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August 29 2018

Why Did It Take Public Outcry for Twitter to Punish Threats Against Dana Loesch’s Kids?

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

If someone threatened murder against your children on social media how would you feel? Terror? Anger?  

Second Amendment advocate Dana Loesch, who regularly faces personal threats of harm, was confronted by this situation recently when someone on Twitter turned on her kids saying that they needed to be murdered.

We would expect that the social media company would step in and take action against a perpetrator when this kind of threat is reported -- per their own rules. Instead, the opposite happened.

This is another reminder of the suppression, censorship, and discrimination conservatives face from social media companies today.

Over the weekend, Loesch posted screenshots of two messages. One dated August 26 read:

“The only way these people learn is if it affects them directly. So if Dana Loesch has to have her children murdered before she’ll understand, I guess that’s what needs to happen.”

Loesch reported it to the Twitter, and the company's response was unbelievable:

“We have reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior”

The irony is that according to their own rules, this type of behavior is in fact expressly prohibited - as it should be:

You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people. This includes, but is not limited to, threatening or promoting terrorism.

Following outcry by Loesch and news reporting, Twitter backtracked and changed it’s decision, saying it “re-reviewed the account” that Loesch reported and locked it because it was in fact in violation of their rules. Now, that person can get their account unlocked if they comply with Twitter’s requested actions and policies.

However, as Loesch noted, conservative accounts have been locked for far less offensive language.

We hope Loesch takes the threats seriously and involves law enforcement.

However, Twitter cannot seriously uphold their own goal to “protect the experience and safety of people who use Twitter” if they play favorites and choose to ignore serious infractions in their community.

At the end of the day though, we cannot forget that this is Twitter’s private social media world, not a true public square and they get to make their rules. At a minimum though, they should enforce their rules without impartiality.

We can hope that in the meantime, some enterprising person is busy creating a new social media platform that will take free speech seriously and not play ideological favorites.

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Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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