Twitter hasn’t had a lot of good news in recent weeks. Especially with implications of Saudi spies had access to random accounts. While they may be reluctant to crack down on politicians’ tweets, but it still has its limits — and one political candidate may have crossed the line. Twitter banned Danielle Stella permanently from her personal and campaign accounts for “repeated violations” of Twitter’s policies.
While it didn’t elaborate on what those violations were, the Republican House candidate’s campaign suggested that her potential rival, incumbent representative Ilhan Omar, should be “tried for #treason and hanged” if she was found to have passed sensitive info to Iran through Qatar. That claim is unsupported by evidence. The posts may have violated Twitter policies forbidding the promotion of violence or threats.
The fact that Twitter banned Danielle Stella has brought denials that she was calling for violence against Omar, claiming instead that she was merely asking for the “enforcement of federal code.” Which is interesting because hanging isn’t in the “federal code”. Omar has been the frequent target of threats, many of them due to conspiracy theories, and in a response argued that “violent rhetoric” like Stella’s “inevitably” leads to threats and attacks.
Twitter declined to elaborate beyond saying that Stella had violated rules. However, with Twitter banned Daniella Stella, it could easily be interpreted as a show of force. While the social network has conspicuously avoided bans against sitting politicians with claims that it wants to preserve tweets with cultural importance, banning Stella shows that it doesn’t have infinite patience. However, Stella isn’t a sitting politician. This might dissuade others from using violent language, at least until they get into office.
Unfortunately, in the age of the troll, this will bring countless other trolls that will claim that this was Twitter’s show of force against conservative speech. However, claiming violence against someone who disagrees with you (conservative or liberal) should not be allowed under any circumstances. However, I think that leaves me in the minority.