Once again — and this time with some expectation — I find myself banned from Twitter by virtue of an algorithm that protects, whether by willful intent or by incandescent stupidity, all manner of slander and brutality while policing only deserved insult. On this, perhaps my final go-round with the platform, the offense is as intended: I have, in my very critique of the Twitter rules, insulted its CEO, Jack Dorsey. I told him, in slightly more creative language, to drop dead. Yes. I told him to take a long walk off a short pier, or grow like an onion with his head in the ground, or go jump out of a plane without a parachute. But in my particular case, I used the Yiddishkeit of my grandfather. I told him to die of boils.
That’s it. That’s what I did.
And I will confess I find it harder and harder to believe that Mr. Dorsey or the others engaged in regulating speech on his horror-show of a platform are unaware that their detached and dystopic vision of what is responsible speech and what is in fact crippling to our republic is not a solution. Having given us Twitter, they are in this moment, ruinous to its best purposes. They are ignoring the abuses of truth and the willful spread of disinformation by prevaricating trolls and anonymous bots and instead planting their flag against mere insult.
It is a rigged game. And a dishonorable one.
As employed, the Twitter algorithms result in the most vile, rancid and fraudulent provocations and claims — “You’re a Jew. Go back to Israel or find an oven,” “Women at the border are criminals and their children should be confiscated,” “Anthony Bourdain was murdered by the Deep State,” “Trump never called journalists enemies of the American people” — being granted a de facto equivalence with the responsible attempts to combat disinformation or outright racism or misogyny. What results is the standardized 1935 dynamic in which the most untethered fascist claims or affronts — the Big Lies, as Goebbels dubbed them — can exist on the same footing as the reply. (“No, it is false and unfair to say that Jews are parasites who drink the blood of Christian babies…”)
When the worst of what is allowed to live on Twitter can only be parried with contradiction or denial — with self-defeating threads of thoughtful, dry evidence — then it grants, to very real effect, the worst trash a premised credibility. No, the proper response is to call this shit by its true name, and the purveyors of such by their true names, and then block their accounts — neither allowing slanders and lies to stand unmolested, nor granting them the validity of serious debate. In doing so consistently, we might all work as pathfinders through the social media minefield, marking every hazard for the rest of the platoon.
But for its part, Twitter finds too much profit in the slander — almost all of it by anonymous posters. It stands ready to manicure the decorum only on its platform, while employing standards that allow all manner of fraudulent content to remain intact. At this late point, it is hard not to argue that the rhetorical framework of the entire platform — as disastrous as it is — is by design. This seems to be what you shitmuzzles want.
The supposedly offensive remark that ends me is highlighted in bold below. Hilariously, it is embedded in the original thread of complaint I posted to Twitter upon my return from their gulag a couple weeks ago. For the obvious reason that it constitutes neither harassment nor a threat, and is not even a credible example of someone seriously hoping actual harm on anyone, I’m not going to delete the tweet as demanded. The rhetoric is justified entirely. And so, I can assume, this decision ends my time on Twitter:
1) @jack @twitter, @TwitterSupport: Still waiting for a cogent explanation of why the common rhetoric of telling assholes to drop dead is prohibited on your shithole platform. But allowing said assholes to slander women who have had children kidnapped is fine by you…
2) Still waiting, @jack, for an explanation of how telling assholes who slander 14-year-old Holocaust survivors they should drop dead is impermissible, but the slander is allowed to repeat itself for months on end on Twitter.
3) Still waiting, you fuckmooks, for a human intellect to engage me directly and forthrightly about the fact that I was obliged to remove posts that I can in every way defend in order to even register a complaint or appeal of a suspension.
4) Still waiting for you to either restore those posts or provide any response to your conduct, which includes barring me from commenting on the death of friend, while some shit-troll remains on Twitter unmolested, declaring – unevidenced – that the death was a political murder.
