Rashida Tlaib Calls Out Twitter for Not Taking Death Threats Against the Squad Seriously

Illustration for article titled Rashida Tlaib Calls Out Twitter for Not Taking Death Threats Against the Squad Seriously
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP (Getty Images)

Would it be cool if Donald Trump fucking died? Many people are saying this.

Twitter finds that regrettable, though. After a bunch of people took to the social media platform to express how poetically sick it would be if the president who exploited the coronavirus pandemic for political gain, which then resulted in over 200,000 people and counting dying of covid-19 in the United States, died of the virus himself, a rep for the company clarified that Twitter users who do so might be forced to delete their tweets.

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“Tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm, or fatal disease against anyone are not allowed and will need to be removed,” the @twittercomms account tweeted on Friday. “This does not automatically mean suspension.”

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The announcement came as a surprise to the four progressive congresswomen of color known as the Squad, who all regularly find themselves to be the “victims of brutal social media attacks,” CNN reports, including but not limited to being told they should “hang for treason.”

“So...you mean to tell us you could‘ve [removed tweets wishing or hoping for death, serious bodily harm, or fatal disease against us] this the whole time?” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.”

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“This is messed up,” Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib chimed in. “The death threats towards us should have been taking more seriously.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts simply told the Twitter Comms account to “DM me,” while Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar opted for a gif of Retta’s Parks and Recreation character saying, “EXCUSE ME?”

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The Squad is obviously correct in pointing out the glaring double standard at play when it comes to how Twitter enforces its content guidelines, but how will this situation resolve itself?

Will Twitter take a more active role in moderating its platform so that outspoken women of color won’t face harassment from literal nazis on a daily basis, regardless of whether or not those women are public figures? Or will Twitter come clean and admit that they really only care about protect said nazis’ favorite head of state?

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Honestly, who can say! Unlike the question of whether it would be cool if Trump fucking died, which it would be, I could really see this going either way.

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

derbyduck42
DerbyDuck42

Wonder what would happen if I Tweeted “I hope Trump dies

his hair a more natural color.”

(Who dares me?)