It took a literal insurrection to get Donald Trump kicked off Twitter.
What will it take for Kari Lake? She’s emulating him in every other respect on social media. Why not that right-wing badge of honor?
Twitter banned Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Rather than run away from the former president’s irresponsible behavior, some right-wing politicians have embraced it.
It’s not just a point of pride. It’s a potential point of profit, a chance to whine erroneously about “censorship” in the next fundraising letter. Twitter hasn’t helped matters by applying punishment willy-nilly, with vague explanations for who gets suspended or banned and why.
Kari Lake, the former Fox 10 Phoenix news anchor running as a Republican for governor of Arizona, is taking advantage of Twitter’s inconsistency with a string of irresponsible tweets that have no business on Twitter or anywhere else. It’s the best of both worlds for her. She can tweet Trump-like nonsense to appease her followers.
Whether it’s telling college students to defy mask mandates on their campuses, her support of the Arizona audit of the 2020 election or even something as silly as taking a sledgehammer to TVs showing CNN and saying, “It’s time to take a sledgehammer to mainstream media’s lies and propaganda,” Lake isn’t just taking a page from the Trump Twitter playbook. She’s practically copying it word for word.
If Twitter sits on its hands, the most likely outcome, she can continue to tell college students not to wear masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. If Twitter suspends her temporarily, she can cry censorship. It’s a win-win for Lake.
It’s a loss for everyone else.
Political candidates thrive on attention, and Lake is no different. On Wednesday she tweeted that Arizona State University students shouldn’t comply with the school’s mandate that it would require face coverings in all classrooms and labs, as well as some other indoor settings.
“Just don’t do it,” she tweeted. “What are they going to do? Expel all of you?”
Perhaps with an eye toward the Territorial Cup and Tucson voters, she didn’t ignore the University of Arizona, which announced a similar mandate in defiance of the state’s prohibition on requiring masks for unvaccinated people attending class in person.
“If your university or school is forcing masks — might be times for a gap year!” she tweeted, with the hashtags #DoNotComply and #GodGivenRightsNonnegotiable.
Twitter has rules against irresponsible tweets. So enforce them
I’m no Bible scholar, but I don’t recall any scripture about the sacred right to shun health advice in ways that could harm others. There are some things about loving your neighbor as yourself, though.
And experts, including the Centers for Disease Control, have recommended masks for everyone over the age of 2 in schools, not just the unvaccinated.
Maybe Lake is trying to compete in the ongoing Republican contest to get banned from Twitter for misleading tweets (hello, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene) and then complain about cancel culture to rile up supporters.
Whatever her reasons, Twitter shouldn’t allow it.
What does it take to get suspended? The platform doesn’t allow users to flag a tweet that provides misinformation about COVID-19. Nor does it automatically label posts about the pandemic, as Instagram does.
Twitter has a litany of rules, including ones that cover COVID-19 misinformation. In fact, Greene was temporarily suspended for violating Twitter’s COVID-19 misleading information policy when she tweeted that the FDA shouldn’t give the COVID-19 vaccines full approval, and that the vaccines were “failing.”
Lake’s tweets aren’t that, exactly.
Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order in June prohibiting all public universities and community colleges in Arizona from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination or information from students about their vaccination status prior to arriving on campus. It also blocks requirements for mask usage for the unvaccinated.
The legislature then put the ban into budget bills and passed them into law. So much for the conservative notion of allowing schools and businesses to make decisions free of government intrusion.
But Lake, who basically latches onto any right-wing idea that will appeal to a conservative base and then promotes it on Twitter, is putting political expediency above the common good. That’s not exactly a novel idea. It is, however, an irresponsible one. Lake is taking full advantage of Twitter’s inaction.
And no, don’t start. Suspending Lake from Twitter, or anyone else, is not censorship, something Lake no doubt knows but has argued against. Private companies require certain standards. If you don’t comply with them, you lose the right to participate. Donald Trump is a good example.
In 2020 Lake tweeted a debunked COVID-19 video, calling it “one of the most HONEST COVID-19 briefings I’ve seen to date.” When YouTube removed the video, citing violation of its terms of service, Lake replied to her original tweet to note that it was still available on Facebook.
She joined Gab, the social media platform many Parler users have flocked to since Parler shut down. Lake also had a Parler account. The sites are popular destinations for users to espouse pretty much whatever they like — though there are some limits. Google, Amazon and Apple banned Parler from their platforms after a slew of violent content about the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Lake can espouse whatever harebrained theories she likes, and has every right to express them — as she has, having become a favorite of right-wing media. Checking her privilege to tweet potentially dangerous things to her 50,000 followers wouldn’t be silencing her. It would be Twitter acting responsibly, in the interests of those followers and whoever else wanders across such tweets.
