U.S. House Intelligence Committee investigating video that triggered hate against Covington boys
WASHINGTON, DC, January 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Members of Congress want answers about the Twitter account which first posted an edited video of an encounter between some Catholic high school boys attending the March for Life, and a drum beating Native American activist, triggering a barrage of unwarranted vitriol against the young men.
The original one minute video which led to multiple death threats against the group of Catholic school boys and in particular against student Nick Sandmann, was selectively edited to make it appear as if the boys were mocking Omaha tribe elder Nathan Phillips as he chanted in his native American tongue.
The Twitter account under suspicion that posted the viral video, @2020fight, was suspended on Monday, but not before the clip had been been viewed over 2.5 million times and had been retweeted over 14,000 times.
The account purportedly belonged to a California school teacher named Talia, who had captioned the short video, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”
Twitter suspended the @2020fight account following suspicions that the account may in fact be automated, inauthentic, or otherwise misleading. The highly partisan account was discovered to have a fake profile picture and averaged around 130 ‘Tweets’ per day, an uncommonly high volume of activity for a single individual.
“Deliberate attempts to manipulate the public conversation on Twitter by using misleading account information is a violation of the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill.
A spokesperson for Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the U.S Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, told the Huffington Post that the senator’s office had contacted Twitter about the video.
Capitol Hill’s interest in social media accounts and their sources has heightened in the days since the 2016 election, when suspicions were raised over the possibility of foreign operators influencing elections and public opinion through fake social media accounts.
Because the original video with its incendiary caption incited so much unjustified hate against the students, their school––Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School––was unable to open on Tuesday because officials feared for the student’s safety. The school reopened Wednesday, but only under heavy police protection.
The protection was clearly warranted.
Liberal provocateurs stormed social media with ugly postings, from an NBC Saturday Night Live writer who promised oral sex to “whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face,” to others who wanted to see the students killed.
“The threats, they have been horrible,” said Grant Hillman, a Covington High School senior who did not attend the rally, in a “Fox & Friends,” on Wednesday.
“I have never heard such cruel things wished upon another human being,” said Hillman, “ranging from getting locked inside a building and burned alive to sexually assaulted by the clergy members – it’s just awful.”
“It’s really sad to see [people] with such a huge platform who [have] the ability to spread positivity to use it in such a negative manner to bully children,” added the Covington High school teen.