A Fuckbonnet For Our Time.

Hey, @jack.

I thought, Mr. Dorsey, that we had an understanding. I would not ever concede that telling you or anyone else they ought to die of boils was unjustifiable after their own rhetoric lapsed into abject slander, dishonesty or dishonor, and you — pretending that I had somehow threatened the actual well-being of another human, or that my words were measurably more cruel than telling someone to, say, take a long walk off a short pier or grow like an onion with his head in the ground — would continue to bar me from the demagogue-encrusted, Nazi-profiteering national agora that you call a social-media platform.

I was more than content with this bargain.

For one thing, leaving intact on Twitter my threaded suggestion that boils are your deserved fate for your civic performance in this moment would make clear why I departed months ago. No one had actually been threatened or harassed, and the rhetoric itself was purposed as a precise critique of your incompetent attempts at algorithmic censorship, which routinely ban people for the most casual sarcasm while leaving intact organized slander and disinformation. This seemed to me fair payment for my exile.  For another, I was able to use the time I had previously spent on Twitter jabbering with Russian bots and assorted meme-spewing deplorati to much greater accomplishment, such as deworming my neighbor’s dog and rearranging the books on my shelves by color.

At that point, we were good, and our ways, well parted.

Imagine my renewed contempt for you and all your public works when I find out from a third party that even though I declined to delete the tweet in question — which was number 10 on an 18-tweet thread explaining exactly why Twitter has managed to embrace censorship on matters of mere decorum, without having the slightest effect on any of the grave and actual offenses perpetrated on your site — your shitsquib, basement-dwelling minions simply went behind my back and unilaterally removed item #10 from the string.  And get this — they did so while continuing to present me with the insistent demand that I delete the item myself in order to be reinstated.

That’s right, you took it down yourself, quietly, secretly — and all the while kept pretending that until I did so you couldn’t possibly return me to your platform. You gutless, cheese-eating, back-dooring fuckbonnet.

And what was this offending tweet?  The one that so convulsed you into a conniption of self-regarding censorship? Well, here we go:

10) 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.

That was the winner. Imagine my amusement to revisit my rusting hulk of thread on the old Twitter battleground and see that I have been studiously denying every one of your entreaties for me to remove this savage affront to the personhood of Jack Dorsey, only to discover that no, Twitter and Mr. Dorsey could bear it no longer. The waspish knob-polishers of marginal internet decorum have already scrubbed the record clean. That thread, on your site, now goes from #9 to #11.

Die of boils, Mr. Dorsey.  Seriously.

*         *         *

And here’s the thing, you are not a fascist. You are not conspiring to use your platform as a petri dish of political derangement and organized disinformation. You would prefer to be thought responsible and dignified and worthy of our trust. I watched your Congressional testimony. I get that you think you are trying to get a handle on the problem. I can easily concede your goodwill.

But by the hand of God, you and the people running your shop are the most ahistorical, smegmatically incompetent and fuckstumbling stewards of an essential informational resource since, well, since Wall Street analysts and their slobbering chain-newspaper fetch-monkeys drove mainstream journalism into a ditch. My god, you tech boys suck at just about anything but tech. It is remarkable, really, and fascinating to me that you can be so good at the hardware and so deadbrained lethal with morality and ethos.

Here’s the truth, Jack:

What you witnessed on my Twitter account for a time was not someone losing their temper or equipoise. It wasn’t me with foam at the mouth corners, resorting at last to simple name-calling of some wounded, humanistic Other with their own worthy hearts and minds and opinions.  It was entirely purposed and, dare I say it, the tactics of someone who had given a lot of thought to this new, dystopic culture of social media.

I know there are rules of logic and rhetoric and that ad hominem is, of course, a cul de sac for any serious discourse. The key question, though, for all of us is this: What is deserving of serious discourse?  You come at me correct, with an argument and devoid of your own indulgent affronts, you get an argument. You get angry and talk shit, then the same comes back.  You make a dick joke, your mama is fair play. You talk about my mama, I’m all about your straying sister. You can’t pull up from the rhetorical tailspin, you get blocked. I’ll play any game worth playing. Much of what arrives on my feed is decidedly not that.

Which brings us to the white supremacists, the anti-Semites, the Nazis, the professional ideological trolls and the bot army:

Every fucking day, Jack, sentient and otherwise commited people interested in participating in the national agora that now rests in social media wake themselves up, sign on to their screens, and begin mowing their digital lawn of abuse, bigotry and organized lying. It’s quotidian and you can’t stop it. I know you can’t. You admit as much when you quickly abdicate your role as a gatekeeper of information by declaring — as you did — that it isn’t up to Twitter to decide if something is true or false, slander or agitprop. No, you assert, that is the job of trained journalists, of the mainstream media, of reporters who arbitrate and investigate fact. Let them sort wheat from chaff. You, sir, are merely an impartial bulletin board for the world.

I hear you.

Your model creates profit from a neutral platform which can be used or misused by each according to their purposes and needs. And for us to ask you to create any standard for objectivity, for fact-checking, for any legal failsafe against even the worst internet sociopaths is to endanger you and Twitter legally.  That’s what the lawyers are telling you, right, Jack? If you intervene once anywhere with any qualitative judgment as to the basic accuracy of any claim made on Twitter, then you become liable for all claims. If you prevent one slander, then you become responsible for them all.

