- Twitter flagged Gosar’s tweet of an edited animated video showing him killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
- A spokesperson said the tweet violated Twitter’s rules concerning “hateful conduct.”
- But Twitter didn’t remove it, saying “it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
Twitter flagged Republican Rep. Paul Gosar’s tweet of an edited animated video showing him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and brandishing swords at President Joe Biden.
A spokesperson for the platform said the tweet violated Twitter’s rules concerning “hateful conduct” so the company placed a “public interest notice” on the message. The company, however, said it wouldn’t take the post down because it “has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
The video Gosar shared is apparently an altered version of the opening credits of a Japanese animated series called “Attack on Titan.” In the edited version, the faces of Gosar, Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ocasio-Cortez, and Biden are superimposed on the bodies of the characters. Gosar’s character stabs Ocasio-Cortez’s character in the back of the neck and kills her before brandishing two swords at another character with Biden’s face.
“Any anime fans out there?” Gosar wrote in the Sunday tweet sharing the 90-second video. The Arizona Republican has repeatedly downplayed political violence committed by fellow conservatives and called the January 6 Capitol rioters “peaceful patriots.”
—Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 9, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez condemned Gosar and GOP leadership in a series of tweets on Monday from Glasgow, where she’s attending the international climate summit with a Democratic delegation.
“A creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “And he’ll face no consequences bc @GOPLeader cheers him on with excuses.”
She added, “Fun Monday! Well, back to work bc institutions don’t protect woc,” referring to women of color.
Gosar’s digital director, Jessica Lycos, defended the video in a statement to The Washington Post, arguing that it didn’t glorify violence.
“We made an anime video,” she said. “Everyone needs to relax. The left doesn’t get meme culture. They have no joy. They are not the future. It’s a cartoon. Gosar can’t fly and he does not own any light sabers. Nor was violence glorified. This is about fighting for truth.”
The congressman tweeted a meme on Tuesday morning echoing that defense. A spokesperson for the congressman didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
—Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) November 9, 2021
Other Democratic members of Congress also condemned the tweet and Republican leaders’ apparent non-response.
“Happy Monday in America, where @GOPLeader McCarthy’s colleague just posted a video of himself swinging two swords at President Biden,” Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted. “These blood thirsty losers are more comfortable with violence than voting. Keep exposing them.”
A spokesperson for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.