Heard on the Hill

Internet rallies to support Nunes cow parody Twitter account

@DevinCow says it’s being in danger of being shut down

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is the subject of Twitter parody account @DevinCow. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Twitter account of the country’s most famous cow since Mrs. O’Leary’s is now under threat from people trying to get it shut down, according to @DevinCow, a parody account currently being sued by Republican congressman Devin Nunes of California.

“So people are mass reporting me in protest that an account they like was shut down,” @DevinCow tweeted late Monday night. “I hope I’m here tomorrow, but if not I need you to know how much you’ve touched my heart. America was always great and we are joining hands and taking her back.”

By Monday night #ProtectTheCow was trending on Twitter and still is as of Tuesday afternoon.

Nunes, the highest ranking Republican member on the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, is seeking $250 million from @DevinCow, @DevinNunesMom, another parody account, and Republican consultant Liz Mair, for compensatory and punitive damages for “pain, insult, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress and mental suffering, and injury to his personal and professional reputations,” according to the complaint, which was first reported in March by Fox News.

Nunes is a staunch ally of President Trump, making him a prime target of liberal activists upset over his handling of the House investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.

@DevinCow’s tweets make fun of Nunes, who grew up on a dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley. According to Nunes, the account made a number of false statements about him while employing cattle puns, including that he is “udder-ly worthless and its pasture time to move him to prison.”

Twitter banned @DevinNunesMom after the congressman’s real mother, Toni Dian Nunes, filed a complaint.

The threat to @DevinCow is the latest battle in the Twitter parody wars. Mike Thompson, operator of popular parody account @AOCPress, recently told conservative news outlet Human Events that Twitter banned his account. The social media company sent Thompson an email notifying him that he “may not register or create fake and misleading accounts.” Thompson said the banning of the account, which gained about 50,000 for mocking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was politically motivated.

In perhaps the greatest demonstration of the internet’s Streisand Effect, @DevinCow has accrued hundreds of thousands of followers since news of Nunes’ lawsuit broke. According to the complaint, @DevinCow recently had just 1,204 followers; the account had 630,000 as of Tuesday morning.

Nunes is also seeking $150 million in damages from publisher McClatchy Co., the parent company of his hometown newspaper, the Fresno Bee, which the California Republican made attack ads against in 2018.

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