After being locked out of his Twitter for refusing to delete a tweet, conservative actor James Woods has announced that he’s quitting the platform until it embraces free speech.
Woods has been suspended from using his Twitter account since April 20, 2019 for posting the following tweet which paraphrased a quote from poet Ralph Waldo Emerson:
The tweet reads: “If you try to kill the King, you better not miss. #HangThemAll.”
Twitter said that the tweet violated its rules against “abusive behavior” and told Woods to delete the tweet to regain access to his account. When Woods refused to comply with Twitter’s demands, Twitter went ahead and deleted the tweet anyway.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, he said that Twitter’s decision to remove his tweet without his consent and the company’s suppression of free speech has caused him to leave the platform:
“Twitter demanded that I rescind my tweet paraphrasing Emerson. It now seems they have chosen to delete that tweet from my account without my permission. Until free speech is allowed on Twitter, I will not be permitted to participate in our democracy with my voice. As long as Jack Dorsey remains the coward he seems to be, my Twitter days are in the past.”
It’s not clear how this tweet violates Twitter’s rules around “abusive behavior” because Twitter hasn’t provided a specific example and all the examples listed on its rules page focus on targeting individuals or groups – something that this tweet doesn’t do.
Woods’ decision to leave Twitter follows a mass purge of primarily conservative accounts on the platform over the last few days with Twitter suspending multiple users in the same 24 hour period and also removing an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) parody account which didn’t break the rules Twitter cited.
This rise in censorship has resulted in leading politicians, including President Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, calling Twitter out over the last week for its discrimination against conservatives and its double standards when deciding who to ban.