Acclaimed actor James Woods reinvented himself as one of the most entertaining and staunch conservative figures through his Twitter handle since 2009. Whether covering Hillary Clinton stories better than most of the press or impressively standing against those trying to silence him, Woods never stood down — no matter the consequences.
Unfortunately, the “Videodrome” actor, who boasts nearly half a million followers, has quit Twitter over concerns of censorship.
“Since @Twitter is now in the #censorship business, I will no longer use its service for my constitutional right to free speech. #GoodbyeAll,” the actor tweeted to his followers on Nov. 18. His account has since been inactive.
The tweet came after the social media platform shut down the accounts of multiple Alt-Right users. The banning of accounts comes after Twitter put in place new counter-abuse tools that make it easier to report tweets that may target specific people or specific groups of people.
People who have been banned thus far from Twitter include reality star Tila Tequila and Richard Spencer, the head of the white supremacist National Policy Institute. “Twitter is trying to airbrush the alt-right out of existence. They’re clearly afraid. They will fail!” Spencer told The Daily Caller News Foundation about the Twitter ban.
Tequila’s account was shut down after an image surfaced of her at a D.C. event performing a Nazi salute. At the same event, Spencer delivered controversial remarks that have gotten far more press attention than they should have.
It should be noted that Woods holds no relationship to these two or others banned from Twitter, and he has not directly commented on their cases. It appears what frustrates the conservative actor more is the limiting of free speech by Twitter, as well as perhaps concern for its discretion. After all, the social media platform has run into trouble when disabling accounts before.
Breitbart Editor Milo Yiannopoulos was suspended from Twitter earlier this year after a run-in with “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones. Though Yiannopoulos sent no direct tweets to Jones that were offensive or abusive, Twitter suspended him for harassment due to the tweets of others.
Twitter’s history, mixed with its new ax-wielding banning tool, is likely the toxic mixture that convinced Woods to scram.
There is no doubt people like Tequila and Spencer have exemplified abhorrent speech. However, the press and places like Twitter are doing a dangerous thing right now. By focusing on a minority of hateful people, they seem to be twisting and infecting the motivations of those who didn’t want Hillary Clinton in office.
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