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“What’s Elon Doing?” Jamaal Bowman Says of Twitter Issues on Election Day

Bowman’s troubles uploading a video came after AOC had account issues after using the platform to criticize Musk.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman speaks during the "Past Due: Peoples State of the Union" watch event on Capitol Hill on March 1, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

As Twitter’s new owner, billionaire Elon Musk, faces intense criticism for his handling of the social media giant and encouraging voters to support GOP congressional candidates, U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Tuesday revealed that he spent hours trying to post an Election Day video from his campaign account.

“Why isn’t Twitter allowing me to tell people to vote Democrat. Is Elon on his BS right now?” the New York Democrat tweeted just before 6:40 am ET — swiftly adding, “Oh this tweet was sent without a problem.”

“Twitter not letting me post videos. This is crazy. Never happened before. What’s Elon doing?” he said with a screenshot a few minutes later. The screenshot showed a Twitter notification that said: “We’re sorry, we weren’t able to send your tweet. Would you like to retry or save this tweet in drafts?”

“I swear this keeps happening. Is this happening to anyone else?” Bowman asked around 7:00 am. Roughly 20 minutes later, he shared: “Still happening! Haven’t been able to post a video for over an hour. What the heck is going on!?”

Near 11:00 am, he tweeted: “Ok I seem to have my video posting privileges back… Don’t understand why that took four hours.” However, a few hours later he added: “False alarm. Still nothing.”

“I’m literally getting this message all day while trying to share a 31-second video from my phone,” he later wrote with another screenshot. “It’s never happened before. I am a Democratic candidate. Today is Election Day. What the heck is going on!?”

The progressive congressman’s troubles with Twitter came after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) had issues with her account last week following her use of the platform to criticize Musk — the richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

Ocasio-Cortez joined those slamming Musk’s plan to charge Twitter users $8 per month for a “verified” account, a status signaled by a blue checkmark and typically used to confirm public figures such as politicians, journalists, celebrities, and business leaders are who they claim to be.

In addition to responding to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet directly, Musk shared a screenshot highlighting the price of a sweatshirt in her online campaign merchandise store. The congresswoman responded by saying that her team “respects working people” and urged the billionaire to “try it sometime.”

Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram to share that she was having issues with her Twitter account, saying in a video, “So it turns out, we got under a certain little billionaire’s skin, because I made fun of his silly little plan to charge people for verification and priority placement.”

The congresswoman then tweeted, “Yo [Elon Musk] while I have your attention, why should people pay $8 just for their app to get bricked when they say something you don’t like?”

“This is what my app has looked like ever since my tweet upset you yesterday,” she added, posting a screenshot. “What’s good? Doesn’t seem very free speechy to me.”

Quoting that tweet, actor and activist Mark Ruffalo encouraged Musk to “get off Twitter.”

Responding to Ruffalo, Musk said, “Hot take: not everything AOC says is [100%] accurate.”

Musk — whose drawn-out acquisition of Twitter has been blasted by some advocacy groups as a threat to democracy — took to his platform Monday to encourage “independent-minded voters” to turn out on Tuesday for “a Republican Congress, given that the presidency is Democratic,” claiming that “shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties.”

Among the critics of Musk’s call for voters to back Republican congressional candidates in the midterms was MSNBC legal commentator and University of Alabama law professor Joyce White Vance.

“I fundamentally disagree with this sentiment,” Vance wrote. “I don’t get to vote for the national composition of Congress, I’m picking individuals in specific races to represent me. I try to pick the best person among the choices I have, regardless of party.”

“But, if you agree with Elon, I think his balance of power approach only makes sense if both parties are committed to a constitutional republic where voters pick their leaders,” she added. “If one party rejects the peaceful transfer of power, I’m going to vote against their candidates for the good of the country.”