I love Twitter.
Earlier today I wrote about the joy of reading a debate, between some of the finest minds in the field of AI, held entirely via Tweet.
Now I’m watching conspiracy theorist and – as is the opinion of the author and not necessarily his employer – outright lunatic Laura Loomer, live on Twitter. She’s locked herself to the company’s offices in the most ironic protest against free-speech infringement I’ve ever seen.
Laura Loomer is so mad she was suspended from Twitter that she has handcuffed herself to the front door of the company
She just said she's willing to go to jail.
Watch live: https://t.co/6HtUgl2DEf
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 29, 2018
Loomer, a member of Project Veritas – they’re the awful folks who came up with the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and more recently spread the conspiracy theory that bombs being sent to Democrats were a false flag– is sad.
Why is she sad?
Because Twitter took away her account. “If they can do this to me, they can do this to you,” she tells onlookers during a Periscope stream. She continues, “You don’t have to be a conservative. You can just be sharing facts. And if someone doesn’t like it, they can just take away your account.”
She was, reportedly, banned for accusing Minnesota’s Democratic Representative-elect Ilhan Omar of supporting “Sharia Law” and being “anti-Jewish,” presumably because she’s a Muslim.
Witnesses observed her comparing her situation, being locked out of her Twitter account, to that of Sharia law, as well.
She said this numerous times earlier, during the stream, with a bullhorn and some over-sized tweet signs, while handcuffed to the front doors of a privately-owned building.
Only in America can you stand on a street corner with a megaphone complaining about how you don’t have freedom of speech.https://t.co/y1Pi9LTp5x
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) November 29, 2018
For her part, Loomer claims she’s standing in solidarity with other “conservatives” who’ve been banned, such as Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos – birds of a feather.
I’m mildly amused by the situation, but I’m also impressed. Laura Loomer is attempting to exercise her first amendment right to protest. And that’s exactly what many veterans – myself among them – joined the military to defend.
Unfortunately what she’s doing isn’t so much a protest as it is trespassing, making it difficult for US citizens to get to work and do their jobs, and generally just being a public nuisance. It’d be different if she were on public property, where her right to free speech is guaranteed by our sweet, sweet Constitution and the brave people who defend it.
No, I’m impressed by Twitter, a company that’s come under fire from every side lately. Today, it’s shown it has some backbone and some ethical fortitude. As of the time of this post it appears Twitter has not restored Loomer’s account.
But, the company has told the NYPD that it will not press charges and Loomer is welcome to stay and protest.
lol police inform Laura Loomer that Twitter isn't pressing charges and she can stay chained to their door as long as she wants
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) November 29, 2018
That’s how you support the first amendment, well done @Jack.
H/t: The Verge
Update 17:58 CST 11/29: She’s reportedly been freed by NYPD after losing the keys to her handcuffs and deciding she’d had enough. We’ll update further if that report turns out to be false, but it appears as though she’s merely being questioned by police at this time.
Laura Loomer has been cut free. Police are questioning her but she has NOT been arrested, per an NYPD spokesman. https://t.co/eLM02KIlE5
— Noah Manskar (@noahmanskar) November 29, 2018