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Popular blogger and USA Today columnist Glenn Reynolds — better known on Twitter as @Instapundit — was briefly suspended from the social media website Thursday morning.

Reynolds, who is also a professor of law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, didn’t even receive a notification from Twitter that he had been suspended. In an email response to me asking about the suspension, Reynolds said he had “no clue” why he was suspended and had only “just noticed” that his account had been suspended.

Reynolds then went on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program after people on Twitter began raging against a tweet he had sent the night before about the rioters in Charlotte, N.C. The offending tweet, which has since been deleted, was a response to another tweet from a local news station that said “protesters” were blocking traffic and surrounding vehicles. Reynolds had quoted the tweet and added: “Run them down.”

Was this an offensive tweet that could be viewed by some as a threat of violence? Absolutely. But Reynolds is also not a provocateur, like other conservatives who have been suspended or banned from Twitter in the past.

On Hewitt’s radio program, Reynolds explained the context of his tweet. Hewitt asked Reynolds if he was talking about defending oneself from threats, and Reynolds said that’s what he meant, but said it “perhaps a little too pithily” for Twitter.

“Yeah, I’ve blogged about that before where we’ve had other interstates blocked and people surrounded by mobs. I’ve always said I would just keep driving,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds was unsuspended once the tweet was deleted, but according to Hewitt, a backlash is already mounting.

“Do you think that the University of Tennessee will yield to the pressure, which is already mounting, to somehow punish you?” Hewitt asked. His next question was about people calling for Reynolds to be silenced and fired.

“That’s a lot for three words, especially considering all the hyperbole we’ve heard in this election already,” Reynolds responded. “We’ve heard plenty of people talking about the desirability of the assassination of Donald Trump and other things. It seems to me that that’s kind of a double standard, isn’t it?”

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But Reynolds is conservative, so his tweets matter more. Members of the Islamic State are allowed to remain on Twitter, as are people who call for the murder of cops. But Reynolds’ offensive tweet was about a protected class — not just the protestors but also those looting and destroying businesses, shooting each other and assaulting journalists.

Twitter is a private business and it can do what it wants. Reynolds’ tweet was in poor taste and probably should have been deleted. But we don’t need to start another riot and online mob over this. Especially not when much worse things are said on Twitter every day with no ramifications.

Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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