President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee have halted all advertising on Twitter after the social-media giant locked Mitch McConnell’s campaign account for sharing an expletive-filled video of protesters yelling outside the Senate Majority Leader’s Kentucky home earlier this week.
RNC chief of staff Richard Walters tweeted Thursday the ad boycott would continue until Twitter addressed what he called “disgusting bias” against McConnell.
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
The move comes after the McConnell campaign account was locked on Wednesday afternoon. According to the Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal, @Team_Mitch account tweeted out a video that showed protesters saying, among other things, “that instead of falling and injuring his shoulder over the weekend, the GOP leader ‘should have broken his little raggedy, wrinkled-(expletive) neck.'”
“Just stab the motherf—er in the heart, please,” one protester yelled.
Soon after, the account was “temporarily locked,” a Twitter spokesperson told TheWrap, because the video “violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”
Twitter’s rules bar users from sharing content that threatens violence against a person or group of people.
The rep did not respond for comment on how long the account would be locked.
In June, Twitter said it would start hiding, but not delete, tweets from politicians who violate its rules against “abusive” tweets. The tweaked approach did not apply to McConnell’s @Team_Mitch account, though, because it only covers accounts with more than 100,000 followers, according to a person familiar with Twitter’s policies. The @Team_Mitch account had 30,000 followers as of Thursday morning.
As a result, the video tweet “is no longer available,” but several follow-up tweets remain.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and liberal Twitter personalities are trying to dox some underage kids for taking a photo with a cutout at the Fancy Farm political picnic and are cheering on thousands of accounts calling for Senator McConnell to ‘break his neck,'” the account tweeted.
It continued, “These threats go far beyond a political cartoon or a broken shoulder, they are serious calls to physical violence and we’ve alerted law enforcement.”
The Senate Leadership Fund tweeted Thursday at Twitter directly, tellingthe company, “get your act together. We’re not spending on your platform until you correct your unfair treatment of @Team_Mitch.”
In July, Joe Scarborough coined the nickname “Moscow Mitch” for McConnell on “Morning Joe” following his move to block two election security bills despite warnings from the U.S. intelligence community that Russia (and other countries) were likely to attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections. The hashtags #MoscowMitch and #MoscowMitchMcTreason went viral and according to a Kentucky Democratic Party press release, the sale of “Moscow Mitch” merchandise including T-shirts, a Russian fur cap and drinkware exceeded $200,000 in 48 hours.
A representative for McConnell did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.