HomeArticleTwitter Shut Down My Account For “Abusing” John McCain

Twitter Shut Down My Account For “Abusing” John McCain

UPDATE: It looks like the suspension was lifted just after I hit publish on this. A lot of my fans and even a few haters made a big noise in objection to Twitter’s actions, and it worked! As we discussed recently, the plutocratic manipulators work so hard to manufacture our consent because they need that consent, and they can’t act if we don’t give it to them. I’ve left the article as-is below for posterity, and so people can see my experience with #Resistance Twitter’s attempt to silence dissident speech. Never stop fighting.

~

I’ve received an email from Twitter which reads as follows:

Hello Caitlin Johnstone,

 

Your account, caitoz has been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules.

Specifically, for:

 

Violating our rules against abusive behavior.
You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.

 

Note that if you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts. If you wish to appeal this suspension, please contact our support team.

They’re calling it a “suspension”, but nobody can view my page and I can’t perform any activities on it, and it appears to be permanent unless I succeed in going through the anonymous and unaccountable appeals process. Now when people try to access my account, they get a screen that looks something like this depending on what device they’re using:

I haven’t abused anybody, and I’ve been observing extreme caution with my language for the last few days ever since I made a political tweet about John McCain which drew the wrath of #Resistance Twitter. The offending tweet reads as follows:

“Friendly public service reminder that John McCain has devoted his entire political career to slaughtering as many human beings as possible at every opportunity, and the world will be improved when he finally dies.”

I posted this four days ago when John McCain was trending because Donald Trump didn’t pay him any respect when signing the bloated NDAA military spending bill that was (appropriately) named after him. My reason for doing so was simple: the establishment pundits responsible for manipulating the way Americans think and vote have been aggressively promulgating the narrative that McCain is a hero and a saint, and I think it’s very important to disrupt that narrative. If we allow them to canonize this warmongering psychopath, then they’ll have normalized and sanctified his extensive record of pushing for psychopathic acts of military violence throughout his entire political career. They’ll have helped manufacture support for war and the military-industrial complex war whores who facilitate it. Saying we’ll be glad when he’s gone is a loud and unequivocal way of rejecting that establishment-imposed narrative.

Interestingly, I’ve been saying this exact same thing repeatedly for over a year. An article I wrote about McCain in July of last year titled “Please Just Fucking Die Already” received a far more widespread backlash than this one, with articles published about it by outlets like CNNUSA Today and the Washington Post. Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar talked about me on The View. I was never once suspended or warned by any social media outlet or blogging platform at that time; it was treated as the political speech about a public figure that it clearly and undeniably is. The only thing that has changed since that time is the climate of internet censorship.

So anyway, I tweeted the thing about McCain, it was getting some angry backlash, and I received an email that a different tweet I’d made about McCain had been reported, reviewed and found not to be in violation.

Then a popular #Resist account condemned my post and was retweeted by Caroline Orr, a popular pundit with hundreds of thousands of followers who works with the David Brock propaganda firm Shareblue. Instantly, my Twitter notifications began filling up with comments like these:

I also got a bunch of notifications like these from bot accounts as soon as Orr shared the response to my tweet:

And I’ve received furious, vitriolic notifications from Clintonite Twitter accounts ever since, up until my account was shut down.

So it looks like anyone who voices a political opinion that is deemed sufficiently offensive to Centrist Twitter can be purged in this way now. If you can get enough people reporting the same thing over and over again for a few days, one of those reports will eventually land in the lap of an admin whose personal bias allows them to squint just right at political speech about a public figure and see a violation of Twitter policy.

I’ve been writing about the dangers of internet censorship so much lately because this is becoming a major problem. In a corporatist system of government, wherein government power and corporate power are not separated in any meaningful way, corporate censorship is state censorship. The plutocratic class which effectively owns the US government also owns all the mass media, allowing that plutocratic class to efficiently manipulate the way Americans think and vote so as to manufacture public consent for the establishment status quo upon which those plutocratic empires are built.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. The only cracks in plutocratic narrative control have come in the form of alternative media outlets and social media, the access to which is unfortunately guarded by plutocrats with well-documented ties to secretive and unaccountable government agencies. The plutocratic alliance has successfully funneled online audiences into platforms that can be easily regulated, and now they are censoring those platforms.

