Twitter Lets Verified Account Threaten Journalist with ‘Bullet in the Back of Your Skull’

Square CEO and founder Jack Dorsey holds an event in London on November 20, 2014
Justin Tallis/AFP

Social media giant Twitter has failed to remove or tag a rapper’s tweet for “glorifying violence” more than 18 hours after it was posted. Rapper Key Nyaya threatened journalist Cassandra Fairbanks with his post, saying: “maybe you need a bullet in the back of your skull.”

Social media giant Twitter has made efforts recently to ramp up its censorship practices, “fact-checking” a recent tweet from President Donald Trump and later tagging another tweet for “glorifying violence.” Breitbart News reported on this recently, writing:

The President then sent a follow-up tweet, saying: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen.”

He added that he had spoken to Governor Tim Walz and “told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Twitter, however, took the remarkable step of hiding the President’s second tweet, covering it with a public notice appearing on the platform alleging it had “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.”

The tweet was not deleted outright, however, with the tech giant adding that it had “determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible” to users electing to click a “View” button.

But within the same 24 hours that the president’s tweet was tagged with the “glorifying violence” tag,  vVerified Twitter user and rapper Key Nyata, suggested that another user deserved to be shot. Nyata’s Facebook page lists him as a musician and he boasts a follower count of over 16,000 on Twitter.

Nyata quoted a tweet from journalist Cassandra Fairbanks who stated: “Judging by what has been allowed to take place in Minneapolis, maybe we need more oppression.” Nyata commented on the quoted tweet: “Judging by this tweet, maybe you need a bullet in the back of your skull.”

The tweet can be seen below and an archived version can be found here:

Twitter defended its decision to tag the President’s tweets for “glorifying violence” in a reply to the President’s account, stating: “We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.”

Yet it appears a verified user suggesting another user should be shot does not fall under the same guidelines. Breitbart News has reached out to Twitter about the quoted tweets but has yet to receive a response at the time of the writing of this article.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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