubstantiated allegations about bias against him by Big Tech, including that Google tried to rig the 2016 presidential election against him.
He has also defended far-right and other activists and conspiracy theorists ejected from social media platforms in May for violating rules against “violence and hate.”