And of course you won’t pay for the resources to fact-check the substance of what appears on Twitter. Those resources, to be effective, would be human and numerous and costly. You would in effect become a responsible gatekeeper for the content of your website, which is an almost impossible undertaking given the speed and magnitude of the minute-by-minute content. You can’t vet the accuracy, integrity or morality of what is said on Twitter. That would be journalistic, in the most basic sense of the word.  At best, you can try to create an algorithmic reply that snares what you think is not-niceness, that separates real threat from sarcasm, that maintains a surface decorum while allowing the brutalities of racism and personal slander and blood libel to gambol freely. You can also fail at this miserably, which is, as we know, the current state of things.

I get all of that. I get what you can’t do. And I get what creates a disastrous legal miasma for your platform if you even try to do it. And so your complete abdication on the greater matters of disinformation and libel are expected and inevitable. You can’t ban Alex Jones because he’s a vicious, lying shitfactory. He can be such for years. You can ban him when he slips and hurts some other Twitterite’s feelings with the sharp edge of some random rhetoric.

But see, I’m not one of those baying for the removal of anyone’s voice on your platform — save perhaps for the electronic army that doesn’t correspond to actual humanity; if you can algorithmically determine that a voice is not actually a voice, but rather manufactured agitprop, then block away. But human beings? No. I’m with Mill and Voltaire and the other absolutists. Would Twitter’s problems be entirely solved if it demanded attribution, if we all had to venture our opinions under our own identities? Of course. If it were so, existing libel law would actually return to its place as a viable bulwark against the worst and most reckless affronts against the truth. But okay, we know there is no profit in something as civil and responsible as a platform in which people are obliged to stand by the legitimacy of their facts and the dignity of their opinions. Shit, that would be as dry as a responsibly published newspaper’s letters column.

So okay, the Nazis and the white supremacists and the libelers — bless their hearts — they get to safely reside on Twitter. But if that is the case, then it is 1935 and this is the Weimar and you are suddenly the Von Papen of the moment. That’s right. Because if you can’t police your platform for the ethical substance of its content — if you can’t demand standards for what actually matters to the health of the republic — then this pretend-game of policing politeness or sarcasm-as-real-threat is not merely abdication, it is instead an effective block of the only intelligent and effective response to that which is so dishonorable and disgusting on Twitter.

You tell us, Jack, that it is imperative that you be permitted to be a neutral bulletin board for any idea no matter how unfactual or revolting and that it is then up to trained journalists to come behind the social-media discussion and parse fact from fiction. No, Jack, just fucking no.

First of all, speed matters. The digital lies are marching into Poland before mainstream-media truths have boots on; shit, it’s that fundamental reality that finally brought me to an experiment with your platform — the sense that American political demeanor was being shaped long before any professional, fact-based response could be mustered. Second of all, even a crude reading of the last, failed century’s history will show you that your premise is, I’m sorry, submoronic.

The correct 1935 reply to Streicher or Goebbels asserting that Jews secretly drink the blood of baptized Christian babies was not, “We have looked into this claim and found that there is no evidence to support the lie that Jews drink Christian baby blood.” For fuck’s sake, Jack, don’t you understand? Whether such a refutation comes on Twitter or from a mainstream news organization, it succeeds only in granting rhetorical equanimity and status to any and every vile assertion that evil sees fit to utter.

Nor is the correct response to simply ignore such filth when it arrives on one’s digital doorstep. To do so simply allows it to stand in public view tacitly as plausible opinion in the marketplace of ideas. Silence is also 1935, Jack.

The correct response to racism, to white supremacy, to anti-Semitism, to slander and libel is to:

  1. Tell the fucker he’s a piece of shit and should die of throat clap.
  2. Block him. And in doing 1. and 2. you have marked the spot for the sane and sentient on Twitter, much as any good infantryman who wanders into a minefield marks the Claymores for the rest of the platoon. It’s just good soldiering, Jack.

But you’re down on the correct response here. You won’t and can’t police fact and libel on your own. You won’t impair the profitable anonymity that protects lies and slander. And in order for you to employ even the most pathetic and haphazard standards of politeness, you must then demand that fascism and racism and organized depravity be allowed the same protections against the only sane reply that doesn’t grant these horrors a real measure of instant credibility.  You’ve brought those vile forces into the daylight and asked that they be treated as worthy of serious consideration. And now, those forces are threatening the American experiment.

You suck, Jack. Seriously. Having had your platform misused against democratic ideals, you’ve now, amid political pressure, embraced censorship as a means to a quick and simple end. But of course as is always the case with censorship, you’ve done so incompetently and without regard to the ethical cost and inevitable blowback. You’ve butchered it. Badly.

And me? I was ready to walk, brother. I said my piece and signed off. And now the neighbor’s pup has a bright, shiny asshole and my bookshelf looks like a Rothko and I’ve learned to play first-position blues harmonica like Jimmy Reed. Life was good and my hours were my own. But now I find that even my last, little treatise about why Twitter has failed us was too much for your butthurt, sensitive self. You broke the bargain and deleted the centerpiece of my last argument all by your lonesome, quietly, furtively, in the dark.

