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Sen. Tom Cotton says Twitter threatened to lock his account forever over tweet calling on the military to be used to quell riots


But he called their bluff

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

It wasn't only the New York Times who tried to censor Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) earlier this month.

Cotton alleged Wednesday that Twitter threatened to permanently lock his account if he refused to delete a tweet calling on the U.S. military to be used to quell riots taking place across the country.

What are the details?

In an op-ed published on Fox News Wednesday, Cotton detailed how a "low-level" employee for the social media company reached out to his aides shortly after it was published with an ultimatum: "Delete the tweet or Twitter would permanently lock my account. She gave me only 30 minutes to comply.

Here's the tweet that was under suspicion:

According to Cotton, the "Twitter thought police" specifically took umbrage with Cotton's use of the term "no quarter," which they alleged "once meant that a military force would take no prisoners, but instead shoot them."

Cotton contended with the employee that "no quarter" is a phrase now commonly used — even by the likes of former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and the New York Times — as a metaphor for a tough approach to a situation and offered to publish a new tweet explaining his meaning. But the employee stood by her demand.

When he asked why his account wasn't simply flagged as President Trump's was last month, the employee said that the policy only applies to heads of state and not elected legislators. Though the company's ever-evolving fact-checking policy appears to lump both of those categories together.

What happened?

Ultimately, after the senator and his staff provided the employee with dictionary definitions of "no quarter," the employee acquiesced and said that she would "take that back to our teams."

It was obvious the employee was acting at the direction of higher-ups, Cotton noted.

"I called Twitter's bluff, and 30 minutes came and went," he said. "I retained control of my account. Finally, almost two hours after the initial contact, the employee called to say Twitter would take 'no action' against my account, but she was not authorized to say more.

"Twitter began as an open platform committed to the free exchange of ideas; over time, it increasingly has taken upon itself the role of politically correct censor of thought-crime by elected officials and ordinary citizens alike," Cotton added in the op-ed. "Not surprisingly, the censorship falls overwhelmingly on conservatives."

Cotton also discussed Twitter's attempted censorship in an interview on Fox News Wednesday:

June 17, 2020: Cotton Talks Twitter Censorship on Fox & Friendsyoutu.be

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