Twitter unlocks McConnell's campaign account after GOP boycott

Twitter on Friday announced that it has unlocked the campaign account for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) after a rash of national GOP groups threatened to stop advertising on the social media site.

The boycott — which drew support from the Republican House and Senate campaign arms, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and the Trump campaign — came in response to Twitter's decision to lock @Team_Mitch over a video that included violent threats.

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"After multiple appeals from affected users and Leader McConnell’s team confirming their intent to highlight the threats for public discussion, we have reviewed this case more closely," Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter confirmed the account was unlocked on Friday.

"Victory!!!" McConnell's campaign account tweeted. "Thank you to EVERYONE for helping #FreeMitch." The post included a campaign donation link.

 

"We are glad Twitter has reversed their decision to lock our Team Mitch account," Kevin Golden, McConnell's campaign manager, said in a statement.

But he added, "It shouldn't have taken an avalanche of outrage from across the country to stop Silicon Valley from launching an effort to silence conservatives like the Majority Leader of the United States Senate in the first place."

Chris Pack, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, similarly echoed: "While it’s nice to see Twitter admit to their partisan censorship of Leader McConnell, it’s unfortunate it took a monetary threat to get here."

Twitter locked @Team_Mitch on Wednesday after the account posted footage of a protester yelling profanities and threats outside of the GOP leader's house in Kentucky.

The campaign argued the footage highlighted the kind of protestors McConnell is facing, but Twitter insisted for days that they would not unlock the account until @Team_Mitch took down the video.

The company said the footage violated their policy against violent threats.

Twitter reversed the decision on Friday, saying the video will now be available on the website alongside a "sensitive media" warning, " and only in cases where the Tweet content does not otherwise violate the Twitter Rules."

McConnell earlier on Friday blasted out a campaign fundraising email with a statement from Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyTrump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition GOP senator wants to know whistleblower identity if there's an impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: California AG reveals Facebook investigation | McConnell criticizes Twitter's political ad ban | Lawmakers raise concerns over Google takeover of Fitbit | Dem pushes FCC to secure 5G networks MORE (R-Mo.), one of the senators who backed the crusade against Twitter throughout the week.

"Big Tech continues to censor conservatives — no matter the cost," the email read, calling for contributions. 

Immediately after McConnell's campaign account was locked on Wednesday, GOP groups revived allegations that the platform censors right-wing perspectives — a long-standing claim by top Republicans, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE, that critics say lacks any substantial evidence.

"From unnecessary censorship to suppression of conservative content, Twitter has shown an incredible amount of bias against Republicans," RNC chief of staff Richard Walters said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday. "Any future ad money we were planning to spend on the site has been halted until Twitter adequately addresses its biases and assures conservatives that we are on a level playing field with the rest of the users on the site.”

Most of the Republican supporters of the Twitter boycott said they would halt spending until the issue was resolved. 

– Max Greenwood contributed

Updated 2:32 p.m.