“Harm To Ongoing Matter” Tweets Poke Fun At All The Mueller Report Redactions
On Thursday morning, Attorney General William Barr issued a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his Russia probe. According to a press conference Barr gave prior to publicly releasing the report, the Justice Department redacted content from the report pertaining to four categories of information. However, it's the "harm to ongoing matter" redactions in the Mueller report that have social media users amused.
Various portions of Mueller's report were redacted due to the possibility of "harm to ongoing matter." In his press conference, Barr suggested that these portions of the report were withheld from the public because they could negatively impact current criminal cases, such as the Roger Stone case. Information relating to "personal privacy," "investigative techniques," and "grand jury" were also redacted, but it was the large blocks of text redacted due to "harm to ongoing matter" that garnered the most attention on social media.
Twitter users joked that "harm to ongoing matter" could be anything from an album title to a playful quip in response to any inquiry. The redactions prompted numerous memes and jokes on social media, particularly because certain points of Mueller's report revealed entire pages blacked out. Below is just a small selection of what Twitter users came up with.
A Work Of Art
One Twitter user cleverly suggested that "Harm to Ongoing Matter" could be an artwork by Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich.
Mother's Day Surprises
Another Twitter user suggested that "harm to ongoing matter" could be the answer to pretty much any question.
The Name Of A Band — Or A Book
This Twitter user suggested that "Harm to Ongoing Matter" could be the name of anything from a new band to a Guy Fieri restaurant.
A Nickname For The Haters
Bloomberg's Alexis Benveniste suggested that her haters could be described as "a harm to an ongoing matter."
"A Pretty Good Summary Of The World"
Between climate change and the disproportionate lack of access to critical resources that many communities face, it's no wonder BuzzFeed's Joe Bernstein tweeted that "harm to ongoing matter" could describe the state of the world right now.
This Is Fine
Another Twitter user compared "harm to ongoing matter" to the classic "this is fine" meme.
A More Literal Interpretation
Pitchfork's Philip Sherburne, meanwhile, took a more literal approach by referencing the first ever photo of a black hole that was released last week.
A Confusing Redaction
This Twitter user suggested that "Harm to Ongoing Matter" was Stone's new nickname, given that Barr cited Stone's case as one of the pieces of redacted content.
An Excuse For Any Situation
Can't think of an excuse for why you're late to that interview, or why you can't make it into the office? This Twitter user has a simple solution — you just won't be able to read it.
A New Music Project
It looks like numerous bands and works of art will share a title following the Mueller report's public release. For example, The Independent's Borzou Daragahi has decided to name his garage punk-band project "Harm to Ongoing Matter."
A Strange New Baby Name
Books and bands might not be the only thing with a popular new name; this Twitter user predicts that some newborns might share the name, too.
A New Slogan In 2020?
The "harm to ongoing matter" redaction was so prevalent in the Mueller report that it could even be President Trump's slogan in 2020, according to one Twitter user.
A Frustrating Redaction
Between journalists who have experienced failed FOIA requests and lawmakers who wanted a report without any redactions, a lot of people are frustrated with the Justice Department right now — enough to "harm some ongoing matter," perhaps.
In response to the various pieces of redacted content in Mueller's report, numerous Democratic lawmakers have called on the Justice Department to send them a complete version of the report without any redactions. Democratic leaders have also urged Mueller to testify before Congress, in order to "restore public trust."