Will Twitter Punish Users Who Tweet 'Learn to Code' at Laid-Off Journalists? Maybe.

"Twitter is responding to a targeted harassment campaign against specific individuals-a policy that's long been against the Twitter Rules."


Brendan McDermid/REUTERS/Newscom

Can you get banned from Twitter for tweeting the snarky advice "learn to code" at journalists who just lost their jobs? Amidst on-going layoffs at media companies like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, a rumor spread on social media Monday that such comments would be "treated as abusive behavior" and a "violation of Twitter's Terms of Service."

But a spokesperson for Twitter tells me that it's "more nuanced" than that.

"Twitter is responding to a targeted harassment campaign against specific individuals—a policy that's long been against the Twitter Rules," said the spokesperson in an email to Reason.

The Wrap's Jon Levine said representatives for the social media company had backed away from the position they related to him earlier, which was that the phrase "learn to code" itself constituted abusive behavior. The new position seems to be that "learn to code" is not de facto harassment, but could be considered harassment if tweeted aggressively as part of campaign to intimidate a specific user, in accordance with Twitter's somewhat vague abusive behavior policy.

For more on disruption in the media industry, read Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle's latest piece on journalism's "pivot to dust moment," a turn of phrase invented by yours truly. (But don't go tweeting "pivot to dust" at journalists in a targeted or insulting way, I guess.)

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  1. “Lean to code” is just about the kindest possible thing I am capable of saying to those lying propagandists…

    1. “Learn to code” is pretty good too

      1. I’m gonna tweet “Learn the Code of Silence” to laid off journalists.

    2. Learn to report facts. Learn to tell the truth. Learn to be an adult. Learn basic math and logic. Learn to be a decent person. Learn humility. Learn not to project. List goes on.

  2. I’ll be glad to see Twitter go.

    1. If POTUS can’t legally block his trolls on Twitter, it is time to start treating Twitter as a Public Accommodation, and make them stop discriminating against certain classes of users.

      In keeping with Reason’s recent prog/authoritarian drift, I hereby call for the heavy hand of Government to come down on Twitter

      1. It will eventually go the way of Myspace once the cool kids move on to the next thing.

      2. No, no.

        If government intervention hurts leftists, it is bad, if government intervention hurts Republicans, it is sometimes celebrated, but usually just ignored completely. Same with our justice system.

        Propaganda is what is not said more often than what is said. Look at Reason’s blatant silence on police state/banana republic tactics used in the Mueller investigation. Should be a libertarian magazine’s wet dream. Silence.

        1. Re Mueller — I know, right?

          But I’m sure it will be fairly applied at least. Any day now, heavily armed, predawn raids and arrests will take down Comey, Brennan and Clapper for lying to Congress just like Roger Stone did. Any day now.

        2. +1000

        3. Yea, that silence pretty much invalidates every article they write about policing

    2. Hope it burns.

  3. There were exactly zero journalists or public figures who were banned for asking their followers to dox and harass a bunch of high school students.

    1. The high school students in question were wearing evil hats. And some of them probably know how to code.

      1. And that’s why any decent person could give two shits about journalists losing their jobs. When a coal miner loses his job, it’s tragic. When a journalist loses his job, it’s beautiful.

        1. When a coal miner loses his job, it’s tragic. When a journalist loses his job, it’s beautiful.

          What about when a nurse loses their job? Or a diesel mechanic? Or a truck diver? Or a school teacher? Or a police officer?

          1. If the government is targeting their occupation with onerous regulations meant to destroy their industry, it’s equally tragic. Especially the loss of attractive nurses.

          2. Yeah, like police officers can lose their jobs.

            1. Or public school teachers for that matter

          3. Tragic

      2. They live in Kentucky. They learned to code after the laid off journalists told their laid off coal miner uncles to learn to code

    2. and KILL

    3. That’s what gets to me. People being sarcastic at adults is treated as a greater problem than death threats against children who had been victims of a hate crime.

  4. How about “Learn to write rational articles”? Or would that be cruel?

  5. The responses that always make me laugh is when multiple commentators will respond to a laid off journalist with a single letter so vertically it spells out “learn to code”.

    1. Sweet!

      Love that teamwork!

  6. At the risk of being banned again by Reason (and getting all my comments deleted) – thank you Reason for defending free speech.

    1. “At the risk of being banned again by Reason (and getting all my comments deleted) – thank you Reason for defending free speech.”

      Did Reason have the balls and courtesy to let you know you were persona non-grata and their pettiness extended beyond the offending post? Presuming all your posts were not initially offensive. Perhaps if you reply that you pay their salaries with your contributions then Reason will reconsider.

      “We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. ”

      Reason has a strict policy to ensure a lack of accountability.

  7. “Learn to code” is what Our Superiors tell laid off coal miners or people who lose their manufacturing jobs. It isn’t coordinated; its simple payback.

