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Twitter is becoming biased

Here’s how Twitter enforces its policy on “violent threats”: If you’re a conservative and you “get threatened by other people,” then you are in violation and can have your account suspended.

The story began Wednesday when a left-wing mob showed up at Mitch McConnell’s house in Louisville, where he is recovering from an injury, to issue violent threats.

“Murder Turtle!” the crowd chanted. McConnell is referred to as “turtle” by some because of his physical appearance. Things got uglier when Chanelle Helm, a local left-wing activist, said on tape, “Just stab the mother f---er in the heart, please.” A woman, possibly also Helm, is heard in the video wishing McConnell had “broken his raggy, wrinkled-ass neck,” instead of his shoulder when he suffered a fall last week.

People are now so incapable of having civil political disagreements that they beat people violently in the street and show up at private residences and restaurants to disrupt other people’s private lives. But at least such behavior can be publicized through the magic of social media. At least the perpetrators can be publicly shamed and held accountable for their anti-social behavior, right?

Well, maybe if you’re using YouTube. But this is where Twitter added insult to the injury. When the McConnell campaign’s Twitter account reposted the video that these lunatics took of themselves shouting “f--- him” and “f--- his wife,” and wishing McConnell would suffer “[one] of those heart attacks where they can’t breathe, and they’re holding their chest and they fall backwards,” Twitter responded by punishing the victim. They took McConnell’s account offline, refusing to give back his access until he deleted the tweet containing the video.

The reason? He had somehow violated Twitter’s ever-changing and always deliberately unclear terms of service, specifically, the prohibition on issuing threats over Twitter.

Surely this was an honest mistake by Twitter, or some algorithm that flagged the threats and misunderstood the circumstance?

Nope. A Twitter spokesman explained they meant to suspend McConnell’s account: “The user was temporarily locked out of their account for a Tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”

This is quite daft, considering that McConnell did not threaten anyone. His campaign Twitter account shared evidence that someone else had threatened him in person. It’s now a violation of Twitter’s terms of service to be threatened by somebody else, at least, if you’re a conservative.

Is Twitter biased? Let’s put it this way: Would Twitter respond in this deliberately obtuse fashion if alt-right lunatics showed up at the door of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

The question answers itself.

As McConnell’s campaign manager later pointed out, Twitter had also just recently allowed the phrase #MassacreMitch to be displayed as “trending” – this phrase’s double-meaning is itself a violent threat – yet somehow it is against the rules to bring transparency to the violent threats that increasingly dangerous leftists bring to the door of an elected lawmaker.

Congress is already looking into whether social media providers should continue to enjoy special exemptions from liability. Lawmakers are also discussing laws designed to curb social media addiction that appear to be punitive, actually making such platforms harder to operate. We do not advocate such government meddling, or the stripping these exemptions, not even from Twitter, an increasingly insular platform that has long been losing users and steadfastly refuses to enforce its own rules fairly or explain itself adequately.

But with this selective enforcement of its rules, Twitter is not just helping McConnell get reelected in Kentucky, blowing up what should have been a much smaller controversy. It is also paying him the greatest possible compliment as a leader and statesman.

When you behave in such a childish, biased and unfair manner toward the man who may hold your multi-billion dollar company’s fate in his hands, it’s a sign that you implicitly trust in his magnanimity, fair-mindedness, and fitness to lead. Twitter has really put a feather in McConnell’s cap.

This editorial first appeared in the Washington Examiner.