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

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."