Twitter users are expressing annoyance and outrage in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, after their tweets criticizing politicians in Texas were flagged for being too coarse.
The shooting, which saw 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School shot and killed by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was met with shock and anger on social media.
Many users accused pro-gun politicians such as Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) of being culpable, leading to a wave of profanity-laden tweets.
Yet many of those tweets were met with automated messages from Twitter urging them to alter their tone. Given the gravity of situation, however, Twitter users were less than thrilled by the call for civility.
One user who replied to a tweet from Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Republican who represents the city of Uvalde, was quickly met with a notice from Twitter. The user, who had told Gonzales to “fuck” himself after the politician called for prayers, shared the alert they received.
“Most Tweeters don’t post replies like this,” the notice said. “We’re asking Tweeters to review replies with potentially harmful or offensive language. Want to take another look before tweeting?”
Others were similarly outraged and shared screenshots of the notice with their followers as well.
A Twitter user who urged Abbott to “take your fucking head out of your fucking ass” also had his tweet flagged.
“And no @Twitter, I don’t give a fuck that most ‘tweeters don’t post replies like this.'” the user wrote. “‘Most tweeters’ should also give more than two fucks about gun violence.”
Countless examples could soon be found all across Twitter as users reacted with frustration to the devastating shooting.
“Most people aren’t depraved lawmakers who consistently prioritize guns over human life either, but here we fucking are,” another user said in a mocking example of the notice.
Some users were much more blunt in their anger at Twitter for suggesting they change the language of their tweets.
“No, Twitter, fuck off, when I want to call Greg Abbot & the NRA assholes, I want to call them assholes,” they said.
The feature from Twitter is not aimed at tweets of any particular subject but merely those with profanity and other language deemed potentially harmful, although the company has said that it considers the context of tweets.
Beginning as a limited experiment in 2020, Twitter argued that the feature would help “encourage more meaningful convos” by allowing Twitter users to review such tweets before sharing them.
Twitter has previously claimed that if prompted, “34% of people revised their initial reply or decided to not send their reply at all.”
Despite the company’s intentions, users appear less than thrilled being asked to change their language in regards to commentary on the deaths of children.