Twitter Bans Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Parody Account for ‘Manipulation’

The company says parody accounts aren’t an issue — as long as they don’t mislead users

AOC Alexandria Ocasio

A popular Twitter account parodying congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been banned for breaking the company’s rules against attempting to “manipulate the conversation” on its platform, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap on Tuesday morning.

The @AOCPress account had about 85,000 followers before it was removed. It’s profile name mentioned in parenthesis it was a parody account of the Democratic Rep. from New York. The man behind the account, Michael Morrison, a writer and political consultant with about 50,000 followers, was also banned.

Here’s the Twitter Rule the company said the account broke:

“While you may use Twitter pseudonymously or as a parody, commentary, or fan account, you may not use misleading account information in order to engage in spammy, abusive, or disruptive behavior, including attempts to manipulate the conversations on Twitter.”

Before it was banned, the parody account routinely tweeted political jokes while impersonating the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez.

“Once Joe Biden announces he’s running, I will fully endorse him. The other candidates just rub me the wrong way,” one tweet read.

Another example: “Not only am I Christian, I’m actually more Christian than Jesus was.”

Morrison told he believed the ban was politically motivated.

“I think Twitter banned AOC Press for the increasing amounts of attention it’s been receiving lately,” Morrison said.

“In the past month and a half alone the account grew by roughly 50,000 followers. We’ve had tweets with over 30,000 likes on them, so I think Twitter decided it was time for [the account] to go. They didn’t like how popular an account created by their political opposition had become.”

According to a person familiar with Twitter’s decision, there were strong indications the parody account and Morrison used other accounts to recirculate its tweets, violating the company’s rules against spamming.