Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The sinister side of Twitter's new policies

I'm sure many readers know by now that Twitter has instituted what it calls a 'Trust and Safety Council' to monitor 'abuse' and 'ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter'.  However, one can't help but note that almost all the members of that Council are from left-wing and so-called 'progressive' organizations - including feminist Anita Sarkesian, who famously called for Internet censorship before the United Nations.

That ties in with the way Twitter appears to be censoring major conservative and libertarian voices on its system.  (To be fair, it's apparently not the only social media platform doing that.)  Recent 'casualties' include Milo Yiannopoulos, high-profile supporters of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain.  Actor Adam Baldwin has quit the platform in protest at such censorship, and fellow blogger, author and friend Larry Correia is doing likewise.

Of course, Twitter is a private company, so it can do as it pleases - it's not subject to the First Amendment or any other guarantee of free speech.  However, it wields enormous influence over many people, particularly the younger generation.  This looks to me very much as if the company is trying to set itself up as a way for left-wing and progressive propaganda to influence not only social and cultural issues, but perhaps even this year's elections.  If it can minimize one side of the debate and maximize the other, it has a real chance to skew voting and affect our government for at least the next few years.  I can't help but regard that as a very dangerous development indeed.

I'm not an active Twitter user.  If I was, I suspect that my account might be among those facing censorship.  Nevertheless, I'm sorry to see Adam Baldwin, Larry Correia and others whom I like and respect quit the platform.  I'm sorry because their many fans will now be deprived of this avenue of communication with them;  I'm sorry because their voices will no longer be able to contribute to important debates in our society through this channel;  and I'm sorry that a company like Twitter is becoming so nakedly and unashamedly partisan that it's driving away a very large part of its potential user base.  I can't see any good coming out of this at all, but potentially a great deal of negativity for all concerned.

Meanwhile, if you're a Twitter user, please keep in mind that the company is actively and deliberately censoring voices with which its leadership disagrees.  Therefore, any news or information you get via that channel is likely to be increasingly biased and untrustworthy.  I can only suggest that you judge its input accordingly.


EDITED TO ADD: For more information and additional perspectives, see these links:
  1. Twitter Trust and Safety Council is Anything But
  2. Twitter Takes a Side in the Culture Wars – Lies About It


Stu Garfath. Australia. said...

I am not on Twitter, nor any other social media, except for two weeks on Facebook, and what I saw there horrified me, the Intelligence that people spew publicly about themselves and anybody they know beggars belief.
As for Twitter, or any other social media site, if a user is concerned about censorship, then return the favour, shut down your account and go elsewhere.

Gail said...

This is as social as I get. Facebook appears to me to be mindless so I've never even been to Twitter. Enough BS without adding more but that's just my opinion.

JK Brown said...

Captain Capitalism opines that the bans are not a big deal as Twitter is financially unviable anyway. Good to find an alternative earlier rather than later.

But I wonder if the move is not some cosmetics to gussy the company up to seduce some Leftist cash infusion?

Old surfer said...

Twitter is small change when something like this may be coming down the pike-


Anonymous said...

A private entity that can do what it wants, so long as it's against the right people (conservatives, Christians, White men, and the like). How fast do you think they'd be sacked if they were censoring one of the favored classes?

Anonymous said...

"Of course, Twitter is a private company, so it can do as it pleases"

Just like the non moslem places that wouldn't bake a gay wedding cake.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 12;12
To go further, it's not like they are a bakery refusing to make a cake for a Gay Wedding, or refusing to take photos. As a private entity, you can do what you want, except when you can't (and have to pay the penalty).

Paul said...

Glad they don't sell cakes. Hypocrites. Never did twitter and now I never will.