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Republicans boycott Twitter ad spending after McConnell campaign account locked

The tension between conservatives and Silicon Valley just turned up a notch.

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The Twitter account of Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign has since been restored, and the video has been removed. 

Win McNamee/Getty Images

After Twitter temporarily locked the campaign account of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a string of leading Republican campaign committees announced an ad spending boycott against the social media platform. McConnell's official campaign account was locked Wednesday after his team posted a video of protesters outside his Louisville, Kentucky, home earlier this week.

Twitter's blanket policy bans videos that include violent threats, even from those who receive such threats. The video in question, which also aired on Fox News, featured protest chants calling McConnell "murder turtle," and shouts from the crowd inciting violence against him. 

Twitter told CNET in a statement that McConnell's campaign account was locked because the video "violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety."

McConnell's campaign account has since been restored.

On Friday, Twitter said it reviewed the case more closely after multiple appeals and will allow the video to be visible with a sensitive media warning.

"Going forward, the video will be visible on the service with a sensitive media interstitial and only in cases where the Tweet content does not otherwise violate the Twitter Rules," the company's communications team tweeted.

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Following similar tweets from the House and Senate GOP campaign organizations, the National Republican Campaign Committee joined the ad spending stand-off. 

"I have directed the @nrcc to immediately halt all spending with @Twitter until they correct their inexcusable targeting of @Team_Mitch. We will stand firmly with our friends against anti-conservative bias," NRCC director Parker Hamilton Poling tweeted Thursday.

Republican lawmakers have accused Silicon Valley giants of bias before. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump, without evidence, accused Google of anticonservative bias in a series of now-deleted tweets.

Trump alleged that Google is trying to "illegally subvert" the next election. "All very illegal," he tweeted. "We are watching Google very closely!"

Originally published Aug. 8, 2:44 p.m. PT.
Correction, 3:47 p.m.: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect Twitter account that was locked. It was McConnell's official campaign account. Also, the story misstated the day the account was locked. It was Wednesday. 
Update, Aug. 9: Adds that Twitter will allow the video, with a sensitive media warning.