So, no harm in me now deleting a tweet that isn’t there and posting a link to this little essay on that festering shitpile that you pretend is in service of something more than cash.

Jesus, @jack. You should really be ashamed.




  • […] What all this does tell us is that Twitter is firmly on the side of the fascists and the racists and the doxxers and the misogynists and the Nazis and the authoritarians. Jack Dorsey’s business model is to promote hate and to block anyone who pushes strongly against it. Because hate and sustaining the status quo of hate and racism is very good for Dorsey’s business model. It’s lining his pockets right now. My words to Miller were no different than the words that got the great David Simon (temporarily) banned in 2018. As Simon put it in a blog post shortly after his suspension: […]

  • Hi David,

    You didn’t block me from your page, but you did mute me-or so you said-from your page because of my comments about Joe Biden, which were largely negative for two reasons-one, he’s the reason we have Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, and, two, his support of the Hyde Amendment – In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.[1][2] Legislation, including the Hyde Amendment, generally restricts the use of funds allocated for the Department of Health and Human Services and consequently has significant effects involving Medicaid recipients.[1][2] – from Wikipedia page, first paragraph).

    I get you were angry at me for changing the discussion to criticizing Biden, but, Number 1, it’s valid, and Number 2, you did so in a way that left me with two choices – one, which was to cower before you and just take it, or two, to point out that you went over the top in doing so. It wasn’t that important of a discussion, and I have a lot of other valid points and life experiences to draw from that can be useful to you and others on your page, that’s my intention, after all, and is the history of the majority of my posts.

    But, right now, that’s pretty difficult as Twitter, which is EVERYTHING you say it is, and fuckwad Jack Dorsey, ditto, have suspended me from the platform for the most innocuous of reasons – there was a video posted in which a guy being taped as part of a show, possibly for Fox News, or some other piece of shit garbage network purveyor of bullshit and misery, is yelling at a woman in the street. Yelling, Repeatedly. In her face. And what is he yelling, over and over. “Name a woman! Name a woman! Name a woman! – over and over. It’s clearly video made to appeal to the types of malcontents that identify as incels. This poor woman is flabbergasted, and, by the end, nearly crying, as she runs off of camera, and this douchebag turns to the person filming and says something like “she can’t even name a woman!”.

    Enraged by this stupidity, I simply posted “She should have punched that obnoxious jerk”. And that was it. These Twitter fuckwits suspended me saying you’re not allowed to encourage violence towards another user. Never mind that the video wasn’t even posted by that user.

    It’s clear to me they’d been looking for something to hook me on for some time. Why? Well, let me tell you about some of the posts they didn’t flag:

    Rand Paul’s neighbor – the true hero America needs. Hundreds of people liked that one. And, yes, there’s a ring of truth to it when you know the whole story and especially when you see the types of things this red headed asshole midget does in the Senate. Apparently he’s just as shitty in person as he is in Washington.

    Calling these bastards at AirBnB out, specifically that fuckhead Brian Chesky, in addition to the company on his page and their page for the five murders that took place in their backyard, in one of the many thousands of units they profit off with minimal to no oversight (there have been dozens of murders affiliated with public gatherings at AirBnB rentals this year alone, and a recent indepth article at Vice exposed them as being complicit, or at least looking the other way, in fraudulent rental rings wherein a customer rents what they believe to be luxurious accomdadations, only to be transferred to some shitty hovel and spend their vacation time there. This Brian Chesky motherfucker is every bit the piece of shit Jack Dorsey is, for different reasons.

    And there’s the main reason for my Twitter page, which of course I’ve made copies of and is etched in my mind, because how could it not be, that personal experience with Stephen Paddock, who threatened non-specifically to shoot up the Las Vegas Strip when I met him on July 6, 2016, the part about us meeting is certainly proveable because MGM tracks enormous amounts of data on their Players Cards, and if one were to match the data that morning it would put him, Marilou Danley, and myself at the same Blackjack table. He complained bitterly about the casinos cheating and wanting revenge (which, incidentally, is the same thing his brother says, and also a Los Angeles Times commenter who had an experience with them similar to mine which is the reason I even remember meeting that guy and what he said (the connection was math, he watched me vary my bets closely at Blackjack that morning and thought that was smart).

    Months of research and figuring out fact from fiction and looking for verification from other sources, led me to believe what he was really angry about was the removal of his favorite video poker machines, 9 over 6 Jacks or Better which have a payout of 100.8% if played perfectly. In fact, CNN quotes his Caesar’s Palace host as saying he stopped coming once his favorite machines were taken out, and the specific machines he played come from his brother and a Las Vegas gambling blog from which he purchased books on video poker and gambling law and taxes.

    The point is, all these speak truth to power and corruption, in Las Vegas, ignoring the idiosyncracies of an addicted gambler with severe personality issues who also happened to be insane in many ways and a gun nut, got 58 people killed. You know damn well the kind of corruption Rand Paul deals in, and all the misery and obstruction caused by the Republican Congress, and you know people in Baltimore who have their lives affected deeply by the irresponsible actions of Brian Chesky and AirBnB. And you know that countless poor women, many in Baltimore, have been denied access to abortion when the majority of them were also likely denied knowledge of birth control by the facists and religious bigots who were often running the system. And that just makes the cycle of poverty and servitude worse and worse. Joe Biden supported it. Later, he changed his mind, apparently, but, yet, is he really worth trusting with the keys to the kingdom, after all that?

