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Twitter fails to interpret its own rules (again) during Rosie O’Donnell spat

Her vulgar posts were approved—then taken down.


Phillip Tracy


Posted on Dec 24, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 6:59 am CDT

A spat between comedian Rosie O’Donnell and right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro has, once again, demonstrated Twitter’s inability to enforce the rules it so desperately wants the public to accept.

It all started when Shapiro called O’Donnell out for attempting to bribe Republican senators into voting against the GOP tax bill.

Tensions rose as the immature bickering continued. Eventually, O’Donnell hit back with a rather crude remark: “suck my dick ben.”

Shapiro then reported O’Donnell as a test to see whether Twitter had double standards against conservative users. He tweeted, “Everyone knows if Rosie were conservative, Twitter would suspend her in a hot second. So, Twitter, put your money where your mouth is. #MeToo.”

Twitter initially sent Shapiro a notice explaining O’Donnell’s tweet didn’t violate any of its rules.

In routine fashion, Twitter backtracked on its original decision. The beleaguered social network sent Shapiro a follow-up note explaining that it got the decision wrong, writing, “The first email stated that the Tweets were not in violation of our policies when in fact they are, based on our Twitter Rules.”

O’Donnell eventually confirmed that Twitter locked her account for one of the several off-color remarks she made. The account was reinstated after the tweet was removed (though screengrabs remain on the site).

This isn’t the first time Twitter has gone back on a decision or failed to enforce its own rules. The social site was criticized for failing to punish President Donald Trump after he clearly violated “The Twitter Rules” by threatening North Korea. Twitter also recently suspended actress-turned-activist Rose McGowan only to reinstate her account a few hours later.

We have reached out to Twitter and will update this article if we hear back.

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*First Published: Dec 24, 2017, 12:48 pm CST