As The Daily Wire reported Tuesday, Twitter has permanently banned a popular parody account that mocked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) despite that account clearly indicating that it was a “parody,” as required by the platform’s rules, and the company clearly having no problem with similar accounts mocking — often viciously — political figures on the right.
The creator of the account, Mike Morrison, was told in a recent message from the company that both his parody account and his personal account — which had gained over 85,000 followers and nearly 60,000 followers, respectively — were being shut down because of supposed violations of their rules. While accounts clearly marked “parody” and “non-affiliated” are allowed on the platform, his increasingly popular account poking fun at the left-wing rising star had somehow crossed the line, though how exactly is not clear.
Morrison provided screenshots of the notice from Twitter that his accounts had been permanently disabled to Human Events. In the message, Twitter cited its rules about fake accounts, which expressly states that “you may use Twitter pseudonymously or as a parody, commentary, or fan account”:
Fake accounts: 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.
The notification also quotes a section of its rules on spam, stating, you cannot “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.”
Morrison says he believes the permanent ban is politically motivated and driven by the popularity of the account. “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.”
So is Twitter applying the same standards to parody accounts of right-leaning figures? Here are some examples of recent posts by parody accounts of President Trump that Twitter apparently finds are substantively different than the Ocasio-Cortez account.
Donald J Trump. parody
A couple of examples of this Trump parody account’s recent posts, including racist comments and darkly sarcastic “jokes” about the UNCC tragedy:
Donald J. Trump (parody)
One example from this Trump-mocking parody account will suffice: a threadbare left-wing homoerotic joke about Trump and Vladimir Putin. “OMG!! I talked with Putin for an HOUR! He kept talking about Venezula. But I kept talking about our relationship! He Really LIKES ME! Maybe even LOVES ME! I hear it in his voice! I made him PROMISE ME that he won’t see Kim Jung Un ANYMORE! Can’t wait to change my Facebook status!” writes parody Trump.
Donald J. Drumpf
Two examples from this Trump parody account, including, ironically, a mocking reference to Twitter banning conservative actor James Woods. “How can it be possible that James Wood (likes ‘em young), a nutty and irresponsible Conservative Voice who only incites mass killing and has never to my knowledge killed anyone except in a movie, is banned from Twitter? Meanwhile Alex Baldwin is still allowed on S&L. VERY UNFAIR!” writes “Drumpf.”
In case these Trump parody accounts aren’t enough for you, Wired helpfully provided a list of “the best Donald Trump parody Twitter accounts” a few years back.