Twitter Suspends, Then Unsuspends, Popular Right-Wing User Who Tweeted Image Of Child Sexual Abuse

Topline

Twitter suspended, then quickly unsuspended, a right-wing user known for spreading conspiracy theories after he posted a screenshot from a video depicting child sexual abuse—which he claims was to “save the kids”—with the platform first drawing outrage from the right for allegedly censoring the user, and then anger from the left for allowing him back.

reinstated and the tweet containing child sexual abuse imagery deleted. (Photo Illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)Getty Images

Key Facts

Twitter user Dom Lucre (@dom_lucre), a well-known personality among online right-wing circles with nearly 600,000 followers, posted a screenshot of a video depicting child sexual abuse on July 22 reportedly connected to Peter Scully, an Australian man sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing children as young as 18 months, whose video was reportedly created on the dark web.

Lucre was suspended from the platform four days later, as Twitter’s policy indicates “zero tolerance towards any material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation,” which the platform considers one of the “most serious violations” of its policy.

His suspension drew immediate outrage from his right-wing supporters, some of whom tweeted “Free Dom” to encourage his reinstatement.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Twitter owner Elon Musk said he was told the suspension was because Lucre posted child exploitation images connected to Scully, claiming only the people on Twitter’s child sexual exploitation team have seen the pictures and Twitter “will delete those posts and reinstate the account.”

Musk’s tweets were condemned by the left, many of whom noted Lucre’s tweet was up for four days before his suspension and would have been widely seen (One user posted a screenshot taken July 25, showing Lucre’s tweet as having more than 3 million views), and he drew criticism for allowing the user back onto the platform.

Upon returning to Twitter, Lucre thanked his supporters (and bizarrely tweeted “Obama struck me down but only made us stronger”), though he called Musk “weird for allowing these Democrats to push a narrative that I shared child porn,” defending his controversial post as himself being a “messenger” trying to “save the kids.”

Shortly after his return, Lucre began posting misinformation again, including a video claiming to show former President Barack Obama strapped on to the same paddleboard on which his family’s chef drowned, though a fact-check notes the video is more than 3 years old and there is no evidence the two paddleboards are the same.

Key Background

Dom Lucre is the internet personality of Dominick McGee, according to a New York Times feature which profiled him as one of several right-wing social media users who became famous for sharing 2020 election denial posts. Lucre is known for his active Twitter presence, where he frequently posts misinformation. In June, when Madonna suffered a bacterial infection, he suggested vaccines were the reason she was hospitalized, and he previously claimed “following the science oftentimes leads to a graveyard.” In June, he tweeted: “Adrenochrome is real and I can prove it,” referencing a conspiracy theory embraced by QAnon that promotes the idea the wealthy, Hollywood elite and Democrats harvest the blood of children for a chemical called adrenochrome that they ingest to stay young. The theory has been debunked by members of the scientific community who note the chemical does not have rejuvenating properties. Lucre also still posts claims that the 2020 election was stolen, alleging former President Donald Trump was the rightful winner.

Chief Critics

Lucre’s return to the platform was condemned by some users who felt the account should remain banned for tweeting images of child sexual abuse. One viral tweet about the incident, which garnered 18,000 likes, contains a screenshot of Musk’s tweet admitting Lucre’s account posted explicit images but he would still let him back on the platform, and is simply captioned: “what the F*CK.” One user pointed out Musk has previously committed to ending child exploitation content on the platform but reinstated an account that had just been suspended for violating that very policy. In November 2022, Musk tweeted addressing child sexual abuse content was “Priority #1.” The Q Origins Project, an account that tracks and analyzes the beginnings of the QAnon conspiracy theory, tweeted: “Posting [child sexual abuse material] should be an automatic perma-ban. Zero tolerance. This isn’t difficult.”

Contra

Supporters of Lucre were quick to voice their outrage over his suspension on Twitter, including notable voices like Kari Lake, the 2022 Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee who embraced election fraud conspiracy theories. Lake tweeted a screenshot of Lucre’s suspended account, stating: “When will the censorship end, @elonmusk?” Chaya Raichik, known for running the right-wing Libs of TikTok social media accounts, tweeted: “FREE DOM LUCRE @elonmusk @lindayacc,” tagging both Musk and Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino. The right-wing account “End Wokeness,” which has more than 1.4 million followers, tweeted its anger over Lucre’s suspension and helped to try and trend “FREE DOM” on the platform.

Further Reading

Elon Musk Welcomes Child Sex Abuse Imagery Poster Back to Twitter (Vice)

Musk’s app reinstates user who posted ‘child exploitation photos’ (Mashable)

Australian who sexually abused children in the Philippines given 129-year jail term (CNN)

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I’m an explainers and trends reporter for Forbes. I previously worked on Forbes’s wealth team where I covered billionaires. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022 and spent that summer working on Forbes’s Top Colleges list. Before that, I served as a news editor for Penn’s student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, as well as a digital intern for NBC News and a foreign desk intern for Vox.

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Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/conormurray/2023/07/27/twitter-suspends-then-unsuspends-popular-right-wing-user-who-tweeted-image-of-child-sexual-abuse/amp/

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Date de Publication : 2023-07-27 09:00:00

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