“Someone really ought to assassinate [candidate].”
“Can somebody take one for the team and assassinate [candidate]?”
“If they get elected, [candidate] is going to get assassinated.”
Tweets like these, and unimaginative variations thereof, exist for both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her opponent Republican Donald Trump. And they have only gotten more frequent in the past 24 hours, as this election cycle comes to a gasping, sputtering close.
The difference between someone ought to and I will in these instances, as a representative from the US Secret Service pointed out in a phone call with Gizmodo, is that while the former would be considered “an incident,” the latter is a federal crime. Full stop. As Mashable reported back in March, tweets of this nature have gotten users a visit from the agency in the past.
Still a staggering number of people of varying political beliefs have failed to grasp the severity of a publicly threatening a presidential candidate’s life. Welcome to assassination Twitter:
If Hillary wins I will assassinate her
— Danny (@DannyKatout) November 7, 2016
If hillary wins,i will assassinate her
— ƝĨᑥōŢĨƝĕ (@ToxicHanasa) November 8, 2016
If Hillary Cunton wins the election I will assassinate her tomorrow!
— Ambs (@asnyder4226) November 8, 2016
Then there’s those who say they will pay someone else to do the deed.
Someone assassinate Hillary I'll pay you 500 bucks
— Justin (@DIAMONDISKEY) November 8, 2016
Twitter being a vile cesspool of threats and hatred is nothing new — the platform long ago turned into a place where people can post trash anonymously and face few consequences. This fact may have even spooked potential buyers and led to the end of Vine. Tonight, not surprisingly, the bile is reaching fever pitch.
We reached out to Twitter, who confirmed to Gizmodo in an email that accounts which threaten or promote violence of any kind might be “temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.” The platform would not specify what it’s doing to review and remove these messages.