5) I’ve given you two patient weeks, @jack, to engage in any coherent, honorable and intellectually honest way with the substance of my appeal of a 01110011101-brained conceptualization of rhetoric that honors slander and falsehood but cannot somehow abide mere insult. Nothing.
6) The fact is, your algorithms and your ethos here are just fecal. And when the history of this awful American epoch is written, the tone-deaf abdication of fundamental ethics by social media platforms will be an overlay to the disaster. You are failing us all miserably.
7) And what is evident, @jack, is that while the giants of our digital revolution are masters of the universe when it comes to the technical challenges of the information age, they are — by and large — moral midgets when it comes to the ethics and responsibilities of speech.
8) And, oh yeah, no need to hide behind your horseshit cowardice that privacy concerns prevent you from discussing or defending in detail Twitter’s actions with regard to this extant overreach by your algorithmic submoronity. I hereby relinquish any expectation of said privacy…
9) I’d be delighted to debate and discuss this abject failure by Twitter openly with any representative of this soulless platform provided an actual human can be engaged. But I have no expectations, @jack. The remote gutlessness of this one-sided dynamic is no bug, but a feature.
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.
11) Just as I lack possession of any biological agent that could cause a venereal rash to settle in the throat of a lying fuckmook who is saying that a woman who has had her child kidnapped is a criminal who deserves that fate. These are not threats, you gutless wonder…
12)…they are insults. As I am insulting you now for providing a continued platform for trolls and bots who peddle this shit, or the notion that teenaged Holocaust survivors can be libeled, or that my friend Tony Bourdain was murdered to advance the politics of the alt-right…
13) I have not encouraged anyone to violence, or doxxed anyone, or suggested any act of human intervention against anyone. Nor can you claim that I have harassed a single troll or bot; I fire one and block the motherfuckers. Hardly the stuff of harassment, @jack.
14) Yet, this is where you draw the line? Really? @jack, @twitter, @twittersupport. Please reinstate my removed tweets. And if that is too much for you beshitted hypocrites, then shut down my account and run screaming into the night because, well, dead you mooks oughta drop.
15) But let the record show, I waited a full two weeks after my suspension, and a week after my reinstatement, to give you hollow fuckstumbles a chance to engage fairly with the appeal that I forwarded to you as directed. Nothing. Nada. Not a word back. Fuck all y’all.
To conclude, I never received a single reply either online or to the provided telephone number from anyone at Twitter. This is all just useless yelling into Jack Dorsey’s shallow money trench where, to paraphrase Hunter Thompson, good men die like dogs while slanderers, liars and bots run free.
It’s been fun, you scrotes.
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I wanted to share something sincere and personal that I am hopeful may resonate with you as well my friends and contemporaries from a special place, Baltimore, MD
1.This will be a crazy long rant that may not be appropriate in this venue.
2. I promise to keep politics and negativity out of it.
Technology can be a wonderful amenity to our lives as humans. As an example, advances in medicine based on new equipment, data management, and pharmaceutical science has improved our quality of life.
However, as the velocity in which technology has impacted our culture has increased dramatically, I also think that the degradation of our civility and a loss of sense of community has been exacerbated in a short period of time.
You are a person of a similar age that shared an experience with me. A positive experience. I did not always love school or work, but I love being in Baltimore and our community. I feel though many of us are from different parts of the country, have different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, political views, etc we admire one another and care about one another as a community.
I can’t imagine having an argument and being nasty with any of my neighbors on Facebook…. or moving in next door to you never to learn your name or what makes you special and unique as a human and my neighbor.
I am concerned. I am concerned that the sensationalized media and news cycle and a very sophisticated algorithm designed to keep you engaged are bombarding our culture with conflict and outrage which is changing perception. It used to be that some people behaved differently online vs. IRL. Now I think that some perceive what is online to be IRL. I disagree. I believe technology should be a tool and amenity to our lives not a devisive mechanism breeding contempt and hatred.
Unlike us, our youth have not had an opportunity to see a time with less conflict and chaos and more stability and civility.
