MENUMENU

Twitter conservatives are furious over #KillKavanaugh

CBS News/YouTube

Who made it trend?

The fight over judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s nomination to the Supreme Court is playing out on a number of fronts. But on Twitter, over the weekend the argument’s took a bad faith twist, as far-right conservatives tried to paint liberals as advocating for the murder of the nominee.

#KillKavanaugh began spiking over the weekend, after a couple tweets using it were noticed by popular conservative pundits, who expressed outrage.

In normal times, “Kill” would be taken as it was meant, meaning spike or defeat, a phrase often used on Capitol Hill to describe defeating unpopular legislation.

But because of discussion about conservatives being censored on social media, and the large, overarching conversation about liberal bias in Silicon Valley, far-right tweeters tried to frame it as people were tweeting not about how they wanted Kavanaugh to fail in the Senate, but rather they wanted the man dead.

The hashtag story was amplified over the weekend by Instapundit, a conservative blogger, who was upset that it cropped up in trending tags.

That Twitter would push a hashtag that conservatives say advocates violence (even though they know it doesn’t) was enough to rally the masses online about Twitter and its founder, Jack Dorsey, being biased.

A recent tweet from @TwitterSafety cropped up in the discussion, with conservatives pointing it out how it seemed to expressly discuss and forbid what was happening the #KillKavanaugh hashtag.

People were also upset how quick it popped up online, noting that after typing “Ki,” the first suggestion was “#KillKavanaugh.”

However, conservatives themselves are partially to blame, as the number of them tweeting furiously about #KillKavanaugh is what helped amplify the hashtag over the weekend.

The initial liberal tweets about Kill Kavanaugh were from relatively small accounts, ones that wouldn’t have brought the hashtag to the forefront.

Those tweets were flagged as “hundreds” of examples, by a Twitter user, which helped spread a message that didn’t really exist.

Unless Twitter has deleted tweets regarding the hashtag, there were all of four tweets using the hashtag heading into the weekend.

killkavanaugh Twitter

It looks like conservatives brought the hashtag to the national consciousness through their anger about it, as opposed to hordes of liberals hollering that Kavanaugh be killed.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

David Covucci

David Covucci

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]