‘Wait! We actually love the anime community’: Arizona GOP in hot water on Twitter after vow to block users with ‘anime avatars’
The trouble started on Sunday, after the Arizona GOP Twitter account announced its “new policy” of blocking people on social media. They promised to block everyone “whose accounts were created in or after November 2020, use Anime avatars, have fewer than 25 followers, and spam reply our tweets.”
It was not clear what prompted the group’s warning. However, the Arizona Republicans said they were not “big fans of bots.”
We, at the Republican Party of Arizona, have a new policy of blocking Twitter users whose accounts were created in or after November 2020, use Anime avatars, have fewer than 25 followers, and spam reply our tweets. We aren’t big fans of bots. Thank you for following, though!— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) December 27, 2020
The tweet instantly drew mockery from anime fans and other Twitter users. Many posted images from anime and manga, and related fan art, some of which was NSFW.
After and before HRT but still laughing at em pic.twitter.com/nWxanAknyz— NewYearko Jamommy🔞Honoka Milker (@YumekoXKirari) December 27, 2020
“Refusing anime? It's the last bastion of right wing thought,” a person joked. Another wrote that, by dissing anime fans, the state’s GOP grandees were “cutting themselves off from at least half of young, right-wing people.”
After realizing that they had “triggered some folks,” the Arizona GOP quickly clarified that a Twitter account had to “meet ALL of the criteria listed below to be blocked.” At the same time, they suggested that the small number of friends and the love for anime “might have something in common.”
Oops, looks like we triggered some folks. To clarify, you must meet ALL of the criteria listed below to be blocked. If you don’t have many friends or you simply have an affinity for Anime (these two things might have something in common 🤔), then don’t worry, you’re safe! https://t.co/dLxj0nmJUf— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) December 27, 2020
This ham-fisted explanation prompted another round of ridicule online, accompanied with anime gifs.
A person identifying as “political right” argued that targeting anime fans is “not going to go down well” for Republicans if they wish to “keep being popular.”
The Arizona GOP Twitter account replied yet again, this time writing “we love the Anime community.”
We love the Anime community ❤️ Thanks for the follow MAGA Fox! https://t.co/WWU1uh8MNl— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) December 27, 2020
It was not the first time anime has been dragged into American politics. In 2016, political strategist Rick Wilson, who co-founded the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project, claimed on MSNBC that most alt-right Trump supporters were “childless single men who masturbate to anime.”
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