Social media has found itself under fire a lot in recent years. From being blamed for disinformation to being blasted for trying to advance the progressive narrative, it seems a lot of social media sites just can’t win.
However, sites like Twitter can certainly help their own case by not being idiots.
Unfortunately, it seems like that’s just asking way too much.
Twitter suspended the account of Joe Kent, a Republican congressional candidate from Washington state for tweeting in support of gun rights. He had to delete the tweet to recover his account.
“We will never give up our gun laws,” Kent tweeted. “Gun laws are infringements of our god given rights.WA state is back at it, a week ago we caught the board of health discussing forced quarantine, now the legislature going after our 2A. No 2A + forced quarantine = Australia.”
Kent, a retired Green Beret, is running for Congress in Washington state.
“Today I was suspended for defending 2A & calling out WA state’s COVID policies including the potential of forced quarantine,” Kent tweeted after he recovered his account.
Now, whether you agree with Kent’s characterization of forced quarantines or not is kind of irrelevant. Nothing he said could be construed as anything but free speech. There’s no incitement to violence, for example, and there doesn’t appear to be anything that’s blatantly untrue.
Which Twitter leaves up all the time anyway, so long as it’s directed at the right.
But Kent was forced to delete his tweet, but no rationale was given as to why. Mentioning one’s Second Amendment rights isn’t a sin, is it? If so, I probably should have been permanently banned from Twitter a long time ago, rather than deciding it was better for my mental health to try and keep away from it.
Then again, it’s not like Twitter has ever explained their actions. They just tell you something is wrong and you’re supposed to somehow figure out what the hell you did wrong.
It’s like an authority figure of any kind–parent, boss, whatever–randomly assigning punishment without telling you why whatever you did was a problem. You can’t learn what the rules are or even if there really are rules.
However, I don’t think Kent should have deleted the tweet. I’ve appealed some of Twitter’s stuff and managed to get initial bans overturned. I can’t help but feel like he should have at least tried it.
My guess is that the initial impression of the tweet was that it was somehow advocating violence to oppose lockdowns or something.
Or, it more likely was just someone who figured they could use that rationale to try and keep a pro-gun tweet from seeing any more light of day than it already had.
This is why social media is having issues right now. It’s why Twitter is seeing competition pop up from sites like Gab, Gettr, and other sites. People are sick of this uneven enforcement of the rules, or even seemingly arbitrary rules that sprout up out of nowhere.
Kent isn’t the first, nor the last, to see a pro-Second Amendment tweet somehow get deleted.