It seems that for Twitter, some people are more equal than others. On Thursday, Breitbart.com reported that the social media site defended Azealia Banks’ call for Sarah Palin to be sexually molested by multiple black men, despite the fact that Bank’s tweets clearly violated the site’s Terms of Service.
According to Breitbart:
“We reviewed the content and determined that it was not in violation of the Twitter Rules,” Twitter told a person who formally complained about Banks’ call for the forcible rape of the former Alaska governor.
Here’s the complaint which Breitbart obtained:
The high profile twitter user @AZEALIABANKS openly continues to advocate for rape, violent, brutal sexual & physical violence in ‘offensive, vulgar, abusive and obscene’ terms towards a targeted woman and her family in clear violation of Twitter’s strong stand against this sort of behavior,” the complaint reads. “This user continues to make ‘threats of violence’ and continues to ‘promote violence’ against a targeted [sic] individual and her family. This harassment by the user’s own public admission, was ‘unprovoked’ and is ‘is one-sided’ and ‘includes threats’ – direct, explicit and graphic. @AZEALIABANKS is ‘promoting violence’ advocating ‘direct attacks’ and ‘threats’ on the basis of ‘race’, ‘gender’ and ‘religious affiliation’. I am encouraged that you ‘do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories’ as for the past 72 hours this has been 90% of the of tweets coming from this @AZEALIABANKS. This user has openly tweeted the fact she selected to target this individual based on her opposition to the target’s beliefs. I am encouraged that your policy includes: ‘In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.’ The resulting media coverage has created over 500,000 google results in a three day period already with seemingly no action from Twitter to what is a very high profile violation of your own stated Terms of Service. I look forward to your swift response, your swifter action and reaffirming for members of your community (of which I am one) that threats of sexual & racial violence against women will not stand on your platform.
The complaint also included footnotes that referenced news stories of the incident.
Twitter’s terms of service also notes:
“Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”
Twitter’s Terms of Service adds: “We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.”
Apparently, that only applies to some individuals. Here’s what Twitter said:
“We reviewed the content and determined that it was not in violation of the Twitter Rules. We are happy to revisit this decision if you are able to provide further evidence of a violation. Please respond to this email with direct links to the content in question. We understand you might come across content on Twitter that you find offensive. Twitter users are free to post content (even if potentially inflammatory) provided that they don’t violate the Terms of Service or the Twitter Rules.
If you would like more information on how to control your Twitter experience, see this help article: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20170134. If you feel threatened or are in danger, please contact your local law enforcement. You can direct the local law enforcement to our Guidelines for Law Enforcement here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/41949.
Breitbart said that Twitter has yet to respond to requests for comments about the ruling.
Palin has said she intends to sue Banks for her tweets. Maybe she should include Twitter in that lawsuit.
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