An ungoverned media landscape would cripple the consent-manufacturing propaganda machine of the ruling oligarchs, making us impossible to manipulate and control. This would give us our only real shot at ending the wars that the John McCains of the world have devoted their lives to facilitating, our only shot at creating true and authentic democracy, and our only shot at turning the world around from the omnicidal, ecocidal trajectory that these sociopathic oligarchs have us on.

They can’t allow that. Their rule depends upon it, and, historically, rulers do not give up power willingly.

The longer we wait to fight this, the more marginalized our voices become, and the smaller our window to escape the cage they are building around us shrinks. Make your voices heard and refuse to consent to allowing a few Silicon Valley plutocrats to manipulate public discourse in their own interest. The time to act is now.

UPDATE 2: Shortly after restoring my account, Twitter locked me out from using it for twelve hours with the notification below. This happened immediately after I had tagged Twitter in a post saying that their restoration was a tacit admission of wrongful suspension, which means smaller accounts without a large audience to advocate for them are surely silenced on a regular basis. So good way to cover your asses I guess, guys.

______________________

Internet censorship is closing in, so the best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to get on the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying my book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

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Latest comments

  • I wish I could put my thoughts into words as Caitlin does. Mine is a busy brain that’s never boring with thinking much like Catlins but can be tiring at times.
    I do like Steven D, a former lawyer, and have read many of his essays on caucus99percent and listened to his Youtube videos. Much respect for him as he is ill as is his wife.

    Here’s his latest regarding John McCain. He has many ‘f u c k s ‘ to give. 🙂

    John “I hate Gooks” McCain is no Saint, So Stop Trying To Make Him One

  • Caitlin Johnstone – you need to watch this documentary.

  • Common Dreams article today shows it is………………………………Mueller good, What about Brennen, and free Assange and Snowden, and others? Eat me, or We will fuch u. The Drone Tuesday Kill Lists are good? Enjoy! Move on get the f out of my way! BDS Rachel groupies.

    • Time Out…

  • JFC… you STILL don’t know what “censorship” actually means. It’s a PRIVATE PLATFORM. You don’t like their rules or how they play? Don’t post there. You’re free to babble somewhere else – obviously.

    You keep conflating the issue, which is what is making your “journalism” so poor these days.

    You AGREED to “their rules” when you signed up, and then agreed again, when you were forced to read their modified terms of service. THAT is what is at issue here – not all your ranting on about “censorship”.

    It’s also irrelevant that a popular platform capriciously “censors” for the same reasons. They can do what they want. Doesn’t matter if it’s “fair”, “just” or just plain wrong – their house, their rules.

    Moreover – what did you imagine would happen when you write the things that you write? Accolades? Awards? Might you be assuming all of the wrong things? Like if you go into someone’s house and start hurling insults, that they might just toss you out? It’s pathetic that you come here and waste yet another column on “censorship” when in fact, you did this all to yourself, having the wrong assumptions and the wrong expectations all along. It really makes you look pathetic.

    You’re really out on a creaking limb these days – and I’m wondering why.

  • So wrong Caitlin.

    BTW:
    #IsHeDeadYet

  • Dear Caitlin,

    I’m with you on this one. McCain was a bane, another blot on the human stain. His passing was as a fart that should have gone down to hell and not up to heaven, as if either existed.

    Keep up the good work!

    James V. Murray,
    San Jose, California

  • The Deep State is squeezing out free speech on the internet. Fewer and fewer blogs allow comments. More people being banned. More web sites being blocked.

  • Really how bad is John McCain?
    Where would he rank – Stalin, Mouselini, Edi Amin, Hillary?
    I wonder if he is on respirator – sounds like Darth Vader.
    Dont give in to the Dark Side Caitlin!

