Twitter has taken a great deal of flak recently for allegedly cracking down on speech while admitting confusion about its own policies. An incident over the weekend is only likely to make this impression worse.
“Well, looks like Twitter had some second thoughts about Rosie’s obscene tweets,” Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief at the Daily Wire, tweeted with a screen shot of the message from Twitter. He tagged Rosie O’Donnell, a co-host of “The View,” in this message.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 24, 2017
In that message, the social media company admitted fault. “You have received two emails from us about your recent report. The first email stated that the Tweets were not in violation of our politics when in fact they are, based on our Twitter Rules: https://twitter.com/rules,” the message read. “We have ruled that the reported Tweets be deleted and they have since been removed.”
“We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.”
This followed an earlier message, in which Twitter told Shapiro the tweets in question did not violate the site’s rules. “Thank you for your recent report. We have reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior,” Twitter said.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 22, 2017
Shapiro responded, “Surprise of surprises, Twitter says that Rosie’s tweets were not in fact abusive in any way under their rules. Good to know.”
The situation began Sunday, when Shapiro called O’Donnell out for her outright attempt at bribery to stop the Republican tax reform bill. On Tuesday, she sent out a bribery offer, explicitly offering “2 million dollars” to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) if they “vote NO NO I WILL NOT KILL AMERICANS FOR THE SUOER RICH DM me susan DM me jeff so sh*t 2 million cash each.”
so how about this
i promise to give
2 million dollars to senator susan collins
and 2 million to senator jeff flake
if they vote NO
NO I WILL NOT KILL AMERICANS
FOR THE SUOER RICH
DM me susan
DM me jeff
— ROSIE (@Rosie) December 20, 2017
Shapiro reported that O’Donnell had violated federal law, and tweeted that she should be locked up. “If Trump orders Sessions to investigate Rosie, he will be carved into Rushmore by Friday,” Shapiro tweeted.
O’Donnell responded, “suck my d*** Ben.” She deleted that tweet, but Shapiro responded, “You’re already a felon, Rosie. Don’t be a homophobic sexual harasser too.”
“Just reported Rosie for targeted harassment, mainly to see if Twitter does indeed have a double standard,” Shapiro tweeted. “Everyone knows if Rosie were conservative, Twitter would suspend her in a hot second. So, Twitter, put your money where your mouth is. #MeToo.”
O’Donnell responded, “oh ben,” to which Shapiro shot back, “All victims deserve to be believed.” The liberal went on to mock Shapiro as a “snowflake,” and then she blocked him on Twitter.
Twitter did temporarily suspend O’Donnell’s account, insisting that she delete a few offensive tweets before it would be reinstated.
— ROSIE (@Rosie) December 24, 2017
Even so, the social media site did little to disprove the idea of an anti-conservative double standard. Perhaps Shapiro overreacted, but Twitter’s response did not look good, either.
Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted making a mistake in how it defended President Donald Trump’s retweeting of controversial videos. This was a few days after the suspension of PJ Media Washington, D.C. editor and terrorism expert Bridget Johnson. Her account has yet to be reinstated.
Twitter seriously needs to get its act together.