Twitter may be the communication mode of choice of President Trump, but he and the Republican Party are prepared to go to war with the popular social media platform after Twitter froze the Mitch McConnell re-election account this week because the campaign posted a video that included images of threats directed at the Senate majority leader.
The freeze happened just as President Trump has said he is planning a separate crackdown on rampant left-wing social media bias.
According to reporting by Fox News, 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 now 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.
Speaking to Politico after that summit, an unnamed White House official said, “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…”
If the President issues any such executive order, it is unclear what the order would entail, or how it would aim to curb social media — bias but it reportedly deals with other issues as well.
Twitter Freezes McConnell’s Account
In 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.
“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 they take the video down.
For Twitters part, there spokesperson said, “The users were temporarily locked out of their accounts for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”
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.