Twitter has suspended the account of U.S. Senate hopeful Craig Brittain on the heels of him spreading conspiracy theories involving the survivors of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Mr. Brittain was booted Friday from Twitter for the second time in 12 months, effectively banning him from the platform amid his bid for replacing outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, the Phoenix New Times first reported.
The suspension came about two weeks after Mr. Brittain, a Republican who previously operated a revenge porn website, tweeted comments about anti-gun-violence activists who survived the Feb. 14 shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the newspaper reported.
“How much are the Gun Control lobbies paying you? #AskMSDStudents,” Mr. Brittain tweeted March 16 from his @SenatorBrittain account.
“Our salaries = nonexistent,” responded Stoneman Douglas student Jaclyn Corin. “The only payment we’re receiving is the joy that comes along with watching corrupt politicians destroy their own image.”
Days later, Mr. Brittain targeted three of Ms. Corin’s classmates by name.
“Just like David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez, I was nowhere near the scene when the shooting actually happened,” Mr. Brittain tweeted March 19. “When will you tell the REAL truth.”
Twitter does not discuss individual accounts, and a spokesperson for the platform declined to comment, the Phoenix New Times reported.
Twitter suspends users that violate its rules against abuse, spam and impersonating others. Factors considered when weighing whether a user has acted abusive include whether their behavior targeted an individual or group of people, who reported their activity and whether the behavior is newsworthy and in the legitimate public interest, according to Twitter.
“After continually hiding tweets from most of our followers and refusing to verify our account, today Twitter proved that it is in the business of trying to rig elections for the left, as CEO Jack Dorsey is a donor and member of the Clinton Foundation,” Mr. Brittain told the Phoenix New Times.
“If Twitter cares about fair elections they must restore and verify our account,” he said.
Mr. Brittain’s former Twitter account was suspended in February 2017. He previously blamed that suspension on him “criticizing the rich Silicon Valley elite, the vacuous Hollywood celebrities and Twitter’s unwarranted suspensions of users for their political beliefs.”
Prior to announcing his candidacy in September, Mr. Brittain was best known for having owned IsAnyoneDown.com, a now-defunct revenge porn website that spurred a Federal Trade Commission investigation resolved in early 2016. He allegedly “used deception to acquire and post intimate images of women, then referred them to another website he controlled, where they were told they could have the pictures removed if they paid hundreds of dollars,” according to the FTC.