An American online news and social networking service is being questioned after it banned a user for doing a parody of a Democrat congressperson on May 6.
Twitter permanently suspended @AOCpress for allegedly “violating Twitter rules” by ridiculing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) whose verified Twitter handle is @AOC.
“You may not register or create fake and misleading accounts. While you may use Twitter pseudonymously or as a parody, commentary or fan account, you may not use misleading account information in order to engage in spamming, abusive or disruptive behavior, including attempts to manipulate the conversations on Twitter,” Twitter said in an email to @AOCpress, according to Human Events.
Twitter also said users also cannot post duplicate content.
“You also may not ‘post duplicative or substantially similar content, replies or mentions over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account or create duplicate or substantially similar accounts,'” Twitter said. “This account will not [be] reinstated.”
The main point of contention appears to be the account’s several satirical posts that make fun of Ocasio-Cortez’s mistakes while delivering speeches to the public. The posts appear to be too similar to what the congressperson is actually like in real life, causing confusion for other Twitter users.
Twitter rules require all parodies, newsfeeds, commentaries, and fan accounts to indicate “non-affiliation” in both the account name and bio. The @AOCpress used the word “parody” in both its account name and biography.
One America News Host Jack Posobiec revealed Twitter had not only banned the parody account followed by more than 85,000 users but also a separate personal account belonging to Mike Morrison, who managed @AOCpress and himself had a following of 50,000.
“Twitter has permanently suspended @AOCPress a good-natured and clearly-marked parody account and @OfficeOfMike my close friend who managed it. This is a purge,” Posobiec said in a Twitter post dated May 6.
Twitter has permanently suspended @AOCPress a good-natured and clearly-marked parody account and @OfficeOfMike my close friend who managed it
This is a purge
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 7, 2019
Former reality television celebrity Donald Trump Jr. shared Posobiec’s concerns and questioned whether this may be a form of corporate censorship.
“Why did @Twitter suspend a parody account that was is full compliance with their rules?” Trump Jr. said in a Twitter post dated May 6. “Could it possibly be because the account was mocking the left’s new icon AOC? What’s the deal here @jack? Because it sure looks like political bias.”
Why did @Twitter suspend a parody account that was is full compliance with their rules?
Could it possibly be because the account was mocking the lefts new icon AOC?
What’s the deal here @jack? Because it sure looks like political bias. https://t.co/t8ScEcLEx1
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 7, 2019
Morrison believes the suspension was politically motivated, saying the @AOCpress account was attracting a growing following.
“In the past month and a half alone the account grew by roughly 50,000 followers. We’ve had tweets with over 30,000 likes on them, so I think Twitter decided it was time for [the account] to go,” he told Human Events. “They didn’t like how popular an account created by their political opposition had become.”
Comedian and host Dave Rubin fears that the censoring of parodies will set a worrying precedent for the entertainment industry.
“When they go after parody we have a real problem,” Rubin said in a Twitter post dated May 6. “More censorship nonsense, now going after parody accounts and their creators. What was the violation, @jack?”
More censorship nonsense, now going after parody accounts and their creators. What was the violation, @jack?
When they go after parody we have a real problem… https://t.co/LuZEdt0o6Z
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) May 7, 2019
Blogger David Burge echoed this view.
“Twitter has spoken: AOC is officially beyond parody,” he said in a Twitter post dated May 7.
Twitter has spoken: AOC is officially beyond parodyhttps://t.co/2Gc69Lgccu
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) May 7, 2019
The suspension follows similar bans of Facebook and Instagram accounts belonging to actor James Woods, activist Laura Loomer, commentator Milo Yiannopolous, and Radio Personalities Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson.
So surprised to see Conservative thinkers like James Woods banned from Twitter, and Paul Watson banned from Facebook! https://t.co/eHX3Z5CMXb
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019