“The FBI has been the worst enemy of Black advancement. The Jews have control over those agencies of government.” – Louis Farrakhan tweet, March 7, 2018
Conservatives say Twitter’s continued allowance of tweets such as this is damning evidence of a striking double standard at the social-media network over what it considers “hate speech.”
The social-media network verifies the account of anti-Semitic, anti-white Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan with a coveted blue checkmark while simultaneously blacklisting and censoring several high-profile conservatives. Farrakhan is known for blaming Jews for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, declaring that white people “deserve to die” and heaping praise on Adolf Hitler. As WND reported, Farrakhan has called for black Americans to “rise up” and overthrow their white oppressors.
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) March 7, 2018
Just before Farrakhan’s tweet blaming the Jews for controlling the FBI and blocking black advancement, Farrakhan had tweeted: “What have I done to make Jewish people hate me?” His tweets were accompanied by videos of his speeches to Nation of Islam supporters during which he made several anti-Semitic remarks. Farrakhan’s speech was attended by Women’s March co-president Tamika D. Mallory, who has refused to denounce his anti-Semitic remarks.
Twitter continues to allow Farrakhan’s rhetoric while taking action against other users for far less inflammatory posts.
Twitter says its blue verified badge “lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic” and “does not imply an endorsement by Twitter.” In October, Twitter Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the platform would implement new rules on “unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorify violence.”
Since then, Twitter has revoked blue checkmarks of some white supremacists and anti-Semitic figures, a move applauded by users on all sides of the political spectrum. But Farrakhan’s account remains untouched as he tweets hair-raising comments.
“Louis Farrakhan is a noted anti-Semite,” wrote Erick Erickson on his blog, The Resurgent. “He is no fan of white people or Jews, and his racist rhetoric is as awful as many of the white supremacists whose blue checkmarks Twitter has revoked. So why does Twitter treat Farrakhan differently from the other racists and anti-Semites? Are they willing to endorse his conspiracies against Jews, etc.?”
However, Twitter has also unfairly targeted pro-Israel groups and conservatives, removing checkmarks and posted content, suspending accounts or banning them from running ads, according to some high-profile users.
On Thursday, former Secret Service agent and author Dan Bongino referenced Farrakhan’s latest tweet in his complaint about the network.
“Twitter is A-okay with this garbage but our account is prohibited from running ads? Nice work there. #Hypocrites,” tweeted Bongino, who said in February that he was “deemed ‘ineligible’ to use Twitter ads and had followers purged.”
On Thursday, conservative commentator Laura Loomer accused Twitter of having a “politically charged” verification process. She claims Twitter revoked her blue-check verification because she spoke out against terrorism.
“All the proof you need that the verification and devarification process at Twitter is politically charged,” she tweeted. “I lost my verification for speaking out about terrorism. Meanwhile, Farrakhan gets to spew anti-Semitism all day with a verified account.”
In another tweet Thursday, Loomer wrote: “I am convinced that Twitter is anti-semetic. [sic] They took my twitter verification away and my bio says I’m a proud American Jew. I’m also a public figure. Meanwhile, they’ve allowed for pro-terror Louis Farrakhan to tweet anti-semitism & racism freely with a verified account.”
Jordan Schachtel, a national security correspondent and former reporter for Breitbart News, echoed Loomer’s concerns: “Sadly, it appears that Twitter execs have made the decision that Louis Farrakhan is a member of the protected class, and he will not face consequences for anything he does or says. It’s a gross double standard. That report button will do nothing for you.”
Washington Times associate opinion editor Larry O’Connor asked, “Why is Louis Farrakhan still verified by Twitter?”
On Thursday, many Twitter users called on the network to remove Farrakhan’s blue checkmark and even suspend his account:
- “Why in the hell does Farrakhan still have an account?! He is the definition of hate. Twitter is showing support [for] this anti-Semitism by giving him this platform. @TwitterSupport” – Thomas Spencer.
- “I just reported Farrakhan for antisemitism, which has no place on Twitter. Or anywhere else for that matter.” – Jesper Weigner
- “I thought @Twitter was cracking down on hate speech. Farrakhan certainly partakes in that. So why allow HIM to do so?” – Marcia
- “Disgusting that Twitter allows Farrakhan to spew hate but other free speech gets shut down.” – Todd Jones
- “Every time I see a Farrakhan tweet, I file a complaint with Twitter. He needs to be banned.” – Catherine
As WND reported this week, Twitter also went to war with a pro-Israel group. The site suspended an account belonging to Canary Mission, an organization that combats anti-Semitism.
“As the battle intensified, Canary Mission has accused Twitter of having a ‘Jewish problem’ and of targeting pro-Israel groups for suspension while allowing white supremacists such as David Duke and terror organizations such as Hamas to continue operating unfettered on the social media network,” the Free Beacon reported.
“The battle mirrors a larger debate over Twitter’s effort to crackdown on accounts that the company views as engaging in hate speech and intimidation. The crackdown on speech has seen several accounts associated with conservative media frozen, and in some cases, booted off the social network.”
Twitter reportedly suspended the Canary Mission account on Feb. 24 “without reason.” When the organization appealed the decision, the site reportedly said it had violated new policies on “hateful conduct.” Twitter re-instated the account the next day after public outcry but then suspended it again over the weekend.
A Twitter representative told the Free Beacon, “The account was temporarily locked in error and has since been restored.” But Canary Mission said it still had no access to its account.
“It is still viewable, but Twitter has prevented Canary Mission from accessing its account – unless it deletes a tweet that Twitter claims has violated its rules. Could this be the same tweet that caused the initial suspension? If so, this case has just become even more disturbing … perhaps bizarre.”
Twitter restored the account yet again after the Free Beacon article was featured on the Drudge Report Tuesday evening.
Twitter has reportedly censored pro-life speech as well.
Devin Sena, a conservative writer, said he posted a photo on the site Saturday with the caption “This is human” and the hashtag “TriggerALiberalIn4Words.”
Twitter responded by labeling the tweet “sensitive material” and issuing a warning to many users who tried to view it.
The social media site sent an email to Sena that stated: “Upon review, we have determined that the media is potentially sensitive and have labeled it accordingly. There will now be a click-through warning message over the media for users whose accounts are set so they are informed before viewing media that may be sensitive.”
The Daily Caller said Twitter warned Sena that his his tweets may even be censored in the future. The news organization also noted that Twitter banned the pro-life group Human Coalition from advertising three pro-life tweets in February.
Just last week, the issue of Twitter censorship captured the attention of Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who accused the site of blocking a campaign video she posted that detailed her own House leadership against Planned Parenthood’s alleged trafficking of baby body parts.
“That is how pro-life language was treated,” Rep. Blackburn told Proclaim 18, the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.
“I said, ‘To me, harvesting and selling baby body parts evokes a very strong negative reaction.’ … I stood my ground, and eventually Twitter relented. … When you censor free speech for one, you censor it for all. … The video went back up on Twitter. That’s the kind of stand that we have to take when tech oversteps.