The Wire creator David Simon said in a post on his website that he has been banned from Twitter for telling other users to “die of boils.” While Simon did not specify which tweets in particular Twitter identified as triggering the ban, he did, in accusing the social network of using unfair standards, suggest that one of his favorite phrases was the culprit:
Suffice to say that while you can arrive on Twitter and disseminate the untethered and anti-human opinion that mothers who have their children kidnapped and held incommunicado from them at the American border are criminals—and both mother and child deserve that fate—or that 14-year-old boys who survive the Holocaust are guilty of betraying fellow Jews when there is no evidence of such, you CANNOT wish that these people should go away and die of a fulminant venereal rash.
As insults go, “die of boils” is as pithy as “delete your account” or “retire bitch,” but far more vengeful in tone, like a genie casting a dermatological curse. It is also, unfortunately for Simon, a pretty blatant violation of Twitter’s rule prohibiting “wishing or hoping that someone experiences serious physical harm.” Simon has been using the phrase on the site since at least 2016, though he has been employing it much more frequently lately while arguing with others about the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border:
Simon says he is “indifferent” to deleting the offending tweets, which means he may be off Twitter for quite some time. He did have a scathing message for CEO Jack Dorsey, calling social media in general and Twitter specifically “complicit in transforming our national agora into a haven for lies, disinformation and the politics of totalitarian extremity. The real profanity and disease on the internet is untouched, while you police decorum.”
Oh, and he told him to “die of boils,” too.