(Town Hall) – GOP Senate candidate Rep. Vicky Hartzlaer, who represents Missouri’s fourth congressional district, was suspended from her Twitter account this week over a tweet targeted at biological male athlete William “Lia” Thomas, who is competing on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania.
As I covered, Hartzler released an ad for her Senate campaign last month that was aimed at Thomas. Thomas has been at the center of controversy for competing on the women’s swim team. Thomas previously competed on the men’s swim team for three seasons.
“Meet William Thomas, ranked No. 462 in men’s swimming. Meet Lia Thomas, ranked No. 1 in women’s swimming,” Hartzler said in the ad, showing side-by-side photos of “William” Thomas and “Lia” Thomas.
“Only one problem: it’s the same person,” Hartzler continued. “Some people are afraid to talk about it.”
“I ran and coached girl’s track and I won’t look away while woke liberals destroy women’s sports,” she concluded. “Women’s sports are for women. Not men pretending to be women.”
I ran and coached girl’s track, and I won’t look away while woke liberals destroy women’s sports.
Women’s Sports are for Women, not men pretending to be women.
Some people are afraid to talk about it, not me. pic.twitter.com/mmwZFORJss
— Vicky Hartzler (@VickyHartzlerMO) February 14, 2022
A tweet shared by Missouri-based political consultant Michael Hafner shows an email from Twitter addressed to Hartzler. The email says her tweet violates the platform’s policy against promoting violence, threatening, and harassing other people based on race, ethnicity, and gender identity, among other things.
— 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐞𝐥 𝐇𝐚𝐟𝐧𝐞𝐫 (@HafnerMO) February 28, 2022
In addition, Twitter has a policy in place against “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” This would include Hartzler referring to “Lia” Thomas as “William” Thomas. Hartzler is unable to tweet, retweet, follow accounts, and like posts while she is suspended.
The Associated Press reported that Hartzler’s campaign said in a statement that the suspension is “shameful, utterly ridiculous, and a horrible abuse of censorship by big tech giants to stifle free speech.” The campaign also said Hartzler will not delete the tweet.