David Simon, the politically outspoken creator of HBO’s The Wire, says he’s been banned from Twitter following a tweet that wished death upon a Trump supporter — and then followed up with some strong words slamming Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey.
While Simon didn’t say exactly which tweets got him blocked, he strongly hints the primary offender is one from June 5, in which he replied to a user who said Trump’s immigration policy (“this kind of thing”) was not too different from previous administration’s policies. Simon had been vehemently and slamming Trump’s policies, and replied: “You empty s—crest. ‘This kind of thing’ is a new policy announced proudly by Jeff Sessions and adopted only by this administration. You should die of a slow moving veneral rash that settles in your lying throat.”
Simon defended the tweet by turning his sites on Twitter chief Dorsey: “Your standards in this instance are exactly indicative of why social media — and Twitter specifically — is complicit in transforming our national agora into a haven for lies, disinformation and the politics of totalitarian extremity. The real profanity and disease on the internet is untouched, while you police decorum.”
Simon’s last tweet was on Thursday, and his account is still active. Twitter would not confirm Simon’s ban or the reason for it, but did send this statement to EW when asked about the writer-producer: “We cannot comment on specific accounts for privacy and security reasons, but it’s against the Twitter Rules to engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.”
Here’s what Simon said in full:
“I am trying to find words for my friend. I will post something here later if they ever come. For now, just know how much Tony Bourdain — for all his wit and sharp edges, for all his grandiose and larger-than-life persona — was a genuinely good man and careful colleague. And that doesn’t begin to express how empty the world feels this morning.
Also, I have been banned from Twitter, and as I am at this moment indifferent to removing the tweets they insist are violative of their rules, it is unclear when I will return to that framework. So I’m hoping that if I post anything remotely meaningful about Tony, others will do me the favor of linking it beyond this digital cul de sac.
Suffice to say that while you can arrive on Twitter and disseminate the untethered and anti-human opinion that mothers who have their children kidnapped and held incommunicado from them at the American border are criminals — and both mother and child deserve that fate — or that 14-year-old boys who survive the Holocaust are guilty of betraying fellow Jews when there is no evidence of such, you CANNOT wish that these people should go away and die of a fulminant venereal rash. Slander is cool, brutality is acceptable. But the hyperbolic and comic hope that a just god might smite the slanderer or brutalizer with a deadly skin disorder is somehow beyond the pale.
Die of boils, @jack.
Seriously. As far as I’m concerned, your standards in this instance are exactly indicative of why social media — and Twitter specifically — is complicit in transforming our national agora into a haven for lies, disinformation and the politics of totalitarian extremity. The real profanity and disease on the internet is untouched, while you police decorum.”