    1. If I lose my job, it’s ok – I already know how to code.


      1. The number of Fortran jobs are dwindling. And they’re mostly all gub’ment and gub’ment contractor jobs. Because why make code maintainable if it ain’t broken?

        1. However, the number of FORTRAN jobs is unknown.

          1. It’s a NaN.

            1. I was almost going to answer “+1”. Well done!

        2. That’s ok. I know some COBOL, too.

          1. Need COBOL to do accounting for FORTRAN jerbs!

  8. I’ve been tweeting “kern to load” at them this whole time.

      1. I bet readers are grundling under their breath right now.

  9. “pivot to dust moment,”

    All we are is dust in the wind.

    1. Socrates likes this comment.

      1. I hope you pronounced that as Socrates, and not Socrates.

        1. Of course, Socrates Johnson is a good friend of mine.

          1. Do you actually know Socrates Johnson or are you just friends with Plato Stevenson and he’s told you about Socrates Johnson?

            1. Socrates Johnson is a good friend of mine. The only Plato I know is Plato Shrimp, though.

        2. Be excellent to each other.

          By my account, the most non-heinous of all golden rules.

      2. Well he knew. He knew more than me or you.

  10. American journalists are brave and noble individuals who chose their line of work so they could speak truth to power. Do they occasionally make mistakes? Of course. They’re only human. But these mistakes are rare, they’re corrected almost immediately, and ? this part is crucial ? they are never the result of any mythical “liberal bias.”

    “Learn to code” is an obnoxious way to trivialize what these heroic truth-tellers are going through at the moment. The Buzzfeed layoffs are especially upsetting since they come so soon after the Buzzfeed Bombshell that marks the beginning of the end of the Drumpf regime. Patriotic Americans should sympathize with the plight of out-of-work journalists, not kick them while they’re down by repeating dumb catchphrases.

    1. Learn To Troll

    2. libertarian is..hate… speech

      borders…are racist …

    3. Sorry friend, this was not one of your better efforts. C-.

  11. I’m sure it IS “more nuanced” than that; You’d have to be a conservative while doing it.

    1. Tell that to the operator of this parody Rudy Giuliani account.

  12. Telling someone who lost their job to “learn to code” is at most a mean joke. It is not “harassment” by any reasonable definition of the term. The fact that the media is claiming it is, especially in light of how the major media routinely doxes and ruins the lives of ordinary people who happen to get caught up in the outrage of the moment, shows just how awful journalists as a group are.

    1. Worse than lawyers.

  13. So we can’t tweet “learn to code” at the very people who invented and glorified the precious snowflake lifestyle? Fewking heck.

    1. But they can tweet about people they don’t like being raped in prison and fantasize about someone beating up a minor all they like. It is about principles and fair play. Didn’t you know that?

    2. All I know is that the best way for journalists to engender the good will of half of the country is to show them that journalists are a special class of person deserving of additional protection than a bunch of high school kids who had the audacity to not be progressive.

      1. In most of the world and for most of history that there has been such a thing, being a journalist is a pretty dangerous profession. The easiest way to deal with bad newscoverage is just go beat up or kill any journalist who writes something you don’t like.

        Given that reality, you would think journalists would not be so intent on making a virtue of insulting large sections of the country. It is amazing how foolish and short sighted they are and how lucky they are to live in a country that is generally as nonviolent and laid back about politics as this country is.

        1. To be fair, BuzzFeed and Huffington do not do journalism, they do opining. Hard to imagine in these days of Fox News and MSNBC, but there is a difference.

          1. I agree that there is a difference. The problem is that the media has stopped making that distinction and treats it all as “journalism”, which is another really stupid and self defeating thing to do.

          2. Some Lefty media does propaganda opinions and some outlets do propaganda news.

            Most of its still propaganda.

  14. I wonder how many of these journalists got a kick out of Obama telling coal workers that might lose their jobs due to his government policies to shut down the coal industry to learn to code.

    1. All of them. But it is different when they do it because reasons.

      1. Because FYTW.

  15. Still hope Robby got a raise for all the shit he got from fellow journos and progressives for exposing the narrative on that Covington thing. Balls of steel, that kid’s got.

    1. He deserves a raise for his coverage of the story but I have a bad feeling he will be lucky if he isn’t fired over it.

      1. One of the few journalist that shouldn’t be told to “learn to code”

        1. Whether he loses his job or not, he should learn to change a tire.

        2. To be sure, Robby has not always been a “balls of steel” kid, but nevertheless…

    2. Shouldn’t we be hoping he loses his job because he’s a journalist?

      1. He’s not part of the corporate press. Peoples’ criticisms of Reason aside, they don’t invent narratives to justify overseas adventures (although, sometimes they parrot those narratives). Nor do they try to ruin the lives of kids for wrong think or show-up at some random woman’s door and call her a Russian stooge for liking something on Facebook.

        1. And whether Robby likes it or not, after that Covington article he’s confined to the ghettos of libertarian opinion writing from now until the end of time. No corporate press outlet is going to hire a guy who so thoroughly embarrassed them and exposed their false narrative.

