Twitter suspended a Republican Senate candidate for the sin of using satire to defend himself against suggestions that he is a Russian agent.
The farce began when Austin Petersen, a candidate in the Republican Party’s primary for the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, got into an exchange with Caroline O., a writer for ShareBlue Media, a far-left website.
“Our campaign accepts bitcoin contributions!” tweeted Petersen alongside a donation link.
“Interesting timing here: Russian hackers targeted Claire McCaskill in Aug 2017. The next month, one of her GOP opponents in Missouri rolled out this new ad,” responded Caroline O.
Interesting timing here: Russian hackers targeted Claire McCaskill in Aug 2017. The next month, one of her GOP opponents in Missouri rolled out this new ad…
(As we learned in the DOJ indictment, Russia used bitcoin to fund many of its illicit online activities in 2016). pic.twitter.com/gzxip1unQf
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) July 27, 2018
Petersen responded with a gif image of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and the words, “off to the gulag”.
Despite the obviously satirical nature of the retort, Petersen’s account was mass reported and he was suspended from Twitter for 12 hours and forced to delete the tweet.
Petersen subsequently accused Twitter and Democratic operatives of “interfering with the federal senate race in Missouri”.
Petersen’s full statement reads;
“Twitter and Democratic aligned super PACs are interfering with the federal senate race in Missouri by temporarily blocking my account due to a picture I shared which was located within Twitter’s own GIF file collection. ShareBlue, a Democratic Super PAC, attempted to paint me as colluding with Russia in a recent hack attempt on my opponent Senator Claire McCaskill simply because my campaign accepts Bitcoin, a digital crypto currency. Responding to the attack with a humorous photo of Stalin waving, Democrats seized on this as if it were a credible threat, mass reporting my account and having it restricted for 12 hours. This action is deeply troubling and deserves national attention now, with the Missouri primary 7 days away, having a candidate silenced is a threat to American democracy.”
Twitter has been under intense pressure in recent weeks to address its shadow banning of conservative commentators, Republican members of Congress and other media talking heads.
As we reported yesterday, Dr. Rebekah Tromble, one of the academics appointed by Twitter to develop and algorithm that will help decide what represents “hate speech” on the platform, is a hardcore leftist who has repeatedly expressed her disdain for Donald Trump and his supporters.
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