Breed ditches Twitter after being called out for caustic tweets, again [UPDATED]

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Capture by Mike Sonn

Sup. London Breed appears to have abruptly deleted her Twitter account today after engaging in a clash of tweets with some local activists online. Breed had tweeted comments that were derogatory toward bicyclists and others, after earlier attempting to distinguish between her “private” comments and public role, but now she appears to have given up entirely.

This morning, Patrick Traughber sent Breed a tweet reading, “@LondonBreed In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle to creating safer streets for bicycling?” To which Breed responded, “bad behavior of some bicyclist [sic].” Sources say caustic exchanges with other followers then ensued before Breed apparently deleted her feed. 

Breed didn’t immediately respond to Guardian calls and emails, but the flip answer comes at a time when the Board of Supervisors plans to hold hearings about how the San Francisco Police Department handles bicyclist fatalities, which were recently triggered by the exposure of blame-the-victim police bias after a truck driver ran over a cyclist.

Breed’s tendency toward making caustic and impolitic comments has gotten her in trouble before, costing her endorsements during her supervisorial campaign last year and generating some criticism and unfavorable press coverage in June following another Twitter exchange.

“Why is @LondonBreed trying to water down legislation that protects renters in the TIC/condo conversion legislation at Land Use Committee?,” activist Cynthia Crew asked via Twitter on June 3. Breed responded with, “@cynthia_says #suchahater.”

Crews responded by asking Breed why she would “talk to your constituents like that,” called it “unprofessional.” To which Breed replied, “If you want a professional response email me at sfgov and stay off my personal twitter where I refuse to be professional.”

A few days later, SFist reported that Breed tweeted, “Apologies to those I have offended I was just having fun. Although boring I will stay politically correct. I have serious work to do.”

Apparently, Breed later abandoned her “boring” and “politically correct” Twitter policy, and now she seems to have also abandoned Twitter.  

UPDATE: Breed responded to our inquiries with the following email:

"Thanks for contacting me Steve. 

I suspended my account because I realized twitter can be extremely time consuming and it's too hard to have nuanced policy discussions in 140 characters. I want to take some time to think about how I use this medium in the future.
With respect to the bike exchange, my record is clear! I have been a consistent and effective advocate for bike projects in our city. I got the Oak and Fell bike lanes implemented well ahead of schedule. I led the effort to fund the Masonic Blvd project which includes dedicated bike lanes and I've voted for every bike project that's come before the Transportation Authority, including the popular bike share program just implemented in our city.

My point was not that I think bicyclists' behavior should be an impediment to new projects. My point was bicyclists' behavior is the complaint I hear most often from those who oppose the projects. So as a practical matter, those behavorial concerns--whether you think they're accurate or inaccurate, right or wrong--make it harder to get new projects moving, harder to win public and political support. But that absolutely has not, and will not, stop me from fighting to win that support. 

I've faced a lot of fire, a LOT of fire, over the Masonic blvd project and I've stood strong in my support. That's my record. So it does bother me to see masonic supporters criticizing me over a twitter post. But it is my fault for being unclear about a complicated topic on an inappropriate medium. That is why I am taking a break from that medium."

 

Comments

and hounded by crazy people. Many other well-known people restrict access to their tweets or tweet under a false name known only to their friends.

And this is a perfect example of why that is. Breed does the honest decent thing and makes herself available to the public, only to be tricked and trapped by snide critics looking for an angle.

All Breed said here is what everyone in SF knows i.e. that cyclists are their own worst enemy because they whine about all other road users while showing utter contempt for the traffic laws themselves.

As a result they struggle to get any public sympathy even when one of their own gets killed. It takes a special kind of selfish stupid for a seemingly benign group like cyclists to be near universally hated, but somehow the arrogant, self-important SFBC and related groups have managed it.

Way to go, assholes.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

Dude, your hatred toward cyclists seems to have short-circuited your brain function. Breed was asked a fairly benign and polite question of real public importance, and she turned that into a strange attack on thousands of city residents, just like you've just done. Seriously, you should do something about those anger issues of yours. 

Posted by steven on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

suddenly come over all peace and love on me. In fact, you are far more angry about the nation's economic order than I am, so don't start.

