David Simon is banned from Twitter again, but it seems to be a part of the filmmaker’s plan.
Author and former Baltimore Sun reporter Laura Lippman, Simon’s wife, tweeted Tuesday that Simon was in “Twitter jail” for a tweet to Jack Dorsey, in which he tells the CEO of Twitter to “die of boils.”
This follows Simon’s last Twitter ban just weeks ago for similarly telling a user to “die of boils.” “The Wire” creator was not allowed to post on his Twitter until he deleted the incendiary tweets, and was reinstated to the social media platform last week.
But Simon still had a bone to pick with Twitter and with Dorsey in particular.
Simon stated in an email last week to The Sun and in a post on his personal website that several users and bots had tweeted insensitive, racist and libelous tweets about Holocaust survivors and immigrants seeking asylum — yet they didn’t receive the same treatment.
“So, die of boils, @jack. Yup. There it is. The sum total of my crime against Twitter. I've told you to drop dead, as I told libelers and liars to drop dead. You can say that constitutes a threat, but that would be empty and embarrassing. I hold no dominion over life & death,” Simon tweeted.
Twitter states in its policy that users “may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.”
Fellow TV colleagues backed Simon, including TV writer Hart Hanson and “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon.
“It’s America that’s dying of boils. Twitter is becoming one of the most pestilent. David is the medicine, not the poison,” Willimon tweeted.
Hanson tweeted about Simon’s most recent ban and has joined Simon, stating that he hopes that Dorsey gets “butt-boils.”
Simon and Twitter did not respond to the most recent emailed requests from The Sun. But in previous emails, the former Baltimore Sun reporter stated that this was, indeed, his hope.
“I have no hope for any other outcome than that eventually I will be booted from their platform for rhetorical replies to the worst kinds of bots and trolls that are neither threats nor harassment and are, on the merits, entirely justifiable. If not today, then in a week or whenever the stupidity of the Twitter algorithm finds me,” he wrote in an email last week, adding that in order for Twitter to improve, “the singular remedy is to prohibit anonymous posting.”
“Every news organization is aware of the collapse of ethic and substance that resulted from anonymous commentary on websites, as opposed to signed opinion and dissent on editorial pages,” Simon stated. “People who have to stand behind their opinions are more responsible, careful and ethical than trolls relying on anonymity. But hey, that's me, I stand by what I write.”
And so we see.
Lippman said Simon refuses to delete the tweets, “because he feels it isn’t harassing or threatening” to Dorsey.
And with characteristic wit, Lippman said Simon added some parting words: “Twitter can bite me.”
So, will Simon return? Will this result in a Twitter boycott? Will Twitter reconsider policies and algorithms? And where will we get Simon’s hot takes and classic clapbacks now? Stay tuned.
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We’re not convinced this is the last we’ll hear from Simon and Twitter.