A Republican woman, Danielle Stella — who is hoping to challenge Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) (shown above) for her House seat next year in 2020 — has been permanently suspended from Twitter for “repeated violations” of the platform’s rules after she shared serious criticism of Omar there.
The actions appear to suggest a double standard against those on the Right — yet slavish support for, or at least a more lenient indulgence of, those on the Left.
Stella — who announced this summer that she wants Omar’s congressional seat — wrote on her Twitter campaign account this week, “If it is proven @IlhanMN passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged,” as both The Washington Times and The Washington Examiner reported earlier this week.
Stella’s campaign account later added a link to a blog post — as Fox News pointed out — showing a crude stick figure that appeared to be hanging from the gallows.
As Stella shared on Facebook on Friday, “To clarify, I said, ‘If it is proven ____ passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged. Treason is the only thing mentioned in the Constitution for the death penalty, punishable by hanging or firing squad,” she added. “I believe all involved should be thoroughly investigated. I did not threaten anyone.”
The Washington Examiner had reported earlier that said Canadian businessman Alan Bender claimed Qatari officials told him that Omar was a Qatari intelligence asset and had shared U.S. intelligence with Iran. That claim by Bender has not been publicly substantiated.
Omar has also denied the claims.
Stella also said that people were “making this [incident] into something it’s not. You are making it about race, about religion, about anything but the truth.”
“My suspension for advocating for the enforcement of federal code proves Twitter will always side with and fight to protect terrorists, traitors, pedophiles and rapists,” she told The Examiner. She said she’s received death threats over her comments, too.
Omar was quick to respond in a tweet on Friday with the expected indirect shot at President Donald Trump — who had nothing at all to do with Stella’s tweet.
This is the natural result of a political environment where anti-Muslim dogwhistles and dehumanization are normalized by an entire political party and its media outlets.
Violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats, and ultimately, violent acts. https://t.co/tn6SRFYGmp
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 29, 2019
It certainly is true that under federal law, anyone found guilty of treason can receive the death penalty.
However, Stella’s formulation of “tried and hanged” leaves out a guilty verdict in a trial.
So Twitter cannot be blamed for ignoring her later clarification after the fact.
The information she uses as a basis for her charge is hearsay at best. It is notable that at least thus far, no GOP elected official has come out in support of Stella on this issue — as Dems certainly did for each other in the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Given the factors of credibility of information plus due process here, a fair case could be made that Stella’s tweet was over the top and that a suspension of her Twitter account may have been in order.
But every day, in instances too numerous to count, Twitter casually allows tweets by many other individuals that claim the president of the United States committed treason, that he “puts babies in cages,” or that the GOP is helping Russian President Vladimir Putin overthrow the U.S. government.
Here is one such tweet.
I saw what is happening in our country including trump's treason, babies in cages & the GOP helping Putin to overthrow our government in childhood dreams. I wrote about this. It will happen unless we dismantle the entire GOP, the Koch Empire's hold on politics & destroy Putin pic.twitter.com/DTkwszGEcv
— Marie Gilbert (@gilbmarie) November 23, 2019
The platform also allows much worse.
One tweet — which contains images too graphic to show here — outrageously claims that President Trump “kills brown people.”
Yet another tweet suggests that Trump “would definitely kill Jesus” Christ.
But those accounts and tweets are still up and available as of this article’s publication time.
When GOP Danielle Stella’s tweet was found not to be based in fact, after other violations as well, Twitter closed her account for violations of its policies.
When those on the Left seem to violate the same policies, though, it’s business as usual — or so it seems.
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