Twitter Takes a Side in the Culture Wars – Lies About It

Twitter announced that in order to combat abuse and harassment on its increasingly unpopular online platform, that it would enact new rules and regulations that would hopefully get control of things. The stated mission was to cut down on loosely-defined "harassment." But, what it seems to really be is yet another example of someone with a little bit of power behaving arbitrarily in favor of their "team."

Twitter didn’t call it “censorship.” They called it “fighting abuse to protect freedom of expression.” Ok, fair enough. Since it gives away accounts for free, and every lunatic has access to a computer, the barrier for entry on Twitter is very low. That means that the guy who used to stand on the street corner and scream at the clouds, or the crazy cat lady, both have as much access to Twitter as someone reasonably intelligent. The underside of the human condition is ugly and brutish, and if you spend 15 minutes on Twitter, you figure that out.

Twitter has every right to try and get ahold of things. If I ran Twitter, I wouldn't be very proud of it. And, its value is rapidly plummeting, both as a website worth visiting, and in financial terms. I'd imagine that this is, in no small part, because people are just sick of the bullshit on Twitter. While you can't really express much nuance in 140 characters, you sure can express stupidity and cruelty in less than that. You can form a mob and ruin Justine Sacco's existence with very little effort. Meanwhile, these bite sized chunks of shit do very little to promote discourse.

So I'll admit that if I ran Twitter, I'd probably engage in a little bit of a crackdown myself. I believe in an expansive view of freedom of expression, but I am not an absolutist. I get close, but I think that free speech absolutism is simply intellectual laziness. There is a line.

Where is it? I'm not sure precisely — that's part of my personal search for truth, and I'm not done with it yet. But, I do know that we have to draw a line somewhere.

If you recoil in horror, consider Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines. In 1994, that radio station was the Zyklon-B of the Rwandan genocide. Would I go back to 1994 and "censor" RTLMC? Yes. But, we must admit, that is a hell of an extreme example. But, it at least demonstrates that I can defend freedom of expression, but I'm not a religious zealot about it. (On the other hand, I do not think I would approve of censorship to prevent hypothetical localized harms).

With that out of the way, I don’t have any problem with Twitter deciding that it wants to be less of a shithole and more of a place where people can go to express themselves and read other peoples’ expressions without it turning into an intellectual trash-heap. Remember: it’s their site, their rules.

Nevertheless, I do fault Twitter for is its hypocrisy and its outright lies about what it claims that it is doing. Twitter is not at all interested in making Twitter a "nicer" place, nor promoting more constructive discourse. Twitter is taking a side in the culture wars, and it has chosen that it will be the destination of choice for the "social justice warriors" echo chamber.

A stark example came to light this weekend when Milo Yiannopoulos discovered that his account had suffered the “discipline” of having his official public figure status revoked. On Twitter, the real public figures get a blue checkmark next to their names so that people realize that they’re dealing with the real celebrity, and not one of any number of imposters, impersonators, or satirists. Mr. Yiannopoulos is, for those who are uninitiated, a conservative who frequently disagrees with the “social justice warrior” mentality. And that’s strike one against him. Yiannopoulos had the audacity to disagree with certain politically correct notions, and thus he was subjected to this minor form of discipline.

His reaction was a bit over the top, but far be it from me to criticize him for being hyperbolic. He immediately launched the hashtag “#JeSuiMilo.” Equating losing a little blue checkmark next to your name to the murders at Charlie Hebdo makes me spit a little. But, I’m not entitled to an offense-free existence, so if Mr. Yiannopoulos wants to damage his own credibility by trying to compare himself to those who actually laid their lives at the altar of freedom of expression, so be it. I’m not going to let that get in the way of the fact that he has a valid point.

And what is his valid point? There’s not a damn way that his account would have suffered any discipline at all had his views not been from the disfavored side of the debate. For all Twitter’s lip service to freedom of expression and prevention of abuse, Twitter believes in neither. As Allum Bokhari wrote, "The fingerprints of social justice warriors, who delight in redefining political disagreement as “harassment,” are all over this new rule. Twitter’s reputation for arbitrary, politically-motivated punishment looks set to grow."

In fact, in order to test Twitter’s so-called newfound prevention of harassment, I have tracked a number of Twitter accounts and even have set up decoy accounts. In what I've tracked, so far, pretty strong “harassment” emanating from accounts that purport to promote a "social justice" or feminist agenda remain unscathed – even with pretty extreme content, up to and including death threats. However, even slightly offensive messages coming from conservative voices wind up being disciplined. Thus far, the experiment has not gone on long enough to actually call it "scientific," so I'm not going to say that the early stages of studying the bias in Twitter suspensions is ready for prime time – but it is certainly confirming what we hypothesized.

Twitter, we see through your bullshit. It’s okay, you can simply announce that you’ve decided to take a side in the culture wars and you’re just not going to apply the rules the same way to conservatives as you will to liberals. You can say you’re going to discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, and anything else you want. But please don’t pander to us by trying to tell that this has anything to do with “harassment” or “free speech.” Somebody, or a group of somebodies in your organization has a political agenda and you’re going to use your power, diminishing as it is, to promote that agenda. That’s allowed. Maybe it will even make you more popular than ever, but just cut the lies. Because some of us are watching and we know better.

Last 5 posts by Marc Randazza

Comments

  1. SlimTim says

    I don't understand what twitter is trying to accomplish by simply revoking Mr. Yiannopoulos's "official public figure" status. They didn't ban/suspend his account and he is still posting.

    Do they think that he is less likely to cause trouble if viewers don't know if he is the real Milo Yiannopoulos?

