Hit & Run

Twitter Suspends User Who First Spread Covington Catholic Video: Reason Roundup

Plus: Kamala Harris officially enters the 2020 race and Google News may leave the E.U.

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Twitter has suspended the source of a short video clip that started much of the outrage surrounding a group of Covington Catholic High School students. The account—which shared a short clip of students' encounter with Nathan Phillips and other Indigenous Peoples March ralliers—purported to be run by a California school teacher but was using the photo of a Brazilian blogger, thus violating Twitter's rules against "fake and misleading accounts." From CNN:

The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. "Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020," its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.

Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, "This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March."

CNN notes that "The video had been posted earlier on Instagram by someone who was at the event, but it was @2020fight's caption that helped frame the news cycle." An editor at Twitter-monitoring service Storyful said "the @2020fight video was the main version of the incident being shared on social media."

From there, the teens' reaction is debatable. Many are mocking Phillips and his drumming, chanting crew. It goes on for an uncomfortably long time. Wherever the chaperones are on this trip, they just let it happen. One kid gets in a sort of staring contest with Phillips—in the image and clip that would initially go viral.

None of it should have blown up into days of national news. But the symbolism was apparently too toxic to resist virality; the initial error-filled claims and their swift spread led to a need for setting the record straight and the whole thing quickly gave way to everyone's favorite sort of 2014-forward culture war battle…which it seems increasingly like we're doomed to repeat in ever-more-nauseating ways for all eternity.

ELECTION 2020

Kamala Harris is running.

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