Twitter on Monday suspended the wildly reductive but extremely popular Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez parody account, @AOCPress, which mocked the Democratic Socialist representative from New York City.
The creator of the account, Michael Morrison, who tweeted at @OfficeofMike, was also suspended from Twitter.
The account posted fake quotes from Ocasio-Cortez, that, on the whole, were both fairly tame and not terribly funny.
The suspension upset many conservatives on Twitter because parodying Ocasio-Cortez has become a favorite pastime, as well as because of their ever-present belief they are under siege by the social media giant.
“Twitter claims he violated the rules with creating @AOCPress even though it clearly stated it was a parody account,” wrote Courtney Holland, a content creator for fringe and far-right media startup Culttture.
Twitter tells the Daily Dot that the accounts were suspended for violating its rules.
“While you may use Twitter pseudonymously or as a parody, commentary, or fan account, you may not use misleading account information in order to engage in spammy, abusive, or disruptive behavior, including attempts to manipulate the conversations on Twitter,” a company spokesperson told the Daily Dot.
According to a person familiar with the situation, Twitter says it found “strong signals” that suggest the account’s owners were “working together to push the same information in a coordinated manner,” which violates the company’s policy on spam.
Nearly 60,000 followers – gone, in a drop of a hat.
Clearly Mike was trying to comply.
And Twitter suspended him anyway.
Favoritism to @AOC? Anti-semitism?
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) May 7, 2019
.@OfficeOfMike has confirmed to me that he has been PERMANENTLY suspended from Twitter.
He also ran the @AOCpress account which is also permanently suspended.
— Courtney Holland ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@hollandcourtney) May 7, 2019
More censorship nonsense, now going after parody accounts and their creators. What was the violation, @jack?
When they go after parody we have a real problem… https://t.co/LuZEdt0o6Z
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) May 7, 2019
— Roux (@lsufrenzy) May 7, 2019
This account was just one of many, which Twitter has, on occasion, suspended. @AlexandraOcasi6 and @Cortez4Prez2020 were suspended back in January.
The @AOCPress account was clearly identified as parody, and Twitter’s rules on parody seem to allow something like @AOCPress.
Numerous parodies of President Donald Trump exist, like @RealDonalDrumf, which also tweets similar dreck.
— Donald J. Drumpf (@RealDonalDrumpf) May 6, 2019
Parody accounts exist, too, for Attorney General William Barr, and other notable conservative figures.
I know what President Trump won’t do if he loses: make up some hairbrained collusion scheme with our arch enemy, thereby holding the country hostage for years to come
— Sean Spicier (@sean_spicier) May 6, 2019
It’s possible that because the account was labeled “press,” Twitter suspended it because of efforts to crack down on misinformation.
This post has been updated.