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Twitter restricts Bernier's account

Twitter restricted People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier's account, preventing him from posting any new messages for 12 hours. Bernier called on his Twitter supports to "play dirty" with journalists covering his campaign.

The offending tweets singled out three reporters, calling them "idiots" and describing their efforts to question him as "disgusting smear jobs." Bernier tweeted out their email addresses and encouraged his followers to "play dirty."

CTV journalist Christy Somos responded to the attacks online. In a tweet describing "what your inbox looks like after Bernier tweets about you," Somos posted a screenshot of a threatening email she was sent.

In that email, someone who appears to be a PPC supporter says that they hope Somos is sexually assaulted and murdered and encourages her to kill herself.

Global reporter Ahmar Khan also posted a screenshot of a message he received .

He alleged that he was targeted by Bernier for a question he had previously sent to the PPC's email. "I've spoken with a number of folks, and some have highlighted their concerns for what the party stands for, and stressed discomfort upon seeing your signs. They fear that the PPC is pushing far-right extremism and allowing people who [are] xenophobic in the party [to] run as candidates," Khan's email to the PPC reported.

The third reporter targeted in Bernier's tweet was The Hill Times' Neil Moss, who wrote to the PPC asking for someone to respond to claims that party members engaged in hateful, violent and racist incidents while on the campaign trail.

"Does the party tolerate any supporter that participates in violent activity or incidents of hate on the campaign trail?" Moss asked the PPC. "Does the party believe it is supported by white supremacists? If so, does it welcome that support?"

The Canadian Association of Journalists published a screenshot of Bernier's tweets, saying that going after journalists "for doing their basic duty is unacceptable and dangerous behaviour."

It is not yet clear if Bernier published the tweets himself, or if someone else in his party staff did so with or without his approval.

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