I was hoping that you would consider what I am saying and consider being a good example for the future generations in your community, city, state, country, and on this planet.
Conflict and negativity is by majority not created and disseminated by the media and facebook. We consume it and share it. Like it or hate it. Comment on it and argue with those who we feel have opinions that are wrong about it. The algorithm works. However, like IRL, life online will give you back what you give it. Read negative articles and FB will send you more. Like opinionated feature stories and editorials and facebook will give you more. Conversely, if you share and post positive useful things and like positive and useful things it will try to keep you engaged by showing you positive useful content.
We were educated in liberal arts in an effort to encourage us to be analytical critical thinkers, not to be manipulated by media.
Be a good neighbor. Just be a good neighbor. Whether online or IRL, I promise that if you share positivity, civility, and tolerance we will get that back. Be a leader. If you are displeased with what is going on, Be The Change. Very small positive gestures will be impactful. You are powerful.
Make eye contact and say hello to strangers. Get to know, care about, and help your neighbors and community. Set an example for our youth and behave in a way that you are proud of and as you would like others to behave. Do unto others. Be a good neighbor. B+
If we do not protect and preserve what we care about, like technology it will rapidly change. In recent years, I have observed a rapid change in our culture and society, but it hasn’t been all positive. I think we can do better.
Thank you for your time, attention, and consideration. Doing nothing is no good option.
Love to all,
James A. White
[…] 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, […]
As a punchline, HST followed with something like: “there is also a down side”. With Twitter, I’m starting to wonder if there’s an “upside”. I once thought of it as a mirror being held up to our society showing us to be the amalgam of saints, sinners, racists, dipshits and charlatans that we are. Maybe improve things just a little here and there. I think now it is a rigged and manipulated medium showing a culture that is, itself, dying of boils. As you noted, it puts Weekly World News on an even plane with the Harvard Law Review. Who can compete with Batboy believers? They are loud and addled.
Anyway, just came over to look in and say i’m missing your tweets and good luck with season 2 of The Deuce.
As a big fan of your work in almost every medium that you work in, I’m glad you were banned from Twitter and I hope this time you don’t come back. The incessant vulgar invective that spewed from your Twitter account was frankly demeaning—not merely to its targets, but to its author, a brilliant and thoughtful man capable of so much more than profanities and ugly rhetoric. Regardless of how deserving of a putdown your targets may have been, leaping gleefully into the muck to address them is productive of virtually nothing that more moderate words could not do far better. Perhaps it was cathartic for you, but even you, I think, will be better served by venting your spleen in more private fora.
I hold concern about profanity and vulgarity in rhetoric in absolute contempt. I can’t take it seriously when so much quotidian life and humanity that I have been privileged to witness embraces maledicta. My love of how people really speak, think and act puts to shame anything to be valued in mere decorum. What is truly vulgar and profane has fuck-all to do with verbiage.
Is wishing death on someone not truly vulgar and profane?
Boils is a non-lethal skin disorder and I have no control over its manifestation in any event. Get a grip on yourself.
I have to say, die of boils, is so last century, but a noble attempt.
Here’s a few you may consider, in the spirit of things. Feel free to sling back a few.
Dear David [insert the following insults]
May you die, yet not die, from the hideous agony of the entrails of a 100 day old pig dragged along a sewer pipe, infested with 1000 other diseased pigs, infesting your stinking rotten feet, where you wallow, and slowly working their magic until the feted microbes crawl into the crevases of your depraved mind and find themselves quite happy there. and watch you suffer like a stinking thing.
It gives me no pleasure to report, sir, that you are about to be infested with boils of the region extremis, where they will slowly chew their way through the remnants of your once glorious sinew, allegedly, until those little sacks of varicous veins. turns a peculiar yellow color and smells like a rotten amber, much like the pits of an egg factory during a strike (you communist pos), and finally disembark on a journey to a more pleasant destination, in the grotesque ground upon which you walk with your crooked feet..
I guess they’re ok, but I’m sure you can do better.
