Posted in Collaboration with LeeCamp.com
In December 2017, Twitter released new rules against violence and physical harm. Included in those rules is a focus on “Accounts that affiliate with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes…This policy does not apply to military or government entities…” As an example then, when the U.S. dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in our arsenal (sickly nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs or MOAB) on Afghanistan, corporate media couldn’t get out their praise fast enough. Be it referring to Donald Trump as presidential or the Fox News show Fox & Friends playing footage of the bomb dropping to Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue,” the clear cut and grotesque promotion of large scale violence was blatant. And according to Twitter, totally fine.
Bombs are not the only state-sponsored and large scale violence, however. How about the latest tax bill that will strip healthcare from ever more millions of Americans? How about the fact that hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans are homeless on any given night? How about the full throated political backing of such destructive and violent policies as fracking, strip mining and drilling? Indeed, if I were to list many of the ways in which the state and its media cronies perpetuate violence, this article would never be finished. Luckily for my To Do list, Twitter has no interest in calling out the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. As Glenn Greenwald noted in a tweet on New Year’s Eve: “So telling that Twitter’s new prohibition on advocating violence exempts those who want govts or militaries to kill. Thus, “I want US Govt to nuke N Korea” or “Israel should obliterate Gaza”: permitted. But: “it’s justified for Muslims to use violence in self-defense”: banned.”
Another example of what could get you banned or suspended: being an angry woman. In October of 2017, Rose McGowan’s twitter account was suspended following tweets telling Ben Affleck to “fuck off” and accusing him of lying about his knowledge of the Harvey Weinstein assaults. Meanwhile twitter accounts belonging to people who have told me I should be raped or killed are still around.
In short: the largest purveyor of violence in the world is allowed to openly glorify and call for death and destruction without fear of digital censorship. And this is not to say that fascists should be given an open platform. But banning some fascists on the ground while allowing the fascists with nuclear bombs to speak loud and clear – is fucked up.
Meanwhile on Facebook, if you free the nippple, your account may be suspended. If you post home birth images, your account may be suspended. Alt-right? No problem. Britain First – the organization whose twitter account was suspended after Trump re-tweeted their false and grossly Islamophobic videos – still has a Facebook presence. In fact, before the new rules came out, in early December Twitter defended its decision to suspend the Britain First twitter account while NOT deleting Trump’s re-tweets “because we believe there is a legitimate public interest in