×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘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.

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.

More Digital

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • att_logo

    AT&T Suspends YouTube Ad Spending as Boycott Over 'Pedophilia' Videos Scandal Widens

    AT&T, one month after it thought it was safe to advertise on YouTube again, said it is pulling all advertising spending from the world’s biggest video platform. The telco joins a boycott by marketers alarmed by the discovery that a secret group of child predators has been using YouTube to make sexual comments about kids. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content