Sen. Tom Cotton: ‘Low-Level’ Twitter Employee Threatened to Lock Account over Riot Tweets

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., interrupts a fellow senator during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee for CIA nominee Gina Haspel, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says a “low-level” Twitter employee called his office and threatened to permanently lock his account over his tweets related to the George Floyd riots.

According to Cotton, the Twitter employee was upset over a June 1 tweet in which the Arkansas Senator called for “no quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.”

In an interview with Fox News, Sen. Cotton said that he requested an explanation from Twitter but did not receive a satisfactory response.

“We asked for an explanation of why that was and it was not really forthcoming. They cited a policy that didn’t apply to my situation,” said Cotton.

The Senator said he sent the company “clear evidence” of the meaning of his tweet, and that the company ultimately chose not to lock his account.

“We waited them out, we called their bluff, for 30 minutes they didn’t lock down my account and within about 2 hours they got back to us and said, ‘OK, you can keep your posts up,'” said Cotton.

Had Cotton’s account been locked, he wouldn’t have been the first or highest-profile Republican politician censored by Twitter due to the riots. As the riots engulfed American cities, Twitter chose to censor President Donald Trump over a tweet that Trump later said was about the violence that accompanies looting.

The tweet, posted on May 29, said “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Twitter also censored the official White House Twitter account at the time, which posted the same message.

According to Twitter, the company did indeed reach out to Sen. Cotton’s office.

According to a Twitter spokesman, Cotton’s tweet  “was reported to Twitter and our teams reviewed it within the context in which it was shared, as is standard, and determined it didn’t violate our rules. We apply the Twitter Rules impartially to every account on our service.”

Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address allumbokhari@protonmail.com

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.

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