Following Breitbart News’ article on verified Twitter accounts using Jack Dorsey’s platform to encourage violence against conservative high school kids, the company has said it has “taken action” against the tweets that were flagged in Breitbart’s article. But its actions haven’t scratched the surface of real accountability.
Twitter has yet to ban — or even de-verify — any of the accounts that threatened the Covington Catholic high school kids at the center of the mainstream media fake news smears this weekend. These include a leftist D.J who promised to put $1,000 into a crowd-fund to punch one of the kids “right in the f***ing mouth.”
“LOCK THE KIDS IN THE SCHOOL AND BURN THAT B*TCH TO THE GROUND,” he said in another now-deleted tweet. His account remains verified.
Aaron Smarter, hip-hop editor at leftist website Uproxx, who told his followers to “punch the little mfs in the face” in a now-deleted tweet has yet to be banned. And his account remains verified.
Twitter said that some of the tweets identified by Breitbart News were in violation of the platform’s rules and have since been deleted. Twitter confirmed that some users had been required to delete their tweets, while others deleted them voluntarily.
Yet at least one violent threat, from a left-wing tech reporter, remains undeleted by Twitter. The tweet suggests that one of the Covington students is a fascist for smiling at a Native American, and should, therefore, be punched.
Giving a shit-eating grin to a Native American's face isn't legally violence. But he is smiling *about* the violence. He is saying, "my people hurt you, and you can't touch me even while I gloat about it." It is fascism. And you should punch fascists.
— Jeffrey Grubb (@JeffGrubb) January 19, 2019
Reza Aslan’s suggestion that one of the kids has a “punchable face” also remains on the platform.
Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s? pic.twitter.com/jolQ7BZQPD
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) January 20, 2019
A Twitter spokeswoman also confirmed that “doxing” — the posting of personal information without a user’s consent — is against the platform’s terms of service.
“Posting a person’s private information without their express permission is a direct violation of the Twitter Rules,” said the spokeswoman.
However, Twitter also made it clear that while doxing is banned, encouragement of doxing is not. So you can flex your muscles as a verified Twitter user with a large following and tell your followers to dox — you just can’t do it yourself.
This means that Kathy Griffin, who did precisely that, is off the hook.
Ps. The reply from the school was pathetic and impotent. Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these fuckers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again. https://t.co/IS80wiaQ7v
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 20, 2019
As we witness Twitter failing to suspend (or even deverify) users that have called for the deaths of high school kids, it’s worth remembering some of the reasons the platform has used to suspend right-wing users over the past year. It banned Tommy Robinson for tweeting out facts about minority crime in the U.K. It banned conservative activist Laura Loomer for criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). It banned Alex Jones and Infowars for insulting a CNN journalist— not on Twitter, but in person (Twitter used its rule against “offsite harassment” to ban Jones).
And these are just a few of the reasons Twitter has used to ban conservative, alternative, and right-wing figures. There are many, many more.
If you’re a left-winger though, it seems you can threaten a high school kid with death over Twitter and receive little more than a slap on the wrist. You’ll even keep your verified badge!