Twitter doesn’t even pretend to treat its users fairly anymore.
Yesterday (October 5) Twitter suspended the account of “Ricky Vaughn,” the pseudonym of a popular Twitter user whose real identity is unknown. (Ricky Vaughn is the name of a rookie pitcher in Major League, a popular 1989 movie. Actor Charlie Sheen played Vaughn in the film.)
Ricky Vaughn is a prominent Donald Trump supporter identified with the alt-right phenomenon. He’s so big that MIT named him the 107th most influential Twitter account on the election.
His suspension became the #1 trending topic on Twitter this week, Heavy reports.
On Wednesday, #FreeRicky rose to the top of Twitter, with thousands of users complaining about what had happened to a man named Ricky Vaughn. That isn’t his real name, but his political Twitter account has in recent months become quite popular, particularly among Donald Trump supporters.
The ban once again sparked a conversation about the extent to wish Twitter should step in and ban its users, with some arguing that CEO Jack Dorsey is far too aggressive in censoring content he does not agree with, while others argue he isn’t nearly aggressive enough in protecting users, particularly women and minorities, from harassment.
It is unclear what prompted Twitter to ban Ricky Vaughn. Twitter isn’t talking.
Vaughn supported white nationalism and posted anti-Semitic content on his Twitter. A Twitter spokesman told The Daily Caller, “We don’t comment on individual accounts but you can review our Rules.”
Twitter’s rules state accounts can’t engage in violent threats, targeted harassment, or hateful content.
I’m not sure what “white nationalism” means in this context. He could be a racist or he could just be angry at President Obama’s race-baiting. The term “white nationalism” gets thrown around pretty loosely by some journalists. I really don’t know in this case. (Funny how leftists backing the murderous Black Lives Matter movement never seem to get booted off Twitter, isn’t it?)
But it doesn’t matter. Twitter shouldn’t be banning content based solely on ideology.
Earlier this year Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos, tech editor at Breitbart and a Trump super-supporter, who tweeted under the handle @Nero. Milo co-wrote the May 2016 Foundation Watch on the awful John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation which underwrites and encourages Twitter’s blacklisting and “shadowbanning” of accounts whose users espouse ideas the leftists at Twitter and the foundation disapprove of.
Meanwhile, it’s being reported that Twitter can now be used to serve legal documents on those evading service in lawsuits.
According to U.S. News & World Report (yes — it still exists, apparently):
A Kuwaiti religious leader who allegedly raised money for jihadist rebels in Syria appears poised to become the first foreigner served a U.S. lawsuit via Twitter.
Hajjaj bin Fahd al-Ajmi has been a hard man to reach for a lawyer seeking compensation in a northern California federal court on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Assyrian Christians who own property in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, resolving the impasse, found al-Ajmi has “an active Twitter account and continues to use it,” offering the “method of service most likely to reach” him to satisfy the service of process requirement for the case to move forward.
Al-Ajmi is accused by both the U.S. government and the U.N. Security Council of funneling money to armed terrorists.
So there it is.
(image from the account of Twitter user nes709 as reproduced at