Twitter has suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism over the past six months, according to news reports. The company said this was part of an effort to prevent people from using the social network for extremist causes. This brings the total number of accounts the company has suspended to 360,000 in little over a year. (How many terrorists have Twitter accounts?!).
According to the New York Times, Twitter is also attempting “to find a way to reconcile its free speech stance with how women and minorities can be targeted on the service,” by “bullies, racists and extremist groups.”
As a public service I offer this general guideline for Twitter to follow: If any account issues tweets in an attempt to plan, organize, promote, aid or abet the mass murder of innocents- or “infidels”- these accounts are used by terrorists and should be immediately shut down.
If however, the tweets simply convey a strong disapproval of, say, gay marriage or transgender bathrooms, with no threat of violence, this is called free speech and is protected by the very First Amendment to the U.S Constitution. I offer the following examples to help in clarification:
Example Tweet I- “Who wants to help in the slaughter of dozens- hopefully hundreds!- of gay boys and women, Jewish sons of pigs, and assorted other infidels? We will make the streets of a major Southern city in the Great Satan flow red with the blood of infidel mongrels! Please call: (555)-666-6969 and ask for Mohammed. Thank you.” This is an example of a terrorist tweet/threat.
Example Tweet II- “I simply do not believe that gay marriage should be considered as equally sacred as a union between a man and a woman, due to the obvious difference in child bearing potential, etc. Also, I don’t believe men who claim to identify as women should be allowed to use women’s bathrooms. I am not comfortable with the thought of my young daughter using the same lavatory as an older person with male genitalia.” This is an example of free speech.
It took Twitter a long time to start “suspending” accounts such as that of example one. I bet it won’t take them much longer to start suspending accounts such as example two.
Such is the state of our union- and the planet- circa 2016.