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:
- Twitter Trust and Safety Council is Anything But
- Twitter Takes a Side in the Culture Wars – Lies About It