David Simon, the creator of The Wire and before that a well-known hard-bitten journalist, has never been shy about his thoughts. One can argue it comes with the territory of writing work about everyday people so close to the ground, whether they’re longshoremen or his fellow journalists. But, apparently, his blunt tone has gotten him banned from Twitter, and he’s not sure he cares enough to come back.
Simon, who tweets as @AoDespair, often deals with political subjects, and just as often replies to people who come at him in equally unsparing terms:
In other words, he’s much like one of his own characters. But, in a brief note mourning Anthony Bourdain, he reveals he’s been temporarily banned by Twitter, and may decide he’s not coming back:
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 fate — 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. 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.
Die of boils, @jack.
Simon may be the most visible target of this phenomenon, where tone and name-calling matter more than content, but he’s far from alone. Twitter’s notorious abuse team is seemingly random in its decisions, and they happen across the political spectrum. It seems more likely to be tripped by name-calling than by content, something that, again, the entire political spectrum objects to. Twitter has even gone after parody accounts ripping Twitter for its capricious support, to illustrate what it truly thinks of the problem, we suppose. Granted, Simon has no lack of outlets for his thoughts, but many others suspended aren’t so lucky, and Twitter should look at more than name-calling.
(via David Simon)