    And, certainly, there is no end to what a fuckbonnet, to use your word, Jack Dorsey actually is, and the incompetence and pettiness of his little Twitter army of idiot sycophants, as per my example, among countless others.

    You, who have delved into books all your life, written about crime from the foxholes of Baltimore, became a television producer, director, and writer and told those stories to an audience of millions hungry for something gritty, intelligent, and real, are a wordsmith like few others and one of which I will never be equal in that regard.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t have valuable input, and agree with your idea of rallying the sentient and sane, and especially getting in the faces of the various fuckweasels that selfishly wish to impose their hate and bigotry on all of us. So, I would hope that you would not only value that, but also value someone who has the temerity to also stand up to you if they think you are wrong or misinformed about something. It’s still a foxhole, even though the parameters have changed, and I and those who support and follow you, may stand on your every word, but we do not view you or ourselves as infallible.

    So, I know you have your moods and get hotheaded, you wouldn’t be as effective a truth teller as you are if you didn’t, and the same is true of me. So I hope you will not hold a grudge, I never had an issue with you personally, and you do not seem the type to hold grudges, especially over simple arguments and misunderstandings like we had.

    Those of you who would like to speak with me further, please do. I’m considering getting an attorney to draft a response to Twitter directly about all this, and I do have an Instagram account which is archived for much the same reason, without going into great detail. And, of course, I’ve documented and written lots of this in hundreds of emails and the Twitter posts have been photographed and saved, regardless of any thing those bastards do next.

    And, clearly, they should reinstate the account. Their own pettiness and protection of their fellow vampires in the case of AirBnB, is what all this is about, just as with David’s tweet being deleted behind his back.

    Anyone wishing to contact me is free to do so at laketahoe32 at GMail. And, David, I hope you will forgive me both for changing the subject that day and writing about my experience with Twitter and my fight here, but, believe me, I am on your side and the side of your friends and fellow sentients, and sane, and always will be.

    And I loved every minute of The Deuce.

  • as someone who has followed mr simon’s work since homicide and the corner, there is nothing that would make me feel better than to send him the samuel l wallet. #respect

  • […] A Fuckbonnet For Our Time. –    But by the hand of God, you and the people running your shop are the most ahistorical, smegmatically incompetent and fuckstumbling stewards of an essential informational resource since, well, since Wall Street analysts and their slobbering chain-newspaper fetch-monkeys drove mainstream journalism into a ditch. My god, you tech boys suck at just about anything but tech. It is remarkable, really, and fascinating to me that you can be so good at the hardware and so deadbrained lethal with morality and ethos. […]

  • As one who has been blocked for 12 hours multiple times for constructively attacking fuckwads like Don Jr and Mike Huckabee, I say BRAVO!

  • After the war, we de-platformed Streicher through a trapdoor with a rope around his neck for having incited the Holocaust. Wouldn’t kicking nazis off of social media now, before they can make Holocaust 2.0 something more than vaporware, be way better than having to kill them after they’ve murdered millions of people?

    • Let me know when you’ve perfected the algorithm, formula or rhetorical postulate that can successfully deny a platform to Nazis and white supremacists while protecting merely unpopular and dissenting opinion on a given platform. If you ever do, get in touch with Jack Dorsey and Twitter, because clearly they are at a complete loss.

  • This is neither here nor there but please, I implore you Mr. Simon to compile a list of all these insults so the less gifted among us can quote them. Please.

  • Superb piece. And as far as I’m concerned, anyone who still uses Twitter is at best an enabler of fascism, and almost as deserving of condemnation as Dorsey himself.

    • i disagree. perhaps im naive, but without the dissenting voices (like David’s), twitter might as well be 4chan. i agree with mr simon’s piece, but there is something basic about a forum that involves all REASONABLE sides, with, of course, taking into account who is doing too much, and blocking said persons from the site. i dont pretend to know the algorithm mr simon speaks of in his post, but hopefully, twitter is a work in progress and things will progress to what they were initially created for, if they were intended to be constructive in the first place.

  • Well said. While we are rallying the sane, can we also underscore that we ought not be compelled to give credence to the views of Dorsey on anything beyond bugs in his software. Best I can tell, he’s a skilled programmer and college drop-out with no more background than his investment banker (probably much less) in sociology, literature, philosophy, communication (non-tech side) or any other field of study relevant to the useful application of his invention to the advancement of humanity. Perhaps if he had much understanding of such things, he wouldn’t have invented a platform that does little more than allow people to holler at strangers from the safety of their own comfy chairs.

  • Yup, this is what it all, ah, boils down to. Wonderfully argued. Looking forward to your Little Walter/Magic Dick tribute album.

  • David, if ever you consider changing the name of your blog, you might consider “Lyrical Rage.” This is sublime profanity. This is Deadwood-level poetry. Thank you for being you.

