Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Ct.) on Monday afternoon demanded that Twitter remove a message from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that called for the hunting down of anti-fascist activists.
In response to the protests against police brutality that have swept the nation, Gaetz tweeted, "Now that we clearly see antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?" President Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and their allies have accused left-wing anti-fascist protesters of turning demonstrations into riots and engaging in destructive behavior, despite intelligence showing people from the far-right and far-left have been involved.
Murphy, who has been one of the leading voices for gun control since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, tweeted that Twitter needed to take Gaetz's tweet down "RIGHT NOW. The survivors of mass shootings are lighting up my phone. They are scared to death this will inspire someone to start shooting into a crowd tonight. They are right."
Twitter did not remove the message, instead adding a label to it that reads, "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible." Gaetz had an odd response for Murphy, tweeting that "every real Democrat ran for president and you ran to Twitter." Catherine Garcia
Twitter cracked down on alt-right accounts associated with hate speech Tuesday after facing years of criticism for standing by as some users violated the terms of service or actively harassed and trolled other users,USA Today reports.
"I am alive physically but digitally speaking there has been execution squads across the alt-right," one of the movement's leaders, Richard Spencer, said in a video after his account was suspended. Spencer also runs an alt-right think tank and online magazine that were also removed from Twitter, and had formerly possessed a verified personal account. "There is a great purge going on and they are purging people based on their views," he added, deeming the process "corporate Stalinism."
Spencer had promoted the removal of blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Jews from the U.S. Many in the alt-right movement embrace white nationalism and have used Twitter and Facebook for organizing or as forums for unchecked conversations.
Twitter also rolled out new tools Tuesday that allow users to curate the kind of content that comes into their feed by muting certain words or phrases, hashtags, emojis, or handles.
The Southern Poverty Law Center had formerly asked Twitter to remove 100 accounts of white supremacists but until Tuesday noted that "they have done nothing." Twitter declined to comment on the sweeping suspensions, citing company policy. Jeva Lange