Prospective 2020 challenger to Representative Ilhan Omar’s seat, Republican Danielle Stella, earned herself a perma-ban from Twitter for tweeting that the first refugee and first hijabi congresswoman should be “hanged” based on an unfounded conspiracy theory.
Twitter permanently bans Rep. Omar's Republican opponent after she accused the congresswoman of treason and wrote on the platform that Omar should be hanged. https://t.co/oRSoPi90Mh— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 30, 2019
One of the tweets included a link to a right-wing website and a drawing of a body hanging from the gallows, according to NBC News. The image is, of course, no longer available.
Stella has been known to push conspiracy theories from the bizarre far-right conspiracy factory known as Qanon, and this seemed to be the final straw for Twitter, which told NBC that her account was “permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules.” They did not specify exactly what the violated rules were, but anything that looks like or contributes to death threats tends to get squashed by the platform pretty quickly these days.
Omar has endured numerous death threats since being elected to office, with those threats being fueled by attacks from Republicans falsely linking her to the 9/11 attacks and other Islamophobic garbage. Donald Trump has participated in these smear attempts, sharing a video that claimed she was “dancing” on a 9/11 anniversary and lying that she called Al-Qaeda “wonderful.”
Although Twitter has pretty much confirmed that it doesn’t have the guts to ban Trump, that clearly doesn’t extend to all Republicans.
Stella is still on Facebook, however, and posted her defense there on Friday.
There are MANY hypocrites rage posting here. Breathe, think this through, logically.To clarify, I said, "If it is...Posted by Danielle Stella on Friday, November 29, 2019
“To clarify, I said, ‘If it is proven ____ passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged’,” she wrote. “Treason is the only thing mentioned in the constitution for the death penalty, punishable by hanging or firing squad. I believe all involved should be thoroughly investigated. I did not threaten anyone. If you are calling it a threat- you believe that individual is guilty, and therefore it is not a threat, it’s treason.”
In reality, you don’t have to directly say “I am going to kill you” for it to be considered a threat. At least, not on Twitter. And possibly not on Facebook, which might be why she omitted Omar’s name from her post.
Omar explained this herself in her response to the news on Twitter, where she is still allowed to be, pointing out that violent rhetoric naturally leads to violent threats.
This is the natural result of a political environment where anti-Muslim dogwhistles and dehumanization are normalized by an entire political party and its media outlets.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 29, 2019
Violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats, and ultimately, violent acts. https://t.co/tn6SRFYGmp
Good luck challenging Omar without a Twitter account, Stella. You’ll need it.