Source: Fox News
UPDATED: Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is standing by the photo of him and his wife hunting that reportedly got him suspended from Twitter Monday night, as #FreeSteveDaines began to gain popularity among conservatives on social media.
“My wife is a great shot. What can I say?” Daines told Fox News Digital.
Daines’ account was reinstated Tuesday afternoon, and the senator thanked Elon Musk for recognizing that his photo was similar to hunting pictures that Americans post regularly.
“It’s our Montana way of life and we are proud of it. I am glad Elon Musk recognizes this,” Daines said in a statement after his account was reinstated.
The senator from the Big Sky State was suspended from the media outlet Monday evening, over a photo of him and his wife next to a Montana antelope that according to Twitter violated the platform’s “rules against graphic violence.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which Daines leads as chairman, released a statement blasting the move by Twitter.
“This is insane. Twitter should immediately reverse this suspension,” said NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou.
Other members of Congress are speaking out against Twitter’s actions, saying the platform should not censor individuals just because they don’t agree with a post.
“Ridiculous. My friend @SteveDaines is in @Twitter jail for posting this pic w/ his wife Cindy. If you don’t like hunting, fine, don’t go. But don’t censor others who disagree. And I’m pretty sure this is a formal job responsibility for a senator from Montana!” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., wrote in a post using the #FreeSteveDaines tag.
“@SteveDaines told me he was aiming for the balloon, but hit an antelope instead,” Cruz said in another tweet.
Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., also defended his fellow Montana politician, congratulating the senator’s wife on her “great shot.”
“This is the family photo that got @SteveDaines put in twitter jail. Stop censoring our Montana way of life! Great shot, Cindy!” Zinke wrote.
Twitter’s sensitive media policy states that certain images may be subject to removal, including pictures or video “that depicts excessively graphic or gruesome content related to death,” including “animal torture or killing.” The guidelines also state that exceptions to the policy may include “religious sacrifice, food preparation or processing, and hunting.”
Twitter did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the suspension.
After Twitter users blew up in defense of Daines, CEO Elon Musk stated that the issue was being fixed.
“This is being fixed. Policy against showing blood in profile pic is being amended to ‘clearly showing blood without clicking on the profile pic’. The intent is to avoid people being forced to see gruesome profile pics,” he wrote in a Twitter post.