Twitter locks Mitch McConnell's campaign account for posting video that violates violent threats policy

The video captured a profanity-laden protest outside of the Republican senator’s home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Image: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves his office at the Capitol on March 25, 2019.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves his office at the Capitol on March 25, 2019.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

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/ Source: CNBC.com
By Marc Rod, CNBC

Twitter has locked Mitch McConnell’s campaign Twitter account, Team Mitch, for posting a video of a profanity-laden protest outside of the Republican senator’s home in Louisville, Kentucky.

The account has not posted since Tuesday.

Twitter hid the video on the account, but replies from the Team Mitch account in the same thread characterizing the language in the video as “serious calls to physical violence” and criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez remain visible.

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The campaign will have to remove the tweet in order to regain the ability to post on the account, according to an information page linked in place of the tweet.

“The user was temporarily locked out of their account for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety,” a Twitter representative said of the account freeze.

McConnell’s campaign accused Twitter of hypocrisy and criticized the “speech police in America.”

“Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell,” campaign manager Kevin Golden said. “Twitter will allow the words ‘Massacre Mitch’ to trend nationally on their platform. But locks our account for posting actual threats against us.”

Golden said that Twitter denied the campaign’s appeal of the account lock.

McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is running for re-election next year. He has represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate since 1985.

The Louisville Courier-Journal first reported on the account restriction.

Twitter announced in June that it would label tweets from influential governmental officials that break its rules against bullying and abusive behavior, but not block the leaders from the site or remove their tweets. The rule was set to apply to accounts with over 100,000 followers, but the Team Mitch account has 29,200.

Steve Kovach, CNBC and Jacob Pramuk, CNBC contributed.