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Twitter has permanently suspended pro-Donald Trump meme account Carpe Donktum for repeated violations of its copyright policy.
Carpe Donktum, a self-described “memesmith” account which had over 270,000 followers before the suspension, had become popular on the right for posting doctored viral videos that were signal boosted by prominent conservative pundits and Republican politicians including the president.
In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said, “The account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of this policy.”
Last Thursday, Trump tweeted Carpe Donktum’s “racist toddlers” video, an edited version of a viral video of two toddlers, one Black and one white, running toward each other and hugging, before running away together. The edited video played elements of the video out of sequence, added ominous music, and overlaid a fake CNN chyron suggesting that the “racist” white child was chasing the Black child in an attempt to suggest news organizations were distorting reality and that “America is not the problem” when it comes to racism.
That same evening, Twitter added a “manipulated media” label to the tweet, which linked to a page outlining its policies on such content. “You may not deceptively promote synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context,” the policy states.
The video was later disabled because of copyright complaints made by the original content owner.
The Carpe Donktum suspension is the latest flashpoint in a simmering row between the White House and its allies and Twitter. Last month, Twitter labeled a pair of Trump tweets regarding election fraud as misleading, which led to a furious reaction from the White House and accusations of bias and censorship. On Tuesday, the company labeled another Trump tweet, about threatening “serious force” on protestors, as violating its rules on “abusive behavior.”
Last month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reaffirmed the company’s commitment to fact-check information related to elections, even from the accounts of verified politicians and political groups.
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