Twitter suspends account that helped incident with Native American man go viral

Twitter has suspended an account that helped a widely publicized encounter between Catholic high school school students and a Native American man go viral. 

CNN Business reported on Monday that Twitter took the step after receiving questions from the news network about the account. 

The account, @2020fight, posted a minute-long video of the interaction on Friday night with the caption, "this MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March."

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According to a cached version of the video seen by CNN, the post garnered at least 2.5 million views and at least 14,400 retweets. The network notes that the partial video of the incident had been previously posted on Instagram, but that the caption from @2020fight helped promote it to widespread attention. 

@2020fight claims to belong to a California schoolteacher. However its profile photo is of a blogger based in Brazil, according to CNN, which noted that Twitter's guidelines explicitly prohibit "fake and misleading accounts."

"Deliberate attempts to manipulate the public conversation on Twitter by using misleading account information is a violation of the Twitter Rules," a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill.

The CNN report comes just days after video clips passed around social media appeared to show a group of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky mocking a Native American elder at the Indigenous People's March in Washington, D.C. 

The most widely viewed video featured a student, Nick Sandmann, smiling as an Omaha elder, Nathan Phillips, played his drum directly in front of him. Several of the students in the video are wearing "Make America Great Again" hats. 

The students were initially accused of harassing Phillips, with many criticizing their actions on social media. The Diocese of Covington condemned the students and apologized for their behavior. 

Additional footage and reports emerging later appeared to show that Phillips approached Sandmann after other protesters started hassling the students. It remains unclear whether Phillips was intervening on behalf of either group.

Sandmann said in a statement on Sunday that  "misinformation" and "outright lies" were being spread about the encounter. He also said that a group of African-American protestors said "hateful things" in their direction. 

"The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him," Sandmann wrote. "I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face." 

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) on Sunday voiced support for the students, saying after fuller video emerged that the media had misrepresented the incident. 

"In the face of racist and homosexual slurs, the young boys refused to reciprocate or disrespect anyone," Massie said on Twitter. "Even when taunted by homophobic bigots, which was obviously bewildering to them, they insulted no one."