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Former Democratic aide blames Twitter for dismissing threat from mail bombing suspect

Democratic strategist Rochelle Ritchie said Twitter dismissed a threat made by mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc on Twitter earlier this month. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

A former Democratic congressional aide and current political commentator said she reported mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc for Twitter threats two weeks ago, but the social media site dismissed the report, according to USA Today.

Rochelle Ritchie, a former press secretary for House Democrats, received a tweet from an account that has been linked to Sayoc that made a vague threat on her life after she appeared on Fox News.

"So you like to make threats. Unconquered Seminole Tribe will answer your threats. We have nice silent Air boat ride for u here on our land Everglades Swamp. We will see you 4 sure," the tweet read. "Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave you (sic) home."

Ritchie reported the threat to Twitter. Here's the response she got:

"Thank you for your recent report. We have viewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.

According to Twitter, "vague threats" or "wishing or hoping that someone experiences serious physical harm" is within Twitter rules. Apparently, Sayoc's threat wasn't specific enough.

After Sayoc was arrested as the suspect behind more than a dozen bombs mailed to Democratic politicians, celebrities and members of the media, Twitter apparently changed its mind on the policy.

Friday afternoon, Ritchie received the following message from Twitter:

"Please disregard our last reply as it was sent in error. We apologize for any inconvenience. We've investigated and suspended the account you reported as it was found to be participating in abusive behavior."

Ritchie went on, like numerous others in the media, to blame President Donald Trump's rhetoric for creating an environment in which someone would mail bombs to politicians, saying "this is where we are now, where these people think that this is OK and it's absolutely not OK.

As for Trump, he rejects the premise that his words caused this situation, and although he says he has toned down his rhetoric, that might not last.

"I could really tone it up, because the media ... has been unbelievably unfair to Republicans and certainly to me," Trump said Friday.

(H/T The Hill)

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