Aug 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Twitter suspends Florida GOP candidate who called for violence against federal agents

Twitter logo on a smartphone

In this photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

After advocating for gun violence against federal agencies, a Republican candidate for the Florida legislature was permanently suspended from Twitter late Friday, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: The candidate, Luis Miguel, tweeted on Thursday, “Under my plan, all Floridians will have permission to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF and all other feds on sight! Let freedom ring!”

  • Miguel is one of two candidates in a primary for Florida’s House District 20. Voters will cast ballots in the contest next Tuesday.

Catch up fast: Miguel’s tweet violated Twitter’s hateful conduct policy, leading to the suspension, a spokesperson for the company told NBC News.

  • Miguel defended his tweet in an interview with NBC, saying it did not endorse violence, but instead referred to legislation he would propose if elected.
  • He is appealing his suspension from the platform.
  • His Instagram and Facebook accounts were also suspended for a similar, separate post.

The big picture: Since the FBI search on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, there has been an uptick in threats against federal law enforcement, particularly on social media.

  • Current and former FBI leadership have said threats have put agents who are just doing their jobs in greater danger.
  • The House Oversight panel said Friday it was investigating the threats. In a letter sent to eight social media companies this week, the committee demanded "immediate action to address any threats of violence against law enforcement" on their respective platforms.
  • The committee is also seeking information about the volume of threats the companies have identified since the search of Trump’s home earlier this month, as well as the companies' policies on threatening posts.

Go deeper: House panel probes online threats to federal law enforcement

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