(Update: In the hours since this commentary posted, Twitter‘s Trenton Kennedy, with the social media company’s policy communication team, responded with this emailed statement: “This Tweet [from Sam Brown] was marked as sensitive because of the media settings of the user, not because of any action on the part of Twitter.”)
Sam Brown, an Army veteran whose face was scarred by a bomb that exploded while he served in Afghanistan in 2008, posted a photo of himself in uniform, saluting, alongside the slogan, “Freedom isn’t free,” beneath text that read, “On July 4, 2021, we’re still the best country on this planet” — and Twitter quickly flagged it as “potentially sensitive content.”
This is why Americans increasingly hate the social media companies.
They’re arrogant. They’re un-American. They’re ridiculously anti-free speech. And now, apparently, they’re anti-military.
Brown, in response to the warning, then tweeted: “Hey @Twitter, I didn’t realize my face was ‘sensitive content.’ Ironic considering I only have 3 tweets & just filed to run for U.S. Senate only hours ago.”
He also wrote, “Was it my scars or the fact that I salute the flag? Regardless, neither are going away — and neither am I.”
And neither is former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against the Big Tech leftists who control social media, either. Zing.
But seriously, what were Twitter censors thinking with this one? If it was to warn about potentially disturbing images of a face scarred by an improvised explosive device, that is, an IED, well, that’s about as insensitive to the real-life victim as can be. That’s eyebrow-raising enough on its own. But if the intent was to label pro-military, pro-America, pro-American independence messaging as “sensitive content,” based on modern-day snowflakey offenses and ongoing discussions of critical race theory, Project 1619, the Black Lives Matter movement and the left’s insistence that this country is inherently racist — well, that’s why Americans increasingly call out social media executives and their chattering censoring classes as smug, as out-of-touch with the spirit of the people and as needful of regulation. As needful of a slap-down, most especially in the form of a yank of Section 230 privileges.
“On July 4, 1776, America was born,” Brown tweeted. “On July 4, 2021, we’re still the best country on this planet.”
And Twitter responded by blocking out Brown’s photo and inserting, “The following media includes potentially sensitive content.”
Sorry, Twitter, but an American citizen who sacrifices much and suffers great injury during service to country, service to citizens, service in the name of the Constitution — an American citizen who does all of that is not “sensitive content.” He‘s the stuff of heroes whose message and media ought not be shut down but rather, shared widely. Shame on Twitter for libeling him as something else, for branding him as a warning. Shame on Twitter for treating him like dirt.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.