Big Tech speech police ignored years of threats, racial slurs by New York terror suspect

Platforms quick to invoke rules against hate speech and violence promotion to remove right-of-center political content overlooked Frank James, with long history of calling for violence and racial hatred.

Updated: April 15, 2022 - 11:01pm

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Social media platforms suspended a congressional candidate for saying cowardice enables evil and conditioned Donald Trump's reinstatement on the "risk of violence" receding long after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — but missed or ignored threats of violence, wishing harm and racial hatred from the lone suspect in the New York subway shooting

Federal prosecutors said Frank James, who made his first court appearance Thursday, had a "stockpile of ammunition and other dangerous items stowed in his storage unit," according to NBC News

Journalists and internet sleuths documented videos, memes and other posts by James on one or more YouTube and Facebook accounts going back years — and as recently as this week — that likely violated their content policies. His tweets mostly link to his other social media.

Tech platforms appear to have removed accounts tied to James since he allegedly shot 10 people and injured at least 13 more on Tuesday, but archived versions show some remained live for 24 hours or more after he was named a person of interest that afternoon. 

CNN quoted from several YouTube videos by James before their removals. "I can say I wanted to kill people," he said on Monday. "I wanted to watch people die right in front of my f—ing face immediately."

"We need to see more mass shootings ... to make a n—-r understand," James said last week.

He hinted at an "American Auschwitz" in another YouTube video flagged by a Twitter user. James claimed to have been treated in a New York mental health facility that practices "the kind of violence" that would make a child "go get a gun and shooting [sic] motherf—-ers," the New York Post reported.

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Antifa extremism watchdog Andy Ngo documented James' social media going back to 2014 in a tweet thread, including the shooting suspect's threatening memes on Facebook, where he went by "Frank Whitaker."

"OF ALL THINGS REMEMBER THIS EVERY MOTHER F—-ER RESPECTS A GUN SHOT WOUND," he wrote in 2015 and 2020.

"YOU M[A]Y NOT BE ABLE TO BEAT EM BUT YOU CAN SURE AS HELL SHOOT EM," James said in 2016 and 2020.

He showed a body in a morgue in 2020, a message for "EVERYBODY WHO WANTS TO PUT ME IN MY PLACE."

Opposition to whites and especially black-white mixing was a prominent theme. A 2014 image of Michelle Obama with hands clasped is superimposed with: "O BLACK JESUS PLEASE KILL ALL THE WHITEYS." A 2017 video is titled "C.I.L.L. WHITEY." 

"So much for Facebook monitoring," one user wrote, sharing a Rolling Stone article that flagged a March 23 video where James said whites and blacks "should not have any contact with each other." Another Facebook user documented his alleged social media accounts.

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The suspect cried in a YouTube video upon learning Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who like him is black, "is married to a f—-ing white man." He recorded himself on the street calling a passerby a "slant-eyed f—ing piece of sh–" and a Spanish speaker a "crime against f—king nature." Newsweek said he posted "hundreds of videos attacking Black people, white people, Jewish people and Mexican people."

Archived versions suggest James' main YouTube account was removed late morning Wednesday Eastern Daylight Time. 

Ngo highlighted another James channel that YouTube hadn't removed as of Wednesday morning. Now removed, archives of "profitof doom8888" show it gained nearly 250 subscribers in less than 24 hours as of its final archive around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Google owner YouTube and Facebook owner Meta didn't respond to Just the News queries about why they apparently didn't remove or penalize the suspect's accounts for policy violations before the shooting.

Social media platforms have been quick to remove right-of-center political statements as hate speech but take more caution when it comes to apparent progressive endorsements of violence.

Facebook locked out Purple Heart recipient Teddy Daniels last fall after the Republican candidate to represent President Biden's hometown wrote: "The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good." It also hid the post, dubbing it "hate speech."

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said a year ago the company was waiting for the "elevated risk of violence" to recede from the Capitol riot, pledging to reinstate former President Trump only "when we see reduced law enforcement in capitals in the U.S. and fewer [threat] warnings."

A Facebook official said Trump's suspension would be reviewed by "experts" in January 2023 "to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded." Twitter recently said it had no plans to reinstate Trump, regardless of any conditions he met.

Though it wasn't Frank's preferred method of communicating threats or racial hostility, Twitter has played an outsized role in suspending conservatives for purported hate speech while overlooking arguable threats of violence from the left.

Twitter suspended Libs of Tik Tok, which simply reposts videos of far-left progressives, for 12 hours this week due to unspecified "hateful conduct." Left-wing watchdog Media Matters recently accused the account of "anti-LGBTQ smears" and violating Twitter policy on "targeted misgendering and deadnaming of transgender people."

Libs of Tik Tok's anonymous creator told Fox News host Tucker Carlson Thursday she reported ensuing death threats to Twitter, yet those people "still have their accounts on Twitter. So you can threaten violence and still keep your account, but you can't play a video of what a leftist is themselves saying." 

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Twitter didn't answer a request by Just the News to confirm what action if any it has taken against accounts reported by Libs of Tik Tok.

The Babylon Bee remains locked out of its Twitter account a month after calling America's highest-ranking transgendered official its "Man of the Year." It suspended the Christian satire site's editor-in-chief for comparing Twitter to China after the lockout.

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Twitter took no action against a Syracuse University professor for a tweet, still live nearly five years later, seemingly calling for violence in real time against an anti-Sharia protest.

"We almost have the fascists in on [sic] the run," Dana Cloud tweeted. "Syracuse people come down to the federal building to finish them off." The university refused to punish her.

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