A Black woman tried to report the man who’d become known as the MAGABomber, but her complaints only fell on deaf ears.
Now, social media giant Twitter is apologizing after ignoring commentator Rochelle Ritchie‘s calls for the platform to censure a man who lobbed threats against her after an appearance on Fox news. The man in question turned out to be Cesar Sayoc, 56, who is now in federal custody after sending pipe bombs to several prominent Democrats and news organizations who’ve drawn the ire of President Donald Trump.
“Hey @Twitter, remember when I reported the guy who was making threats towards me after my appearance on @FoxNews and you guys sent back a bs response about how you didn’t find it that serious,” Ritchie tweeted Friday. “Well guess what? It’s the guy who has been sending #bombs to high profile politicians!!!!”
Sayoc is expected to be formally sentenced Monday and could face up to 48 years behind bars if convicted, according to CNN. As of last week, authorities had intercepted a total of 14 packages Sayoc had sent in the mail to Democrats including Barack Obama and Hillary and Bill Clinton.
It was just two weeks prior that Ritchie had reported Sayoc to Twitter for violating the platform’s community rules, which prohibit users from using harassing, intimidating or threatening language that “wishes for the serious physical harm, death or disease of an individual or group of people.” Sayoc did just that, however, and, on Oct. 11, used the “Official Handbook of Presidential Grammar” to warn Ritchie that he was a member of the “Unconquered Seminole Tribe.”
“We Unconquered Seminole Tribe will answer your threats,” he wrote. “We have nice, silent Air boat ride for you here on our land Everglades Swamp. We will see you 4 sure. Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave home.”
Twitter seemed unconvinced by the threat, however, and wrote Ricthie back saying it “found there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior.”
The social media site now says it’s “deeply sorry” for the error and that they failed to take Ritchie’s claims more seriously. The website has since disabled Sayoc’s account.
An update. We made a mistake when Rochelle Ritchie first alerted us to the threat made against her. The Tweet clearly violated our rules and should have been removed. We are deeply sorry for that error.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 27, 2018
Ritchie recently discussed the threats during an interview on Fox News, where slammed President Donald Trump for the divisive rhetoric that likely fueled Sayoc’s actions.
“I blame the president for not being able to take responsibility for his divisive rhetoric,” she told host Charles V. Payne. “And look, the president isn’t gonna come out and say ‘I apologize.’ I get that, but what he can simply do is just change his tone. That’s it.”