How far do the limits of free speech extend on Twitter? I think we are about to find out. Someone on Twitter has started a MurderGlennBeck feed and is promising to “assassinate” Glenn Beck once the account accumulates 10,000 followers. Is this person joking? One certainly hopes so, though the initial twitter does not really leave all that much room for laughing. It reads:
If 10,000 people follow this Twitter by the end of January I will literally assassinate Glenn Beck. Retweet this for scumdeath.
And is followed up by this:
Hello new followers. Don’t forget to retweet the original tweet. I want to make sure Glenn Beck dies. I’m sure you understand
Hard to find the funny there. The feed has only been up for just over 24 hours, and only had 100 followers, but this is the sort of thing that could get scarily out of hand pretty quickly. Also, unlike when, say a twitter feed is hacked, this is not funny. Moreover I have to assume Twitter is not so hot on being used as a platform for death threats, though as of this posting the handle has yet to be removed despite a rather loud outcry on the right. That said I’d be surprised if they don’t take action by day’s end – despite noting in their Terms of Service that they are not responsible for content (and would likely not be responsible for any actions inspired by a Tweet, except maybe in a civil court case), they have traditionally been fairly quick to remove spoof or fake accounts. In the meantime, this is where you go to report a problem.
UPDATE: And now it’s gone.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org