Joe. My. God. Blogger Receives Death Threats for FRC Tweets

Gay blogger Joe Jervis of Joe. My. God. says he received hate mail and even death threats after tweeting factual information about the Family Research Council’s history of hate activism.

Shortly after the shooting at FRC last week — and probably around the same time FRC president Tony Perkins was blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center for the incident – Jervis’ posts called into memory the organization’s stance that homosexuality is a mental illness and Perkins’s association with white supremacist groups, among other examples. One of those who accused him of “inciting hate” was CNN contributor Dana Loesch and he also received the message pictured above from another Twitter user.

Jervis contacted Twitter Support “out of curiosity” and says he wasn’t surprised by the following response:

We have investigated the reported account and have found that it’s not in violation of the Twitter Rules at this time. We have a policy against violent threats, but the content of this account lacks the specificity to meet the criteria of an actionable threat. Receiving these types of messages can be frustrating; however, removing content does not resolve the issue, but instead can make the situation worse.

For the record, he also posted a joint statement by dozens of LGBT groups condemning the shooting and added his name to the list. Hardly evidence of inciting hate.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a recent college graduate working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I wonder if a picture of either a noose hanging from a tree or a burning cross, sent to an African American would be treated differently.

    • The Captain

      They shouldn’t. Frankly removing threats like that only serve to hide the problem. If it is in fact a “real” threat, then the danger does not go away just by removing it from a public site. And if it’s not a real threat then I think it’s good for everyone to see the character of those that support these groups.

  • jdm8

    That’s not a threat?

    • CelticWhisper

       Because it’s not explicit.

      I agree that it’s very easy to read as threatening, and it was definitely intended to be threatening, but “celebrate your lifestyle with cranes” isn’t necessarily enough without them saying what they intend to do with the cranes.  The picture seems like it should render this a cut-and-dried matter, but Twitter’s lawyers were probably looking for a linking phrase such as “celebrate your lifestyle with cranes, LIKE THIS:” to join the two together before they’d consider it threatening.

      As it is, it’s a statement about cranes and a picture of an effigy (is that supposed to be Obama?) hanging from a crane.  They could easily say “we googled for pictures of cranes and this one came up.”  You know it’s bullshit, I know it’s bullshit, they know it’s bullshit, but the question is as to whether it’d pass for bullshit in court, were FRC to make a free-speech lawsuit out of it.

      I agree that FRC’s post was totally uncalled-for and inappropriate, but I also see how Twitter’s legal team would want to avoid unnecessary litigation by waiting for a sure thing before pulling down any content.

      As The Captain said, though, it’s fine – it shows what kind of people side with FRC and what character they possess.  The only ones they’re hanging are themselves.

      • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

        I agree with your interpretation of Twitter’s reasoning, but I want to quibble with a detail.  I don’t think that’s an image of an effigy hanging.  I believe it’s a photo of a public execution, with the crane being used to lift the body high for display to a crowd.
        If you Google the words “public hanging crane” you’ll find that the first page of results is scattered with similar images, including several of multiple bodies hanging from arrayed cranes.  Several link back to news stories from last July, when a Japanese manufacturer announced that it would no longer sell heavy equipment to the Iranian government after people noticed that its logos featured prominently on these makeshift gallows.

        I haven’t done the research for this, but I imagine such hangings are sometimes done as punishment for homosexuals in fundamentalist Islamic nations, and that, if pressed, the people who threatened Jervis planned to claim that they were only making reference to how much more oppressed gays are in that part of the world (as they often do) to show that a little inequality and a few allegations of rampant pedophilia among friends is no big deal.

        For instance:
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4725959.stm

  • Guest

    I don’t agree with death threats, though people get them on all sides nowadays.  But I’m not too sympathetic with people who rush out after such shootings to say ‘I condemn the shooting’ followed by not too thinly veiled statements that suggest ‘but here’s why they had it coming.’

    • Coyotenose

      Nice false equivalence there and attempt to mitigate the offense by claiming that everyone does it, Liar. Your rock is getting cold without you.

      • Guest

        See my response above.

    • RobMcCune

      That sounds exactly like a thinly veiled “but he had it coming” to me.

      • Guest

        Then you’re admitting what he said was that.  That’s why I put that in, because I wanted to see if anyone saw it that way.  Thanks for pointing out the obvious – that our good fellow who in no way should be receiving death threats, was obviously tossing out some pretty obvious ‘here’s why they had it coming.’  And no, he doesn’t have it coming, and normally I wouldn’t have said otherwise or would have left it at simple condemnation for those making such threats.  I simply wanted to prove my point by hoping someone would jump in and say what you said. 

        • Lellipses

          …It seems like you’re pulling more out of his response than was in it.  If you proved a point, you’re the only one that can see it.  You can make points without making things up or attempting to set up traps.

        • RobMcCune

          “what he said was that” What? I don’t think I admitted to what ever it is admitted to. I didn’t did I? (See what I did there) 
          I was making fun your statement:

          But I’m not too sympathetic with people who rush out after such shootings to say ‘I condemn the shooting’ followed by not too thinly veiled statements that suggest ‘but here’s why they had it coming.’

          Since Joe had never said anything like  ‘FRC had it coming’. (Proper nouns are helpful.) All he did was point out FRC’s history of bigotry. Even if you believe it was an inappropriate time to discuss the FRC’s anti-gay advocacy, it nowhere near the same thing as claiming they deserved the shooting.

          Anyway good luck with your gotchya journalism you’re a regular Katie Couric.

        • Baby_Raptor

          As someone who actually reads Joe, which you’ve proved you don’t, he has NEVER said “They had it coming.” He’s never even implied that they had it coming. 

          He HAS made statements and posted articles showing the proof as to why the SPLC designated these guys a hate group, and he also called them out for dodging and refusing to acknowledge that their actions are actually bad and do warrant the label. That’s it. 

          Stop pulling shit out of your ass. Lying does not help you. Nor do uneducated statements and setting people up to say shit. Joe does not deserve the insults you’re pouring on him, and if you had an ounce of integrity, you’d not be doing it.

        • Bo Tait

          Ahahaha. Sorry, guy. This response comes off  like

          “Yeah…I know. I..I did it on purpose. Totally testing you guys…..Congrats, you passed. Pfft.”

    • Bo Tait

      oh man.

  • BrentSTL

    Correction: Dana Loesch is female.

    • BrentSTL

      After looking at it again, I may have read the statement wrong. If that’s the case, my apologies.

      • Camille Beredjick

        The “he” in that sentence refers to Joe again, but thanks for the catch – I could have phrased it better! 

        • BrentSTL

          No prob!! =)  Hope all is good with you.

  • RobMcCune

    So people rightfully angry about attempted murder respond with death threats to a person who had nothing to do with the shooting, and in fact condemned it? 

    Stay classy bigots, stay classy.

  • Margaret Whitestone

    You will know them by their fruits, and those fruits are truly fetid.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Typical Christians. 

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Okay, how in the hell is that NOT a threat and/or not actionable?

  • Dumpsterj

    come and try that shit in my yard …

  • Steve

    Any wonder why GLBT fear Christians?


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