  2. AH says

    @SlimTim:

    I'm even more confused then that. Did they suddenly forget who he was? Is it now Twitter's official policy that they are going to lie about you as a punishment for… things? I've never read this guy's twits (frankly, I've never heard of him), so I have no idea what he writes. Maybe he really does need punished, and really is a cancer of Twitter's collection of fine updstanding twits, but if that's the case, just give him the boot.

    By revoking his status, they are saying "we don't know if this is the real guy or not." That seems to be a lie: they knew before, so what's changed? If they want to revoke his account, that's reasonable, but don't say "we don't think this is the real guy now because we don't like what he has to say." That's just petty.

    For the record, all this typing is just because I have a big ego, I really don't give a fuck either (I'd hate to make a liar out of Marc).

  3. naturalized says

    While I agree that there's one rule for social-justice Tweeters and another for their opponents, Nero isn't as innocent as you make him out to be. Consider his outing of Brianna Wu – which didn't take place on Twitter, to be sure, but which illustrates that his crime was not merely wrongthink.

    I'll be upset when Adam Baldwin or even Clark is messed with by Twitter – people who keep clear of the personal stuff entirely.

  4. Total says

    Yiannopoulos had the audacity to disagree with certain politically correct notions

    Yeah, that's what happened.

    I've seen no evidence so far that you're really a liberal, despite the ever shriller protestations.

  5. Sinij says

    "I’m not entitled to an offense-free existence"

    Some people are going quite far past the red line to try so.

  6. Sinij says

    I think the biggest danger of our generation to free speech is privatization of social spaces. If your entire social network and most interactions under control of this or that corporation, then there is very little difference between government censoring you or corporation censoring you. You are still Very Effectively censored.

  7. Joe says

    The thing is, the claims against Milo – which, remember, they haven't been specific about why they did this – are all things that more prominent people from 'the other side' have done, regularly. Mocking regular users? Generalizing for comedic effect? Being an asshole? It's not he's innocent, it's that he isn't guilty in any way that doesn't lend itself to endless counterexamples.

    Good piece Marc.

    "I've seen no evidence so far that you're really a liberal, despite the ever shriller protestations."

    you should read the piece on this page!

  8. Matthew Cline says

    So they've changed the meaning of a "verified account" from "the account holder is the real deal" to "the account holder is the real deal and the number of Terms of Service violations by the account holder is below some threshold"? Or is their position that the blue check mark was never about verifying to third parties that the account holder was the real deal, but had always been more of a status symbol that they hand out to famous people?

    Also, if the threat of losing the blue checkmark is supposed to keep verified user in line: this is only going exert influence a tiny percentage of Twitter's users, so it isn't going to really have any noticeable effect on Twitter's problems.

  9. David says

    Take a look at the Twitter hashtag #oPaTROLL and the Twitter accounts associated with it particularly @cgrapski and @opdenmom . These are a group of very militant very aggressive progressive nutjobs who have organized themselves to target and mass report conservative accounts whose speech they do not approve of. Sadly they have been very successful at having many accounts suspended over the last few days.

  10. Huitzil says

    It seems like the same logic behind misgendering trans criminals — every bit of validity you recognize in another person is an act of accommodation, a favor, one that can be revoked if you dislike them. This makes sense if you assume words do not convey facts, just emotional states. Any service or recognition can be revoked, no matter what function it is supposed to serve, because acknowledging another person as having any verifiable non-negative trait is just a way of saying "I like and approve of you." If you dislike a person, they have no verifiable non-negative traits, and the only things that can be said about them are bad things, and all bad things said about them are true.

  11. tehy says

    "Total says
    JANUARY 11, 2016 AT 7:05 PM

    Yiannopoulos had the audacity to disagree with certain politically correct notions

    Yeah, that's what happened.

    I've seen no evidence so far that you're really a liberal, despite the ever shriller protestations."

    Translated:

    'That thing you said is ridiculous! Not going to explain why, of course. By the way, you're a total liar.'

    This is classic SJW behavior. Poison the well, offer no reasoning or debate. If I don't like something I bloody well explain why, because I am a good-faith actor who believes in what I'm saying. In other words, I'm not an SJW.

  12. says

    Baltimore asking the real important question here. Disqus makes my life easier.

    Total: Really? Because I've seen Marcy Marc say some pretty liberal stuff (but I've been reading him since before his induction to Popehat; for some reason I enjoy reading what lawyers say. Maybe I'm nuts.). I was not aware he needed to throw up some liberal gang signs to prove himself, though. If Randazza seems like a conservative to you I'd like to know what color the sky is on your planet. ;)

    But snark aside, can you point to the actual tweet that made Milo lose his shiny blue checkmark? Because last I heard Twitter hadn't even told HIM what he did wrong. While that's their legal right it's still pretty shitty behavior. Also, when other users behave badly and go unpunished it does present a certain look.

  13. Toastrider says

    And Twitter adds more data points to the Vox Day Theory on SJWs.

    Some days I wonder if socjus types understand how badly they hurt themselves.

  14. Lyreface says

    I'm inclined to agree, even being a fellow conservative I tend to find Yiannopoulos' antics insufferable and his articles intellectually lazy – all bluster and no substance, in other words. Getting himself wrapped up in neckbeard identity politics and the alt-right was really the last straw for me, I've written him off. That being said, twitter's play here doesn't make sense. If they wanted to ban or suspend him I could understand that, I wouldn't agree but that at least looks like a move to correct poor behavior, removing his verified user status just seems petty.

    I do agree with leftists here that his obsession with the content of Brianna Wu's underpants crosses a line, there's no compelling public interest served by outing her and it violates any and all rules of civility and decency. What I don't know is if twitter has a stake in getting him to knock it off, seeing as this behavior occurred offsite, or how removing his verified status would even do that.

  15. Kenpachi says

    SlimTim said: I don't understand what twitter is trying to accomplish by simply revoking Mr. Yiannopoulos's "official public figure" status. They didn't ban/suspend his account and he is still posting.

