Political Commentator Says She Contacted Twitter About Package Bomber Weeks Ago
The political commentator has every right to be upset.
Package bomber Cesar Sayoc threatened a prominent political commentator two weeks ago on Twitter, and the social media platform allegedly ignored warnings of violent intent.
Rochelle Ritchie received a threatening message from Sayoc instructing her to "Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave home.” NBC News reports she received the warning following an appearance on Fox News. It was the October 11 appearance that triggered Sayoc. Ritchie's followers connected the dots revealing Sayoc as the man who threatened her.
The former press secretary for the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee reported him to Twitter the same day. However, the social media site claimed Sayoc did not violate their terms, and no further action was taken. Screenshots confirmed Ritchie's interaction with the suspected bomber.
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Hey @Twitter remember when I reported the guy who was making threats towards me after my appearance on @FoxNews and you guys sent back a bs response about how you didn’t find it that serious. Well guess what it’s the guy who has been sending #bombs to high profile politicians!!!! pic.twitter.com/xBY8FMbqnq— R O C H E L L E (@RochelleRitchie) October 26, 2018
As of Friday, authorities identified Sayoc as the package bombing suspect.
The 56-year-old resident of Aventura, Florida, has been accused of sending 13 bombs to critics and "political opponents" of President Donald Trump.
Bombs were sent to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others such as Rep. Maxine Waters, who has been attacked continuously by Trump on Twitter. Sayoc has had a criminal history spanning decades, The Washington Post reports.
According to The Verge, Sayoc operated under the Twitter handle @hardrock2016 to harass journalists and others such as former Vice President Joe Biden.
Ritchie received a statement from Twitter on Friday after he was identified. This time, the platform told her the account was suspended. “Please disregard our last reply as it was sent in error. We apologize for any inconvenience. We’ve investigated and suspended the account you reported as it was found to be participating in abusive behavior.”
Unlike the others targeted, Ritchie fears ordinary people would be unable to be protected from people like Sayoc.
“When he sent the tweet, I paid more attention to his because it involved a physical threat, whereas other comments usually involve name calling or racial slurs,” Ritchie said. "Commentators, we get this all the time, but we don’t have the same protections as Obama or Hillary Clinton or Trump."
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