Twitter Suspends Account Behind 'MAGA Kid' Controversy

Account said it was video of 'MAGA loser gleefully bothering' Native American
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2019 5:30 AM CST
Updated Jan 22, 2019 6:57 AM CST
Twitter Suspends Account Behind ''MAGA Kid' Controversy
A police car sits in front of Covington Catholic High School in Park Kills, Ky., Saturday, Jan 19, 2019.   (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

Controversy is still raging over Friday's encounter in Washington, DC, between a Native American man and a student in a Make America Great Again hat—and a move from Twitter suggests it may have deliberately been stirred up. The company has suspended an account that shared video of the encounter Friday night with a caption that helped it go viral, the Hill reports. "This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March," said the caption from the @2020fight account. CNN reports that the account's version of the video was viewed more than 2.5 million times and retweeted at least 14,400 times.

The @2020fight account, which tweeted around 130 times a day, claimed to have been set up by a California schoolteacher, though its profile photo was that of a Brazilian blogger. "Deliberate attempts to manipulate the public conversation on Twitter by using misleading account information" is a violation of the rules, a Twitter spokesperson says. Information warfare researcher Molly McKew tells CNN that she realized Saturday that a network of anonymous accounts was helping spread the video. "At this point, we are all conditioned to react and engage or deny in specific ways," she says. "And we all did." Mediaite reports that as a more complicated picture of the encounter emerged this week, journalists and celebrities deleted tweets slamming the students as racists. (The student gave his side of the story in a statement Sunday.)

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