    Do they think that he is less likely to cause trouble if viewers don't know if he is the real Milo Yiannopoulos?

    It's a strategic move that has two main purposes:

    1.- Increase the noise ratio of his message and undermine his popularity and his overall reach in the platform: they did this with the calculated effect that many more would adopt his name, in solidarity/admiration but also to false-flag/troll him, thus spreading unpopular opinions, threats, maybe real harassment? and what not, now it's open season and many people will confuse the real one with one of the thousands of copy cats. (He has expressed this issue as ongoing already)
    See this for more info on the topic.

    2.- So that they can say that they effectively did NOT censor him, that they did NOT banned him from the site, so they can argue that they did NOT silence his voice, his freedom of expression.

    In essence, they just tried to deliver him a poison pill, to undermine his place in that platform in the mid to long run. So far the Streisand Effect is reverberating hard throughout Twitter Inc. $TWTR with stocks at an all time low, and falling…

    Tens of news outlets around the world reporting on this, the platform clearly became toxic for anyone who values freedom of expression.

  16. Dawnsblood says

    Sinij :

    I think the biggest danger of our generation to free speech is privatization of social spaces"

    I love the way you summed this up. My congratulations, I may steal it though. . .

  17. King Squirrel says

    Someone please correct me if this is wrong, but it looks like the known facts are these:

    1) A blue check mark disappeared
    2) A blue X took its place

    *shrug*

  18. says

    Well, now that Clark's gone, I guess someone had to fill the role of "The guy who complains about people to the left of him not being civil/reasonable/calm/dispassionate/logical/open-minded/&c. enough, then instantly descends into frothing incoherent rage at the Evil SJW Hegemony."

  19. Cube says

    Clearly no true Milo Yiannopoulos would tweet such things….

    Also, it's not like they don't know if he's who he is anymore. They've just decided he's no longer a celebrity.

  20. Eyebrows raised says

    Thus far, the experiment has not gone on long enough to actually call it "scientific," so I'm not going to say that the early stages of studying the bias in Twitter suspensions is ready for prime time – but it is certainly confirming what we hypothesized.

    I didn't design it scientifical, and I runned the experiment until it told me I was right, and I'll write it up paper to make full-scientifical soon, promise. I know all the hypothesize words and significance ratios to include in my conclusions.

  21. Anonymous says

    The length of such an exercise is not the criterion for making it scientific. The experiment design is. You've made a very strong claim here, and I'll be interested to see whether you can back it up.

  22. eddie says

    Would I go back to 1994 and "censor" RTLMC? Yes.

    Would you do it by purchasing the radio station, or by using men with guns?

  23. Shieldfoss says

    RTLMC needed men-with-guns censorship. I will not quote (The text is not digital) but instead point you to ICTR-99-52, page 128 (Or p.133 if you have it as a PDF document) paragraph 377, which, paraphrased, is Gaspard Gahigi, the editor in chief calling out an individual man, and all of his family members, by name, as an enemy. That man, and his family, and his children, were all killed. And that's one single example in this hundreds-of-pages long document that just has this shit page after page. Much of it would not be illegal in the US but some of it would.

  24. Shieldfoss says

    I found a shorter, more quotable and 100% damnable statement:

    from what we know a bout him, ha!, he has never stopped saying,… even when he was still in Brussels. that he would support the Inkotanyi. Let us assume that those are rumours, but if it is true, let his neighbours telephone us again and tell us that the doctor and his family are no longer in his house.

    "Hey people near him, you should kill him and his entire family."

    EDIT: That was Nöel Hitimana, not Gaspard.

  25. says

    @ Total

    "I've seen no evidence so far that you're really a liberal, despite the ever shriller protestations."

    Would you like to send me to re-education to make sure that I am sufficiently orthodox to be in the club? I consider myself to be a liberal who generally despises other liberals. Liberals like you.

  26. Total says

    This is classic SJW behavior

    I stopped reading at this point.

    I consider myself to be a liberal who generally despises other liberals. Liberals like you.

    It must be sad to be so alone. (Pats head) Don't worry, Marc, someone, somewhere likes you.

  27. says

    @ Anonymous:

    The length of such an exercise is not the criterion for making it scientific. The experiment design is. You've made a very strong claim here, and I'll be interested to see whether you can back it up.

    I'll be the first to admit that it might be horribly flawed in its design – and I'd welcome a competing experiment that either confirms mine, or makes mine out to be total bullshit. I'm interested in finding the truth, and I'd delight in writing a piece showcasing that my view on this is wrong. I prefer slaying bullshit to being proven right.

  28. Ed Popehat says

    Not a surprise. It's funny that the lefties, who in my youth distrusted government and gave rise to the likes of Mario Savio, now are looking like Nixonian thugs.

    It's interesting that they have no sense of history, or how the tools that they are bluntly wielding, could easily be turned against them.

  29. Jimbo Slice says

    Twitter is selling verification badges to companies for up to $60,000 per year.

    Looks like twitter is using these badges as a form of official endorsement from themselves to make profit. Rather than a verification that the user is real to help the users.

    I think that explains why they removed Milos badge.

  30. Shieldfoss says

    I think the problem is that you're framing it as "leftists."

    Try: "The comfortable upper middle class and their university-age children want to signal their membership in the middle class by visibly promoting middle class values."

    It's not ABOUT social justice, it is about making sure, as certainly as possible, that others know you are middle-class. It is much like Protestants and Catholics warring in Ireland – sure [my religion] says not to kill but a much more certain way to show that I belong to [my religion] is to kill members of [your religion].

  31. mcinsand says

    @Shieldfoss

    >>I think the problem is that you're framing it as "leftists."