    • Sadly, it has nothing to do with McCain and everything to do with silencing voices. We can hate what people say, but we should defend their right to say it.

  • Caitlin you were wrong. Best to admit it and be done. Anger management.
    First of all John is probably not such a bad guy…so maybe he lent support to a series of undeclared wars on false pretenses resulting in death suffering and homelessness of many hundreds of thousands (dare I say millions) of inocent people but it was for thier own good to spare them from from tyrants and terrorists. So maybe it was just a mistake, a misunderstanding.
    So please appologize to John – you are sorry that you expressed outloud your best wishes for him. Maybe write a eulogy for him pre-humously.
    The things we will miss about John McCain, US Senator, hero, husband, dad.

  • Hello Caitlin,
    I have never used “Twitter”. The limited letter concept is foreign to unrolling a sound and complete argument. In the few twitter comments I have run across quoted from other articles the “tweets” have always given me the impression of a oneupmanship contest rather than meaningful discourse. That being said there are other twitter like platforms out there. It is time to use them and deny twitter the monopoly on discourse that they want to achieve. Promoting alternatives is the way to lessen their power. Time to give twitter the bird.
    D

  • It is obvious to me, especially in the Trump era, that attacking a high ranking politician is not the same as attacking or “abusing” a high school student, which is what Twitter is saying, especially during the Trump era when everyone is looking for a better insult, and especially pertaining to a mass murderer like McCain. Isn’t it ironic that it is mostly Dems from the Clinton wing that are protecting him now. Guess they have a common plan. What to do? I would recommend the following.
    1) Double down. Itemize McCain’s policies over the years and how many the US has murdered / tortured dismembered in the wars he has approved. Actually, people are immune to body counts. Probably best to list body parts blown off of sentient beings.
    1b) Double down on the wars. Recent wars are not making countries better Democracies – they are gutting and robbing (follow the gold) countries including Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, etc.
    2) Use anti-trust laws to break up and de-regulate the Main Street Media.
    3) Nationalize and make Facebook, Twitter, and Google national UTILITIES. These companies would not exist if the American public did not pay for the development of electronics and computers with the space program and developing the internet network. It is law that companies are supposed to pay for what they take from you which is information. What are “cookies” worth? How about demanding payment for the information we give them? How about $1 for every cookie?
    And thank you for your hard work on our behalf.

  • Ms. Johnstone – I turn to your writing to know that I am not alone in my horror at what has happened to our country, our world. You are one of the great minds of your generation, and I hope that we never lose your voice. There are very few voices left we can turn to, since robert Parry passed on. Another is Lee camp at RT. This morning he posted this short video which is worthy of your attention.
    All dissenting voices being crushed by facebook and others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPKVcDn36bQ&feature=push-u-sub&attr_tag=tEbLk1OCA5edvYuH%3A6

  • Please let us know when Twitter reinstates you. I’ll not use Twitter for a while.

  • The crystalline sound of truth and voice of reason is not always free of pejoratives but is always a threat to the worst among us, those who now control us. First they came for alleged bigots, now they´re here for those they really object to.

  • Ms Johnstone seems a little peeved at Twitter’s censorship and rightly so, and yet not so long ago a Mary Vogt, who claims to be a “moderator” for this site, threatened to “boot” a commentator who said Ms Johnstone’s articles might be better without swear words. It seems censorship on the internet is not confined to Twitter.

    • It appears as though you’re complaining about something that never came about (the comment wasn’t deleted) and, unless you want to also complain about every site on the internet that moderates comments (for good reason), then your complaint comes off as ingenuous. There is a reason comments need to be moderated: Death threats, spamming, viruses, malware. It’s sort of amazing that of all the censorship one could complain about after reading Caity’s exhaustive article on this, that’s all you could come up with.

