Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is not happy that Elon Musk’s X is reportedly censoring a Washington Free Beacon article detailing Democratic Virginia House candidate Susanna Gibson’s videos from past appearances with her husband on a pornographic website.
Susanna Gibson streamed sex acts in exchange for tips online—something news outlets began reporting Monday.
Her lawyer, Daniel Watkins, argued that sharing the videos without consent “plainly violates Virginia’s revenge porn statute” and that they “are working closely with law enforcement to bring accountability to the wrongdoers.”
In a statement, Gibson said her opponents “have proven they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family because there’s no line they won’t cross to silence women when they speak up” and said they are “stooping to the worst gutter politics.”
The story has now been widely reported—but the Washington Free Beacon reportedly ran into an issue sharing its article on X.
“This is a national news story, why can’t voters read about it on X?” posted Free Beacon editor-in-chief Eliana Johnson on Wednesday.
Johnson attached images showing that the tweet promoting the article violated X’s “rules against posting or sharing privately produced/distributed intimate media of someone without their express consent.”
In a follow-up tweet, Johnson shared that the Free Beacon‘s account was temporarily restricted for 12 hours.
“We have determined that you have violated Twitter Rules, so we’ve temporarily limited some of your account features,” the warning read. “While in this state, you can still browse Twitter, but you’re limited to only sending Direct Messages to your followers — no Tweets, Retweets, Fleets, follows, or likes.”
Other accounts have shared the Free Beacon article without issue.
Other outlets—including the Washington Post, which broke the story—do not appear to have run into the same issue.
Post reporter Laura Vozzella’s post linking to her article is still up, as are posts from multiple other outlets who followed up on her reporting.
But the Free Beacon‘s report differed from the Washington Post and several other outlets. While the Post used an image of a Gibson campaign mailer, the Beacon included multiple photos from the videos—censored with stars where needed.
The article also includes a screenshot showing the website to which Gibson’s videos were posted. A separate article from the Beacon actually hyperlinks to a PDF with fully nude images “for readers interested in the X-rated version.”
“Mr. Watkins, Ms. Gibson, we welcome that lawsuit,” the article goads.
Several Republicans rallied in support of the Beacon and blasted X for blocking the article.
“Feels like the exact type of thing Elon Musk bought Twitter to stop!” wrote Republican communications strategist Matt Whitlock.
Another user asked Musk: “Is this the work of rogue employees, or did you lie about your intentions?”
Johnson’s post caught the attention of Cotton as well, who argued that Musk should not be blocking access to the article.
“Just like with Hunter’s laptop, it’s a mistake for X to suppress stories that are inconvenient for Democrats,” Cotton said.