    I like the path that you're taking, but I use a different word: tribalism. The behavior associated with SJW's on the left is by no means unique to SJW's, but is sadly common behavior for tribalists that want rules set to promote their tribe above all others.

  32. Ed Popehat says

    OK, not "lefties" but those whose preferred tribal totems are leftie in origin and appearance. I agree that it is primarily driven by over indulged white college students (one wonders how many of their brothers and sisters of color will be around when they work in the equities business).

    It is sorta going to be like elements of post modern historical thinking that held that history was "wrong" and inherently unreliable. That mode of thought did not survive a close consideration of the tenure process.

  33. Potato says

    The death threats rule has always been hilarious to me. Zimmerman got them daily and very explicit from some accounts and nothing ever happened to them.

  34. Darwin Smith says

    You missed the part about Twitter censoring hashtags that point out twitter censorship, such as… well, #twittercensorship and #jesuismilo. Try 'em. They don't autocomplete anymore.

  35. Noah Callaway says

    What was the selection process that was used to select which accounts were going to be tracked?

  36. tehy says

    @Total

    "This is classic SJW behavior

    I stopped reading at this point.

    I consider myself to be a liberal who generally despises other liberals. Liberals like you.

    It must be sad to be so alone. (Pats head) Don't worry, Marc, someone, somewhere likes you."

    Translated:

    "I refuse to read your argument, or refute it. Also, that guy i was disagreeing with earlier is a loser."

    Classic SJW behavior. You know the argument has merit, but it says things you dislike, so you try and undermine it in people's eyes. If the arguments were really so weak, you'd just destroy them…

  37. Marshal says

    You can form a mob and ruin Justine Sacco's existence with very little effort.

    Now that she's working for one of the big daily fantasy websites can we accept that her life was not ruined?

  38. Stalin's reincarnation says

    Milo – outer of an underaged son's name

    Vox Day – rape lover (if in marriage)

    Roosh – actual rapist

    Man, the enlightenment thinkers would have been proud of today's libertarianism.

    Hey if SJWJSJWEAsda have more money, are middle-class and are more comfy, doesn't that mean that they are more productive, successful, intelligent and probably more worthy of being listened to again?

    Don't respond to my comment if you don't have any links to credible studies from independent people with regards to "SJW" lifestyles or if you try to deny what Milo, Vox Day and Roosh have said and done. I don't listen to people whose brains can't accept facts.

    Say it with me – Roosh is a rapist, Milo is pro-harassment and outed the name of an underaged son, and Vox Day is a rape proponent. Begin your comment with affirming that those are true statements or you don't deserve to be read and responded to.

  39. Sad Panda says

    @Marshal:

    Would the twitter mob that went after her be upset if her ruin score passed whatever arbitrary threshold you'd like to set?

  40. Marshal says

    Sylocat says

    Well, now that Clark's gone, I guess someone had to fill the role of "The guy who complains about people to the left of him not being civil/reasonable/calm/dispassionate/logical/open-minded/&c. enough, then instantly descends into frothing incoherent rage at the Evil SJW Hegemony."

    Let's see an example of this incoherent rage. I skimmed after seeing this comment so completely at odds with reality and found nothing that could be remotely described as such. Apparently to some "frothing incoherent rage" just means making a point they wish weren't true.

  41. naturalized says

    @Richard McEnroe,

    Goddammit. So he has been, you're right. That'll teach me to comment on the culture wars without my fact-checker on retainer.

    Errata for the Errata God!

  42. Sad Panda says

    I'd love to have been at the meeting where Twitter decided to mete out this punishment.

    Is everybody here? Great. So the problem is this Milo Whats-iz-snot guy. Question: what's the smallest, most petty thing we can possibly do that will boost his Persecution Klout Score? Ideas? Anyone?

  43. Roger Smith says

    I saw no evidence that the #JeSuisMilo hashtag was launched by Yiannopolis I thought it was an initiative from his followers, though he certainly didn't protest its use.

  44. Nathan Cook says

    Now that she's working for one of the big daily fantasy websites can we accept that her life was not ruined?

    That bit is essentially part of Marc's justification for limited behaviour policing by Twitter. If Sam Biddle shitposting on Gawker about Sacco's new job (for example) doesn't count as that big a deal, a fortiori neither are tweets.

  45. James says

    In what I've tracked, so far, pretty strong “harassment” emanating from accounts that purport to promote a "social justice" or feminist agenda remain unscathed – even with pretty extreme content, up to and including death threats. However, even slightly offensive messages coming from conservative voices wind up being disciplined.

    Can you show examples of this? It's such a standard complaint that without at least examples I fail to be concerned, but if you can show equivalent threats getting different treatment, then you'll be showing evidence.

  46. Marshal says

    Sad Panda says

    Would the twitter mob that went after her be upset…

    I presume they are upset every day about everything they focus on. Confirmation and further detail is available only from them.

  47. Joe says

    "Let's see an example of this incoherent rage."

    That's easy, it's projection on the part of the commenter.

  48. RB says

    Anyone who supports the right of conservatives to say conservative things is clearly not a liberal.

    Anyone who supports the right of liberals to say liberal things is clearly not a conservative.

    Poor Marc (and Ken and …) they just don't fit into either camp, so they are alone in the wasteland. Perhaps they should each pick a side and get re-educated to properly tow the party line.

  49. Nicholas says

    1. Taking his check mark was a stupid, toothless move. In the scheme of Let's Do a Better Job of Dealing with Harassers, it's about as useful as shitting on a bed.

    2. Either you're 99% ignorant about what Milo has actually done on Twitter, or you're lying about his actions in order to support *your* agenda. I'd like to have some faith in the articles posted here, so I'll try to give you the benefit of the doubt and ask that you go and do some research on Milo's Twitter activities. But I can't shake the nagging feeling that you *already* know the truth about his activities.