  • You can make fun of people and their ideas without using violent language. What exactly does the “die of throat clap” part of your first suggestion serve? Does it somehow make their message less accessible? Hardly.

    Face it, you want to scream obscenity at people not in hope that it somehow changes the shape of the ‘American political demeanor’, but simply to show off before your friends and followers and get status and visibility for escalating further than others would. That is neither essential or useful, and we’re all glad to see you go.

    • Nope. The prevailing strategy here is much more basic: “Fuck the bastards, rally the sane.”

      I’m not interested in coddling or respecting or convincing racists, fascists or objective liars. For the vast majority of that trash, there’s no interest in any rhetorical dynamic that can matter. And they are not here for it. I’m interested in using social media to rally decent folk. Shitmuzzles are marked and blocked and the rest of us move on to better and essential business.

      • You blocked me on Twitter because I asserted Hemingway was a Communist. You flipped out and we had a prolonged exchange. Lo and behold, a few weeks later articles starting coming out that Hemingway was indeed a Communist who was recruited by the KGB, although not used because they viewed him to be a charlatan. I didn’t “lie” and I am not a Nazi. I do, however respect your views vis a vis Voltaire and free speech. Many on the left have chucked the values of the Enlightenment and that saddens me greatly.

        • If you keep going with this submoronic equivocation in which anti-fascist activity — and collaboration with Soviet interests in Spain or during WWII, when the Soviets were essential supporters of anti-fascism — magically equates to “Hemingway was a Communist,” then you’ll be soon blocked here, too. This is historical incompetence at best on your part. At worst, it’s just a dumb smear.

          Here, let’s leave the last word to that noted red-baiter J. Edgar Hoover. Even he concluded that Hemingway was in no fucking way a communist:

        • Yes, and The Stork Club was the secret rendezvous of all his comrades— Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Walter Winchell, Mickey Mantle… If you’re going to say something, try and make sure it’s not prima facie absurd.

      • Regarding “Fuck the bastards, rally the sane.”

        This seems to have become a normal tactic among the moderate left. What I’m worried about is that the bar is often set so high, that it keeps many people out, maybe even most people. This is a problem, because if you’re looking to create sustainable and legitimate change in a democracy, your short term goal is always to build alliances, and your long-term goal is always to build consensus.

        And while the moderate academic left has been busy finding excuses for blocking and otherwise not engaging with people — the neo-nazis (/white nationalists/race-realists/whatever) have been actively trying to engage with anyone they can.

        I don’t know the answer here. As a famous person, you obviously don’t have the time to get in to deep conversation with even the majority of the people who approach you on Twitter — but you could also be a role model for those who do, and a reason for them choosing not to.

        • Fair. But life is short and a certain level of ruthlessness or snide on the part of people who engage with me encourages me to the cull the herd.

    • If your only reason for posting this criticism is because the ‘salty’ language offends, then perhaps you need to take a closer look at your moral compass. What we have here is as far from self-aggrandising obscenity as social commentary graffiti is from gang tagging, and I respect anyone who can effectively elevate a conversation and punctuate their point so creatively.

      Personally, I have never ventured into the twitstorm, as there’s more than enough weaponised stupid on Faceborg alone. Perhaps you need to find yourself a safer place?

  • They have yet to invent the prize you deserve – and the statuette or trophy that goes with it is so immense and of such a precious metal that that artisans will be fashioning it for years to come.

  • Brilliant and dead-on.

    Smegmatic incompetence will live on forever in my own vocabulary if nothing else. Thank you.

  • I wish Stephen Colbert and others would start a full Twitter boycott campaign.

    Starve the beast — delete your accounts. All of ’em. What’s the matter, are you addicted to Twitter? Can’t quit it?

    We have the power to collectively make stupidity go away, simply by focusing on something else, but we can’t do that because we’re collectively addled, scared, in denial. It would be easy to just walk away but millions of peopel don’t have the wherwithal to do it.

  • I just got booted for good. I tried to be good after my 3rd timeout but I couldn’t resist calling Laura Ingraham a skank. Now my business which had a linked account is also suspended. Woohoo. Hey. Get my cards at We have all the traitors(even Alex Jones) in one neat hand crafted casino quality deck of poker cards.

    • So it’s “A block for me but not for thee”?

      This entire episode is nothing more [or less] than a family spat at some corporate picnic.

  • I’m transgender, and the only reason I can speak about transgender lives and issues on the internet and seek out emotional support and community is because I can use a pseudonym. It’s easy to declare things would be oh so much better if everyone was forced to use their real name when you aren’t likely to be murdered by sundown if even one craven shitweasel within driving distance finds out your real name.

    Everything else about this is spot on, but I don’t understand why smart people so constantly fail to see that the lack of anonymity supports the oppressor and silences the oppressed.

    • I agree that transgender people fave threats that most are not aware of. It’s a shame that transgender people are singled out to be hurt wherein they’re actually very important people. I’d even say extraordinary.

