- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The left, ever vigilant for the next crisis to use for political gain, has already mounted its anti-Second Amendment high horse in the case of Jarrod Warren Ramos and the senseless and horrific killing of five at The Capital Gazette newspaper offices in Annapolis, Maryland.

But better than gun control, let’s talk about this: Why wasn’t this guy censored by social media?

After all, Twitter bills itself as being all about a friendly and polite connection. Facebook presents its pages as a means of staying in touch with old friends.

Yet there’s this, from the Associated Press: “A man who police say [Ramos] opened fire at a Maryland newspaper office Thursday, killing five and injuring two others, had a long, acrimonious history with the newspaper, including a lawsuit and years of harassment of its journalists on Twitter.”

Years of harassment. Years.



If only conservatives could get that much leeway on social media before getting booted or censored. Just ask Diamond and Silk, a pair of black women who support President Donald Trump and have duly suffered for that political support. Facebook, for instance, just a few weeks ago told these two women, Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, their views, as presented in their revenue-generating videos, were dangerous.

“The Policy team has come to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community,” an email the pair received from Facebook read. “This decision is final and it is not appeal-able in any way.”

Twitter’s been similarly accused of stifling conservative speech.

“Twitter Is Banning Conservatives for Posting Facts,” Breitbart wrote in May.

And this, from the Daily Wire in January: “BOMBSHELL REPORT: Twitter Employees Admit To Censoring Conservatives, Banning Them For Political Reasons.”

And this, on LifeSiteNews, also in January: “‘Shadow banning’: How Twitter secretly censors conservatives without them even knowing it.”

Yet Ramos, apparently, hadn’t written anything on social media that grabbed the attention of social media censors — despite this, from Tom Marquardt, the top editor at The Capital Gazette, speaking to the AP: “I was seriously concerned he would threaten us with physical violence. I even told my wife, ‘We have to be concerned. This guy could really hurt us.’”

And where did Marquardt get those concerns about Ramos?

Partly because of a defamation lawsuit Ramos filed against the paper in 2012 that was tossed by the judge.

And partly because of Ramos‘ Twitter stalking of the newspaper’s staff.

Ramos took to Twitter,” AP wrote. “where he routinely harassed journalists from the newspaper in scores of profanity-laced tweets. One of those tweets targeted one of the journalists killed Thursday, Rob Hiaasen. In another tweet, he discussed how he’d enjoy seeing the paper stop publishing, but ‘it would be nicer’ to see two journalists ‘cease breathing.’”

What else to say? Seems as if Twitter might have stepped in and put a stop on this one.

But in fairness, perhaps censors were too busy getting rid of all the “MAGA” hat-wearers and pro-Trump people to notice a guy like Ramos.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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