House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was one of the first Republicans in power to begin discussing how social media sites were disproportionately censoring conservative voices online.
But his early adopter status hasn’t appeared to bequeath him any sort of expertise: The other day McCarthy cried censorship when it really was his own settings that stopped him from seeing a tweet.
It began on Twitter, as everything does these days.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 17, 2018
McCarthy was complaining that he couldn’t see a tweet from Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. But the warning he received about Ingraham’s tweet containing “potentially sensitive content” is because, in his Twitter settings, he can choose whether he wants to see that content displayed. So McCarthy was preventing himself from seeing it.
He was swiftly corrected by the masses.
That's not Twitter censoring her tweets. It's Twitter following your own personal account settings.
My God, this is just embarrassing.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) August 18, 2018
Even Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made fun of him.
Rather than adjust his Twitter settings, Kevin McCarthy chooses to perpetuate an outrageous conspiracy theory. Shows he sadly doesn't know how to use the platform. That's insane.🤦♀️ pic.twitter.com/sEwo1pkYLs
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) August 19, 2018
McCarthy on Sunday attempted a different tack with the tweet, saying that regardless of his settings, there’s no reason Twitter should have censored Ingraham’s tweet.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 20, 2018
Whether Ingraham’s tweet about migrants to Sweden should be considered sensitive is another whole matter.
Sweden’s Muslim population has been at the center of misreporting by the far-right, which claims there are no-go zones in its cities which police are afraid to enter. And Ingraham’s comments on immigration have been called out lately for echoing white nationalist sentiment.
So it could reasonably be considered sensitive content, as it seems to stoke racial animosity.
But if McCarthy wants to see that in the TL, Twitter isn’t stopping him.