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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.— A$AP Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) May 7, 2019
Because of a nonexistent "parody" violation, since @officeofmike managed @aocpress.
Clearly Mike was trying to comply.
And Twitter suspended him anyway.
Favoritism to @AOC? Anti-semitism?
What's going on, @jack? pic.twitter.com/DJ18EoPcgA
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.
Parody accounts exist, too, for Attorney General William Barr, and other notable conservative figures.
Kamala Harris trying to bitch around was hilarious.— Attorney General William Barr (parody) (@AGWilliamBarr) May 1, 2019
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.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]