Twitter blocks South Dakota Republican Party

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 6:59 AM MST
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PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - The South Dakota Republican Party is at odds with social media giant Twitter, after Twitter blocked certain features on the Republican Party’s website, and their Twitter page.

The South Dakota Republican Party attempted to post a press release to Twitter from their website, backing President Donald Trump in his post-election legal fights. However, when they went to share the tweet the link to their website, it would not work.

“Twitter gave us a warning sign saying it was harmful content and that we had to go to a help center and they basically blocked our ability to tweet a link from our website and that is where I noticed they were “blocking” the South Dakota Republican Party.” said Dan Lederman, South Dakota Republican Party Chair.

In addition, Twitter also provided a warning page when you attempted to access the South Dakota Republican Party’s website through a link at the top of their page in their bio. The warning said that the link you were clicking may be “unsafe," or have “violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm.”

A spokesperson for Twitter said that the blockage occurred as a result of an algorithm error, and that they would fix it. As of this point, it has been fixed.

However, Lederman and others share disbelief.

“I don’t know how they can say it was an accident to not only block the tweets that are sending but then also block our website, we’ve tweeted from our website plenty of times before, we’ve never had this kind of issue.” Lederman said.

Many in conservative circles have shared negative sentiments with the way social media has regulated their content. Prominent Republicans, such as Governor Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) have promoted their move over to less mainstream social media sites, such as Parler or MeWe. Parler promotes itself as having an “unbiased and real user experience.”

Certain experts worry that if taken to the extreme, completely partisan social media platforms would only serve to further America’s ever growing partisan divide.

“Let’s assume Twitter got the woke world that they want, or that the right believes that it wants, and some other site got the conservative world that it thinks that it wants, the result is that we are not brought closer together.” said Dakota State University Professor Joseph Bottum.

The South Dakota Republican Party says that they have made the jump over to Parler, but for the time being, they intend to post on every social media site that is made available to them.