U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has a hard week

Fri, 2017/09/15
Ethan Castro

On Monday, September 11, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R - Tex.) was noted to have been using his official Twitter account (@tedcruz) for a less than patriotic purpose - “liking” explicit pornographic content. Astute followers of his account noted that under its liked Tweets was a two-minute video from the Twitter handle @SexuallPosts, which featured a very graphic display of carnal affections between three mutually consenting parties who may or may not be fictitiously related. Despite Senator Cruz’s prior history with taking evangelical stances on issues of sexuality, the video somehow appeared under the “Likes” section of his official political account.

In a later interview with CNN on the matter, Senator Cruz claimed that the video was “liked” by a staff member, and that it “was an honest mistake.” Despite all this, it still did take almost two hours before any action was taken by the senator’s staff to remove the “like” and issue an official statement. The Senator’s spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, stated on her own Twitter account: “The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter.”

Officially, under the site’s official rules, pornography is not allowed on Twitter. Although certain forms of graphic content are allowed on the site (as long as they are marked as “sensitive media”), the video in question most certainly does not quality. Indeed, the entirety of the @SexuallPosts Twitter account violates Twitter’s official posting policies. In fact, the account only seems to have grown in popularity from the entire ordeal. “Follow for the same Porn @TedCruz Watches” states the account’s bio. Perhaps most striking is the merchandise available for sale, featuring shirts, phone cases, and coffee mugs with images of Ted Cruz with such charming captions as “MasturbaTED” and “Masterdebater.” Of course, viewer discretion must be advised if one wishes to view this Twitter account.

In the following CNN interview about the incident, Cruz reiterated that this “was a staffing issue” and that the aide responsible has been identified but will not be named. “If I had known that this would trend so quickly, then perhaps we should have posted something like this during the Indiana primary.”

Perhaps the main takeaway of this entire ordeal is the value of Google Chrome's incognito mode and the utmost care that must be taken when maintaining a politician’s social media account. As the senator himself stated, “consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want in their bedrooms.” Perhaps the same holds true for lone individuals. Just be sure to sign out of official social media accounts first.