Twitter took enforcement action on Thursday morning to block a racist trending topic that disparaged U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) after he delivered the GOP response to President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress.
During his rebuttal Wednesday evening, Scott declared that “America is not a racist country” and condemned divisive rhetoric on race in politics. He said that he’s experienced intolerance even from self-proclaimed liberals and progressives who have called him an “Uncle Tom” or used slurs like the n-word to attack him.
“I have experienced the pain of discrimination,” Scott said. “I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason. To be followed around a store while I’m shopping.”
“I’ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance,” he continued. “I get called ‘Uncle Tom’ and the N-word — by ‘progressives’! By liberals! Just last week, a national newspaper suggested my family’s poverty was actually privilege because a relative owned land generations before my time.”
After Scott concluded his address, progressives on Twitter began calling him “Uncle Tim,” demonstrating exactly the kind of racist intolerance Scott condemned. So many accounts participated in the racist attacks on the black senator from South Carolina that “Uncle Tim” became a trending topic on Twitter, in violation of its community guidelines.
As such, on Thursday morning Twitter finally stopped “Uncle Tim” from trending.
A spokesperson for Twitter told Fox News the social media platform is “blocking the phrase … from appearing in Trends.”
“This is in line with our policies on Trends,” the spokesperson said, adding that the purpose of Trends is “to promote healthy conversations on Twitter.”
“This means that at times, we may not allow or may temporarily prevent content from appearing in Trends until more context is available,” the spokesperson said. “This includes Trends that violate The Twitter Rules.”
Twitter told Fox News that Trends are “determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow, your interests, and your location.”
“This algorithm identifies topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter,” the spokesperson said.
Twitter would not say why it did not immediately act to block the racist attacks on Scott from trending Wednesday evening.
Sen. Scott responded to his critics on Fox News Thursday morning, saying that “Uncle Tim” trending on Twitter shows that progressives have “doubled down on this concept of liberal oppression.”
“You cannot step down out of your lane according to the liberal elite left,” Scott said, calling the Twitter trend “upsetting” and “so disappointing.”
“What they want for us is for us to stay in a small corner and not go against the tide that they think is America,” he said. “Their America and my America are not the same if they think that discriminating is the fastest way to end discrimination.”
“Intolerance so often comes from the left with words like ‘Uncle Tim’ being used against me by the left, and last night what was trending on social media was ‘Uncle Tim,’ he added. “It is stunning in 2021 that those who speak about ending discrimination want to end it by more discrimination.”