  50. says

    @Marshal:

    Let's see an example of this incoherent rage. I skimmed after seeing this comment so completely at odds with reality and found nothing that could be remotely described as such.

    I dunno about rage, but Mr Randazza's weird excursion through free speech absolutism by way of the Rwandan genocide left me leaning towards "incoherent".

  51. Castaigne says

    Remember: it’s their site, their rules.

    Truer words were never spoken.
    Therefore, I cannot criticize Twitter for their actions. It doesn't matter who they decide to favor – their site, their rules. Don't like what they're doing? Go to another site.

    He immediately launched the hashtag “#JeSuiMilo.” Equating losing a little blue checkmark next to your name to the murders at Charlie Hebdo makes me spit a little.

    Well, he IS a tabloid hack who had to be sued when he decided he didn't need to pay his employees. So, not surprising. He most reminds me of Tony Pope from Predator 2. I am also unsurprised that "Master Milo" is whining about it. I've noticed most of the NRx/MRA/alt-right bunch have a lot of bluster, but no bite.

  52. Sad Panda says

    @Marshal: Okay, but you get the core point, do you not? That Twitter is pretty effective at mob justice, but not so good for reasoned discourse?

    This is the first I've heard of this Justine character since her off-color tweet, so I'll grant that if she's working again, her life isn't literally ruined. But that's got to be down to her having the character to dust herself off after an internet mugging and get on with her life, rather than any suggestion that the response was proportionate.

  53. guesting says

    I wonder how long will it take for people to start saying "I can't believe Ken is allowing this crazy guy Marc to post here"

    If it has not happened already.

  54. That Anonymous Coward says

    Milo got Mileage
    SJW got Mileage
    Twitter got Mileage

    Everyone got something out of the deal, and each thinks they are winning. One wonders if the real winner is Twitter getting more people generating buzz and hits.

    Oh Milo is sooo mean to us!!! Handy button, says block. But then we can't see what he is saying about us and complain loudly about it!!!

    Twitter is mean to me!!! They stole my little blue checkmark that means fsckall in the grand scheme of things and now these harpies are celebrating!!!

    Well now that we've thrown a match on the fire, we can expect a boost in our public profile for at least 2 weeks and possibly expand the membership levels of the site as more people come to join in the fray. Ad revenues are looking up.

    I've seen this Milo guy retweeted into my timeline, I cared so little I never followed him.
    I've seen the pissing matches retweeted as each side enjoys trying to get the last word in and show how horrible the other guy is while ignoring their own feces smells as well.

    This is the zero sum game. Either we win or we loose. There is no middle ground, there can be no respect for dissent, there can be no comment left unchallenged, we will fight until we win!!!

    Twitter is a platform trying to play a dangerous game or trying to appease whoever screams the loudest (and has the largest number of muppets willing to pile on) and make it look legitimate.

    Accept you might not get along with everyone.
    Accept they can have different viewpoints.
    Accept they don't have to answer to you.
    Accept screaming louder than the other guy isn't debate.
    Accept that perhaps being rational and calm might work better in trying to debate.
    Accept that you can hit a point where it is best to agree to disagree because in 100 years no one is going to look back and point at your feed and claim these are the 140 characters that made everyone come together & make the world a better place.
    Accept sometimes to "win" means to just move on, not to keep screaming & give the other guy the attention they so desperately need.

  55. says

    @Total

    It must be sad to be so alone. (Pats head) Don't worry, Marc, someone, somewhere likes you.

    The fact that Marc was invited to blog here would have rendered this comment inert. Would have because it was stillborn. You troll like a seventh grader.

  56. says

    @That Anonymous Coward:

    Milo got Mileage
    SJW got Mileage
    Twitter got Mileage

    Everyone got something out of the deal, and each thinks they are winning.
    […]
    This is the zero sum game. Either we win or we loose.

    The really funny thing is that, as you describe it, it's actually a positive sum game, and everybody is playing rationally.

  57. Marshal says

    Sad Panda says

    @Marshal: Okay, but you get the core point, do you not? That Twitter is pretty effective at mob justice, but not so good for reasoned discourse?

    We should respond to overheated rhetoric with our own overheated rhetoric?

    This is the first I've heard of this Justine character since her off-color tweet,

    She was quoted in a recent article on the unfairness of the daily fantasy sites enabling sharks to take advantage of people who are only there trying to take advantage of other people.

  58. TheLizard says

    This is really nothing new for Twitter. Making Yiannopoulos not verified was simply correcting an error – they typically refuse to verify ANY conservative on Twitter unless they're known well enough to get mentions on the Sunday morning talk shows more than once. Below that threshold, no non-left-leaning voice will ever get verification.

    That's pretty clear if you compare the number of followers of verified SJWs and progressives with those of verified conservatives. The bar for being verified is WAY higher for the conservative personalities.

    Consider, for example, two famous MTV VJs from the 1990s: Adam Curry and Martha Quinn. Martha, with only 24.5 K has been verified for a long time, but Curry, with 38.3 K, still "unknown" to Twitter. Adam isn't even really conservative, but for the crime of questioning the PC status quo and criticizing Obama (after years of criticizing W. Bush), he will never get verified.

    Mark Herring, a liberal Democrat with an itch to ban guns, has only about 8 K followers, but verified he is. But Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan's Republican AG, should not expect to be verified, and he won't be. Nor will Ohio's conservative AG Mike DeWine, even though he has more followers than Herring.

    There are more numerous examples.

  59. Jordan says

    I think the biggest danger of our generation to free speech is privatization of social spaces

    I've heard this a lot recently, and I still don't get it. There was never a "public" Twitter. Furthermore, the social spaces of yore still exist, and have always been private: malls, bars, movie theaters, restaurants, churches, etc.

