Prof. Elizabeth Weiss

Locked Account

Twitter locks account of anthropology professor over image of human skull: Twitter locked San Jose State University professor Dr. Elizabeth Weiss’s account because of her profile image showing her holding a human skull, Campus Reform reported May 8. The profile picture is hardly unusual for an anthropology professor specializing in human remains, Campus Reform noted. The outlet included a purported screenshot of Twitter’s message to Weiss, which said her profile image violated “our rules against graphic violence or adult content in profile images.” The screenshotted message defined graphic violence as “any form of gory media related to death, serious injury, violence, or surgical procedures.” The professor was later notified by Twitter her account was flagged for supposedly “hateful or sensitive content.” The platform did not clarify what the allegedly hateful content was. Weiss appealed the decision but as of May 8 had only been notified that Twitter was “reviewing a high volume of requests,” Campus Reform reported. Weiss previously drew criticism for critiquing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, arguing the act can easily be abused (by tribes over-extending what can be defined as “sacred” to them), that returning bones or artefacts slows knowledge, and that some human remains are better cared for in special facilities. Campus Reform speculated the controversy she sparked with her views might have led to the Twitter censorship.