However, the point I was making here )apart from the fact that well-known people invariably get pissed off with the nutjobs on Twitter unless they manage access very carefully, is that cyclists in SF have a real bad perception problem.

And that is getting in the way of them getting infrastructure and safety improvements. Moreover it is losing them sympathy even when they suffer injury as we saw recently.

Things like Critical Mass (deliberately delaying peoples' commute home just to draw attention to yourself) and the widespread ignoring of traffic rules has turned the general public against the, That's the real issue and Breed is just saying what we are all thinking.

And on this paper, Steven, you have rationalized cyclists not obeying traffic rules - the height of irresponsibility. Shame on you.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

traffic rules and endlessly demand more and more and more?

Posted by anon on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

most bike riders are assholes to other bike riders.

Don't feel as if they are just being a pain to you.

Posted by Matlock on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

why shouldn't San Franciscans be angry with greedy developers who demand more more more?

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 8:22 am

tax incentives or subsidies to build. Like most business people, they do not need help - they just need to not be needlessly restricted.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 8:34 am

developers in san francisco constantly get massive amounts of subsidies and tax breaks

you frankly do not know what the fuck you are talking about

Posted by racer x on Sep. 22, 2013 @ 9:14 am

"Breed was asked a fairly benign and polite question of real public importance, and she turned that into a strange attack on thousands of city residents". - Steven

Really??? Just like how people like that guy Pete Moss calls people who drive "cagers"? Except instead of attacking thousands of city residents, he's talking about HUNDREDS of thousands of city residents. Seriously, he should do something about those anger issues of his.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

lol, cager, I not angry at you, I actually feel sorry for your poor trapped smothered ass.

BTW, I drive Mercedes Benz Sprinter 2500 around the Bay Area, for a living.

In my professional opinion the very worst of the worst drivers are the guys in those Lincoln Town Cars.

The wildest outlaw cyclist on his 50 pound bicycle isn't a fraction of the threat of one of those town car goons.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 8:47 am

perception that Breed alludes to, which is very widely held, is that cyclists behave badly. For pedestrians, that definitely is a safety issue, and of course two pedestrians have been killed by cyclists in the last two years. This includes riding on the sidewalk and riding at speed too close to people crossing.

For cars, it's more a matter of cyclists slowing down traffic, not keeping right, weaving and wobbling about, making abrupt turns without signalling, going the wrong way down one-way streets, blowing through stops, and responding badly and angrily whenever they think they have been wronged.

Overlaying that is the unfortunate political stance of cyclists i.e. that they think they are the most important group of road user even though they are marginal.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 9:17 am

There are no recorded incidents of pedestrian deaths due to cyclists riding on sidewalks.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 9:37 am

killed by cyclists in the last two years (true) and that cyclists ride on the sidewalk (true)

If you cannot see why riding on the sidewalk is a problem, then you are part of the problem that Breed observed.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 11:02 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 22, 2013 @ 9:16 am

Nothing has raised my awareness of drivers behaving badly more than biking around SF. The worst is drivers who don't signal a lane change or turn, giving me zero opportunity to react (and usually yield) appropriately. And if you watch a stop sign long enough, you'll notice that very few cars come to a full and complete stop unless there's cross traffic. So it cuts both ways.

Cyclists have a legal right to use the same road as other vehicles, and using those roads at a reasonable (for the vehicle) speed is not "behaving badly". A cyclist weaving for no reason endangers other cyclists on the road as well, but frequently that cyclist is just trying to avoid an obstacle - if they crash from a pothole or rock in front of you, that's going to take more time than driving a bit more slowly. Signaling is difficult when your balance depends on holding onto a bar, but I don't know what turns you usually see without a signal. Right turns? Left? Stop signs are one of those things where we all *want* to believe that we'd stop all the time, but the effort to get rolling again is a big factor. I'd love to see something like the Idaho stop law here (http://www.bikeleague.org/content/bike-law-university-idaho-stop). And many times the angry cyclist is also a very scared cyclist (note the "many times").

It's also perfectly legal for a cyclist to "take the lane" and ride further from the right if necessary, i.e. they need to turn left, they need to stay out of the way of parked car doors, there's debris, etc.

Riding against traffic on any street is just stupid though. No one needs to do that.

