Some weeks ago, Tom Cotton set the political beltway on fire by daring to suggest that President Trump do what other presidents have done many times in the past. Namely, to use military troops to quell rioting and restore order. This debate went down in the middle of multiple cities seeing widespread violence, destruction, and looting following the killing of George Floyd.
Cotton eventually wrote an op-ed for The New York Times that led to a full-on revolt by the paper’s employees. Nothing in the article he wrote was offensive or factually untrue, but it hurt a lot of feelings so that meant the knee must be bent.
Now, Cotton is sharing that Twitter also threatened to permanently ban him based on a tweet he sent earlier in the saga.
Tom Cotton says a “low-level” Twitter employee called his office several weeks ago and threatened to permanently lock his account unless he deleted a tweet that advocated using the military to quell unrest in US and used the term “no quarter.”https://t.co/gsjwQgziKh
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 17, 2020
Republican Senator Tom Cotton said a “low-level” Twitter Inc. employee called his office several weeks ago and threatened to permanently lock his account unless he deleted a tweet that advocated using the military to quell unrest throughout the U.S. and used the term “no quarter.”
“We asked for an explanation of why that was and it was not really forthcoming. They cited a policy that didn’t apply to my situation,” Cotton said in Fox News interview early Wednesday.
The tweet in question was wildly taken out of context, with some “conservatives” claiming Cotton was calling for killing people. Cotton was obviously just using it as a figure of speech, but good faith isn’t something applied much in today’s political environment.
The Twitter employee was assumed to be low-level, and Cotton apparently called their bluff.
Cotton said he ultimately won the standoff with the Twitter employee. He sent back “clear evidence” of the meaning of his Twitter post and Twitter officials said they would consider it.
“We waited them out, we called their bluff, for 30 minutes they didn’t lock down my account and within about 2 hours they got back to us and said, ‘OK, you can keep your posts up,’” Cotton said.
What’s so objectionable about this is not that Twitter would have rules and inquire about Cotton’s post. It’s that they are so hypocritical and inconsistent in how they apply such standards. If you are on the left, you can make threats and say insane things without repercussions. Those of us that use the platform have seen it happen over and over. But if a Republican utters anything that can even be interpreted as controversial, they get “reported” and Twitter comes knocking.
While they claim to be impartial, nothing about what’s on their site testifies to that being true. Twitter, like the other social media companies, is going to keep nibbling at the edges and seeing what they can get away with. Eventually, things will escalate further. It’s just a matter of time.