Twitter is a private company and can do as it wishes, but this latest move from the social media company to remove accounts it feels do not comply with its way of thinking is one slippery slope that will inevitably lead to the company’s demise.
Instead of treating its product like a utility based business, standing far and away from social issues by simply providing a communication tool, Twitter execs have decided to take sides and use their ownership of the “pipes” to influence outcomes, filter results, and remove speech it finds objectionable.
Twitter has begun the process of suspended accounts associated with the alt-right movement. This comes on the same day that Twitter said it would crack down on hate speech.
Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter.
The alt-right, a loosely organized group that espouses white nationalism, emerged as a counterpoint to mainstream conservatism and has flourished online. Spencer has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the U.S.
Twitter on Tuesday removed Spencer’s verified account, @RichardBSpencer, that of his think tank, the National Policy Institute @npiamerica, and his online magazine @radixjournal.
“This is corporate Stalinism,” Spencer told The Daily Caller News Foundation. In a YouTube video, entitled Knight of the Long Knives, an apparent reference to the purge of Nazi leaders in 1934 to consolidate Adolf Hitler’s power, Spencer said Twitter had engaged in a coordinated effort to wipe out alt-right Twitter.
“I am alive physically but digitally speaking there has been execution squads across the alt right,” he said. “There is a great purge going on and they are purging people based on their views.”
In a statement, Twitter said: “The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted abuse and harassment, and we will suspend accounts that violate this policy.”
It declined to comment specifically on the suspensions, which included the accounts of Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers.
For years, Twitter billed itself as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” But as the social media service grew, that hands-off approach contributed to a dramatic rise in abuse, harassment and hate speech. As the company’s user and revenue growth stagnated and public backlash increased, Twitter has in recent months begun to address complaints. After a bitterly divisive election, personal attacks and threats have only escalated.
— WeSearchr (@wesearchr) November 15, 2016
Twitter started to ban alt-right accounts on a one by one basis…
In one of the highest-profile bans, Twitter removed the account of Milo Yiannopoulos, a technology editor at the conservative news site Breitbart in July.
Now it appears that mass banning of alt-right account is the next step, it what will soon be a complete ban on any speech Twitter feels it does not agree with.
Radical left hate speech and racism toward anything “patriarchy” is perfectly acceptable…and considered hipster San Fran cool.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.