Posted by AntiSlice on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 11:12 am

1) You make excuses as to why the rules don't apply to you

2) You try and distract the issue by saying drivers are worse (the "but he did it too" excuse my nine year old uses)

3) You claim to have equal rights to the road but then want special rules, special treatment, and of course not to be tested, registered, licensed or insured.

Double standard.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 11:58 am

What can we do to make San Francisco safer for African Americans?

Bad behavior of some gang members and drug dealers.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 8:44 am

Although I did see one the other day on Market Street - riding on the sidewalk.

SFBC claims to have 12,000 members and I'd posit that they are at least 90% white.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 9:12 am

I live in the Bayview and I'm pretty much the only white cyclist in my neighborhood.

A far as riding on the sidwalk: A bicycle is under much better control by it's operator when it is being ridden.

Further, while being walked, a bicycle takes up twice the space, and takes up that space awkwardly, that is, pedals and handgrips sticking out to snag passersby.

So long as the cyclist is going at a walking pace, say 5 mph, and not slaloming peds, there shouldn't be a problem with riding the bike as opposed to walking it on the sidewalk.

Of course, no matter what, there will always be Rob Andersons out there to dream up objections and complaints against cyclists.

They should be ignored except when needed as examples of crankism.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 9:40 am

Thanks, Sherlock.

And if you think it's OK to ride a bike on the sidewalk then it's also OK to walk in the bike lane. Thanks for the permission.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 11:04 am

The Bayview is mostly Asian, followed by Hispanic, these days, Pinkerton.

And they ride bikes, feel me?

You can walk in the bike lane if you want. I never claimed I own it.

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 11:47 am

Actually you have a point - after whites, the race I see cycling the most are Asians.

Problem is that progressives see Asians as kinda like whites.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 20, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

Yeah, I signed in as guest. My work gave me a new Chromebook and a new account and I forgot to reset my sign in, nothing sinister.

I curious why you're obsessed with the ethnicity of cyclists?

Also why you apparently don't notice the numerous Mexicans commuting to labor jobs on rickety bicycles.

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 7:15 am

"I curious why you're obsessed with the ethnicity of cyclists?"

White boy cyclist embarrassed that obnoxious cyclists are also white boy cyclists.

"Also why you apparently don't notice the numerous Mexicans commuting to labor jobs on rickety bicycles."

Maybe because "Mexicans commuting to labor jobs on rickety bicycles" aren't bombing down the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians?

Posted by Huh? on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 7:39 am

A simple humble worker on his bike isn't the problem. It's the lycra mob that everyone hates.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 8:18 am

I bike on the sidewalk wearing jeans, not lycra.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 8:26 am
Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 8:34 am

Glad we sort of cleared up that issue.

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 8:29 am

Same with that other bastion of whiteness - the SF Green Party.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 8:36 am

Cyclists need civil rights protections.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 9:11 am
Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 9:24 am

Personally I find racism depressing, no matter where it's coming from or being directed to.

I guess I'm a freak.

Obviously racism is thriving in all sectors of humanity.

Posted by pete moss on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 9:31 am
Posted by Guest on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 10:00 am

"Personally I find racism depressing, no matter where it's coming from or being directed to."

When, oh when, will we stop racist discrimination against arrogant white hipster assholes?

Posted by Huh? on Sep. 21, 2013 @ 10:23 am

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21966.htm

Posted by lillipublicans on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 7:25 am

A strange attack? I agree wholeheartedly with Breed.

I think cycling is great for the city, and I'd love to see more development of infrastructure such as bike lanes, bike sharing programs, etc.

However, I see cyclists behaving badly all the time. It's a small fraction, but the problem is when it happens it's very noticeable. For me it's always stepping into a crosswalk only to have to jump aside as a cyclist flies through the red light. It honestly happens about once a week or so.

Posted by Alex on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

entitlement and, in so doing, have lost the public support necessary to pass improvements to cyclist safety.

A classic example of the law of unintended consequences. Breed nailed it and it is only because she is correct that people went crazy about it.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

Hey, you are the same troll who claimed that Amelie was responsible for her own death, that the police officer taunting people at her memorial service was a good thing that he commander would be supportive of and that San Francisco is not investing in bicycling infrastructure.

