Twitter Suspends Montana Rep Over Hunting Photos

( – Social media watchers expected that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter would put an end to censorious hard leftists silencing centrists and conservatives, but that hope may have been forlorn.

Several Republican members of Congress chided the platform on February 7th for suspending the account of Montana GOP Senator Steve Daines. Twitter suspended his account after he posted a photo of a hunting trip taken with his wife.

Twitter claimed Daines’ account showed “graphic violence.”

Montana House member Matt Rosendale sent a message to Twitter on the platform saying he heard the company has a “problem with hunting photos.” He added that it seemed no one from the company had ever been to Montana.

Conservative support for Daines came from other states too, with South Dakota’s Republican congressional representative Mike Rounds asking Twitter if they had a problem with Daines’ wife being a “good shot.” Rounds then posted a picture of his own successful past hunt.

Musk said Twitter’s policy barring graphic displays of blood in a profile picture was meant to shield Twitter users from having to see graphic content without their permission. Profile pictures appear on a user’s account, and are the first thing Twitter users see when looking at another user’s activity.

Musk also said Twitter was going to make its policy more finely grained to avoid the problem in the future, though it is difficult to imagine this kind of problem can be solved with ever-more detailed and specific rules. The policy against showing blood in a profile picture will be amended to bar showing blood “without clicking on the profile pic.”

As the behavior of Twitter employees has been revealed recently, it seems unlikely that any policy can be crafted that would simultaneously “protect” users from graphic imagery while also preserving sensible and proportionate moderation decisions.

Intervention from Twitter owner Elon Musk restored Daines’ account the same day after outrage poured in from both conservative lawmakers and Twitter users.

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