  • All of the local newspapers in my town recently ‘cancelled’ the comments sections following all articles; internecine abuse was rampant and the discourse was, not shockingly, decidedly uncivil. Anyone with half a brain could see that the root cause was anonymity; emboldening the least among us to take their pathos out on anyone and everyone who disagreed. Why wouldn’t the publishers simply switch to a non-anonymous model? Why won’t Twitter? If the argument is purely economics (and, I fail to see how this would be true in the comments section of a local daily/weekly newspaper), what are the numbers? 30% down? 50% down? How much money/profit is enough? I guess Gordon Gekko, and any number of other fictional characters, always seem to have the same answer: “More.” I’m sorry, “more” just isn’t an answer that society can afford.

  • Nicely said Mr. Simon. I miss your presence on the platform, but if we’re being honest the sooner we all turn our backs on @jack and his cohort-in-crime Zuckerberg the better. Social media was fun for a while, but the novelty has now worn off.

  • They actually do ban you for telling someone to go jump in the lake, tho. It happened to me. “Encourage suicide” was what they said.

    • That’s truly sad. At least when I got permanently banned for saying that I wanted to beat to death all Trump voters with a baseball bat, I could see that that could be misconstrued. Although how I’m supposed to find the time & energy to do that to 63 million “people” is questionable. But who hasn’t heard the expression “go jump in a lake”? Sounds like a bunch of trolls ganged up & reported you.

  • “My god, you tech boys suck at just about anything but tech.”

    This is the only part of your post I disagree with. I work for tech-holes and it’s pretty much duct tape and hot glue holding shit together.

  • This is a load of crap. If you quit talking to yourself for a moment you’ll realize that you could have summed up your point in ohhhh, one paragraph. A TL;DR if you will, and it really boils down to this: “sanction free speech, Jack”. The problem with your VERY SIMPLE point is that we don’t trust organizations like Twitter to be objective. And to be honest, neither do you. While I think the majority of sane Americans can agree that actual white supremacy or Nazi ideology is abhorrent, the last 2 years have taught us that to the Left, being a Conservative = nationalist pig. Right? I mean being tough on immigration, wanting strict border laws… 10 years ago that was normal. Now people in the media/Reddit/Digg/fucking YOU/etc…are the first to say that makes me “Nazi”. So no, troll, we don’t trust you, or Jack, to be a truly unbiased gatekeeper. Because in your perhaps noble quest to silence actually dangerous people, you will use that authority to silence all who disagree with you. And it’s pathetic. Learn to fight the evil of the world with words and leave our fucking Bill of Rights alone.

    • You gibbering squib. You didn’t actually read more of what is written here than a paragraph or two or you’d realize that I am arguing AGAINST Twitter or anyone else censoring anyone’s words. You festering, ideological fuckwheeze.

      • I’ve always admired that you take the time to respond to this shit; I also admire the word “fuckwheeze.” To the extent you find it draining, I just wanted to say: thanks for taking one (two, ten, etc) for the team.

      • One of the best articles I read in a long time. BTW, I get shadow banned because I like to say the word FUCK alot. I tell the @Saints they fucking suck… I tell @QuickBooks they fucking suck… I even tell @Verizon on a rare occasion that they fucking suck. So, I’m shadow banned… and remember MySpace? Where, I personally, deactivated my account because certain women in certain towns starting posting pics of me and them and it was seen by other certain women in other certain towns… (MySpace needed a “no tag” option). Social media has gotten too big for it’s pants… as my momma would say back in the day! Thanks David!

      • I read the entire, blathering screed, you disingenuous weasel. You skirt around censorship, claiming you stand opposed to it, but that’s only true insofar as when it blows up in your face. Your grimy fingers are wrapped tight around your withered member at the thought that your “objective” capital T truth could be made sacrosanct in any public forum. You bloviating, circle-jerking ideologues dominate Twitter and the media’s discourse already. I can’t go anywhere on Twitter to look at a titty .gif without stumbling over you blue checkmark fucks bitching about something – including how people have the audacity to disagree with you on something. How much more ground do you cunts want?

        By the way, brilliant idea there, buddy. Real names attached to accounts, huh. That’ll really help the discourse. Oh, wait – it didn’t do shit on Facebook. So helping the discourse and stopping these awful opinions clearly isn’t your goal. Then maybe it’s so that your less scrupulous ideological playmates can skip the doxxing step and get straight to ruining the lives of anybody you disagree with.

        “But fuckbagel,” you’ll vomit onto your keyboard. “I’m opposing White Supremacy and nazis, not anybody else – are you some kind of White Supremacist or nazi?” And to that I have to ask if you’re actually a child masquerading as an adult. Have you paid attention to literally anything in the last few years? Anything at all? If you think this scattershot approach is only going to hit the bad guys, you’d better start carrying around a grenade for self defense. Moron.

        I’m sure that racing to turn every method of public discourse into a new type of tech dystopia where nobody can express their true thoughts without fear of reprisal – and this includes everybody from activists to people being trans on the internet, by the way – is going to work out great. Speaking of which, you may wanna pitch your idea to China’s ruling elite. They’d be much more amenable to it. The proles get much less uppity when they know Big Brother’s watching.

        What it comes down to is that you can’t handle other opinions. Your last defense is to throw pocket sand, tell somebody to kill themselves, and then block them from your view. Wow, good job, dude! You’re really storming Normandy, there! You’re really fighting in the streets of Weimar! If you think a few naughty words and limp-dick assertions to how somebody can fuck themselves and die is going to stop da big bad nazees, then you’re a fucking retard. I mean that literally. Something must have happened to your brain if you think that’s going to stop anything.

