Twitter has permanently suspended one of the most significant figures in political satire; Logan Cook, otherwise known as CarpeDonktum.
Cook makes memes - short clips which typically poke fun at Democrats, the MSM or the establishment, which President Trump has tweeted to his audience of 82 million followers on a regular basis.
On Tuesday, Twitter banned Cook - who said in a blog post that it was over a 'the Toddler video that President Trump tweeted last week." Cook received a DCMA takedown order, followed by a letter of suspension hours later.
"Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives," Twitter told the Daily Beast. "The account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of this policy."
Cook explained on his blog:
"I have ALWAYS complied with DMCA takedown rules, and I have submitted counterclaims when necessary, but I have NEVER uploaded content that has been removed.
I have abided by the community guidlines, and followed the rules. It doesn't matter.
I have been banned for being effective and they won't even look me in the eye as they do it."
The impact of Cook's suspenion did not go unnoticed by The Federalist's Mollie Hemmingway, who considers it election interference.
Twitter ramps up 2020 election interference by banning masterful meme maker Carpe Donktum https://t.co/O8UbUEjj3e— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 24, 2020
Why? Because Cook's memes are hilarious, widely shared, and fire up conservatives.
The power of memes (a.k.a. 'meme magic')
Not only are memes funny, they invoke emotional responses without having to focus much of one's attention - leaving them particularly effective when it comes to influencing people, particularly voters.
Memes, a term first used by Richard Dawkins in 1976 to mean easily transmissible cultural units, are essentially viral internet images containing short humorous text. Much like their animated brother, the GIF (graphic interchange format), memes are intended to be created quickly, shared widely, and received humorously.
When considering their hyper-popularity (a verified ‘Memes’ Facebook page has 15 million online likers), it is perhaps no surprise that researchers have noted a psychological, emotional facet to meme appeal. For example, Guadagno et al. (2013) found that online content which provokes strong affective responses was more likely to be shared. Therefore, it may be argued that there are much deeper psychosocial mechanisms underpinning our relationship with this seemingly benign media form.
Burroughs (2013) states, in a discussion of meme usage in American politics, that memes can 'serve to heighten spectacle'. In this sense, memes are culturally performative and therefore important psychological artefacts. -The Psychologist
Last Thursday Twitter added a "manipulated media" label to the 'toddler video' - which mocks CNN by humorously suggesting they would incite racial division by editing a video of a black toddler and a white toddler hugging, into a chase scene in which the white child is chasing the black one.
Watch it while you still can: