Twitter suspends account of USA Today columnist over ‘Run them down’ tweet about protesters

You could call it a poor excuse from a poor excuse.

When USA Today “Instapundit” columnist Glenn Reynolds tweeted “Run them down” with a news item about protesters blocking a roadway after the recent police shooting of a black man in North Carolina, he didn’t mean people should run them down out of spite. And certainly not out of racism.

Nope, he was offering that advice because it’s just not safe to stop in the vicinity of protesters, Reynolds says.

“I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would,” he wrote on his website. “’Run them down’ perhaps didn’t capture this fully, but it’s Twitter, where character limits stand in the way of nuance.”

Now, Reynolds’ dubious backpedaling may be entertaining, but when it came to his original tweet, Twitter was not amused. The San Francisco firm shut down his account.

According to a subsequent tweet from Reynolds, Twitter only agreed to unblock his account if he deleted the tweet. He did so, he said in a tweet — a tweet that also included a link to the original tweet. Ha, take that, Twitter! That’s what you get for trying to put a sock in the gob of a guy advocating the kind of violence that recalls the Nice terror-by-truck attack. Oh, wait, that’s right, he wasn’t advocating violence, it was self-protection he was promoting.

“Blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars and surrounding them is a threat,” he wrote on his website. “Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we’ve had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people.”

He wrote that he just couldn’t understand why Twitter would’ve suspended his account. “It’s as if, despite assurances to the contrary, Twitter is out to silence voices it disagrees with or something,” Reynolds wrote.

Maybe that’s it. Or maybe Twitter was just silencing the voice of someone calling for grievous attacks on people guilty of nothing more than blocking a public road.

Reynolds has a point that stopping your car near a large group of angry people might not be safe. But “driving on” for the sake of “self-preservation” is quite a different thing from running people down.

Photo: The Twitter building in San Francisco (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)



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  • Barbara Hanson

    I have to agree. If the road is blocked with angry people and you have loved ones in the car, they just might over turn your car, break windows and kill your children. I would run them over too to preserve my family. Actually I would avoid being out on a night when the natives were restless.

    • lmb21

      Well, what if they’re just angry people in the streets? And we are just left to your imagination to what might have happened? Come to gripes, women! Do you have any recent examples of any children being killed in a car? Good gravy. Stay under your bed!

    • lmb21

      By the way, no need to say “natives”, just call them blacks. Please call back under your rock

      • Jones

        When’s the last time white people rioted, hmmmm?

        • EllaFino

          You mean after sporting events.

  • a_random_guy

    He is absolutely right. If your car is surrounded by rioters, and you stop, they will break the windows and drag you out of your car. Read the link (it’s from an earlier riot): black rioters specifically targetting whites, and doing exactly this.

    If you have the misfortune to be caught in such a riot, you must not stop. These are not “peaceful protesters”, they are groups that travel to hot spots specifically to riot and loot. If they try to stop your car, run them down, it may be your only chance.

    • EllaFino

      Alex Jones is a conspiracy nutcase who supports Trump and using his site as a source is laughable.