        Let’s be real, here. You’d be willing to spread your asshole as wide as possible to accept Jack’s throbbing phallus – let’s not pretend you’re not – if it would let you tell people who made your feefees ouchee to die. You play hard to get, but I can see the envious lust boiling behind your putrid eyes when you look at Jack. You wish you were in his position. After all, you don’t have the scruples to stop from squashing anything you don’t like.

        “I said I’m against censorship!” you’ll wail. Sure, you say that. But you’re willing to institute anything that’s not explicitly censorship to achieve the same ends. You think we’re all rubes, huh? That we can’t see what’s going on? I’ve seen the “I hate Twitter!” followed by shilling for more social media fuckery from people like you for years now. It’s old hat. You’re more eloquent than most, but that’s not the greatest complement when your competition is people who think “DOLAN DRUMPF” is the peak of biting commentary.

        Anyway, I’ll close in the manner that you apparently want all discourse to proceed in when we see an ideological stance that we hate: I hope that a well-endowed man skull fucks the gray matter out of you like a phallic juice press. Die, cunt.

        Shit, man. Maybe it really does work. I just won the culture war.

        • If I came face to face with a keyboard and spent my effort producing what you just published above under your name on this site, I’d honestly put a gun in my mouth. Anonymity is clearly the shield that allows some goodly number of festering sub morons to venture the worst thoughts and opinions in our national agora — and to do so free of the retroactive risk and sanction of either public contempt or civil action. This is certain enough.

          On the other hand, there are indeed the Lionel Hutzes of this world, with wits not enough to sign a false name after they’ve hurled the contents of a diaper against a nursery wall and marveled at their own high art. Some fuckmooks are too stupid to be shamed. You’ve proven that much. I stand at least partially corrected.

          • Lionel Hutz is a character from the Simpsons, my dude.

            If you’re willing to sacrifice anonymity just so that you can engage people you don’t like in civil court, I’d have to say that’s the most petty sacrifice of a freedom I’ve ever seen. Rich people, am I right? By the way, the moment you open every moron with a bad opinion up to harassment, stalking, job-loss, and everything else is the moment you do the same to the public at large. Have you heard the names Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn? I’m going to hazard a “no” considering your age. You should, though! If shit like that happens over video games, I can’t wait to see the dystopic nightmare you’re pining for to unfold.

            tl;dr: You’re willing to burn down our collective apartment complex just to kill a few roaches. Get your priorities in order, man.

            I slam dunked this shit, you boomer fuck, and you know it. It always astounded me that the greatest generation in American history produced… well, people like you. Sometimes the apple falls far from the tree, eh? Can’t wait ’til you cunts die out.

            • You’re a dopey fuck, Lionel, anonymous or otherwise.

              Do you know what libel laws in America do? Do you know the standards? Do you understand how hard it is to bring any viable action against anyone who isn’t PURPOSELY AND KNOWINGLY attempting to smear the reputation of a living individual using false and denigrating information? Do you understand the Sullivan ruling? Do you have a clue as to the extra protections against all comment and opinion with regard to all public figures? Do you have any serious complaint that the protections against libel were inhibiting speech or criticism prior to the anonymity of social media? Do you stupidly and naively equate Trump’s desire to slacken those tough standards — which, as a former journalist, I wholly oppose — with what is a very different call: To consider making those engaged in intentional slander and disinformation as responsible for those campaigns on social media as in any other published form?

              Alex Jones is in the civil dock because he operated under his actual identity; do you object to him being held to account for telling the Newtown parents they were lying about their dead children, or for unleashing so many others who then followed up with them in the same manner on every platform? Apparently, you do. Because if a Newtown campaign or some commensurate blood-libel is undertaken in anonymity and throughout social media, it proceeds unchallenged. And as much as I am opposed to prior restraint of open speech by any platform, I have no problem making willful libelers responsible for their speech once offered. That has been the standard in the United States, which has the most press freedom even among Western democracies. The argument is not about crushing good anonymous voices as you want to claim. The argument is about protecting whole classes of people from willful and organized smear campaigns and doing so without the prior restraint of any cohort’s ability to utilize a platform.And the fact is that the standards of mainstream media had brakes on the organized misuse of disinformation under false flag, and standards for the protections of individuals from libels of a kind that the parents in Newtown were made to routinely endure. Shitheads could whisper any crazy lie, sure, but they couldn’t do it, en masse, pretending to be someone else, on the op-ed pages of their local newspaper. Such standards in the realm of a communication platform are not an affront to freedom, you dumb fuckmuzzle. They never have been. They are an attack on deceit and dishonor.

              We can easily acknowledge that anonymity does protect certain vulnerable cohorts. And there are, of course, ways in which a media platform might grant anonymity for content in which such cohorts have a special need for anonymity. That’s plausible enough. But your submoronic insistence that anonymity for all, regardless of need, hasn’t been a necessary precondition to the entire diaspora of open-ended white supremacy, anti-Semitism, misogyny and organized digital disinformation — that it didn’t in fact lead to this mongrel presidency — is indefensible and empty childspeak.