      • Yup. Apples and oranges. YouTube and twitter are the public squares of today. They should not be censored according to corporate dictates but rather by the laws protecting free speech. This on the other hand is a comment section below and connected to a copyrighted piece of work. Moderate here but turn YouTube and Twitter and the like int public utilities. That is what they are after all. Or maybe some other solution but behind closed doors arbitrary deletion of years of somebody’s work and a permanent banning of communication violates every single principal the country supposedly stands for. Which it doesn’t really anyway so maybe it’s all cool. Hmm.

  • The internet was developed by the US military as a decentralized information system designed to survive a nuclear attack. Later developed as a communications system primarily for higher educational institutions, it subsequently drew the attentions of “business” as a wonderful mode of advertising dissemination. While many of its founders were libertarian sorts believing “information wants to be free” and for a while allowing rather open content (porn, conspiracy theorists, cats, more porn, violence porn, etc etc) it essentially caught the corporate-governmental authorities off-guard. For a while. Now they are wise to it, and its potential for damage to their interests (dominating the ideological education of the broad public) and they are clumsily taking defensive measures.

    When I began using the net in the early 90’s it was clear to me what it was and that is was merely a matter of time before the heavy hand of its corporate/governmental owners would come down. I am surprised it has been so long. I await deletion of some of my blogs, etc.

  • any lefties out there who are tech-savy
    enough to create a non-profit version of Tw & Fb
    no tracking, no censoring, etc.

    • It’s not tech-savvy people who need to design a new social media platform. It’s users and user experience designers. So far, it’s always programmers designing them, and they are clunky and non-user friendly and that’s why none of them are succeeding. If I had the capital and the design team AND programmers I could design something that would put FB to shame. Not bragging, it’s just that bad. But it would take that capital, and apparently no one but the rich creeps who want to censor us all have that kind of scratch. And when attempts to build one are crowd-funded…. well, you get a piecemeal clunker that everyone’s opinion has to go into building… which always ends in disaster. I’ve been part of countless efforts in that regard.

      • Those suggesting another platform than say Facebook or Twitter, another software and all neglect a more pertinent matter: the net is not metaphysical, it is run on hardware, massive factory scale hardware and someone owns this, and it is costly. The corporations and the govt (kinda interchangeable) own it. They can turn it on or off as they like, though unlikely they would close it as it would be massively disruptive to business. But they can easily kick out whatever outliers they want. Private businesses. Can do what they want and if you read the endless fine print, they cover their asses on all that.

        • I do understand that, and that’s yet another wrench in the business of trying to come up with alternatives. Necessity is the mother of invention, though, so I assume that someone is going to figure out something. I hope.

  • McCain only bombed Vietnam, civilians mostly I presume. He bought into the propaganda at the time. No thinking required. Most people do the same. Now we bomb hither and yon. Americans, for the most part, switch channels, preferring not to become informed. We are special people…and killers.

    • That’s only the tip of the iceberg for McCain. He’s been a war broker since then, paid so much for his efforts that the man doesn’t know how many homes he actually owns.

  • Well, I have never had nor wanted a Twitter account. That said, anyone should be free to say whatever they want, People can block you, if they don’t like it. Seriously, can anything you have said even come close to being as offensive of some of tweets by Donald. T. Rump. He is thoroughly disgusting, a narcissist, a liar and a law breaker. But Twitter apparently deems his nonsense acceptable.
    Well, the way this is headed just convinces me, more and more, that there will be no way to turn things around without a second U.S. armed freedom war, as justified by our Declaration of Independence.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ”

    I may be too old to actually fight, but I’m not so old that I cannot see where we are headed, if we do not intervene.

    • well said!

  • Thank you for being an unapologetic voice of unvarnished truth. That McCain is a sociopath who is bereft of conscience and the capacity for genuine human connection is evinced though his contempt for the multitudes who live in places he has placed on the list as targets for military action. He is one among many whose years military and public service in high profile positions have not added an ounce of wisdom, insight or remorse. He is recognizable simply as a face and a voice which project no discernible hint of inner depth or moral struggle with his actions. May his departure be more peaceful than the violent landscapes his policies have sowed.

