Yesterday, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account was permanently suspended from Twitter for spreading misinformation about the COVID vaccine. According to the New York Times, Greene was on her “fifth strike” in terms of violating Twitter’s policies on COVID misinformation. As of December 2021, Twitter’s COVID safety policy states:
Even as scientific understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, we’ve observed the emergence of persistent conspiracy theories, alarmist rhetoric unfounded in research or credible reporting, and a wide range of false narratives and unsubstantiated rumors, which left uncontextualized can prevent the public from making informed decisions regarding their health, and puts individuals, families and communities at risk.
Remind you of anyone else’s dangerous screeds? Let me make a few elucidating edits to help:
We’ve observed the emergence of persistent conspiracy theories, alarmist rhetoric unfounded in research or credible reporting, and a wide range of false narratives and unsubstantiated rumors, which left uncontextualized can prevent the public from making informed decisions regarding their health, and puts individuals, families and communities at risk.
Any clearer? Exactly. We’re all thinking of the same viral violator: Balloon Guy.
Balloon Guy, AKA Michael James Schneider, is a 48-year-old retail manager based in Portland, OR. He’s also an artist, and his medium is the letter-shaped mylar balloon, which he arranges to form various bromides. The artist himself then stands in front of his creation, photographs it, and posts to social media. He has half a million followers on Instagram and 20,000 followers on Twitter.
Balloon Guy, like the deplatformed legend Donald Trump before him, is aware that he has haters. In fact, Vice did an entire article about his haters and interviewed him for it last year.
“There are just going to be people who hate you no matter what. When something blows up,” Balloon Guy said. “I just kind of expect there's going to be a small but really vocal community of people who come after me and are really, really unhappy.” Yes yes. The haters and the losers.
Most of Balloon Guy’s balloon adages (which are sometimes written by him, usually by others) contain the sort of hamfisted, overreaching rhetoric that overcompensates for having nothing interesting to say. Take the one in this post:
And this one: This man self-reporting or even implying to have fucked before is NOT a credible study.
This one violates the same sort of tenets:
A credible source has told me that Balloon Guy allegedly only owns 26 balloons of varying colors and photoshops the rest, which I think is the biggest offense of all. Whispers on the internet say there isn’t even air in these mylar monstrosities:
According to Twitter’s general guidelines on “synthetic and manipulated media policy,” Balloon Guy is in total violation of a policy that seeks to protect users from “media [that] have been substantially edited or post-processed in a manner that fundamentally alters their composition, sequence, timing, or framing and distorts their meaning.”
Besides all that legal mumbo jumbo, this one is harmful to children, indoctrinating them into believing that their weird is the perfect amount of weird that their weirdo soulmate is looking for:
Same for this falsity. It is too late and they are already too old:
And I think this one violates Twitter’s parody policy:
For a safer internet, Balloon Guy must be deplatformed immediately. Our sanity is at stake