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A North Carolina man who threatened a Muslim candidate for state Senate in Virginia on Twitter was charged with transmitting an interstate threat.
Joseph Cecil Vandevere was indicted on June 20, according to the Daily Beast. Vandevere reportedly made a threat under a Twitter account called @DaDutchman5.
The account posted a picture of a 1915 lynching directed at Qasim Rashid, who recently won the Democratic primary for Virginia’s 28th District for the state’s Senate. He will run in the state’s general election later this year.
Along with the photo, @DaDutchman5 wrote: “Let’s meet so you can run that coward mouth to my face.. please… view your destiny.”
Rashid noted the tweet in March.
Hey @twitter this white supremacist @DaDUTCHMAN5 is threatening me with lynching b/c I am a Muslim.— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) March 14, 2018
Please tell me this violates your terms & conditions?#WhereWasHeRadicalized? pic.twitter.com/YyLNiT5gUD
Rashid told the Daily Beast it’s “not very common” that these kinds of threats lead to charges, adding that these charges can “make social media safer” and “protect speech for those who engage in constructive dialogue.”
On Monday, Qasim tweeted that the FBI contacted him and asked him if he’d testify against the Twitter user. According to the news outlet, an archived version of the @DaDutchman5 account included references to several conspiracy theories.
You can read all of the Daily Beast’s report here.
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Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).