COMMENTARY: Twitter double standard on censorship


PORTLAND, Ore. — Police declared a riot Monday night as a group of about 200 people gathered near the Penumbra Kelly building on East Burnside after police said people started fires and threw objects at them. The upheaval, according to KATU News, followed a vigil for Daunte Wright, the man killed by police in Minneapolis on Sunday. (photo: KATU News)

This tweet from a Pacific Northwest social justice group seems to be a call to commit crimes.

There definitely is a call to action by Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front. Their Twitter following is significant with more than 36,000 followers. This post was made just a few hours before groups gathered in both Seattle and Portland to ostensibly honor police shooting victim in Brooklyn Center, Minn., Daunte Wright.

In Portland, some people splintered off from that vigil, vandalizing buildings and damaging cars at a police traffic division building.

In Seattle, the same thing happened but with significantly less destruction, mostly limited to the 5th Avenue corridor downtown.

KATU News in Portland reported about last night's damage and destruction: There was no indication that anyone in the crowd attempted to stop the violence that led to the riot. Instead, most of those present actively participated or encouraged the criminal activity.

The PNWYLF's message involves the re-tweet of a handle with the acronym ACAB--which stands for All Cops Are Bastards--and has been repeatedly scrawled in graffiti at anti-police demonstrations and riots across the US for nearly a year after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, 2020. That encouragement of destructive behavior is at the heart of the tweet I embedded above. If the PNWYLF had omitted their final words, "since the cops will be preoccupied with the march (vigil)", then this tweet would be innocuous. But given the tenor of the PNWYLF tweet and the vast damage that occurred in Portland, let alone Seattle, last night, its clearly an encouragement to criminal activity.

That would seem to violate Twitter's terms of service.

Progressives and Democrats vocally condemned the usage of and evidence found on social media platforms to foment the January 6th U.S. Capitol attack in Washington D.C. That evidence will be critical to the trial of those charged with the mob attack at the U.S. Capitol. Those criminal cases are necessary after what transpired on January 6th, 2021. The PNWYLF appears to be doing the same thing to foment damage and destruction in Seattle and Portland. So will this group be censored or banned from Twitter?

Just 4 days ago, Twitter felt compelled to censor an African-American sportswriter and sports talk show host, Jason Whitlock, for a critical albeit accurate tweet about the co-founder of Black Lives Matter. Whitlock merely pointed out an accurate statistic related to the real-estate purchase made by BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors. Whitlock has expressed previous criticism about BLM. He didn't incite any crime. Whitlock spoke his mind on Twitter and was summarily silenced.

Meanwhile , Twitter allows a message like the one above from PNWYLF to remain posted and uncensored. Twitter is creating a blatant and dangerous double-standard with their censorship decisions. If PNWYLF only had a few hundred followers, this probably wouldn't be a big deal. Chalk it up to the lunatic fringe on social media. However, Twitter's showing its political bias by allowing posts like the one from PNWYLF to stand without redress.

Phil Vandervort is the producer of The John Carlson Show which airs 6a-9:06a on Talk Radio 570 KVI and he speaks for nobody but himself.

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