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X took two days to suspend account of suspect in Pride flag killing

By Josh Campbell, CNN

(CNN) — X has suspended an account that posted numerous anti-gay and antisemitic posts and was used by the man accused of killing store owner Lauri Carleton over her display of a Pride Flag.

But the account had remained live two days after law enforcement publicly confirmed its existence on the platform formerly known as Twitter. The social media company finally suspended the account Wednesday evening.

Alejandra Caraballo with the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School posted on X Wednesday that she reported the account’s content, but received a reply from the company indicating: “After reviewing the available information, we want to let you know [the account] hasn’t broken our safety policies.”

As CNN reported, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office said on Monday that the suspected killer — who himself was shot and killed in a gun fight with police — used X, as well as Gab, a platform popular among far-right extremists.

The X account used by the suspect contained a pinned tweet with an image of a Pride Flag set on fire. The account also contained other anti-LGBTQ and anti-Semitic material, as well as posts referring to police as using “sociopathic schemes.”

A request for comment to X regarding why the account remained active generated an auto-reply from the company indicating: “We’ll get back to you soon.” Approximately 30 minutes after CNN’s query, the account was suspended. Under past leadership, X was typically quick to suspend accounts associated with violence.

It was not clear if the suspension of the account was a result of CNN’s query.

Elon Musk, who owns X, laid off about 80% of the company’s staff over the past year, including a large number of employees who had worked in the company’s compliance department.

—CNN’s Michelle Toh and Juliana Liu contributed to this report

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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