We have hit peak meme. Twitter has unleashed it’s ban hammer on Joshua Collins, the 26 year-old socialist truck driver running for Congress in Washington’s 10th district.
Collins was issued a 7-day ban after he criticized Republican candidate Joey Salads, a 25 year-old “YouTube prank star” running for Congress in New York, for drinking his own urine on camera.
Salads, famous for his racist pranks, had replied to a tweet by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar saying “You want to crash the economy with your Tax increases.”
You want to crash the economy with your Tax increases.— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) October 19, 2019
Shortly after, Collins was notified that his account had been suspended for harassment.
“I thought maybe this was done by an automated system” Collins said in a statement to bandr, “but they denied my appeal, which was reviewed by an actual Twitter employee.”
Salads’ original tweet criticizing Omar remains unaffected. A quick search shows a pattern of harassment from Salads directed at Omar. Salads did not respond to requests to comment.
The ban comes at a time when Twitter is facing criticism for not enforcing its own policies prohibiting harassment. In April, they were heavily criticized for their decision not to remove Tweets from Donald Trump presenting out of context and misleading statements about Ilhan Omar—causing Omar to receive death threats.
“Twitter is clearly letting literal Nazis, white nationalists, & establishment politicians do whatever they want,” Collins said, “any leftist can be banned at any time for pretty much anything.”
According to Collins, the ban comes at an extremely inopportune time for his campaign: “Washington State ballots just got sent out, so I’m missing a crucial time to inform my constituents on how they should vote.”
Twitter did not respond when asked how its possible for one political candidate to get another from the opposing party banned for criticizing them.
The Collins campaign has launched a petition to reverse his ban. In the meantime, some on Twitter have come to Collins’ defense.
Twitter: "We can't suspend Nazi accounts because we might accidentally suspend GOP candidates"— Lee 🎃 Carter (@carterforva) October 21, 2019
Also Twitter: \*suspends actual Dem candidate @Joshua4Congress because he reminded everyone that actual GOP candidate Joey Salads wears swastikas and drank his own piss on video\*