Twitter suspends Carpe Donktum, prolific pro-Trump meme creator
One of President Donald Trump’s most prolific supporters and meme creators, known online as Carpe Donktum, was suspended from Twitter Monday after a video depicting the president killing off journalists and critics, created by people connected to him, surfaced over the weekend.
The New York Times reported that the video was played at a pro-Trump event in Florida over the weekend, causing significant uproar among the press, many of whom saw it as encouraging violence against journalists. On Monday, The Washington Post reported that the video was created by TheGeekzTeam, a group of creators that often contributes to MemeWorld, which was created by
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to why the account was suddenly removed. However, Donktum spent Monday morning re-uploading much of his older content on his Twitter feed in response to the controversy. It’s unclear if the video from over the weekend played a role in the suspension.
Donktum’s content has frequently appeared on Trump’s Twitter feed throughout his presidency. In November 2018, Donktum gained significant recognition from right-wing communities after winning an Infowars meme contest. The following February, Trump shared a video of the 2019 State of the Union address created by Donktum edited to make Democrats seem inattentive.
Donktum also attended the White House’s social media summit over the summer.
In a statement to The Verge on Monday, YouTube said that the Donktum video reported by the Times, which was posted to YouTube, did not violate its content policies and would not be removed.
“For content containing violence that is clearly fictional, we age-restrict and display a warning interstitial. We applied these protections to this video,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
Updated at 10/14/2019 at 2:30 p.m.: Clarifying that Carpe Donktum did not create the video, but is associated with the group that did.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge