Free @bmaz (Update: He’s Back!)

If the name isn’t familiar from twitter, it should be from his writing as a founding contributor to Marcy Wheeler’s brilliant burden of bureaucracy, Empty Wheel. Bmaz is a criminal defense lawyer, a friend and a person I know in real life.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona.

Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007.

Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.

And @bmaz has been suspended from twitter, though suspended in this instance means expelled, as twitter, in its anonymous algorithmic wisdom, has informed him that his suspension is permanent.

I digress for a moment to make a few tangential, but necessary, points. Twitter, as a private enterprise, has the right to throw someone out arbitrarily and capriciously. It’s under no duty to be fair or even remotely rational in its decisions. That it has the authority to do this isn’t the question. It does.

Bmaz is a passionate guy. He can be pigheaded and profane, as can we all. He regularly goes far deeper into the weeds on the left than I do, and will not hesitate to take me to task when he disagrees with me, and that happens regularly. And he will often end his dalliance with someone he deems a fool with a blithe “fuck off.” I prefer “bite me,” but to each his own.

You don’t have to agree with @bmaz. Not just sometimes, but at all. You don’t even have to agree that he brings a worthy perspective to an issue on which you stand firmly against his position. Disagreement is the lifeblood of ideas, without which we are limited to the soft tones of validation in our echo chambers.

On a platform like twitter, as opposed to, say, SJ, which is not a platform that exists solely as an open medium of communication, disagreement is rife, except for those who shut out any noise that harshes their mellow. And in reaction to cries of the fragile that mean twits are violence and deny them their right to be wrong and threatening, twitter has created a pseudo-systematic means of pretending to vet its medium along the lines favored by the woke.

Naturally, the exceptionally unwoke have seized upon it as a weapon to game in return. This is one, but only one, reason why the inanity of the scolds and censors must fail, as they assume that their weapons will only be available to them. As @bmaz’s situation demonstrates, that’s not at all how it’s going to happen. Whether it’s because the alt-right is as fragile as the SJWs, or they’re just flipping the script back on them, is irrelevant. It’s mutually assured censorship. Twitter has made @bmaz its victim.

Why? Because if you believe in free speech as a concept, and not merely a right protected by the Constitution against the government, then his speech should be as free as, say, NRA shill Dana Loesch. An odd choice for juxtaposition, you say? Well, no. This is why twitter expelled @bmaz from its midst.

The underlying discussion was about school shootings. When @bmaz wrote, “Own the death, you piece of crap,” he was clearly referring to the students who died from gunshots. Perhaps a poorly tuned algorithm would latch onto the word “death,” but certainly human eyes would see more clearly. As for the second twit, he called someone “a fucking idiot asshole,” which is about as banal a twit as possible. Yet, the troll account, which appears to exist for no reason other than the create the impression of support for Dana Loesch and appeared not to have suffered undue trauma for the hurty words, did what he/she/it said and reported @bmaz.

So @bmaz appealed his expulsion. And the response was curious.

Your account has been suspended and will not be restored because it was found to be violating Twitter’s Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter Rules against hateful conduct.

It is against our rules to promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.

Perhaps the AI is smarter than the human eyeballs, though this response suggests no intelligent life exists in the boiler room of twitter.

Disagree with what @bmaz thinks of guns all you want. Disagree with @bmaz’s way of expressing himself. Or agree with him. It doesn’t matter. There was no violation of the terms of service, no targeted harassment, no “attempt to silence” someone else’s voice. There was certainly no violation on the basis of race, etc., unless the mere hint that a woman (and just because the handle says it’s a woman, does that make it so?) was on the receiving end converts all make speech into a sexual assault.

Fight for @bmaz. Fight for free speech. Fight for Jack Dorsey to end the hypocrisy of pretending to be woke while censoring views over nothing. Like it or not, these private platforms are where the disagreements happen. If either side gets to silence the other by inane complaint, with the mindless support of alogos or dolts. All of our ability to express our views will be subject to the irrational discretion of the twitter gods. If they frown upon us, even without reason, we will be eradicated from the conversation. And for the woke, they will take you down using your weapon just as you would do the same to them.

Free @bmaz. Do it for him. Do it for yourself. Do it for free speech. Free @bmaz. Tell @jack Dorsey to step in, end this irrational charade, and free @bmaz.

33 thoughts on “Free @bmaz (Update: He’s Back!)

  1. Pedantic Grammar Police

    I used to think “Twitter is a waste of time, but at least I’m reaching a few people with my ideas.” Then I realized that they were shadowbanning my tweets and I quit.

    I may log into Twitter for the first time in months to tweet @jack, but if I do, I’ll probably be the only one who sees that tweet.

    1. SHG Post author

      When twitter began, I was not a fan of the concept, but then, it’s not about me. If that’s where the conversation, discussion, argument, ideas happen, then so be it. We do what we can.

  2. CLS

    I’ve added my voice to the Free Bmaz campaign. Unfortunately Vijaya Gaddes, head of legal for Twitter’s Trust and Safety Department, gave up the con a few weeks ago during a cringeworthy interview with Joe Rogan and Tim Pool.

    Your post shows two tweets taken out of context. There’s at least a third Trust and Safety’s holding back to give a pretense of “three strikes and you’re out” as justification for the ban. The more we ask about it, the more Twitter will say “Well, it’s a violation of our Community Guidelines” despite no clear evidence of a violation.

    Maybe it’s time Twitter drops the “free speech wing of the free speech party” gimmick and takes up the mantle of “circular reasoning wing of the intellectually dishonest party” they deserve.

  3. Dissent

    Oh FFS. I didn’t know Twitter stupidly suspended @bmaz or even more stupidly banned him altogether.

    @Bmaz and I have been talking/arguing F1 for years and on my few trips out to Arizona, we’ve managed to get together for meals and libations to the gods of F1. He’s obviously wrong in being a Ferrari fan, and clearly irascible when it comes to other topics, but that’s the beauty of @bmaz. You never have to wonder what he thinks about something because he never minces his words.

    Twitter has totally screwed up its attempt to moderate its platform if they have banned him for telling someone to fuck off because he believes their positions and/or actions have resulted in death(s). And pardon my cynicism, but based on his past statements and actions or inaction, I doubt @Jack will do anything useful. Who else can we try there?

    But yes, despite the fact that Twitter has repeatedly failed to make smart decisions as to how to handle speech on its platform, we do need to yell loudly and publicly about this, because it’s just dead wrong to suspend @Bmaz for telling someone to own a death or telling someone that they are a fucking idiot or asshole.

  4. Civil Rights Rabble Rouser

    Just because someone “does not mince words” doesn’t mean it needs or should be said. The piece of crap line was a bit much.

    I am going to pose a question and feel free to debate (and I am sure there will be).
    “When does free/protected speech cross the line”?

    1. SHG Post author

      “Feel free to debate”? Are you of the belief that anyone in the universe needs your permission? Following on your narcissism, there is an easy answer: it’s not up to you what other people are “entitled” to say. You don’t like it? Who cares? Your narcissistic delusion aside, you ain’t the god of other people’s permissible speech.

      1. Anonymous

        (Btw I was being snarky with feel free to debate because I KNOW you LOVE to debate. )

        Just because we can say and call someone you piece of crap, you asshole, fucking idiot,
        Doesn’t mean you need to say it.
        Yes, Twitter does have an issue
        With censorship and abuse in
        Other ways which are never addressed by Twitter.

        Also what made Twitter decide to permanently suspend bmazs account? Did he have multiple warnings?
        I know someone who was
        Given a week suspension for making fun of Kim Kardashians derriere. After the suspension, he still kept mocking this

        1. Ron

          While your attempt to salvage your forfeited dignity was admirable, had you a tiny clue about SJ, you would have known better than to claim you KNOW how SHG LOVES to debate. He never debates fools.

    2. Sgt. Schultz

      If such a line exists, bmaz was nowhere near it. Your sensitivities may differ, tinkerbell.

      1. Ray Lee

        There is no “the” line. How much is too much is a subjective assessment and even people who generally agree have different lines in different places. It is astonishing how many people think that I should adhere to their lines instead of my own. As the host has said or implied, people who already agree with each other having a discussion is nothing but a circle jerk.

        And bmaz, you are completely WRONG on anyone but a shooter owning the death from a shooting. I’d be glad to buy you a beer or three & discuss at greater length because you may have something to say that I don’t think is complete bullshit & vice versa. I doubt it but at least there would be beer so there’s that.

        As for being an asshole, I’m thinking we’d both have to plead guilty.

        1. bmaz

          Would love to some day. We’d get along fine. Heck, I even own a gun! Hasn’t been cleaned, much less fired, in decades, but I have one.

  5. Noxx

    All I see is a little hyperbolic dipshittery, which is practically Twitters raison d’etre, If being ridiculous on the internet is suddenly actionable it will quickly become a lonely place.

  6. David Meyer-Lindenberg

    bmaz in no way deserved to be banned for that, and if twitter’s become a place where bluntness is no longer acceptable lest it hurt some notional adult’s feelz, I foresee a bad future for the users.

    Well, except for the very serious academic types, whose disapprobation never goes beyond “interesting” anyway.

  7. Santiago Matamoros

    Aww, only now that one of you garbage people got suspended by your fellow SJWs at Twitter you retard Libtards are squealing like the whiny disgusting babies that you are,

      1. Ron

        Maybe an SJW putting on the stupidest possible Alt-Right act possible? It’s hard to believe anyone could be this much of an idiot.

  8. Cradle of Free Speech

    Death to the Algorithms. Suspend me for that Twitter. How dare you suspend bmaz after all of the idiotic things Jack Dorsey has said and done. We can cede control to AI, but it won’t be much of a life.

    1. Yogarhythms

      Yogarhythms is proud to repeat the following:
      “Death to the Algorithms. Suspend me for that Twitter. How dare you suspend bmaz after all of the idiotic things Jack Dorsey has said and done. We can cede control to AI, but it won’t be much of a life.” Hit the road Jack.

  9. Pedantic Grammar Police

    Wow this post really brought out the trolls. And this is only what made it through; I shudder to imagine what you trashed today.

  10. CLS

    If we can take anything away from this dark incident, it’s people from all walks of life and every side of the ideological spectrum agreeing while @bmaz might be a Nice Guy Who’s Really Wrong About Everything, Twitter banning him for speaking his mind was fucking stupid.

    It’s nice to find common ground in such divisive times.

    1. SHG Post author

      I would prefer to express it as a matter of supporting bmaz’s speech, without regard to whether anyone agrees with him. Agreement has nothing to do with support for free speech, and it’s wonderful to see such support.

Comments are closed.