#Twitter has timeouts for users who violate its standards, and it’s been putting them into effect more frequently in the past few weeks.
The latest incident involved David A. Clarke, Jr., the former Milwaukee sheriff and loyal supporter for President Trump, after he published tweets bashing the media industry.
Clarke (@SheriffClarke) had his account locked in read-only mode (i.e. he was prohibited from publishing new tweets) after posting several violating tweets, CNN reported on Tuesday. The lockout lasted several days, with one of the violating tweets and initial reports by users occurring over the weekend.
On Saturday, Clarke had tweeted out a graphic post targeting the news media that read:
BREAKING NEWS! When LYING LIB MEDIA makes up FAKE NEWS to smear me, the ANTIDOTE is go right at them. Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD. Nothing gets a bully like LYING LIB MEDIA’S attention better than to give them a taste of their own blood neverbackdown.
The post featured a doctored photo of wrestlers, one with President Trump’s face holding a man with CNN’s logo who was getting kicked in the face by Clarke. It was quite similar to a doctored video Trump had tweeted in July of him body-slamming the CNN logo. That edited video was not removed, and Trump’s account was not suspended.
The same appeared to be true for Clarke, at first. “Twitter investigated Clarke’s Saturday tweet after multiple users flagged it and found no violation of the site’s rules, according to a screenshot Clarke posted of an email he received from Twitter,” Business Insider reported on Saturday.
That’s strange given that Twitter’s rules explain that users “may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.” In this case, Clarke was wishing physical harm on employees of news organizations.
From Saturday to Tuesday, Clarke’s situation apparently changed for Twitter’s trust and safety team. A user who had reported Clarke’s tweet with “taste their own blood” was informed it was locked, Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand shared on Tuesday:
Here’s the part of Twitter rules explaining this policy:
Your account is limited because it may have violated the Twitter Rules
If your account has been limited because it may have violated the Twitter Rules, you can still browse Twitter, but while in this state, you can only send Direct Messages to your followers. You will not be able to engage in actions such as Tweeting, Retweeting, or liking, and only your followers can see your past Tweets.
We may ask you to complete certain actions before we start the countdown on your limited state. These actions may include verifying your email address, adding a phone number to your account, or deleting Tweets that are in violation of our rules.
Twitter confirmed with Mashable that the email was authentic but declined to comment more on the incident, citing privacy reasons.
Clarke’s offending tweets have since been deleted.
As of Tuesday, Clarke is back to tweeting. The topic? “LYING LIB MEDIA.”
I will NOT be Intimidated into silence by LYING LIB MEDIA. I will NOT be intimidated by LIBERAL hyper partisan government HACKS who weaponize government authorirty to go after people whose views they don’t like. I will STAND AND FIGHT for TRUTH & what I believe is RIGHT. JOIN ME. pic.twitter.com/8yLEQvRSpX
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) January 2, 2018
Despite his actions, Clarke is still verified on Twitter. The company has been working on a new verification program after facing backlash for granting white supremacists blue checkmarks.
According to Twitter’s support page, users can lose their verification, if they are “inciting or engaging in harassment of others” or “directly or indirectly threatening or encouraging any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people, including threatening or promoting terrorism.”
Read more: http://mashable.com/