Twitter locked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign account from further activity Wednesday as punishment for its sharing of a video of protesters screaming obscenities outside the Kentucky Republican’s home.
The social media company will not unlock @TeamMitch unless it agrees to remove the video.
McConnell’s campaign confirmed to The Washington Post that its account was suspended. The Courier-Journal first reported the story.
“This morning, Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell. This is a problem with the speech police in America today,” Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, said in a statement.
The video shows a group of protesters gathered outside McConnell’s Louisville home on Monday. A woman, identified by the Courier-Journal as Black Lives Matter Louisville leader Chanelle Helm, is heard on the video mocking McConnell’s recent shoulder injury and saying he “should have broken his little, raggedy, wrinkled-ass neck.”
She then yells, “Just stab the m----- f----- in the heart, please.” Someone also yells, “Die!”
Golden criticized Twitter for having contradictory standards.
“Twitter will allow the words of ‘Massacre Mitch’ to trend nationally on their platform, but locks our account for posting actual threats against us,” Golden added. “We appealed and Twitter stood by their decision, saying our account will remain locked until we delete the video.”
In the wake of two back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, the hashtag “#MassacreMitch” name caught fire on Twitter with critics blaming McConnell for blocking stricter gun laws.
A Twitter spokesperson also confirmed the campaign account was locked.
“The user was temporarily locked out of their account for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety,” the spokesperson said in an email.
The social media company’s rules state that a tweet “may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.”
The last tweets on @TeamMitch’s page are related to the incident, but the video itself has been hidden from the public until the matter is resolved.
“These threats go far beyond a political cartoon or a broken shoulder,” the account wrote on Tuesday, “they are serious calls to physical violence and we’ve alerted law enforcement.”