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Twitter suspends St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s official account

Twin Cities Pioneer Press logo Twin Cities Pioneer Press 9/18/2019 Frederick Melo
a man wearing a suit and tie: St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter gives his 2020 Budget Address at the Frogtown Community Center in St. Paul Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019.  (Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press) © Provided by MediaNews Group d/b/a Digital First Media St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter gives his 2020 Budget Address at the Frogtown Community Center in St. Paul Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press)

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s Twitter days are not necessarily over, but his official account is in limbo.

The popular social media platform suspended the mayor’s official Twitter account (@MayorCarter_) within the past week for reasons not entirely clear. As of at least last Sunday, the account’s profile page simply indicates “Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.” No further explanation was posted.

As a result, the mayor’s Twitter history is also unavailable to public eyes, and his nearly two years of public statements on the platform are no longer visible.

Carter’s personal account (@melvincarter3) remains active. It has 14,000 online followers.

Officials in the mayor’s office said it appears Twitter mistook the mayor’s official handle as an impostor account, and they’re working to get the account restored. A reporter’s email to Twitter’s media relations office was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Suspensions from Twitter are not uncommon, and appear to be on the rise given heightened concern over online threats escalating into real-world violence. Even users who have shared videos of threats or violence directed at themselves have been blocked. That’s led to widespread debate over why some accounts are temporarily muted or suspended but not others.

In early August, Twitter suspended a campaign account belonging to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the account shared a video of protesters chanting outside the Republican lawmaker’s Louisville home.

Under pressure from McConnell’s supporters, Twitter then reinstated the account two days later, and explained in a written statement that “the video contained a violent threat directed at Leader McConnell, a clear violation of the Twitter Rules.”

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The statement said the video would still be available online, behind an interstitial marked “sensitive media” that users would have to click to access the content.

Twitter, which has 321 million active users, draws some 126 million users on a daily basis. The San Francisco-based company was launched in 2006 and has been publicly traded on the stock market since November 2013.

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