I sometimes enjoy Twitter. It’s a place where I scan news, read interesting thoughts on current events, politics, philosophy, and follow other interesting accounts that include accounts that focus on some of my own hobbies and interests.
It can also provide interesting debate, sometimes a source of amusement at how people project and think irrationally. I don’t expect that my thoughts expressed there will ever have an impact on the world, and hold no fantasies about that idea.
I have been especially interested in some of the current events in Australia, and seeing the absolute brutality of some of the Australian police towards citizens and residents of Australia recently have been both sad and maddening for me. Having spent almost two decades in the occupation of “community based policing,” I have some ideas including training in regard to de-escalation, dealing with violence, as well as a strong understanding of Peel’s Principles, the principles laid down by the founder of modern policing in the western world.
So it has been with much disgust that I have watched Australian police following people who are fleeing, and using their firearms to shoot people in the back (even if it is “just” rubber bullets). Randomly firing on people of all ages, including males and females, children and their pets at a peaceful protest at a shrine. Seeing the absolutely horrific methods some of the Australian police have used to engage with and “arrest” people. Body slamming an individual to the hard floor who was merely talking with other officers and posed no immediate threat to anyone. Pepper spraying a 78 year old woman after she is laying on the ground after being put their by a police officer.
These are not police officers who have any sense of Peel’s Principles whatsoever, and in fact have been militarized against their citizens.
This morning, I viewed a video which showed an Australian police officer walk up to a person who was being restrained by other officers, and as the restrained individual was on the ground, the police officer gave a kick to the person’s head. He then turned and threatened the person videoing him with a can of pepper spray.
It’s absolutely disgusting, evil, and horrific. I retweeted the video with a comment about #AustraliaHasFallen and followed it up with a second tweet:
The tweet I wrote says:
“I’m almost tempted to wish that these Australian police officers including those at @VictoriaPolice engaging in brutal tactics will one day face a firing squad.”
Within two minutes, Twitter had suspended my account with the following “reason”:
Violating our rules against hateful conduct.
You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.
At first, I thought maybe the term “firing squad” had triggered some automated filter in Twitter. But a search of Twitter (not logged in) shows a whole raft of tweets that include the term “firing squad” (https://twitter.com/search?q=firing%20squad&src=typed_query&f=live)
In fact, there is this:
Don’t forget, Merrick Garland did prosecute someone who ended up being executed by firing squad if I recall?
— itiswhatitis💉💉 (@snarkasticme) September 24, 2021
Ever heard of a thing called 'firing squad'????
It works with 100% efficiency and zero glitches. Must implement it in Pakistan as well.
Thank me later.
— M.Ameer Muawiyah.R (@AMuawiyah) September 24, 2021
So, no – it probably isn’t some automated filter or algorithm used by Twitter. Did the @VictoriaPolice possibly report my tweet? It seems that they are trying to use tactics themselves to reduce or eliminate the publication of videos showing the brutality of some of it’s members.
But here’s the thing: There is no promotion of violence against any of the groups Twitter mentions in their policy, and in fact, zero promotion of any kind of “violence” unless you consider a punishment that is still legal in some jurisdictions today, as “violence.” You could of course, if you want to (insanely) argue that imprisonment is “violence” as well.
Personally, I vehemently disagree with any form of capital punishment. That is why I wrote in my tweet, “I’m almost tempted to wish…” because of the depths of my contempt for the Australian based police who are using these brutal methods.
Firing Squads have been used as a form of Capital Punishment after a trial. The option continues to be a legal option in some jurisdictions, including some States of the USA. You can read more about this here.
How anyone at Twitter (or anywhere else for that matter) could “read into” my tweet and project that I am promoting violence against “people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease” by my tweet is utterly ridiculous.
We are seeing a police force that has been militarized and using absolutely horrific and brutal methods towards men, women, and people of all ages including the elderly.
The idea that you might want to wish for those ugly-minded and out of control police to face a suitable punishment that might include Capital Punishment as being hate or promotion of violence is simply ridiculous.
I’m not deleting the tweet. I’ve appealed their decision and pointed out their precise policy and asked them to look again. We’ll see what happens.