  60. says

    So they've changed the meaning of a "verified account" from "the account holder is the real deal" to "the account holder is the real deal and the number of Terms of Service violations by the account holder is below some threshold"? Or is their position that the blue check mark was never about verifying to third parties that the account holder was the real deal, but had always been more of a status symbol that they hand out to famous people?

    It's not a "change of meaning." It has always been the case that you can get your checkmark revoked for violating Twitter's terms of service. This is nothing new, there is nothing special about this case. The only reason anyone cares is because the dreaded spectre of Social Justice (dunh dunh DUNNNNNH!) is hanging over this incident.

    I don't understand what twitter is trying to accomplish by simply revoking Mr. Yiannopoulos's "official public figure" status.

    You mean, aside from enforcing their terms of service?

    Let's see an example of this incoherent rage.

    Easy: claiming that JeSuisMilo was only disciplined for disagreeing with SJWs, rather than repeated violations of Twitter's TOS, and claiming that this means the Evil SJW Hegemony has whipped Twitter into line.

    And, given how insanely difficult it is to get Twitter to do anything about accounts who send multiple death and rape threats to GG's victims, forgive me if I'm a little skeptical of Marc's claim that all his sockpuppets in one tribe suffered consequences while his sockpuppets in the other tribe did not.

  61. That Anonymous Coward says

    @pillsy – 2 separate thoughts there.
    The 3 players all got something.

    The zero sum game is about how people think they have to "win".
    That if they scream loud enough they will magically make the people who disagree with them convert. There is no middle ground, no compromise, my way is the only way. See Also: Congress.

  62. Marshal says

    Easy: claiming that JeSuisMilo was only disciplined for disagreeing with SJWs,

    So you agree "frothing incoherent rage" means "making a point I disagree with"? Good to know.

  63. says

    @Marc Randazza

    I consider myself to be a liberal who generally despises other liberals.

    I think that might be one of your best lines…it also seems an apt description of you.

    Regardless, it also fits what I have seen (though I haven't made any attempt at a test, scientific or not) that twitter seems to favor one camp over another when it comes to what they deem harassment.

    Yet, from what I have heard, it seems Milo engaged in harassment. Also, the fact that I only heard about him because of this seems to highlight the fact that this action was ineffective and will likely remain so. He does not seem to have lost any followers, but he has gained a great deal of publicity. It has been said that the internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it. This does not hold universally true, but it seems to have held in this case. (Though of course, the censorship in question her appears to have been fairly mild, since the account remains active.)

  64. says

    @Jordan

    I've heard this a lot recently, and I still don't get it. There was never a "public" Twitter. Furthermore, the social spaces of yore still exist, and have always been private: malls, bars, movie theaters, restaurants, churches, etc.

    I suspect this would make more sense to you if you looked both more broadly and further back in history. You are right that there has never been a "public" twitter, but the social spaces of yore (and even some of today) were often not at all private. There were huge common areas "commons" in early America and Europe used for grazing livestock, hunting, etc. and people often gathered there. This has almost entirely vanished in both Europe and America in a quest for efficiency. Some of the history of this is discussed in Lessig's book "Code Version 2.0" as an analogy for copyright matters incidentally. Regardless for a long time many of the outdoor meeting places of the past were truly public affairs.

    Also, you specifically call out churches, and in the modern era that would certainly be true. But historically, they were often very much public affairs, built and maintained by the community and used for gatherings, political meetings, and any number of other non-religious affairs (though in many places historically the line between the secular and religious matters was not so cleanly drawn.)

    In short, if you go back a bit further in the past, many meeting places were not in private hands. They were nominally owned by the government and generally used by the people in common. This has been in the process of changing and going away since long before the internet came into existence, but the Internet makes it more obvious in some ways. A private bar owner may kick someone out because he doesn't like their politics, but he only hosts the conversations in his bar. Twitter and Facebook hold a decent amount of the conversations for the world.

  65. Sinij says

    "This has been in the process of changing and going away since long before the internet came into existence, but the Internet makes it more obvious in some ways. A private bar owner may kick someone out because he doesn't like their politics, but he only hosts the conversations in his bar. Twitter and Facebook hold a decent amount of the conversations for the world."

    I think it is important to highlight this point. In your example, a hypothetical private bar owner had no power to effectively censor someone by kicking them out. Sure, getting kicked out would censor someone from speech in that bar, but it won't come nowhere near all social spaces and avenues available to such individual. There always would be another bar next doors.

    Now, in cases of Twitter and Facebook 'going to a bar next door' no longer an option. There are no feasible alternatives to these in the digital social spaces, as such these private companies have historically unprecedented ability to censor speech. It is to be seen if abuses will happen, but I hope everyone could agree that potential for abuse is there.

  66. chrissystardust says

    @stalin's reincarnation: "Hey if SJWJSJWEAsda have more money, are middle-class and are more comfy, doesn't that mean that they are more productive, successful, intelligent and probably more worthy of being listened to again?"

    Only if you take economic success as an indicator of productivity, intelligence, and worthiness of ideas. And if you do, then I suppose logically you must consider the richest to be the most productive, successful, intelligent, and more worthy of being listened to.

    Please begin your response with "chrissystardust is smart and wise and handsome and way cuter than that one guy from One Direction, you know the one, not not him, the other one," or else it will not be worth reading or responding to.

  67. says

    @That Anonymous Coward:

    @pillsy – 2 separate thoughts there.
    The 3 players all got something.

    The zero sum game is about how people think they have to "win".

    Yeah, I got that, I just think the contrast is kind of amusing.

    I'm all for people going into debates with an open mind and considering that they might actually be wrong (or at least that their opponents might be right, which isn't quite the same thing), but I don't think Twitter's a good forum for debate, openminded or otherwise.

