A US political commentator who received threats from a suspect arrested in connection with mail bomb packages has called out Twitter’s “bs response” after she reported him earlier this month.
Rochelle Ritchie received threats on Twitter on October 11 from Cesar Sayoc, the 56-year-old from Florida arrested on Friday and charged in relation to sending pipe bombs to a number of prominent Donald Trump critics.
Despite being told about the threats, Twitter did not initially ban the account believed to be Sayoc’s, which went by the handle @hardrock2016.
The social media site has since apologised and admitted it made a mistake.
The account tweeted Richie, saying: “So you like make threats.We Unconquered Seminole Tribe will answer your threats.We have nice silent Air boat ride for u here on our land Everglades Swamp .We will see you 4 sure.Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave home.”
Ritchie tweeted that the threat from the Twitter account came after she made an appearance on Fox News. In that same tweet, she shared Twitter’s response to her report of the offending tweet.
“Hey @Twitter remember when I reported the guy who was making threats towards me after my appearance on @Fox and you guys sent back a bs response about how you didn’t find it that serious,” Ritchie wrote.
“Well guess what it’s the guy who has been sendings #bombs to high profile politicians!”
Twitter said the account did not violate “Twitter Rules against abusive behaviour” in an email dated October 11.
A spokesperson for Twitter initially told HuffPost on Friday that they “don’t have a comment on what is a live law enforcement investigation.” However, eight hours after Ritchie raised the issue in a now-viral tweet, the company admitted that it “made a mistake” by not addressing Ritchie’s concern.
Twitter suspended Sayoc’s alleged Twitter account hours after Ritchie’s tweet went viral.
According to Ritchie, the company later on Friday sent her a follow-up email to their initial response, claiming that the first message was sent in error.
The company said it was investigating the error and promised to improve how it responds to its users’ concerns.
“We made a mistake when Rochelle Ritchie first alerted us to the threat made against her,” the company wrote on its Twitter Safety account.
“We know we have a lot of work to do,” the company added.
Ritchie did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.