Outting bullies, Supporting Victims, and Serious News Stories all in one

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I came across an article on Jose Conseco, former baseball player an admitted steroid abuser.

Jose Canseco spent Wednesday tweeting and deleting the personal information of a woman — including her name, telephone number, and work address —at the center of an incident in which the former baseball player was apparently questioned. “He’s being investigated for an alleged sexual assault, and that’s it,” a Las Vegas police sergeant says. So why isn’t Twitter doing anything about it?

In a year when young victims of sexual assault have been shamed on social media by young people siding with accused athletes from Torrington to Steubenville, here is a six-time All-Star (albeit a very strange and estranged one), live-tweeting his self-defense to more than 510,000 Twitter followers and calling into question the judgment of a woman who appears to have accused him of a crime. Indeed, after he got off a flight to Fort Worth this evening, Canseco was up to it again:

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While Canseco might have violated the laws of human decency and broke new ground — in notoriety and absurdity —in taunting an alleged assault victim, he may have only broken a few of Twitter’s rules. Indeed, Twitter is as notoriously defensive of free speech as it is quick to suspend verified accounts with thousands of followers that, say, temporarily crash the stock market. And, again, this is an ongoing investigation. (A spokesperson for the Clark County DA’s office confirmed in a phone call with The Atlantic Wire that no charges have been filed.) And it’s not exactly neo-Nazis, and even Westboro Baptist Church still tweets hate language about major news events all day long. But Twitter also has content boundary rules that prevent the publishing or posting of “private and confidential information” or “direct, specific threats of violence.” And in his initial rant Wednesday afternoon, Canseco shared private information that is my no means confidential any longer. The confessed steroid user and famous self-promoter’s biggestf specific threat may have been to take a polygraph about this incident on national TV, but he also brought back tremors of what happens when alleged assault victims get outed on Twitter (we’ve crossed out the woman’s name in this case):

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All of those tweets have since been deleted. So has another, which gave the woman’s place of work and its address, asking the media to conduct a polygraph of the woman… at said place of work. And only one tweet referencing the woman by name remains as of this writing:

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We watched as the bizarre series of tweets played out, and Canseco’s account was not suspended at any time, despite multiple calls from Twitter users urging their followers to alert Twitter that Canseco abused the service. It’s unclear whether or not Twitter or Canseco (or someone with access to Canseco’s account) deleted the tweets among them that vanished.

Full Article on The Atlantic Wire

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