Dom Lucre speaking (l) Twitter bird centered on 2 panel split (c) Elon Musk speaking (r)

rvlsoft/Shutterstock Zuby/YouTube @dom_lucre/Twitter (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

Why did the far-right rally around an account suspended for posting child sex abuse material?

'For now, we will delete those posts and reinstate the account,' Musk said.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Jul 27, 2023   Updated on Jul 27, 2023, 9:46 am CDT

A popular right-wing figure on Twitter, Dom Lucre, had his account reinstated on Wednesday just hours after sharing child exploitation material.

The user, a popular conspiracy theorist, was suspended after sharing a post to his more than 580,000 followers that allegedly contained pictures related to a case surrounding an Australian man who was sentenced to life and an additional 129 years in prison in 2018 for sexually abusing children in the Philippines.

The suspension immediately led to uproar from other right-wing users, who claimed that Lucre was being censored as part of a vast conspiracy against him. In response to questions about Lucre’s removal, Musk revealed that staff had informed him that the Dom Lucre “account was suspended for posting child exploitation pictures…”

Yet despite Musk repeatedly claiming in the past that Twitter would make cracking down on such abusive material as “priority #1,” the billionaire quickly decided that Lucre was worthy of reinstatement. And although countless users saw the pictures in question, Musk further claimed that only select employees at Twitter had viewed them.

Oddly, the suspension prompted outrage on the right, despite their constant fear of pedophiles lurking throughout society.

To make matters worse, the image appears to have been on the platform for several days before being removed. Lucre even described the image in detail in a separate tweet, noting that it had been taken from a video. The video in question involved the abuse of three children, one of whom was reportedly strangled to death after the filming.

“The photo on the right is an image from the video that was sent,” Lucre said. “It is the one year old named Daisy. She was one of the babies that was rescued thankfully.”

After being reinstated, Dom Lucre claimed that he had never shared any images at all and instead merely posted a link to a news article regarding the Australian’s conviction. Not only that, the right-wing influencer alleged that Musk had actually suspended him on behalf of former President Barack Obama.

“Elon Musk you’re weird for allowing these Democrats to push a narrative that I shared child porn. You even added the link to the article that I shared. You know you banned me over Obama,” Lucre wrote. You’re trying to ruin my credibility? This is toxic as FUCK. If I shared CHILD PORN WHERE THE FUCK IS THE PORN? A news article link like YOU SHARED? My name need to be cleared.”

The episode led to widespread shock across the platform, where users responded with astonishment over Musk’s decision to reinstate Lucre.

“Apparently sharing child exploitation material isn’t an action worthy of suspension anymore. A big shift from Musk’s earlier rhetoric that actually he cared about cracking down on it far more than the previous management,” author Paris Marx wrote.

Incredibly, Twitter even states on its website that it has “a zero-tolerance child sexual exploitation policy.” Regardless of such proclamations, Twitter has largely failed to crack down on the problem. Other sites, such as Instagram, have had similar struggles.

Lucre celebrated his return to the platform by thanking his supporters and “prominent members of Team DeSantis” who he claims worked to get him unsuspended.

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*First Published: Jul 27, 2023, 9:45 am CDT