    On the other hand, it's very well-suited to perpetual floating partisan food fights. So it's got that going for it, I guess.

  68. DRed says

    That's pretty clear if you compare the number of followers of verified SJWs and progressives with those of verified conservatives. The bar for being verified is WAY higher for the conservative personalities.

    Twitter explicitly states that they don't take number of followers into account in their (admittedly opaque) verification process. Eric Schniederman (AG of NY) has a blue check; Maura Healey (AG of Massachusets) and Kamala Harris (AG of California) do not. Ms. Harris has twice the followers of Mr. Schneiderman. Should we presume twitter is sexist?

  69. DRed says

    To me it seems that social justice warfare is a tactic, not a particular ideology. Vox Day, for my money, is as much of a SJW as Arthur Chu.

  70. says

    I still can't bring myself to take any argument that uses the phrases "politically correct" and "social justice warrior" seriously. If you've got something serious to say, maybe don't walk into the room in squeaky clown shoes and a big red nose.

    I'll agree with other posters that revoking the "verified public figure" status is a weird damn punishment that does not make a lick of sense to me, and that if Twitter's going to punish people for violating its rules (whether those rules are good ones or not) then it should use account suspension and the usual such tools, not decide that somebody who was previously verified is no longer verified somehow.

    And I also agree that if the rules are being applied inconsistently, Twitter should (at minimum) be honest about it, and, ideally, do something to enforce its terms of use consistently.

    I notice that someone responded to your tweet by responding that someone with a differing point of view also lost her checkmark.

    You responded, "one time does not make a trend." Which is a totally valid criticism. Which you maybe should have applied to this article before clicking the Post button.

  71. Matthew Cline says

    Sylocat wrote:

    It's not a "change of meaning." It has always been the case that you can get your checkmark revoked for violating Twitter's terms of service.

    DRed wrote:

    Twitter explicitly states that they don't take number of followers into account in their (admittedly opaque) verification process.

    They really should call it something other than "verification", if verification is only a side-effect of whatever it is they're trying to do.

  72. asdf says

    "Twitter is not at all interested in making Twitter a "nicer" place, nor promoting more constructive discourse. Twitter is taking a side in the culture wars, and it has chosen that it will be the destination of choice for the "social justice warriors" echo chamber." LOL oh this is a conservative reactionary post? I won't waste my time then

  73. asdf says

    "Mr. Yiannopoulos is, for those who are uninitiated, a conservative who frequently disagrees with the “social justice warrior” mentality. "

    HAHAHA that's a laughable whitewashing of his abusive rhetoric, and you should feel bad for revising history to make your political agenda less hideous.

    Maybe you should do a modicum of research before writing terrible blog posts

    "Milo Yiannopoulos (born 1983, sometimes known as Milo Wagner) is a conservative wingnut yellow journalist[wp] for the far-right tabloid Breitbart.com. Yiannopoulos is also a failed tech-blogger, Gamergate figurehead, MRA, gay homophobe (yes, really), and an all-around terrible person. As a "journalist", his blog posts on Breitbart.com typically consist of self-aggrandizement, straw-man attacks against anything he perceives as progressive and the regurgitation of dated anti-feminist 4chan/8chan memes. Surprising absolutely no one, Milo endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election.[1]

    Milo has a deep and abiding need to be smarter than his audience; so he steadily chased downwards to find a demographic befitting his intellect, finally landing on Gamergate and Breitbart.com. Given Milo's history of professional failure and general ignorance of technology and gaming culture[2] (along with Breitbart.com's own sterling reputation for ethical journalism[3][4]), he was clearly the right man to head Breitbart.com's technology and gaming culture section. Surely, journalism of only the highest intellectual caliber and ethical standards will come of such a pairing.

    His greatest journalistic assets are probably his British accent and use of humour rather than humor, which his audience confuses with intelligence."

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Milo_Yiannopoulos

  74. Sami says

    Sorry, no. In spite of credibility-eviscerating phrases like "social justice warrior echo chamber", I might think you had a shred of a case if his account had been removed, or if your "research" had any kind of statistical or methodological validity.

    But what you've got is OH NO HIS TICKY BOX WAS REMOVED OMGOMGOMG and "these accounts get noticed more!!!1!!eleven!"

    Seriously, raising drama over a ticky box. And people claim "SJW"s are oversensitive.

    In addition to the myriad other ways in which that dude needs to grow the fuck up, if you're going to appropriate something like Je Suis Charlie, you really should learn to spell it.

    first they came for the tickyboxes
    and I was an adult, so I didn't give a shit
    then they used really inappropriate callbacks to past tragedies because they were egomaniacs
    and I rolled my eyes and was sad they weren't ACTUALLY silenced
    and I just had to hope they would shut the fuck up
    which was really unlikely

  75. tehy says

    @Asdf

    'Milo has a deep and abiding need to be smarter than his audience; so he steadily chased downwards to find a demographic befitting his intellect, finally landing on Gamergate and Breitbart.com. '

    Is this meant to be some unbiased and believable source, then? Apologies, next time we will also check Fox News and ask for their opinion before running any stories.

    @sami

    how exactly would he conduct statistical research on this subject? Can you suggest a method? I sure as hell can't.
    What is noteworthy is that Milo had his check mark removed because… no reason given? And all the evidence points in one very, very clear direction.

    @Stalin's reincarnation

    Those are some serious charges. Do you have any…proof?

    Usually people just call Roosh a 'rape apologist' because he made a troll piece people took seriously, but the out-and-out 'rapist' is new. And as much as i've heard other insane shit about vox day (and seen it firsthand), i can't recall him justifying marital rape either? As for Milo, he is hardly 'pro-harassment', but even if he was, it's about on par with his opponents, who believe that it's OK to say 'go die in a fire' to people, as long as it's the Right kind of people. You know…the ones that deserve to die in a fire.
    (Shouts justine sacco who totally deserved it)

  76. Robert says

    This doesn't surprise me. I've always (more so with each day) found it amazing that to when someone does it, it is free speech. When someone has it done to them, it's harassment. – It's like cars, bikes and pedestrians. No matter what they are doing, they have the right away, even if when they get into/out of their car and then do the same thing on the other side.