[…] "David Simon | Fare thee well, scrotelicks." […]
It’s too quiet without the daily smitings…I do my best, but it’s not the same. (I win many more arguments now…not sure if I should thank you or be upset.) Believe it or not, I kind of grew up as a pleaser–a majority of women still do, I think, but I’ve learned from your example.I always say please when asking someone to die screaming, though, pr at least :please don’t be an idiot, thank you. Sorry about your recent grief and not just from jack and his fucknuts.
I’m not sure if you look at comments from old posts, but I thought this article would prove particularly insightful regarding Twitter’s policies (and failure to enforce them in any defensible way):
As you can see, regulating users is actually damaging to Twitter’s finances. They just maintain the illusion of regulation to please shareholders and the market.
I already had another account established for five years and had about 500 followers on that one, so I just started using it again. Then this morning, Little Hitler tweeted:
“A vote for Democrats in November is a vote to let MS-13 run wild in our communities, to let drugs pour into our cities, and to take jobs and benefits away from hardworking Americans. Democrats want anarchy, amnesty and chaos – Republicans want LAW, ORDER and JUSTICE!”
I replied to Trump, the following:
Jill W Klausen formerly @jillwklausen [email protected]
@realDonaldTrump @Bahaullah_Lives “You want concentration camps and to demonize the human beings you’d send there because you’re a mentally deranged despot. Fuck off and kill yourself like Hitler did, you monster.”
Thirty minutes later, ? “We’ve temporarily limited some of your account features,” for “violating our rules against promoting or encouraging suicide or self-harm.”
You have GOT to be kidding me!
This is some peak assholery.
My primary account got permabanned recently because of the tweets I shared in the linked thread below. These were the sole evidence Twitter used to justify my permanent removal after NINE YEARS on their platform.
I don’t think I have to tell you that I agree with every word of this post.
Your twitter bans have been very good for my rss feedly because I’ve seen what you’ve written about Mr Bourdain and the twitter fucknuts. As a temporary resident of a western nation, I of course cannot use twitter nor facebook because everything I say would be used to try to deny me permanent residency. So I am, selfishly, glad you are banned and now forced to use your trusty blog again.
Anyways, I could read your insults all day long. I would wager that the reading of or listening to your well-crafted insults could lower the blood pressure of even the most oppressed created. You remind me why sometimes a good ‘fuck right off’ is exactly what is needed.
This blog makes people’s lives better. At least mine and I am willing to state that my life matters. Now, what will really push me to a grin that lasts until dinner is if I can figure out how to say “Die of boils” in Yiddish. Wish me luck….
Well, shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I’m not a Twitter user, but you were the only person I read on there. I’m patiently waiting for someone to ask me who I am so I can tell them, “your mother’s noon to one.” So thanks for that.
You mentioned HST, he though Nixon and his crew were amoral cretinous jagoffs from the depths of hell, I can only imagine what he’d make of a Trump presidency.
Welp… this has the feel of inevitability to it, and you’re doing and have done the right thing. Doesn’t mean I like it, though. The world needs more yous and fewer Jacks. So do the Internets. This is sad.
Please,, is there not an ALTERNATIVE
Yes there is . Several in fact . Personal contact ( god forbid you should actually talk face to face with someone ) . The telephone . Email . Cellphone , The good ole reliable aint nobody gonna censor yer ass and good luck getting a warrant to intercept it Snail Mail ( USPS ) Or better yet .. simply turning it all off .. getting your news from reliable sources rather than opinionated tin hat conspiracy theory trolls and commentators … focusing on family . neighbors and friends rather than the rantings of a bunch of virtual , ephemeral , digitally addled god knows what you think might be your ‘ friends ‘
Moi and mine ? Suffice it to say we don do no stinkin Twitter twaddle , Face(less)Book , Linkeden , Snapchat etc – et al – ad nauseam and in fact never have . And you know what ? We aint missing a damn thing
In other words Gordo . Stop being a commodity/minion for the Digital Oligarchs and try it sometime ( once you’ve conquered the addiction ) You’ll be shocked how little of what goes on in social media makes any difference what so ever in yours or the rest of the worlds lives . As in … none of it .. other than your constantly being sold a bill of goods every time you open , read and comment / reply .
