GOP freezes Twitter spending after McConnell account locked

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) addresses an audience on Saturday at the Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Republican Party, the Trump campaign and other GOP organizations said Thursday that they are freezing their spending on Twitter to protest the platform’s treatment of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Twitter temporarily locked McConnell’s campaign account Wednesday after it shared a video in which some protesters spoke of violence outside his Kentucky home, where he is recovering from a shoulder fracture.

The social media platform said in a statement that users were locked out temporarily due to a tweet “that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.” The statement did not indicate exactly how long the account was frozen, saying only that it was temporary. The account was active Thursday, but no longer contained the tweet.

The Courier-Journal reported one protester said McConnell should have broken his neck instead of fracturing his shoulder; another spoke of violence when responding to a reference about a hypothetical McConnell voodoo doll.

In an interview Thursday on Louisville radio station WHAS, McConnell said the decision to ban his campaign account was indicative of the “left-wing tilt of these big companies,” which he said suppress speech on social media they don’t agree with but did nothing when people were calling him “Massacre Mitch.”

Some Twitter users applied that label to the senator for blocking consideration of House legislation imposing new regulations on guns. McConnell called the label “obviously an invitation to violence.”

Twitter and other social media companies say they have no political bias.

National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director Parker Hamilton Poling said her organization was halting Twitter spending “until they correct their inexcusable targeting of @Team Mitch.”

“We will stand firmly with our friends against anti-conservative bias,” Poling said.

The national Republican Party and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign had projected spending $300,000 to $500,000 this month on Twitter, according to one GOP official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the plans.

The GOP’s criticism of Twitter comes as Trump and McConnell are being pressured to endorse gun control measures after last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 people dead.

Trump’s denigration of minorities and immigrants has prompted many to blame him for contributing to an anti-immigrant atmosphere.

McConnell has long led Republican efforts in the Senate to stifle gun control proposals and is resisting Democrats’ cries to interrupt Congress’ recess and approve new restrictions.

———

This story has been edited to correct the location of the Ohio shooting to Dayton, not Canton.

———

Fram reported from Washington. Associated Press reporter Dylan Lovan in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) comments

richardlyons

a twofer!

Dwasserba

"McConnell has long led Republican efforts in the Senate to stifle gun control proposals and is resisting Democrats’ cries to interrupt Congress’ recess and approve new restrictions." Welp

bnick467

Moscow Mitch McConnell, the Russian asset, is showing how thin his skin really is. He is happy when he is the one making the rules, but hates when someone else's rules are applied to him.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.