How does being wrong 3 out of 3 feel?

But I am guessing your batting record in real life is about the same, so I will just feel pity for you.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Sep. 22, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

"Caustic" tweets??

At worst, the tweets may have been a little lacking in finesse for an elected official. But, as Ms. Breed pointed out, they were made on her personal Twitter account and not on an official government account, and even elected officials maintain the right to speak their minds.

Moreover, the author Mr. Jones would do well to look up the word "caustic' in the dictionary. He must have led a very timid life indeed if he thinks any of the remarks Ms. Breed made were caustic. Or, perhaps, while he is browsing the dictionary he should look up the words "hyperbole" and "aspersion."

I don't care for Ms. Breed one way or another, but this whole article just seems to smack of petty "gotcha" pseudo-journalism.

Posted by Chris on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

hopelessly biased sf.streetsblog.org website entrapped and hijacked her, at least according to some comments I read there today.

Posted by anon on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

Hi Steve,

A while back, you all blocked every comment for a week, I think in response to all the trolls and their polluting the Guardian's politics web page. What lessons did you learn from the experiment?

I don't read your site so frequently anymore, because the comments can get so toxic and ridiculous, so not sure if you've already detailed the lessons learned.

Any chance of implementing an ez registration system or at least trying one out for a week?

Posted by MPetrelis on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

SFBG should ruthlessly suppress any dissent almost as if it were, say, a morally bankrupt and failed eastern European socialist state?

Why do you fear diverse opinions and practice intolerance? What is it in your upbringing that compels that you should never hear a contrary view? And how does that help you build empathy and consensus?

Posted by anon on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

If he's talking about ridiculous and pointless posts, how about the idjit with his "troll bridge" comment every time a post doesn't tow the BG party line?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

Not agreeing with party line is trolling, getting a laugh out of progressive dreaming is trolling.

Shrill arguments by definition and personal attacks from the left isn't trolling.

Posted by Matlock on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

know that it is a 'troll barrier' and instead thought it was called a 'troll bridge' even though that fucking post has been repeated **scores** of times

this shows that you pay almost no attention whatsoever to what anyone is writing here, and that your only interest is to rapidly identify key words and titles that give you leverage to abuse and fight with people

and for that you are going to get slammed with troll **barriers**

(follow the logic carefully now - **bridges** would be havens and that's not what we want for asinine trolls sparky)

at every possible opportunity given to myself and the others who are using them to very successfully shut down a lot of the bullshit you've all been stirring up

quite pleasingly, it is working....... ;)

Posted by racer x on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

How about instead of nit-picking one messed up word you actually deal with the substance of the comment? Follow the logic carefully now - nit-picking a misspoken word shows you can't actually form a cogent rebuttal to the poster's argument.

Why don't you talk about how calling for free speech but simultaneously calling for restrictions on what people say because it doesn't agree with the BG's philosophical stance is pure hypocrisy? But you at least admit that you use the troll BARRIER to shut down any dissent. What you call "bullshit", other people call "differing points of view".

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 6:49 pm
nah

homie don't play that

you must have seen that post at least ten times and were paying so little attention you didn't even remember the title - which was *also* repeated in both the *handle* and the *body* of the message

only an irritating trolling addict would make a pitiful error like that...

*on free speech*

pay attention

the only ones getting hit with the barriers are 1. those engaging in nothing but fig leaf covered personal attacks (or outright personal attacks) 2. those who are repeating the same fucking bogus Rush Limbaugh style pseudo-con bullshit (almost verbatim) that they have already spouted five thousand times on these blogs 3. those who are raising really stupid illogical arguments just to hear themselves speak and/or get a negative reaction from others 4. those who are repeating right-wing/corporate lies and propaganda with no factual merit that is used to undermine progressive and environmental gains

but you will note that real conservatives or opponents to progressives who are actually raising cogent fair arguments based in facts, or in a legitimately logical opposing point of view (even if likely wrong)

are not being hit with the troll barriers.....

and now - since you fall into categories 1-4

we're done

Posted by racer x on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

And yet Progressives can throw out insults and yet another Progressive won't throw out your troll barrier. I guess that's because they aren't actually insults, right? They're just speaking the "truth". Funny how that works.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 19, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

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