In November 2018, Laura Loomer was banned from Twitter. As reported by NBC, Loomer’s “in the tweet in question, Loomer called Ilhan Omar ‘anti Jewish’ and said she is a member of a religion in which ‘homosexuals are oppressed’ and ‘women are abused’ and ‘forced to wear the hijab.'” In response, “Loomer insisted that she did not violate Twitter’s terms. ‘Everything I said is 100 percent true and factual. It’s not malicious, it’s not mean, it’s not hateful'”
What is it about Twitter that motivates them to scrupulously police anything critical of Islam, yet anti-Semitic and anti-Christian speech on their platform gets a pass? Ilhan Omar herself has been accused of anti-Semitic tweets, many of which she deleted. But no ban for Omar. And what precisely was it that Loomer said on Twitter that violated their terms of service?
Loomer, a master of performance journalism, gained additional notoriety in January 2019, when she recruited three Guatemalan day laborers and brought them to Nancy Pelosi’s Napa Valley mansion. Hopping the fence, and filming the entire time, Loomer challenged Pelosi to welcome these immigrants into her home. Hilarious? Yes. Apropos? Definitely. The sort of material that gets someone banned from social media platforms? No.
Now Loomer has won the Republican Party nomination to compete in the general election for Florida’s 21st congressional seat. In this heavily Democratic district, the odds are against Loomer. But as a legitimate congressional candidate for a mainstream political party, might Twitter reinstate Loomer’s account? No. In response to an inquiry from Politico, the company issued a statement as follows: “The account owner you referenced was permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules, and we do not plan to reverse that enforcement action.”
Loomer has been banned from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as other platforms like PayPal, Venmo and Uber. Expect more of this. Here is a list of Twitter bans and suspensions.
People have very limited rights with private companies. Loomer is not the only outspoken right-of-center person who has been denied not only access to communications platforms like Twitter, but also financial services like PayPal and Venmo, as well as Uber. Really? Uber? Imagine that: You’re an outspoken right-of-center commentator, so Uber drivers aren’t able to give you a ride. Where will this end?
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