David Simon, creator of HBO's The Wire, Generation Kill, Treme, The Corner, and more, was reportedly banned from posting on Twitter after wishing death on several users in politically charged tweets.
On Friday, following the death of famous celebrity chef, and Simon's close friend, Anthony Bourdain, the television writer shared a short tribute, along with news of his Twitter ban, on his personal website.
"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."
Though Simon's Twitter profile is still intact and online, he's reportedly unable to post new tweets. And while he didn't identify which specific tweets inspired the restrictions, several of his political tweets seem to violate Twitter's "Violence and physical harm" guidelines, which clearly state: "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."
On June 5, Simon told a user to "die of a slow moving venereal rash that settles in your lying throat."
You empty shitcrest, "this kind of thing" is a new policy announced proudly by Jeff Sessions and adopted only by this administration. You should die of a slow moving venereal rash that settles in your lying throat. https://t.co/WubQkkXtk1
— David Simon (@AoDespair) June 5, 2018
And on June 6 he told another user to "Die of boils."
Simon went on to challenge Twitter's rules in the post on his website, questioning why other tweets that he sees as harmful are not in violation.
"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."
"The real profanity and disease on the internet is untouched, while you police decorum."
Simon then went on to address Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, telling him to also "die of boils."
"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 users responded to the ban with outrage, calling on Dorsey to fully restore Simon's account or take the same action in all instances of rule violations.
Yesterday David Simon (@AoDespair) was banned from Twitter. Please read his post & share. When you do, tell @Jack to get his shit together & right this wrong. It’s America that’s dying of boils. Twitter is becoming one of the most pestilent. David is the medicine, not the poison. pic.twitter.com/Dye7gYmVLS
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) June 9, 2018
@jack Restore David Simon @AoDespair to Twitter immediately. To ban a renowned writer while allowing racist slanders & slurs such as those promulgated by the likes of Roseanne Barr is hypocritical & makes your so called code of conduct not worth the paper it is written on.
— Joe Guglielmelli (@BorchidJoseph) June 9, 2018
They banned David Simon from Twitter? JFC. This place is an ever-widening garbage pile. I literally got hundreds of harassing tweets over the last week and Twitter saw fit to deal with maaaaaybe five percent of them. Fucking hell. Nice job, @jack. https://t.co/8D3TgH56Aa
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) June 8, 2018
i am not a huge David Simon fan for a variety of reasons but banning him from twitter while the incels and pizzagaters and QAnon tools and white nationalists remain is just fucked up.
— Peter Krupa ? (@peterkrupa) June 8, 2018
Hey @jack: Banning @AoDespair is like banning Mark fucking Twain (he was a writer from the pre-digital days. Wired did a thing on him).
BRING DAVID SIMON BACK.
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 8, 2018
David Simon has been banned from Twitter, while the most vile of people remain.
This platform is literally the worst thing to ever happen to civil discourse. It’s ruining us.
— Arwa Gunja (@Arwa_Gunja) June 9, 2018
The brilliantly outspoken & fearless writer @AoDespair has been banned from Twitter. David Simon lacerates those who spew reprehensible hate speech, bigotry, bat shit crazy conspiracy theories, & destructive lies. Silencing Simon’s voice sends a clear message from @Jack pic.twitter.com/eW0aZdJ8rx
— Marg Helgenberger (@MargHelgen) June 9, 2018
Several people brought up the fact so many other accounts that violate Twitter harassment rules — white supremacists, and big names like Roseanne Barr, who recently tweeted an extremely racist remark that led to her show being cancelled by ABC, and Donald Trump himself, who's been accused of violating Twitter policies several times and threatening violence against North Korea— have not been restricted.
In the past, Twitter has explained its refusal to ban the U.S. president by declaring his tweets "newsworthy."
While the platform wants to work to further prevent the spread of hate speech and has recently taken steps to crack down on bots and prevent on-site abuse, users seem to feel Twitter still has some serious issues to work out.
It remains unclear if Simon's posting restrictions are temporary or if his account could be restored if he deletes the tweets in violation of the rules. Mashable reached out to Twitter for comment and will update this post once we hear back.