Twitter Suspends Account Of Ron DeSantis Press Secretary After ‘Bullying’ AP Reporter

2 months ago 15
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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ property caput had her Twitter relationship temporarily suspended for alleged “harassing behavior.”

The DeSantis aide, Christina Pushaw, saw her relationship locked for 12 hours, a Twitter spokeswoman said for violating rules connected “abusive behavior” aft The Associated Press said her behaviour led to a newsman receiving threats and different online abuse.

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Earlier Friday, incoming AP CEO Daisy Veerasingham wrote to DeSantis, asking him to extremity Pushaw’s “harassing behavior.”

“You volition prohibition the property caput of a democratically-elected authoritative portion allowing the Taliban to unrecorded tweet their conquest of Afghanistan?” Pushaw said. She said those who “challenge mendacious narratives are often silenced by firm media and Big Tech collusion.”

Pushaw denied trying to nonstop the governor’s followers to people AP’s newsman contempt retweeting his nonfiction and penning “drag them” successful a now-deleted post. She says she deleted the tweet due to the fact that she did not mean “drag them” arsenic a threat.

She had objected to Tuesday’s communicative by AP’s Tallahassee newsman Brendan Farrington, which pointed retired that 1 of DeSantis’ multimillion-dollar donors invests successful a institution making the COVID-19 attraction cause Regeneron.

DeSantis has been touting the monoclonal antibody attraction passim the state.

In different tweet, she wrote that if Farrington didn’t alteration the story, she would “put you connected blast.” She besides retweeted a connection that said “Light. Them. Up.” successful notation to the AP.

Early Wednesday, Farrington tweeted that helium had received online threats and hatred messages astir the story. “For your sake, I anticipation authorities doesn’t endanger your safety. I’ll beryllium fine, I hope. Freedom. Just delight don’t termination me.”

Farrington declined to beryllium interviewed for this story.

Brian Carovillano, AP’s vice president and managing editor, said Pushaw’s tweets were peculiarly egregious due to the fact that she’s a nationalist servant whose occupation it is to enactment with the press.

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“There’s pushback, which we afloat judge and is simply a regular facet of being a governmental newsman oregon immoderate benignant of reporter, and there’s harassment,” Carovillano said. “This is not pushback, it’s harassment. It’s bullying. It’s calling retired the trolls astatine idiosyncratic who is conscionable doing his occupation and it’s putting him and his household astatine risk.”
Pushaw said her “drag them” remark was societal media slang and was not meant arsenic a convulsive threat.

She said she deleted it due to the fact that she didn’t privation it to beryllium misinterpreted.

“As soon arsenic Farrington told maine helium received threats, I tweeted that cipher should beryllium threatening anyone, that is wholly unacceptable,” she said. “I besides urged him to study immoderate threats to police.”

Viktorya Vilk, programme manager for integer information and escaped look astatine PEN America, said the Urban Dictionary defines “drag them” arsenic to roast (make amusive of/mock) idiosyncratic precise hard. Its usage seems to connote oregon promote radical to spell connected the attack, successful a mode that’s conscionable shy of being direct, Vilk said.

Pushaw believes AP’s communicative was unfair and endangers Florida residents.

“The backlash helium is receiving is simply a nonstop effect of his and AP’s determination to cherry prime facts to prop up a mendacious narrative, which sadly puts the lives of your readers astatine risk,” she said. “If radical falsely judge Regeneron — a clinically proven lifesaving attraction — is portion of a corruption scheme, they volition hesitate to get it, and this causes harm.”

The AP said it stands by its story.

This past spring, DeSantis supporters objected to a “60 Minutes” communicative that pointed retired DeSantis had received a $100,000 donation from the supermarket concatenation Publix, which the authorities was moving with to administer vaccine.

In her letter, Veerasingham asked DeSantis to guarantee the radical of Florida “that determination is nary place” for Pushaw’s behaviour successful government. Veerasingham, AP’s vice president and main operating officer, volition go AP’s CEO successful January.

Also this past spring, AP said it would survey ways to much aggressively combat online harassment of journalists. This came aft respective AP reporters expressed interest successful interior meetings astir whether the enactment would person its backmost if they came nether online attack.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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