Libertarian blogger and University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds, better known as Instapundit on Twitter, has deactivated his Twitter account after the social media platform permanently banned conservative writer, radio host, and combat veteran Jesse Kelly.
Twitter provided no explanation for its permanent ban of Kelly, which looks like a violation of the company’s own rules. Reynolds took to his Instapundit blog (Full disclosure: I have previously blogged at Instapundit.com), which is hosted by PJ Media, to say that he was leaving Twitter after what happened to Kelly.
"TWITTER’S GONE CRAZY BANNING PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT, so I’ve deactivated my Twitter account,” Reynolds wrote (emphasis original).
Some time after posting that, Reynolds returned with an update to the post after users asked for a longer explanation for why this was the last straw for him.
People seem to want more, and although there’s nothing duller than posting a screed on why you’re quitting a platform, here’s the gist: I’ve never liked Twitter even though I’ve used it. I was a late adopter, and with good reason. It’s the crystal meth of social media — addictive and destructive, yet simultaneously unsatisfying. When I’m off it I’m happier than when I’m on it. That it’s also being run by crappy SJW types who break their promises, to users, shareholders, and the government, of free speech is just the final reason. Why should I provide free content to people I don’t like, who hate me? I’m currently working on a book on social media, and I keep coming back to the point that Twitter is far and away the most socially destructive of the various platforms. So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others. At least I’m giving my reasons, which is more than they’ve done usually.
Other right-leaning people have been removed from Twitter, including conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and provocateur Milo Yiannopolous. Kelly was neither a conspiracy theorist nor a provocateur, and he was not a hate-monger. While some of his wording may have been outlandish at times, just about everything he posted was snarky or sarcastic, as evidenced by his response to the suspension as told to former Playboy writer Bridget Phetasy.
"Throughout history, the powers that be have always feared greatness. Nelson Mandela and I aren’t the first to be persecuted. We won’t [be] the last. I’m just happy my memory will be passed down from generation to generation," Kelly said.
Reynolds was previously suspended from Twitter briefly in 2016 after he suggested people in vehicles who were surrounded by violent rioters in Charlotte, North Carolina, “run them down.” Reynolds deleted the tweet and returned to Twitter within hours. The University of Tennessee took no disciplinary action against the professor.