Actor and conservative icon James woods has apparently been booted — some would say banned — from Twitter, but presumably only for a certain period of time since his account is still online. And, of course, there’s quite a bit of controversy over just what got him booted.
Woods hasn’t posted in over 10 days, apparently all over the fact that he posted this: “If you try to kill the king, you’d better not miss.”
It was posted with the hashtag #HangThemAll.
— Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) April 27, 2019
(Caution: If you’re offended by swearing, don’t look up what “FFS” means.)
Now, apparently, Twitter doesn’t like Ralph Waldo Emerson or “The Wire” very much.
Emerson, the transcendentalist who probably would have found himself frequently in Twitter jail if he hadn’t died 137 years ago — he was that kind of guy — is among the first credited with the basic sentiment: “When you strike at a king, you must kill him,” he wrote.
If you’re the type that doesn’t consume anything that can’t be streamed on Netflix, there’s always Omar Little from the late, great HBO drama “The Wire.” “You come at the king, you best not miss,” he once said.
Almost everyone looking at the phrase could probably grasp the meaning behind it and the fact that it’s metaphorical: If you aim to displace those who have ultimate power, you’d better succeed, or else you’re going to reap a whirlwind of pain. It’s obviously not a call for violence.
I say obviously, yet Twitter either missed this or doesn’t want to acknowledge it.
Yes, this could have originally been a catch by one of Twitter’s algorithms. However, if it was algorithmic at first, it certainly hasn’t been reversed in the intervening days, in spite of the fact that Woods is one of Twitter’s most prolific users.
This isn’t the first time that Woods has been banned over something that’s mostly trivial, either.
Last year, Woods faced another suspension due to the fact he posted a joke Democrat ad that had been featured all over social media:
Here’s the tweet pic.twitter.com/lzbqTEWgFd
— John the PATRIOT (@jsringel) September 24, 2018
According to an email Woods said he received from Twitter at the time, this obvious joke ad “has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election.”
“Free speech is free speech — it’s not Jack Dorsey’s version of free speech,” Woods said then, making reference to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
“The irony is, Twitter accused me of affecting the political process, when in fact, their banning of me is the truly egregious interference,” he added, according to Fox News. “Because now, having your voice smothered is much more disturbing than having your vocal cords slit. If you want to kill my free speech, man up and slit my throat with a knife, don’t smother me with a pillow.”
But this is what Twitter does. Woods gets suspended over this. Meanwhile, comedian Kathy Griffin asked users to dox the Covington Catholic High School kids from that infamous video in January — in other words, she wanted social media to expose minors to harm — and her tweet is still up.
Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 20, 2019
Also still up? The lovely clip where Nation of Islam impresario and mega-bigot Louis Farrakhan refers to Jews as “termites.”
I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite. pic.twitter.com/L5dPQcnVg4
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) October 16, 2018
Neither of these led to a suspension. But a quote that could have come from a number of sources and clearly wasn’t threatening anybody did. A sentiment from Emerson is more odious than anti-Semitic prattle. Good call, @jack.
Woods hasn’t been heard from since the suspension, but it’s unlikely that he’s going to go down without a fight. In the meantime, however, we can look at yet another instance where Twitter has banned a conservative over a perfectly harmless quote while giving license to the most disgusting bigotries so long as they could credibly be attached to the left.
It remains to be seen whether Woods’ suspension is permanent or not. (Social media giants aren’t exactly friendly to conservatives.)
Either way, there’s going to be a whole lot of controversy over this one.
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