Twitter has permanently suspended user Carpe Donktum, a pro-Trump meme creator with many copyright infringement complaints against him. The site banned Carpe Donktum on Tuesday, following one of his most viral videos yet, which was retweeted by President Donald Trump himself. Carpe Donktum has already relocated to alternate accounts and other platforms.
Carpe Donktum was behind the viral video last week showing a Black toddler running away from a White toddler, with the fake CNN chyron: "Terrified Todler [sic] Runs From Racist Baby," and "Racist Baby Probably a Trump Voter." After Trump retweeted the video, Twitter added a "manipulated media" warning to it, while CNN anchors chimed in to assure readers that it was not the real chyron. The parents of the two toddlers also came forward to complain, and finally the video was removed from both Twitter and Facebook for copyright violations.
On Tuesday, Twitter followed up this action by banning Carpe Donktum's primary account from the platform altogether. In a statement published by Variety, Twitter said: "Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives. The account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of this policy."
Carpe Donktum has had many videos and memes removed over the course of his career due to DMCA takedown notices and other complaints. While Twitter permanently suspended his main account, the user — Logan Cook — has already migrated to another one. There, he has decried the suspension as "censorship," saying that Twitter needs to "get their s— together" and lift the ban.
As a private company, Twitter has the right to enforce content guidelines, particularly when it comes to violations of copyright law that could put the whole site at risk. The First Amendment does not protect Americans from being removed from certain social media websites.
Carpe Donktum's original accounts remain active on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Meanwhile, Cook is calling on his followers to "protest" Twitter's suspension of his account by "making noise" about it. Cook has thousands of supporters, including Trump, who invited him to a social media summit in July of 2019. According to a report by The Washington Post, Trump referred to Cook as a "genius" at the event.
Trump has his own battles with Twitter to contend with, however. The Twitter Safety team hid another one of Trump's tweets on Tuesday, saying that his threat of "serious force" against protesters constituted a real-life threat and a violation of the site's rules. Unlike Carpe Donktum, Twitter has said that it is not likely to suspend Trump's account altogether.