Twitter suspended journalist Jon Levine after he posted a joke about the Tide Pod Challenge—the toxic craze currently sweeping the Internet.
The viral trend, which is largely a joke, sees participants biting into a Tide laundry detergent pod and share their video on YouTube, Instagram, or other social media platforms. The trend took off earlier this year when people mocked adults dumb enough to eat and be poisoned by the toxic object—transfixed by their candy-like appearance.
Following warnings from lawmakers and doctors against eating Tide Pods, Twitter is now cracking down on anyone who even jokes about the challenge.
When a Tide ad played during the Super Bowl, Levine, who’s the media editor for The Wrap, tweeted a screenshot from YouTuber Matthew Lush doing the Tide Pod challenge and tagged Tide’s Twitter account in it. His account was almost instantly suspended.
Daily Caller reports that Levine was suspended for 12 hours and forced him to remove the tweet to reenable his account. An automated message from Twitter informed him that he had violated the platform’s “rules against abusive behavior.”
“You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate or silence someone else’s voice,” read the boilerplate warning, implying that Levine had harassed Tide.
Levine told the Daily Caller that he believes Twitter was trying to protect Tide by censoring his tweet.
“Given how much actual abuse takes place on their platform, it’s sad that Twitter would devote resources to carrying Tide’s dirty laundry,” he said.
Curiously, Twitter had no problem with Logan Paul’s joke tweet about Tide Pods.
In a better universe, Twitter would be spending less time censoring jokes on its platform and dealing with issues endemic to the platform like doxers, pedophiles, and jihadists.
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