The Atlantic Wants Its Writers To Tweet In A "Tasteful" Way

The magazine's editor told Caitlin Flanagan to delete a dick joke.

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Atlantic writer Caitlin Flanagan is most recently known for her sprawling cover story about America's fraternities.

She tweets off the cuff.

Duke porn star introduces us to blow job feminism. Best feminism yet? This could be us but you playin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

Duke porn star introduces us to blow job feminism. Best feminism yet? This could be us but you playin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

02:11 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Things I learned about from the greatest literary magazine in American history: "Midget Porn, Clown Porn, Girl-Fight Gang-Bang Porn"

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

Things I learned about from the greatest literary magazine in American history: "Midget Porn, Clown Porn, Girl-Fight Gang-Bang Porn"

08:23 PM - 3 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

On Wednesday night, Flanagan tweeted and deleted the following joke: "I'm having a hard time understanding everything Duke porn star is saying about feminism. Maybe it's because of that dick in her mouth."

Just informed by a purchaser of my work that I need to delete one of my tweets. Bad taste. Will do. #NewEconomy

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

Just informed by a purchaser of my work that I need to delete one of my tweets. Bad taste. Will do. #NewEconomy

06:25 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

She then revealed that her editor at The Atlantic, Scott Stossel, was the one who asked her to take down the tweet.

Duke porn star: you have a friend in the Watergate!

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

Duke porn star: you have a friend in the Watergate!

12:51 AM - 3 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I love a man who can pay for my dinner, hold the door for me, erase my tweets. #Submissive. # @SStossel

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

I love a man who can pay for my dinner, hold the door for me, erase my tweets. #Submissive. # @SStossel

12:58 AM - 3 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"While we have no formal Twitter policy at The Atlantic, we do expect our employees to use the medium in a sensible and tasteful way," Stossel told BuzzFeed. "Given that The Atlantic is part of Caitlin Flanagan's Twitter handle and profile, we asked her to delete a tweet that does not conform to The Atlantic's standards of discourse."

She didn't really mind taking down the tweet.

Stand down, my faithful! I support the decision. Free speech protects crass language - but does not impute grace or wit to its user.

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

Stand down, my faithful! I support the decision. Free speech protects crass language - but does not impute grace or wit to its user.

03:57 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

No - when someone pays you for work, and asks you to do them a favor - you do it. I wasn't untweeting the Gettysburg Address!

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

No - when someone pays you for work, and asks you to do them a favor - you do it. I wasn't untweeting the Gettysburg Address!

07:36 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

My freedom of speech is not violated by taking down a crass tweet! Or maybe I have Stockholm syndrome! Didn't feel like a big deal to me.

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

My freedom of speech is not violated by taking down a crass tweet! Or maybe I have Stockholm syndrome! Didn't feel like a big deal to me.

07:37 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I'd love to see myself as the Patrick Henry of the situation, but it was a dick joke!

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

I'd love to see myself as the Patrick Henry of the situation, but it was a dick joke!

07:42 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

No. This magazine published Letter From Birmingham Jail. The people who run it know the difference between important speech and nonsense.

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

No. This magazine published Letter From Birmingham Jail. The people who run it know the difference between important speech and nonsense.

07:44 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

She then joked that the whole incident connected her to the Duke porn star.

In a way, I am like the plucky sex worker of Durham: employer asked me to do something that made me uncomfortable - and I did it! Sexy!

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

In a way, I am like the plucky sex worker of Durham: employer asked me to do something that made me uncomfortable - and I did it! Sexy!

08:30 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I feel like Duke porn star. Can I have 2 identities? High brow writer AND crass jester? Apparently not.

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

I feel like Duke porn star. Can I have 2 identities? High brow writer AND crass jester? Apparently not.

06:31 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I have this in common with Duke porn star: respect for the men who correct, discipline me.

Caitlin Flanagan@CaitlinAtlantic

I have this in common with Duke porn star: respect for the men who correct, discipline me.

09:29 PM - 2 Apr 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Flanagan echoed that sentiment in a statement to BuzzFeed: "I was only asked to take down one tweet. More interesting conversations — and more interesting forms of self-expression — took place on the account because of that mild indignity than the Tweet itself could have ever engendered."