Missouri congressional candidate Austin Petersen has received a 12-hour suspension from Twitter for tweeting a GIF of Joseph Stalin.
Petersen received this suspension after a writer for the left-leaning PAC, ShareBlue, alluded to Petersen having connections to the Russian hacking of Senator Claire McCaskill in August of 2017 because Petersen’s campaign accepts bitcoin.
Petersen jokingly responded to the tweet with a GIF from Twitter’s own file collection of Joseph Stalin waving his hand with the words “Off to gulag now.”
“Democrats seized on this as if it were a credible threat, mass reporting my account and having it restricted for 12 hours,” Petersen said in a statement.
With his primary just seven days away, Petersen views the suspension as a hindrance to his campaign, since he often uses Twitter to share his message: “This action is deeply troubling and deserves national attention now, with the Missouri primary 7 days away, having a candidate silenced is a threat to American democracy.”
Petersen believes that his account was suspended after being mass reported, as he received several emails from Twitter notifying him that his account was reported, but that he did not violate their terms of service.
In a Facebook post, Petersen shared the news of his suspension and thanked his Democratic opponent Claire McCaskill and ShareBlue Media which he calls McCaskill’s “attack PAC.”
“Isn't it ironic that Democrats use Stalinist tactics to silence their opposition and then get triggered by a GIF of their dear leader?" Petersen told The Daily Wire. “Apparently Twitter, triggered by a picture of Stalin, acknowledges the evils of Communism!”
"If you’re tired of Twitter censoring conservatives to silence them, vote for Austin Petersen on Aug 7th. Your vote is the loudest protest you have."