          1. People should remember that before giving Robby shit in the future

            1. What if in the future Robbie morphs into Radley Julian Weigel-Wilkinson Jr. ?

              1. I will give him a ton of shit like I always do. But let it never be said that I didn’t give him credit when he deserved it.

            2. People should remember that before giving Robby shit in the future

              Maybe you missed his coverage of the Kavanaugh Senate Judiciary “job interview”?


              The anonymous woman who accused Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has come forward. Her name is Christine Blasey Ford, and her allegation deserves to be taken seriously. It is an accusation of attempted rape, supported by some circumstantial evidence, and is potentially disqualifying?though the timing complicates the matter.

              That’s a shame, because the accusation itself?while still decidedly unproven?is not without supporting evidence.

              That the teenage Kavanaugh was a notorious drinker and party boy while in high school does not confirm what Ford has said about him. But it does make it somewhat easier to believe Ford’s claim. It certainly sounds like Kavanaugh and Judge were not just typical underage kids who occasionally consumed some alcohol; there’s sufficient circumstantial evidence to hint at a pattern of more serious reckless behavior.

              There were others more in the bag than Robby was. But for someone who likes to hang his hat on the idea that he uncovered a completely fabricated rape allegation and that men (and women) should be innocent until proven guilty, he seemed to have little trouble shoving those values underneath a bus.

              1. As they say, even a blind statist has a rational thought twice a day.

        2. But they are all useless proggies, so I’ve heard anyway. So he should get hired by Vox and then fired.

      2. No. Why would you think that?

    3. Still would love to see what he originally wrote–‘cos I want to know why it took so long that he was able to jump on the ‘to be sure, the Honored and Respected Native Elder walked up to the boys’ bandwagon.

  16. Instead of ‘learn to code’, they should suggest ‘pole or corner’.

    1. How is telling someone who lost their job to “learn to code” even an insult?

      1. It’s not an insult. It’s stupid and insensitive, as a general matter, due to the limited job openings for coding, and the fact that most people wouldn’t be good enough at it to be hired anyway.

        But it isn’t an insult, as such.

      2. I wouldn’t take it personally. To me, it’s more of a joke than anything.

  17. Can you get banned from Twitter for tweeting the snarky advice “learn to code” at journalists who just lost their jobs?

    Oh, what, “Learn to code” is now snark when aimed at laid off opinion journalists, but is considered a serious policy proposal for laid off loggers, truck drivers and other blue-collar types residing in flyover country?

    Fuck off Twitter.

  18. Orange man …. bad…

    MAGA Hat …hate speech….

    Coding is ..hate speech….

    White man bad with with white … privileges and toxic … masculinities..

    Ted Bundy Wasn’t Special Or Smart. He Was Just White…

    1. Ted Bundy was also handsome and charming.

      1. “Ted Bundy was also handsome and charming”

        Bundy took some ladies’ breath away for sure.

    2. And OJ Simpson who was not white got acquitted.

  19. How exactly does one tweet *agressively*?

    Does it involve devil emojis and other mean faces?

    1. You’ll need a Lefty propaganda translator to parse the nonsense coming from twatter.

  20. Yet another REASON that I never got a Twiddler account. Idiots.

  21. “Twitter is responding to a targeted harassment campaign against specific individuals?a policy that’s long been against the Twitter Rules.”

    When the ruling class tells you to learn to code, you’ll take it and like it.
    If you tell the ruling class to learn to code, you’ll be silenced.

    The self righteous assertion of privilege by the ruling class shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but the BFYTW attitude is just so alien.

    1. ‘But a spokesperson for Twitter tells me that it’s “more nuanced” than that.’

      “More nuanced” is the nothing phrase that is the flip side of “too simplistic”.

      The “nuance” is that Twitter will attack those they hate in the service of those they like. BFYTW.

  22. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work -online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by -sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link?

    Try it, you won’t regret it!???

  23. “Twitter is responding to a targeted harassment campaign against specific individuals?a policy that’s long been against the Twitter Rules,” said the spokesperson in an email to Reason, “unlike singling out a specific high school student by name and asking others to threaten, hurt or kill him–or do so yourself, directly. That’s perfectly fine according to the Twitter ‘Rules’. (WINK)”


  24. LOLz

    It is too perfect after all the bullshit “Just learn to code bro!” stories these idiots have thrown at like 60 year old dude who have worked in stable careers their whole lives, and obviously are not in positions where it makes sense to learn to code.

    At least most of these douche journalists are younger, in proggie urban centers, and computer savvy… So they have a lot more legitimate reasons for it to be a valid suggestion for them than half the people they’ve told to do it.

    1. Basically.

  25. I learned to code when I got laid off from my journalism gig. *shrug*

    1. It’s a smart move, at least until the global hypernet has enough code to form Ultron/Skynet/the other thing and then I suppose it will be able to write it’s own code.

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