A columnist for the right-leaning National Review appeared on Fox News to complain about the latest changes to Twitter’s harassment policy. Twitter has developed these changes in response to a growing problem with harassment and threats of violence—particularly against women—and this conservative writer has a problem with that. The new rules, she believes, are intended to target conservatives, rather than who Twitter really should be going after: ISIS.
Katherine Timpf, the National Review columnist, said:
[The language of the rules] is so vague that you can really get anybody in trouble that you wanted to. This year the word ‘skinny’ was declared violent, ‘Get over it’ is violent. The word ‘freshmen’ promotes rape culture. You can pigeonhole anything under this new policy.
First of all, she clearly doesn’t get that Twitter’s new harassment rules are not intended to target ISIS. Half of all women on social media have reported being harassed, and Twitter is a hotbed for it. Last year, they acknowledged that there’s a major problem, and Twitter’s then-CEO blamed himself for it. Twitter’s new policy is meant to stop the trolls from trolling in general, and more specifically, end the harassment of women on their network.
That’s evidently not good enough for conservatives who talk on Fox News, though. They feel that updated, and tighter, harassment policies should go after ISIS, who has thousands of social media accounts.
Fox host Clayton Morris mentioned this when he whined:
ISIS had 46,000 Twitter accounts that they have received criticism for not taking down — they’ve now since done that. But how could someone else be caught up in this net of vague language?
Timpf replied with:
Right, what’s intimidation? Anything could be intimidation. Someone can say ‘Oh, this looks like intimidation’ and they flag it and then it ends up getting taken down and in the meantime you don’t have an account. So, really, that’s the whole point, is what could it be? They don’t mention ISIS at all. Seems almost like make Twitter a nice happy place-land, which it’s not.
No, it’s not, but again, snaring and removing ISIS wasn’t the point. Timpf herself said that she gets harassed every day, but she’s somehow okay, which is just internalized misogyny speaking. It’s not okay to harass people online and Timpf shouldn’t be promoting the idea that this is just the way it is, and women should get used to it.
The problem of online harassment against women is so pervasive, and so bad, that there was a panel at Netroots Nation 2015 called “Daring to Internet While Female.” It was all about how to handle rape threats and death threats online, particularly on Twitter. Women are not allowed to have opinions, let alone strong opinions, so when they express those, people retaliate in really disgusting ways, usually with rape threats and death threats.
This is especially true when women express opinions on sexism, sexual harassment and rape, but it happens with other issues too.
But that’s not all that happened. Clayton Morris also said:
People have been silenced on Twitter, and it seems to me that a lot of them are conservatives…Do you think Twitter executives are applying tougher standards to conservatives than they do to liberals?
Timpf agreed, and totally ignored this: If the left can use it that way, so can the right, and they do it, too. It happens on Facebook all the time. Conservatives, however, want to be able to say and do whatever they want, and being flagged for abusive behavior, even if it’s blatantly, obviously, evilly abusive, is “silencing their voices.”
Watch the whole entire spectacle below:
Featured image via screen capture from embedded video