×

‘The Wire’ Creator David Simon Lashes Out Against Twitter After Service Blocks Him

The Wire” creator David Simon lashed out against Twitter Friday after the service apparently blocked him over some heated exchanges with other Twitter users. On his blog, Simon alleged that Twitter was applying its terms of service selectively, tolerating hate speech while at the same time banning users like him who got into arguments with users he described as bigots.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on the specific case, and sent Variety the following statement instead:

“We cannot comment on specific accounts for privacy and security reasons, but it’s against the Twitter Rules to engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.”

At the time of writing, Simon’s Twitter account remains online, suggesting that he is in what is known as Twitter’s penalty box, which effectively blocks him from posting new content until he deletes tweets that violated the company’s terms of use.

Simon took issue with this policy, writing: “Suffice to say that while you can arrive on Twitter and disseminate the untethered and anti-human opinion that mothers who have their children kidnapped and held incommunicado from them at the American border are criminals — and both mother and child deserve that date — or that 14-year-old boys who survive the Holocaust are guilty of betraying fellow Jews when there is no evidence of such, you CANNOT wish that these people should go away and die of a fulminant venereal rash.”

He added: “Slander is cool, brutality is acceptable. But the hyperbolic and comic hope that a just god might smite the slanderer or brutalizer with a deadly skin disorder is somehow beyond the pale.”

Earlier this week, Simon had gotten into heated arguments with Twitter users who were trying to blame the Obama administration for the Justice Department’s new policy to separate children arriving at the U.S. border from their parents.

https://twitter.com/AoDespair/status/1004512662955483136

On Friday, he said that he’d be “indifferent” to removing those tweets, which had apparently been flagged by other users as abusive. “As far as I’m concerned, your standards in this instance are exactly indicative of why social media — and Twitter specifically — is complicit in transforming our national agora into a haven for lies, disinformation and the politics of totalitarian extremity,” he wrote. “The real profanity and disease on the internet is untouched, while you police decorum.”

Twitter has frequently been criticized in the past for not doing enough to fight hate and abuse on its platform. As a result, the company instituted a number of measures against users that violate its terms of service, including a penalty box that allows users to remain on the platform, but disables the ability to retweet their tweets for a limited amount of time.

Update: 9:42 a.m. PT: This post was updated with a statement from Twitter.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Netflix Q3 Preview: The Calm Before the Streaming-Wars Storm?

    Wall Street is expecting Netflix to hit or slightly beat subscriber and financial targets when it reports third quarter 2019 results on Wednesday after market close. But then what? Debate among analysts continues to rage about what will happen to Netflix’s market-leading position once it’s facing big new rivals in Disney Plus and Apple TV [...]

  • countdown

    Apple Takes Down Viral 'Countdown' Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead

    An app that can predict the date and time of your death may have been too much for Apple to stomach: The iPhone maker removed a viral app inspired by the upcoming horror movie “Countdown” a few days ago, putting an end to its meteoric rise. Before its removal, “Countdown” had surpassed TikTok, YouTube and [...]

  • daydream view

    Google Ships Pixel 4 Without Daydream VR Support, Stops Selling Daydream Viewer

    Google is effectively phasing out its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform: The company’s latest flagship Pixel 4 flagship phone, which Google unveiled at a press event in New York Tuesday, won’t support Google’s Daydream mobile VR platform anymore, a spokesperson confirmed to Variety. The company will also stop selling the Daydream viewer, but continue to [...]

  • Google Wifi

    The New Google Wifi Ships in Three Colors Because Good-Looking Routers Work Better

    When Google revamped its Wifi router product, it extended the devices reach and doubled their speed, while also adding a full-blown smart speaker with Google Assistant. But the company paid just as much attention to Google Wifi’s design, down to the decision to ship the product in three colors. The surprising reason for this: Google [...]

  • Nest Mini

    Google Introduces New $49 Nest Mini Speaker With On-Board Machine Learning, Stereo Pairing

    Google introduced a revamped version of its entry-level smart speaker at a press event in New York Tuesday: The new $49 Nest Mini speaker effectively replaces its Home Mini predecessor with bigger sound, a built-in machine learning chip for faster responses, ultrasound for proximity detection and the ability to pair 2 speakers for inexpensive stereo [...]

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content