Since 2009, James Woods has slowly morphed from an acclaimed actor into a fierce conservative culture warrior through his active Twitter account. It was on Nov. 18 that the “Videodrome” actor said goodbye to his nearly 500,000 followers.
“Since @Twitter is now in the #censorship business, I will no longer use its service for my constitutional right to free speech. #GoodbyeAll,” tweeted the actor.
Now, Woods has returned — with a vengeance. “I have had many thoughtful words of wisdom offered by followers on the merits of silence versus activism. Silence is just not in my nature,” he tweeted Wednesday morning.
Already back to humorously and candidly taking shots at the likes of John Kerry and George Soros, Woods began his Twitter reintroduction by linking to a blog post explaining his return to the social media site, as well as the reasons for his departure.
“Anonymity, the foundation of Twitter’s business model and appeal, supports the more venal in our midst, as it has supported those cowards who would snipe from dark corners since the advent of the written word. Before the written word, malicious whisperers claimed their victims in a different but equally poisonous fashion,” wrote Woods, referring to a recent court case in which he sued a Twitter user who claimed the actor had substance abuse problems.
He continued, “I took my case to court, I won the SLAPP judgment (admittedly against lawyers who lose on such a regular basis, losing might as well be a mantra), and justice was served.”
It appears the actor’s run-in with harassing and malicious Twitter users was only the tip of the iceberg. As many predicted when he first left, Woods’ issue with the social media site has been its recent purge of accounts it deems unfit and politically offensive.
“I now find Twitter’s latest jihad against those who don’t tow [sic] the political line more dangerous by far,” wrote Woods. “Deciding that thousands of their clients’ opinions are not to Twitter’s political taste, they banged their corporate noggins together and virtually silenced those voices by terminating the ‘offending’ accounts permanently. No explanation. No appeal. No discussion. Big Brother has spoken. Eat it and goodbye.”
Since installing new tools that make is easier to report tweets and user accounts, Twitter has controversially been banning many accounts it deems “Alt-Right.” The trouble with this thinking is the site’s sketchy history with banning accounts, as well as its “pick and choose” mentality.
Over the summer, Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart editor, for tweets directed at “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones. The trouble with the action, in many opinions, was that Milo’s account was suspended not for anything directly from his account, but from other users. It’s this discretion on Twitter’s part that has people worried about a supposedly “objective” ax-wielding power to nix “offensive” accounts.
Woods predicted Twitter’s actions will land the company in hot water soon enough: “I’m not a lawyer, but a lawyer I respect has agreed it is probably a matter of time before a class action is filed against Twitter for its decision to abdicate objectivity regarding its clients’ right to free speech.”
The actor’s letter adds that Twitter protects many accounts by claiming it is an objective platform protected by free speech. Yet its new algorithm to purge accounts nixes that claim to objectivity.
Wrote Woods in his letter’s parting words, “Arrogance runs rampant at these liberal corporate websites. They think they can do whatever they want and no one will ever stand up to them. After all, they have all the power, don’t they? Sure they do. Just ask Gawker …”
James Woods, it’s good to have you back, sir.