    • McCain is not the point, silencing our voices is. We have to fight with all our might to defend free speech or we are doomed as a people and civilization. Forget about McCain. Twitter just used what she wrote as an excuse to get her suspended. We NEED to speak freely to survive!

      • I do not disagree with your point but there’s no need to preach to people within the choir.

  • Dearest Caity:

    As all of your posts do, this one tells it in a way that make many get too nervous reading. It asks them to get their head out of the clouds and take action (Chris Hedges style) before it’s too late. And, as students who don’t like it when I ruffle their indoctrinated ideas run to my Department Chair to tattle on me, it appears those who can’t adequately spar with you simply “reported” you. They are called chicken shit, and they are spineless.

  • NO! THIS is exactly why i pre-emptively signed up for your site…i am sure there are many more like me!!
    I don’t agree with you on everything BUT i can see that you clearly are fighting the good and honorable fight!
    KEEP WRITING!!!!

  • Truth is Good ! TY …

  • I support you 100%, Caitlin. Fuck John McCain. And Fuck Twitter.

  • So wrong. So many of us are being silenced. As a Syrian, FUCK JOHN McCUNT. He needs to die alone, in a jail cell, on a concrete floor, BROKE. Shared on VK and MeWe (FB has been blocking me almost 100% since early May. Back to back 30 day bans from banal comments from years ago. I know how you feel.)

  • Sorry I didn’t have time to read your longer essay published here(Albuquerque, NM) last night. I’ve noticed my reading time being burned up writing on the social. This though,(and I just finished my O-O-O philosophy by Graham Harman)is a scream. I never use twitter and don’t have an account. I do look at Mr Trump’s sometimes. At war with the fake liberals as I call it. You know you’ve made it if they ‘talk’ on The View or The Talk, even if negative. McCain turned staunch neocon around the time of the attacks of September 11, ’01 as did many others. You know Congress just started printing an unlimited amount of dollars from the neverendin supply of the poor mid American taxpayer. The rich, banks and big business are safe as they profit from endless flows of capital upwards. McCain was shot down flying illegal missions over N ‘Nam. Too fucking bad. The govt doesn’t give a fuck about soldiers or pilots as long as the(illegal) mission is completed. I won’t miss him. I received some vitriol a few years back when I wrote some scathing remarks about(now deceased) Justice A Scalia and his corrupted views of church/state separation. So go to it but be careful also as to not write perceived threats, they can get you a visit from the secret service. Peace

  • Think it a “blessing” Caitlin – Twitter is in fact no longer worth engaging – many of us who leapt aboard its rage creating threads have long since given it up. I certainly don’t think your tweet re John McCAIN especially noteworthy enough to cause suspension of your account. But I note elsewhere that Fb and Twitter – maybe other social media used by others – are increasingly coming under the control and supervision of those central narrow vested-interest narratives – hence I think now vindicated my own departure a couple of years ago. Delete your own account – once you are readmitted – let your followers know your other daily outlets – then drop out of it.

  • I love your work and want you to know this. McCain was a monster from birth….good riddance I say!

    • No one is a monster from birth. Psychopaths are created, not born. We are all born pure and innocent, every one of us. That is how nature works.

  • If you read these comments carefully they say almost exactly the same thing and use many of the same words. I have no way of verifying this but I suspect that a small group of people have taken a basic narrative and have been told to put into their own words criticism of you. This appears to me to be a coordinated effort and not random people trying to express their opinions.

    • Bingo

    • agreed.

    • Right you are ROCKETMAN. The coordinated purge is escalating throughout the MSSM (mainstream social media).

    • 2 other social media friends regularly get 30 days excommunicardo. On another platform, between June and November 2016, one got 3 stints of 30 days, so 90 days for disagreeing with the mainstream narrative. Even though this private person was vehemently anti-Trump we suspect that it was none of his supporters who did the dobbing for beaching community standards.

