The words “Kathy Griffin is back in the news” is seldom a good augury for those of us who cover politics, although usually we can safely assume whatever she’s doing is confined to members of the Trump family.
Alas, that calculus has changed significantly now that we’re all opining about the Covington Catholic High School students at the March for Life in Washington and whether or not they deliberately antagonized a Native American activist.
The debate about Friday’s incident was somewhat complicated when the full video, in which it was revealed the “Make America Great Again” hat-wearing Covington students were simply trying to weather a storm of adult protesters who were confronting them.
By then, the hot takes in which various blue-checkmarked Twitterers had called for the young men to be punched in the genitals, put into a woodchipper and/or be locked in their school and burned to death didn’t look so hot.
To her supremely marginal credit, Kathy Griffin didn’t call for any of these minors to be killed. She merely wanted them doxed so that the Two Minutes Hate could continue apace.
“Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you,” Griffin tweeted on Sunday after an 18-second video. She later would demand the names via a more vulgar tweet. There’s some bad language ahead — reader discretion is advised.
Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 20, 2019
Ps. The reply from the school was pathetic and impotent. Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these fuckers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again. https://t.co/IS80wiaQ7v
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 20, 2019
Not that it would have made a difference whether or not the short video that had been posted gave an accurate depiction of the encounter, but the longer video made the prospect of doxing the teens seem even more disgusting — and Donald Trump Jr. made sure Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey knew about it.
“Conservatives have been banned from @Twitter for much less!” Trump Jr. wrote in a tweet Monday.
“Attempting to dox minors is surely a violation of twitter policy? @jack?”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 21, 2019
For those of you who aren’t among the Twitterati, “@jack” is the user name of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Names aren’t necessarily considered private information by the social media platform. However, the platform rules note that “(p)osting someone’s private information online may pose serious safety and security risks for the person whose information is shared. As such, this is considered one of the most serious violations of the Twitter Rules.”
They also note that “Context matters when evaluating for abusive behavior and determining appropriate enforcement actions” and that “You may not 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.”
If there wasn’t an intent to “harass” and/or “intimidate” these students, why the need for their names? Just so Griffin knows not to hire them if they apply to be her personal secretary? And if context matters, surely the fact that she wanted to dox minors ought to make these tweets contextually odious.
Trump Jr. is right — this would have ended with a Twitter ban were it a conservative. For liberals, it’s just another debacle that the lords of mainstream media and social media will pretend never happened.
Meanwhile, Griffin’s tweets are still up, meaning she’s still calling for the doxing of these teens.
And not only that, she’s still defending the pillorying of these minors, retweeting a thread in which user “feminist next door” insists that any exculpatory evidence in the teens’ favor is irrelevant; she insists that it’s “an incident where … a privileged male (or males) commits an offense against someone with less privilege” and that those who are on their side are people who “will leverage any contributory act by the victim as deleterious of their bad acts despite that being logically and factually untrue.”
Video evidence, in other words, is “logically and factually untrue” and this is just privileged males who perpetrated “an offense against someone with less privilege.” (As an aside, when it comes to feminist next door’s usage of “deleterious,” I think Mandy Patinkin might have something to say about that.)
In short, Kathy Griffin still believes it’s totally all right for kids — as in, minors under the age of 18 — to be doxed because they’re privileged males, no matter what the evidence may indicate. But she won’t face any official opprobrium because, well, she’s a liberal.
It’s time for Jack Dorsey to start taking this kind of behavior seriously and handing out bans. Enough is enough.
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