              None of that is what you will or can address, it seems.

              No. Dear anonymous Lionel, who is here hiding his generational rage and name-calling under a fake moniker, let’s admit that anonymity hasn’t done shit to make your argument more nuanced or qualitative. At best, you’ve used the gift of namelessness just to utter the word cunt without having grown-ups look sideways at you and say, oh, it’s just a loud, ignorant asshole.

              And your concluding self-congratulation at having made this fundamental wrong turn at the end — you’ve done it twice now; it’s apparently a ritual for you to self-inflate in summation of any marginal, half-formed idea — makes it only more amusing. First, comes the linear, I-won’t-think-the-big-stuff insistence that this is not about making people accountable for the worst words intentionally uttered, but instead about suing people undeserving of such pettiness. Right. The Newtown parents are so fucking petty. Then the rush to ad hominem in which you opponent is characterized in such a trite way that your air-filled essence can wrestle with him. Then the solo dance of fuckmookery at the end in which you onanistically spill your seed on your own belly, telling yourself that you’ve actually had sex with something. That’s the funniest part.

              • Mr. Simon,

                You’ve got mad rhetorical game, and it is a delight to see it exercised – specifically in this exchange with Lionel Hutz. Thank you for sharing your mind. (I think you’d have made one hell of a teacher or professor.)

                I don’t see a reply from Lionel after your last comments, which makes me wonder if your argument changed his mind. It’s not likely of course, but regardless if you changed his mind, you left more than a ‘marker for the rest of the platoon’ – more a path, where perhaps markers can be missed.

                Which is to say that maybe this kind of engagement, on twitter, rather than a perfunctory insult and block, might be more beneficial. You have no small gift, and the benefits of exercising it are not lost if the troll being dismantled disagrees with you. It is instructional.

                Best wishes

                • Lionel had his say and my reply. His ensuing spurt was more of the same but with a diminishing grasp of charm. He should post it on his own site. Or on the door of a church. Or wherever.

            • I confused as to why you are bringing up Sarkessian and Quinn in your pro-anonymity argument. Do you think it is a good thing that anonymous dick bags can threaten Sarkessian and Quinn with rape and death and suffer no consequences? It kinda undermines your argument.

      • Hyperbole and ideological differences aside, I agree with you. I would add to your assessment that anybody who would encourage censorship of any kind, either at the hands of shitgibbons in corporate boardrooms or intellectually and ethically bankrupt swampdonkey in politics does so under the preconceived notion that the public are too stupid to decide for themselves what information is good, useful, or true. Censorship is the nerfing of the intellectual realm, protecting us from “harmful ideas of others”.

      • “You gibbering squib. You didn’t actually read more of what is written here than a paragraph or two or you’d realize that I am arguing AGAINST Twitter or anyone else censoring anyone’s words. You festering, ideological fuckwheeze.”

        The number of people who missed this is astounding. What’s worse…many of them likely read the whole damn thing and still got it wrong.

        In brief:

        The most effective way to *perpetuate* disinformation, lies, nonsense and abject stupidity is to censor it. The most effective way to *combat* disinformation, lies, nonsense and abject stupidity is to mercilessly ridicule it in stunning relief, without the imprimaturs of credentialed gatekeepers.

        Jack Dorsey and Silicon Valley excel at confusing the two as a matter of course.

      • You know, I think it might be time to just take up the 15 years of unheeded advice and (finally) begin S1 of The Wire. Your narration and jive-talkin’ beatdowns are off the charts. I’m impressed. #IStandwithWGA

    • For a fuckstump who employs the rhetorical device of a meritless scoundrel, the shitty smelling tl;dr stinkbomb, you sure took a fuck of a long time to get to your lack of a point.

    • Yeah, I don’t think you read it. If you’re looking for a “TL;DR” well, firstly, don’t — nuance is a thing, and it’s a thing humanity is made of. Secondly, a better approximate summary would be “I hear your call for civility in the face of white supremacy and my reply to you and its proponents is ‘fuck you.'”

  • but the cheese-eating?
    and i hope you used a good safe dewormer. some of these over the counter meds have poor efficacy and some risk. have your neighbor’s pup @ me

  • You at your best. Some of the tightest writing I’ve read in a long while. It’s about Twitter and yet it’s the best damn writing I’ve read this year. It’s funny as hell but biting enough to leave teeth marks. Not to mention desperately fucking needed.

  • I feel the need to tell you: you’ll have an easier time of it muting instead of blocking the refuse that rises to your surface. A blocked troll is delighted and creates another account to keep on; a muted troll doesn’t know he’s unheard. I say this because of the Rolling Stone interview last week where you said you felt responsible to talk back.

  • Mr. Simon,

    When they send you to the gulag that Trump is building, please know that you will be missed. No one will raise a finger to help, but in quiet ceremonies in dark rooms we will say your name. Fifty years from now the Barksdale Award will commemorate your resistance. Sadly, we declare that we are a nation of apex predators but we are sheep. We love our comfort. We have no intention of giving up our Tempurpedic mattresses, our pumpkin spiced lattes and buying things on Etsy and Wayfair. Please continue your work until they take you away. You are not howling into the wind.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Send this to a friend