  • The time has come, as they planned years ahead, to start hitting and striking every predetermined target. PropOrNot. 1984. First Draft Coalition. 1984. Fake News. 1984. “Russia Meddled with Our Elections!” 1984. “It’s Like a Third Pearl Harbor!” 1984. Attributed to Karl Rove: The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ […] ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’ 1984.

    In a series of Narrated Setups: First, Star Chamber interests decide what directions and actions are needed to fulfill what has been chosen for implementation. Next (after successful steps), many months (or even years) beforehand, they dispense Talking Points to concerted operatives, pliable/collusive publications, and fronted or “reliable” “news” sources. Then, the people are (sold) “informed” incrementally as to what is inevitably upcoming. Thus, under the guise of Facts simply being reported, it works (exceedingly) as a well-timed machine. 1984.

    The World Is a Business: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jIw22XXSso

  • You, Porter Stansberry, Bill Bonner, Alex Jones, Ron Paul and everybody in-between need to cooperate and co-op to setup your own worldwide distributed network of mirrored servers with rotating VPN access, as distasteful as that may be. Perhaps there are a few moneyed “angels”, of differing philosophical stripes, willing to bankroll such a network, and keep it running. It’d have to be internationally managed, however.

    You all will likely soon be banned from ALL the popular communication forums. This is “PC” and “newspeak” run amok, at all levels. Truly, an ongoing and expanding integration of “private” news & media communication with government.

    Even I got censured, by the sysadmin of my neighborhood on-line forum, for posting our need to reduce the shitting, pathogen carrying, pigeon swarms infesting this neighborhood by lethal means. And I’ve professional wildlife management experience!

    There’s no limit to the manic pettiness of this censorship movement. Its the latest over reacting trend.

  • I admire you for your courage and clarity. Thank you! and please don’t give up.
    Let’s move en masse to some alternative platform on a blockchain: not deletable, immutable. The Corbett report made a series about all the alternatives. I don’t remember now what is the equivalent to Twitter, will look it up there. When I find it, will come back to comment. Warm greetings & hug!

    • GAB is the censor-free equivalent to Twitter. However recently Apple Store and Google Play have removed the Gab app from their sites making it harder to find. But don’t worry, if Gab gets too popular they will find a way to start censoring that too. This is a fight of good vs evil and The Powers That Be are going to do everything they can to control the free movement of information because in their mind free-thinking people are the enemy.

  • Twitter is doomed. Just watch.

  • Dear Caitland ,
    I am a fan and reader of your work . I appreciate your point of view and your digging into the underbelly of this nation ..
    But I want to comment on your recent twitter comment . I am not offended by your over the top comment that the world will be better off when he dies . But for me that is a conclusion I need ot make myself . To present the facts of his warmongering and support for the killing of others is not only important but it needs ot be exposed . that being said NO ONE WHO DIES MAKES THE WORLD BETTER . It is only in the living that we make it better . the dead are influential in their actions that are left behind . We as humanity must understand evil . We have to be exposed to evil . We can not shrug our responsiblity to the presence of it . Hannah Arendt is one who speaks very clearly on this subject . But that the world is better off without a human being is not true in my understanding . We will all go to the other side . We all play a part in the destiny of our humanity . Good or bad we have our palce in the karma of the world … I thank you for your work and will always read your posts and journalistic offerings . It is the absence of a human being who has done good deeds that we suffer . I wish you a long life and the world would be a far worse place without you . May john Mccain die with some sense of peace in his heart and loved ones around him . He will be judged in his own time ..

  • I was able to view your timeline just now. But it looks like you’ve lost most of your followers.

    • She hasn’t lost me. I am completely in agreement with her.

    • And she just recruited another; I don’t Twit much but I just followed Caitlin.

  • Oh, wow, this is not good…

  • Lets stop trying to parse why this or that account is being blocked/suspended/shut down/terminated. It is this simple to understand – here is the REAL line you have crossed: You DARED to think independently. You had the audacity to speak what you believe.

    The message is clear: Think and say what we tell you, or we will hurt you, and you will become a lesson to others to stay in line.

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