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The Creator Of 'The Wire' Has Been Banned On Twitter—And Fans Are Livid

The Creator Of 'The Wire' Has Been Banned On Twitter—And Fans Are Livid
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

David Simon, producer of the hit HBO show The Wire, had his Twitter privileges revoked on Friday after the social media giant classified strongly-worded tweets suggesting people should suffer horrible deaths as a violation of their terms of use.

"You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people," Twitter's policy states. Two of his tweets in particular may have prompted Twitter to suspend his account.

In one, Simon told a user with whom he had been arguing over the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children form their parents that he should "die of a slow moving venereal rash that settles in your dying throat."

In another, Simon told a user to "die of boils."

Simon was a close friend of Chef Anthony Bourdain, who took his own life in France last Thursday night. On his website, Simon issued a statement addressing the ban and how he plans on using Twitter in the future, should he be permitted to do so.

"I have been banned from Twitter, and as I am at this moment indifferent to removing the tweets they insist are violative of their rules, it is unclear when I will return to that framework," Simon wrote. "So I'm hoping that if I post anything remotely meaningful about Tony, others will do me the favor of linking it beyond this digital cul de sac."

Simon also challenged Twitter's enforcement of its policy, due to the overwhelming number of vitriolic tweets that pop up every day.

"Suffice to say that while you can arrive on Twitter and disseminate the untethered and anti-human opinion that mothers who have their children kidnapped and held incommunicado from them at the American border are criminals — and both mother and child deserve that fate — or that 14-year-old boys who survive the Holocaust are guilty of betraying fellow Jews when there is no evidence of such, you CANNOT wish that the people who traffic in such vile shit should crawl off and die of a fulminant venereal rash," he wrote. "Slander is cool, brutality is acceptable. But the hyperbolic and comic hope that a just god might smite the slanderer or brutalizer with a deadly skin disorder is somehow beyond the pale."

Simon then sent a message to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey relating to the boils tweet.

"As far as I'm concerned, your standards in this instance are exactly indicative of why social media — and Twitter specifically — is complicit in transforming our national agora into a haven for lies, disinformation and the politics of totalitarian extremity," Simon wrote. "The real profanity and disease on the internet is untouched, while you police decorum."

Many Twitter users agreed with Simon's assessment and came to his defense, calling on Dorsey to reinstate Simon's Twitter privileges.

There was a consistent sentiment that Twitter seems to have no problem with hate speech, yet they banned Simon after he attempted to fight back.

One example was Roseanne Barr's racist tweet toward Valerie Jarrett, whom Barr compared to an ape. Barr has not been banned from Twitter despite the obvious hate speech that is racism.

Another person targeted President Donald Trump in his list of users who abuse Twitter, due to Trump's often fiery language, not the least of which includes threatening nuclear war with North Korea.

Yet white nationalists and conspiracy theorists have free rein.

Twitter "is literally the worst thing to ever happen to civil discourse," one user said.

CSI star Marg Helgenberger wrote that of all people, Simon should be considered an asset, since he "lacerates those who spew reprehensible hate speech, bigotry, bat sh*t crazy conspiracy theories, & destructive lies."