Why I Quit Twitter — and Left Behind 35,000 Followers
For weeks, I had been barraged on Twitter by rank anti-Semitic comments, Nazi iconography of hooknosed Jews stabbing lovely Christians in the back, the gates of Auschwitz, and trails of dollar bills leading to ovens. It all started after I linked to an essay, on my Twitter account, by Robert Kagan — one that discussed the emergence of fascism in the United States. At first, I let it flow, determined to preserve my Twitter time line as a shrine to hate and incontrovertible evidence of rising anti-Semitism. But last week, I had begun reporting the most egregiously abusive accounts to Twitter — and I’d received no response.
Then Ms. Bevacqua assembled the worst of the missives and images, forwarded them to Twitter and requested action. On Monday night, she was informed none would be forthcoming. The next morning, I logged on to see a new user calling me a “kike,” declaring that Jews should have their assets seized and hoping for a revival of the ovens.
I had enough. I proclaimed on Twitter that I would be leaving it behind — along with my 35,000 followers.
The racists, anti-Semites and broader world of so-called White Nationalists protest that any move to censor their hate would be an assault on free speech (orchestrated by Jewish overlords, they add for good measure). But that argument holds no water on Twitter, which is a private company, not a public forum — and one that has explicit rules.
But Twitter appears determined to ignore its own terms of service, which also include a blanket prohibition on pornography. I can assure you that this, too, is flouted, since “Trutherbot Spawn” sent me a lovely and explicit GIF to illustrate his opinion of my behavior.