A popular Twitter account among users supportive of the “resistance” effort against President Donald Trump and his policies has been suspended from Twitter for a week.
User @realTuckFrumper, who goes by the name #TuckFrump in his bio page, received a suspension from Twitter after he quoted a tweet of another user who expressed happiness at the untimely death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
How — and why — was #TuckFrump suspended?
The user, @JazzyMcphearson, had commented on another popular account’s timeline about an alleged rape involving Bryant years ago, for which the star was never prosecuted over after the accused drop their case.
In response to the distasteful way in which @JazzyMcphearson brought about his qualms of Bryant, TuckFrump, or “Tuck” quoted his tweet and, as is his nature, responded in a cheeky, comical way.
“This guy needs a good spanking, my friends!” Tuck wrote.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The individual known as “TuckFrump” has contributed to HillReporter.com in the past, in two op-ed columns from October of last year.
According to Twitter, Tuck’s take was deemed “targeted harassment” toward the user he had quoted. The social media company said in a message to Tuck that his tweet may have been viewed as having included “wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.”
Tuck was ordered to take down the tweet, which he did. He then was suspended from the site for seven days. Tuck appealed the decision, which Twitter denied.
In a statement to HillReporter.com, Tuck explained that he didn’t think the ruling from Twitter was fair, citing a policy from the social media platform that recognizes that, if a statement is clearly made in a joking manner, the company doesn’t always hold such strict standards.
“Twitter has a clear policy on hyperbolic language, and clearly what I did was nothing more than that, when taken in context,” Tuck said.
Tuck also expressed dismay at Twitter’s policy of tolerating President Donald Trump’s words online:
“The president has made more than one threat of violence, yet Twitter still does nothing,” Tuck opined. He also encouraged users to use the #ReportTrumpNow hashtag to show the company that Trump deserved to be held to stricter standards.
Presidential threats of violence from Trump
Indeed, many on Twitter took offense to recent comments made by Trump directed toward Senate impeachment trial House manager Rep. Adam Schiff.
“Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!” Trump wrote on Sunday morning.
Many read into Trump’s words as being akin to a veiled threat against the lawmaker. Jon Cooper, chairman of The Democratic Coalition, reminded users on Twitter that Trump’s words could also inspire some of the president’s more ardent supporters to act in an extreme manner.
Considering that dozens of far-right fanatics inspired by Donald Trump’s words have committed terrorist attacks — as well as other targeted killings and violence — I reported @realDonaldTrump to Twitter for both targeted harassment & threatening harm. You should report him, too! pic.twitter.com/HILZtIrnRM
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) January 26, 2020
“Considering that dozens of far-right fanatics inspired by Donald Trump’s words have committed terrorist attacks — as well as other targeted killings and violence — I reported @realDonaldTrump to Twitter for both targeted harassment & threatening harm,” Cooper said. “You should report him, too!”
Twitter’s standards on hyperbole, world leaders’ tweets
Twitter indeed has standards relaxing the rules for instances where humor is being used in a person’s tweets, where it’s clear that humor, and not actual violence, was the intent.
“We recognize that some people use violent language as part of hyperbolic speech or between friends, so we also allow some forms of violent speech where it’s clear that there is no abusive or violent intent,” the company states on its policy pages. It uses an example of someone saying “I’ll kill you for sending me that plot spoiler!” to show that it won’t punish an individual for expressing that kind of sentiment.
Twitter’s standards for world leaders who engage in social media usage with violent posts also appear to be inconsistent. Twitter determined in October that “violent” posts from such leaders would be allowed to stay up, for historical record, but that other users wouldn’t be allowed to share them, The Guardian reported. Yet, Trump’s tweet toward Schiff on Sunday was not given that treatment.
Tuck, who uses humor in a number of his tweets throughout his daily Twitter routine, doesn’t believe his choice of words (writing “spanking” in his tweet) should be treated as a harmful post.
“I hope I don’t have to sit out the whole seven days, but Twitter really hasn’t given me a choice. I just hope that some of the people who know me out there will speak up, and tell them this is wrong,” he said.