“god forbid you should actually talk face to face with someone”
Yeah, actually, a lot of us don’t like face to face bullshit contact with the wide swath of assholes that populates meatspace, so kindly keep your sarcasm and smuggery under your hat.
“focusing on family . neighbors and friends”
…many of whom are actually ON those platforms, and who have basically shifted all THEIR communications and interactions to them instead of the good old-fashioned party-line telephone or hangin’ out at the back fence for a leisurely chat.
IOW, sometimes focusing on family, neighbors and friends is the WHOLE REASON we are on those damn platforms in the first place.
Thanks for fighting the good fight. You go to a better place now — a realm of your own. I hope to read you there.
Jesus, of course. Wrote that quickly from a film set.
Now, this is what I want to hear more about (the film, that is).
Sorry to see you go David. I’ve taken such great pleasure in reading and RT’ing your tweets precisely because of the creative, incivility you wield like a scalpel, expertly eviscerating all Trump cult challengers!
Hopefully, you’ll return to more regular long form writing here on davidsimon.com?
Damn, but I’m gonna miss your righteous wrath on Twitter. But thank the lord, there are still plenty of other outlets for it.
There’s an inverse relationship between my happiness and the time I spend on Twitter. Thanks for making it bearable.
You’re one of the few people that help me deal with the idiocy on Twitter. If you stay gone, I don’t blame you but you’ll be missed.
Bloody damn well brilliant ! May FaceBook , Twitter and every other so called ‘ social media ‘ platform be consumed by their own blatant greed and hypocrisy as they play to the trolls that fill their back pockets
PS; As for your two previous essays on Bourdain . Beyond brilliant
Rock On – Remain Calm ( despite all the bs ) and do please Carry On
I enjoy Twitter, but it’s always been a guilty pleasure. I’m closing my account. Thanks for everything you do, David.
P.S. is “fucknuts” a David Simon origInal, or did you get it from someone else? I plan on using it sparingly and responsibly, but I thought it would be a good homage, if that’s ok with you.
It is the people’s insult. It came from the people, it belongs to the people.
David, you silly sod…dying on the cross for this. Well a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, hope to see you surface again on some other platform if not that one.
Your insults were so beautifully stated that they should be PAYING you for content.
David, you are – and always will have been – the creator of The Wire, and will be accorded deep and deserved respect for as long as people care about the history and quality of TV drama, and dramatised journalism. Your cussed utterances on and in relation to Twitter are fully justified, but it is beneath you to engage with it any further. I salute you and invite you to seek out more deserving swine for your pearls.
You can’t expect anything approaching fairness or rationality when using someone else’s commercial platform. You are not the customer on Twitter. You are the product.
Mastodon is the social network you’re looking for.
Fuckmook…lol. I’m gonna use that one.
I have spent the last hour trying to find the right words to express the injustice of your ban from twitter. As an Irishman I say only this.
Fuck him and the horse he rode in on.
Here you are, happy fourth of July.
Just got banned myself. Might have had something to do with tweeting: “I also lend my vocal support to @jack dying of boils. I only hope that the delivery system for this viral strain of mutant STD is an entire fleet of intergalactic, 17-inch, penis-shaped aliens who dock in his nostrils, mouth, and ass.”
I wonder if he took offense?
Happy Independence From ‘Wisdom in 144 Characters’ Day!
Sorry… The good news is you can still comunícate online and people like me interested in your work or your views can get yo know what you are doing.
Do please keep posting regularly.
All the BEST.
Are you on Mastodon?
Recently abandoned Twitter, hopefully for good this time. Decided to subscribe to Mr. Simon’s blog instead, and enjoy some civilised discourse and intellectual writing. As for Twitter, farewell and good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.
“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”