Twitter forced three accounts, including that of Mitch McConnell’s campaign, to remove video of an activist calling for violence outside of the Senate majority leader’s Louisville, Kentucky, home Monday, saying the footage violates the company’s “violent threats policy.”
The social media company also temporarily locked the accounts for posting the video, which showed the activist saying that someone should “just stab” a voodoo doll of McConnell “in the heart.”
Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the campaign’s account was temporarily locked for posting a short video of the protesters. The McConnell campaign account, which uses the handle @Team_Mitch, drew attention to the video Monday night and said it was being referred to police for investigation.
“This morning, Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell,” Golden told the DCNF.
He noted that Twitter allowed the hash tag #MassacreMitch to trend over the weekend, “but locks our account for posting actual threats against us.”
“We appealed and Twitter stood by their decision, saying our account will remain locked until we delete the video,” he said.
Ben Goldey, a congressional staffer who was first to post the video, said Wednesday that Twitter temporarily suspended his account for posting the footage.
Journalist Ryan Saavedra also said Wednesday his account was locked for posting the video and that Twitter told him the request was made for McConnell’s safety.
A Twitter spokesperson who confirmed the accounts were locked said the video violated the company’s policy against sharing violent threats or content that glorifies violence, regardless of context.
Goldey posted video from the Facebook live feed of Chanelle Helm, a Black Lives Matter activist who joined dozens of other protesters outside of McConnell’s home.
In the video, Helm is heard talking about a shoulder injury McConnell sustained during a fall over the weekend. Another activist mentioned someone may be using a voodoo doll against McConnell.
“Just stab the motherfucker in the heart, please,” Helm said of the hypothetical McConnell voodoo doll.
Helm also said on the live feed that she wanted McConnell to suffer a stroke or heart attack or break his neck.
“One of those heart attacks where they can’t breath, and they’re holding their chest and they fall backwards,” she said. “He’s in there nursing his broken arm. He should have broken his raggedy, wrinkled-ass neck.”
Twitter cracked down on the video, however, the social media site allowed the hash tags #MoscowMitch and #MassacreMoscowMitch to trend online over the past week. Democrats adopted the “Moscow Mitch” pejorative to accuse McConnell of refusing to pass legislation to protect U.S. voting systems against Russian infiltration. The #MassacreMoscowMitch hashtag started trending after the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 people dead over the weekend.
Liberals have accused McConnell of refusing to bring gun control legislation that has already been passed in the House for a vote in the Senate.
Helm appears not to have suffered any blowback on Twitter. She remains active on the site, but said in a post Tuesday that Facebook suspended her account for seven days.