Lauren Hale watched a Twitter fight turn threatening last night, as Tea Party member and CNN Contributor Dana Loesch was attacked and threatened, and her husband ousted from the Twitter community for coming to her aid.
One of the great things about The United States of America is the First Amendment, our right to free speech. It’s also one of our biggest downfalls as the term “free speech” is subject to interpretation. Bottom line, we are guaranteed, in our greatest governing document, the right to speak our minds. Unless, of course, someone interprets what you have to say as an attack even if it’s not.
Last night, on Twitter, Dana Loesch, CNN Contributor, was attacked. This behaviour isn’t new to her. According to Loesch’s own words in a piece at Breitbart.com, “I’m used to it, it’s part of the territory of doing what I do, enduring hate like this daily”
Progressives didn’t like that Dana’s husband, Chris, came to her defense. They targeted him and flagged his account as spam in what is suspected to be a massive, coordinated attack. His account, @ChrisLoesch, was suspended. With the help of Ben Howe and hundreds of other conservatives, #FreeChrisLoesch trended worldwide at the third spot. (The screen shot Dana grabbed for her Breitbart piece only shows the US trending list, not the worldwide list.) Within an hour of public outcry and working internally with Twitter, @ChrisLoesch was reinstated.
However, within just 30 minutes of reinstatement, Chris Loesch’s account was again taken down by angry Progressives bent on keeping him off the website and further inciting conservative ire.
As a friend of mine pointed out during this firestorm, the issue of people abusing Twitter to silence someone via false report is not a partisan issue. It’s everyone’s issue. Agree or disagree with the politics of the Loesch’s, Breitbart, liberals, or conservatives, Twitter is being abused to silence dissenting voices en masse.
Chris Loesch is not the only victim. As this storm grew stronger, stories of more Twitter accounts attacked in the same manner came to light. Even liberal accounts claimed they had been attacked. Ben Howe tweeted against falsely reporting any liberals for spamming, offering to help them if this happened.
Chris defended his wife against people who stated, “@dloesch is one of the few women on this planet that if I learned she’d been brutally raped and murdered, I wouldn’t shed a tear.” The account which tweeted this statement (among others) is still standing while Chris Loesch’s is still suspended.
Suspension of @ChrisLoesch via such a massive and coordinated attack exposes a flaw in Twitter’s algorithm for reporting spam accounts. The Loeschs are working with Twitter to ensure this flaw is fixed. At last check, it may be days before Chris is able to return to Twitter. Allegedly he returned for a second time, briefly, but was immediately removed again.
In the meantime, a husband finds himself banned from Twitter for defending his wife’s honour in the face of those admitting they would not shed a tear if she were to be physically harmed and murdered. Is this not what a husband is supposed to do when his wife is attacked? Defend her?
Twitter is a privately owned corporation with its own rules and terms of services regarding what can and cannot be said within the services it owns. But when the rules are bent in order to silence someone who has not violated the rules, it becomes an issue of subjective censorship. I find it appalling that the account mentioning murder and violence toward Dana Loesch still stands.
Is this the United States in which we live? Is this the road on which we find free speech? Have we fallen so far from the original vision of our forefathers we now silence dissenters by any means necessary?
I may not agree with everything the opposition has to say but rest assured, I will defend their right to say it until they take it away from me.
What do you think? Should groups of Twitter users be able to strategically take down a single user?
What does language like what is used below, say about how we view women? How about the fact that the account using threatening language still stands on Twitter, but @ChrisLoesch doesn’t?