Private companies like Twitter have every right to limit disinformation and dangerous rhetoric. It’s true that Twitter and Facebook haven’t been consistent in the application of their rules. Trump tweeted dangerous misinformation all the time before Twitter took action. But the rules are there, and for a reason.
This isn’t about safety or science. It’s about attention
Lake’s antics aren’t about safety. They aren’t about science. They certainly aren’t about freedom. Or “freedom,” more accurately. Freedom from what? Taking the bare minimum of precautions to protect other people? Why anyone would want to be freed from that is anyone’s guess.
No, this is about attention.
Lake needs it, and she needs to maintain it. She has no prior political experience. That’s not disqualifying; some voters doubtless believe it’s a plus. However you feel about it, she has no record to stand on. So she needs to use media to keep herself in the conversation. The louder the better.
Evidently it’s working.
Lake’s Twitter feed is devoid of nuance and subtlety. Much of it is brash, overstated, all take-no-prisoners posturing. It’s the kind of tweeting Trump, whom she praises often, did not pioneer but took to its logical extreme. (It’s difficult to understand how any legitimate journalist working in the last six years could look to Trump as a mentor figure, but fine. That’s another story.)
Hey @ASU students
Don’t comply with your University’s Mask Mandates. Just don’t do it. What are they going to do? Expel all of you..?
I’ve got your back. As soon as I’m your Governor, this BS ends!!
— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@KariLake) August 12, 2021
It doesn’t matter what you say, as long as it gets noticed and talked about. What has become more and more apparent over the last few years, to the detriment of democracy and public health, is that some people will believe anything. The changing nature of the pandemic and the media’s often-confusing attempts at keeping up with it don’t help — it makes it that much easier to mislead.
That’s why discourse needs to be responsible. People need to be responsible. You don’t have to agree with everything everyone says. You shouldn’t. There should be reasonable debate by reasonable people. In her tweets, Lake has dispensed with reason. Maybe it’s time, at least temporarily, for Twitter to dispense with her.
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Twitter likely to roll out ‘Reactions’ feature soon
After unveiling several features this year, micro-blogging site Twitter is reportedly readying new features, including Reactions, Downvotes and Sorted Replies for iOS users.
According to reverse engineer Nima Owji, the Reactions feature, which started being tested a couple of months ago, is set to launch soon, reports 9To5Mac.
With four new reactions, “tears of joy,” “thinking face,” “clapping hands” and “crying face,” this feature is designed to give users the ability to better show how conversations make them feel and to give users “a better understanding of how their Tweets are received”.
Citing the reverse engineer, the report also mentioned that the micro-blogging site is now able to store data about the downvotes feature, which is another indicator that this function will be released sooner rather than later.
The report also notes that the company changed the downvote position as well. It has even added a new tab explaining how downvotes work.
This month, the company has rolled out its in-app tipping feature to all Android users above the age of 18, following the iOS launch in September.
Twitter said the “Tips” feature is geared toward users looking to get a little financial support from their followers through Cash App, PayPal, Venmo and Patreon directly through the app.
Elon Musk has sold more than half of the Tesla stock that Twitter informed him.
Tesla shares have fallen 10% since Musk conducted a Tweet poll about the sale. They dropped more than 17% within the first few days following the Nov.
Twitter Investigating Bug Causing Unexpected Logouts on iOS 15
Posts on Twitter over the last several hours have shown users experiencing the bug, with some sharing frustrations that the app is requiring them to log back into Twitter upon every app launch. While some of the reports lack the specificity that the bug is happening on iOS devices, it seems likely to be the case following the acknowledgment from Twitter itself.
WHY IS TWITTER LOGGING ME OUT OF ALL OF MY ACCS???? I HAVE 8 TWITTER ACCS AND DO YOU KNOW HOW HAED TO LOG IN ALL OF THEM???????? IVE BEEN DOING IT 2 TIME ALREADY SINCE OCTOBER
— kyle (@leeknowonIyfans) November 24, 2021
I almost got a heart attack when I tried to get in my Twitter and it wanted me to log in?? I never logged out 😭😩😭
— Enny Does It All❤ (@Queen_Enny19) November 24, 2021
Users impacted by the bug are advised to ensure they’re running the latest Twitter version from the App Store and monitor the company’s support account for updates.
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