Heated comments about hated blood-sucker lead to trouble.
As online communication and social media increasingly becomes a part of mainstream society, so too has the way organizations handle cyber-bullying and violent discourse. What long ago might have been seen as boisterous yet harmless chest-thumping between shut-in technophiles is now often taken as seriously as threats communicated through physical mail, television, o any other sort of media.
Twitter, for example, scans users’ tweets for hateful, potentially harmful language and takes countermeasures when it feels like the messages constitute an infringement upon someone’s personal safety. It’s a system that Japanese Twitter user @DaydreamMatcha recently ran afoul of, as the Twitter account he was using until just a few days ago, @nemuismywife, was flagged and frozen by the social networking platform after it deemed that he’d been Twitter to broadcast death threats
As is often the case when social media users get reprimanded, @DaydreamMatcha claims that Twitter’s judgment is unfair. His argument doesn’t claim his tweet was permissible because of freedom of speech or because his comments were intended to be satire, though, but because his unabashed killing intent was directed at a mosquito.
▼ Images show the original tweet (left) and the response from Twitter’s administrators.
KBYSHYT (@DaydreamMatcha) August 26, 2017
Mosquitos are an ever-present nuisance in Japan during the humid summer months. Even indoors, you often can’t entirely avoid them, and on August 20 @DaydreamMatcha, back when he could still use his @nemuismywife account, was bitten by a mosquito in several places as he was watching TV. His rage at the insect prompted him to send out a tweet which read “Bastard! Where do you get off biting my all over while I’m just trying to relax and watch TV? Die! (Actully you’re already dead),” which he paired with an attachment of the corpse of the mosquito he had swatted or sprayed in exacting his revenge.
Not long after, he received the following notice from Twitter:
Thank you for using Twitter.
Your account has been frozen because it was used to send messages containing threats. Tweets containing threats are not allowed under our terms of service.
This account cannot be reactivated.
Thank you for your understanding.
The fact that the tweet that caused all the commotion included a photo of a dead insect suggests that the @nemuismywife account was flagged not by a human administrator, but by an automated program that searches for certain words and phrases. While Twitter’s notification (which has the sound of a standardized message sent out whenever an account is suspended) says the decision is final and irreversible, hopefully the online attention the incident is getting through @DaydreamMatcha sharing his tail will be enough to convince one of the humans at Twitter to let the @nemuismywife account off the hook.