Twitter Bans Account That "Inspired" Sid Miller's C-word Clinton Tweet

The person who originally called Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a "cunt" on Twitter has been kicked off of the social media site. But not for lobbing that particular insult.

As we previously reported, after Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller tweeted out poll results on Tuesday afternoon declaring Donald Trump was winning, barely, against Clinton, who is referred to as the c-word in the post, it was rapidly clear someone had royally messed up and was going to be in trouble.

Well, eventually. First everybody on Miller's team had to get their stories straight. Texas Agriculture Department Spokesman Mark Loeffler initially declared Miller's account, @MillerforTexas, had been hacked while Miller told reporters this was all the fault of an unnamed, overeager staffer who had "retweeted" the post  — with light editing, so that's not technically a retweet, it should be noted — but without apparently reading it closely enough to notice it contained that particular word.

The staffer has remained unnamed and will not be fired. But don't think that calling Clinton something vulgar on Twitter won't have consequences.

Ha. Just kidding.

After all, this is the United States and we like our speech as free and open and occasionally vulgar as any one person can muster.

That's why the Twitter handle @TheRickyVaughn, a prolific alt-right poster who tweets lots of antisemitic and racist remarks in addition to scintillating political commentary, was still up and running afterward right up until Wednesday despite most likely being the original source of Miller's post.

Until someone noticed the handle was tweeting out false advertisements made up to look like Clinton campaign notices telling people they could skip the lines at the polls by simply texting their votes in, that is, according to Buzzfeed.

While the fact people may have seen these text-your-vote-in tweets and believed them is depressing in and of itself, it turns out tweeting fake political advertisements to trick people into not voting is possibly an Federal Election Commission violation, and at the very least against Twitter's rules. The account @TheRickyVaughn was suspended on Wednesday night.

And that's just wonderful, really. You can be racist, misogynistic, tacky, ugly, trollish and vulgar on Twitter, with impunity, but if you try to mess with our electoral system, even Twitter has its limits. And those limits are when you try to disenfranchise voters.

Freedom of speech, y'all. So that particular account is gone, although plenty of others have sprung up in its wake.

Meanwhile, Miller is still rapidly tweeting and retweeting all things pro-Trump and anti-Clinton and being simultaneously apologetic and defensive as can be about his Twitter gaffe. This has resulted in little gifts, like this exchange between Miller and Montel Williams:

We can only hope Miller keeps right on tweeting.

Still, somebody needs to remind him this is not a time to get cocky about the Twitter. Even though @TheRickyVaughn has been suspended, Miller and his staff may still want to watch out about what they tweet.

Sure, you can explain away one accidental tweet with vulgar terminology about the first female presidential candidate of a major political party in U.S. history, but if the next mishap involves fake voting information, well, hell, some poor staffer — not Miller of course but somebody, maybe — is going to probably get in trouble for that.
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Dianna Wray is a nationally award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil to horse races.
Contact: Dianna Wray