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Twitter suspends, then reinstates account for Montana Sen. Steve Daines

Steve Daines
Posted at 12:19 PM, Feb 07, 2023

Twitter said it suspended the account of Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines because it violated the "Twitter Media Policy." A message on the violation linked to the social platform's "sensitive mediapolicy."

Daines, the chairman of the Senate Republican campaign arm, had parts of his profile made unavailable, including his background photo, by Tuesday morning.

Soon after Daines released a statement saying Twitter's Elon Musk reached out to him and his account was reinstated.

"I am grateful Elon Musk reached out to me to resolve this issue and am glad that he recognizes that free speech is a bedrock of our country, and acted quickly to reinstate my Twitter account after being made aware of its suspension," Daines said.

He said, "The initial ban over the profile photo of my wife and me after a successful Montana antelope hunt was disappointing given the fact that it is no different than photos Montanans share on social media every day. It’s our Montana way of life and we are proud of it. I am glad Elon Musk recognizes this. The rest of the country benefits from the acceptance of diverse thoughts and values, including Montana values."

As The Hill noted, a list of his posts going back to at least Friday were made unavailable with a statement that read, “@SteveDaines’s account is temporarily unavailable because it violates the Twitter Media Policy.”

Twitter's sensitive media policy says that a user on the platform is not allowed to publish media that is graphic or adult in nature on their profile images and other places on the site.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) said that it believed Daines's Twitter account was suspended citing a hunting image with he and his wife that was in the profile header.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines issued a statement after his Twitter account was locked because of his profile picture of him and his wife hunting and later restored after Elon Musk announced changes to Twitter policy.

NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou said in a statement earlier on Tuesday, “This is insane. Twitter should immediately reverse this suspension."

The NRSC said that Daines violated Twitter's policies against violence because "his profile pic showed him hunting with his wife."

Daines said he received a notification on Monday night informing him that he was locked out of his Twitter account for displaying "graphic violence." His account was restored by Tuesday.