Sen. Daines spends the night in ‘Twitter jail’ for hunting photo

Source: Great Falls Tribune

Montana Senator Steve Daines’ Twitter account was suspended Monday night because the company determined Daines’ profile picture, showing the Senator and his wife Cindy seated next to a pronghorn antelope Cindy Daines had shot, violated Twitter’s policy against posting images that show “graphic violence.”

“Last night the Senator was notified his Twitter account was locked because his profile picture violated their rules against “graphic violence,” a news release from Daines’ office explained Tuesday morning. “Our team has reached out to Twitter to get this resolved because the Senator believes it is preposterous that a picture of him and his wife hunting—an activity that is ingrained in the Montana way of life—would be against Twitter rules.”

Beginning at around 10:30 pm Monday, Twitter users trying to access Daines’ site were denied access and instead received the following message, “Steve Daines’s account is temporarily unavailable because it violates the Twitter Media Policy.”

Reaction to the account suspension was swift. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) which Daines chairs, reported the incident at around 6 am Tuesday morning. NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou commented in the release, “This is insane. Twitter should immediately reverse this suspension.”

Other political luminaries quickly added their voices of outrage and disbelief.

Ridiculous,” tweeted Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “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!”

“Twitter has ridiculously suspended Sen. @SteveDaines because his profile picture is of him and his wife hunting,” tweeted Donald Trump, Jr. “What a disgrace!”

“Stop censoring our Montana way of life!” tweeted Montana Representative Ryan Zinke. “Great shot, Cindy!”

Some members of Congress took a more mocking tone.

Hey @elonmusk – Why is Twitter putting @SteveDaines in Twitter jail?” tweeted South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds. “For his wife being a good shot?”

Rounds included his own Twitter profile picture in his post, a photograph of he and two of his grandchildren on a successful pheasant hunt.

“I guess since I’ve updated my profile picture, I better turn myself in,” Rounds quipped.

Twitter reversed its suspension and reinstated Daines’ Twitter account at around 7:50 am Tuesday.

Daines, who is in Washington D.C. in advance of President Biden’s State of the Union Address, had only a brief comment on the kerfuffle.

“My wife is a great shot,” Daines tweeted. “What can I say?”