- Cesar Sayoc, Jr., the man accused of sending improvised explosive devices to Democratic leaders and critics of President Donald Trump, reportedly published more than 240 tweets threatening at least 50 public officials.
- Sayoc, an apparent Trump supporter, would also repeat his threats against political and media personalities around a dozen times in a row.
- While the FBI has made an effort to inform Sayoc’s targets of the threats, social media giants like Twitter and Facebook have been criticised for being slower to take proactive measures.
The package bombing suspect accused of sending over a dozen improvised explosive devices to Democratic leaders and critics of President Donald Trump published over 240 tweets threatening at least 50 public officials, according to a CNN report Tuesday.
Fifty-six-year-old Cesar Sayoc from Florida, who was arrested and charged for mailing the devices to Trump’s political opponents, made numerous threats on social media, including statements like “Your Time is coming” and “Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave you [sic] home.”
Sayoc, an apparent Trump supporter, would also repeat his threats against political and media personalities around a dozen times in a row, according to CNN. Sayoc’s apparent Twitter account is now suspended.
Sayoc’s targets included Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels; David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting; and comedian Kathy Griffin.
Democratic lawmakers were also reportedly targeted by Sayoc, who publicized their home address and implied he would make a visit.
“See you soon,” Sayoc wrote to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, one of Trump’s most vocal political opponents. Sayoc included a photo of Waters’ home, CNN said in the report.
Sayoc also tweeted at Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in September and said, “A Promise we will see you real soon,” according to CNN.
While the FBI has made an effort to inform Sayoc’s targets of the threats, social media giants like Twitter and Facebook have been criticised for being slow to take proactive measures in regulating its platforms. Critics have alleged that the companies have been giving fringe political groups and users a wide berth, at the cost of promoting fake news, hate speech, or other harmful content.
In one case, former congressional press secretary Rochelle Ritchie reported one of Sayoc’s tweets that targeted her. Twitter’s support staff replied and said that after “carefully” reviewing her case, “found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behaviour,” according to a screenshot uploaded by Ritchie.
Twitter later apologised for the incident and said it was investigating.
“We made a mistake when Rochelle Ritchie first alerted us to the threat made against her,” the company said in a statement. “The Tweet clearly violated our rules and should have been removed. We are deeply sorry for that error.”
“We want Twitter to be a place where people feel safe, and we know we have lot of work to do,” the company added.
Despite public pressure to more broadly moderate content, CEOs, like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, have suggested they would stand firm and continue to enforce their interpretation of “straightforward principles.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.