  77. DRed says

    In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she legally couldn’t give her consent.

    It didn’t help matters that I was sober, but I can’t say I cared or even hesitated. I won’t rationalize my actions, but having sex is what I do.

    Roosh, explaining why we shouldn't let refugees from ISIS into America.

    Vox's little thing is to claim that marital rape is an oxymoron. It's a crispy axiom.

  78. tehy says

    @Dred

    I find it incredibly amusing that forcibly taking a woman against her will is equated to 'well she was kinda drunk at the time SO'; sleazy behavior but not sexual assault. The fact that America has decided to divest women of their agency in this manner doesn't make it rape.

    as I recall Roosh has protested against your characterization as well, but as usual – progressives find a label on the flimsiest excuse possible, then stick to it even in the face of the facts. Why acknowledge you're wrong when you can call the other guy a rapist?

  79. DRed says

    @Tehy

    I understand that you are very concerned. I also see that you are too slow witted to understand why people might refer to a man who has admitted to rape as a rapist. I note that you are also actually laughing. I regret that I am unable to help you. For further assistance, I suggest you consult bofa.

  80. Peter Gerdes says

    "Twitter is not at all interested in making Twitter a "nicer" place, nor promoting more constructive discourse."

    Aren't they? They just believe that anti-SJW type comments are more offensive than pro-SJW comments (indeed that is part of the whole SJW argument….statements which imply their justice causes are unimportant, misguided or etc.. are themselves a type of verbal attack). Also, once you believe the truth lies somewhere in SJW land cracking down on criticisms far to the right of that community will seem justified in the way that cracking down on holocaust denial can be reasonably be seen as promoting a more constructive discourse.

  81. Nathan Cook says

    It's funny how recognisable RationalWiki's house style is. It's almost as if there are only a couple of people who really work on it.

  82. tehy says

    @Dred

    'I gave him a poke, and enraged, he leapt off a cliff. If i had been in (insert country of idiots here), I would have been charged with murder.'

    "TEHY IS A MURDERER!!!"

    The 'too drunk to consent' laws are a sad conflation of unrelated phenomena: firstly, women that are too drunk to really move or react, which was clearly not the case, and secondly, women that wake up the next morning and think 'damn, i don't remember this / i fucked a guy I wouldn't have fucked normally'.

    As usual, the first thing is acknowledged as rape and entirely different, and the second happens to guys all the time, who shrug it off and move on. But nowadays women are encouraged to think of themselves as raped when they sleep with a dude by accident, because god forbid we tell women to be strong instead of weak and to take responsibility for their actions. Feminism!

  83. James says

    @asdf
    Wow, how very classy. Calling people who hold a different political belief than you "stupid" in so many words. Truly, thou art a paragon of social justice. I don't know how you can fool yourself into believing that you're the good guys when it seems like it's standard procedure for your ilk to dismiss dissenting arguments with insults, ridicule, outright lies, misrepresentation/straw men, blind spite, and blatant attempts at censorship.

    I'm a liberal. I know this may come as an utter shock, but being a liberal doesn't mean you have to eviscerate anyone with a conservative opinion on whatever issue and it doesn't mean you have to fall in with the SocJus BS. You may find it surprising that a liberal can even dissent at times and care about such issues as fair and transparent journalism, croynism, censorship (both de jure and de facto), and yes, even the ever-ridiculed, ever-scorned men's rights (a liberal that thinks that men being treated unfairly by the criminal justice system is a bad thing? BURN THE HERETIC! is "DINO" a thing?).

    You may even be more shocked to find that I have conservative friends (yes, friends! surprise, they're actually human and not just the boogeymen you blame everything on) that care about such issues as police abusing their authority or minority ethnic groups being treated unfairly by the government. You see, when you step outside the echo chamber, you find that the people on the other side are human beings that generally do care about doing the right thing, even if they may have a different idea about what that means.

    You see, there was once a man who suggested that the exchange of different ideas and beliefs is a good thing, that people on both sides can learn new things, find new insights, and broaden their perspectives. This sick, sick man suggested that liberals and conservatives could come together, have a discussion about issues, and reach reasonable compromises or at least reach an understanding. This crazed lunatic's name was Barack Obama and he eventually ran for office on this very platform, the same platform that I voted for him twice on. And while conservative politicians have unfortunately tried their damnedest to prevent any of this silly "compromise" nonsense from happening, the idea he ran on is still a good one and the message is one that I think is important now more than ever in an era where people are becoming increasingly more extreme and insulated. This even though I may disagree with him very, very strongly on some issues (for instance, the TPP).

    But I guess since I disagree with you on today's trendy topic, you'll just be dismissing me as yet another "troll" or "radical conservative" despite me taking a solid hour to type out this post and spend a great deal of my time explaining why I think what you are doing is harmful both to the general dialogue and to the party I typically vote for (unless I vote third party, which I sometimes do).

  84. Blix Krogg says

    I just thought I'd mention that though the #JeSuisMilo tag was definitely supposed to reference the Charlie killings in a way, the tag was supposed to also be mean that any one else could be Milo – hence the legion of people sporting his avatar and changing their Twitter name to Milo's name.

  85. Castaigne says

    @tehy:

    Is this meant to be some unbiased and believable source, then?

    Unbiased? No. RationalWiki operates off of SPOV (Snarky Point of View) and eschews NPOV (Neutral Point of View). It is very much biased, and bias is encouraged. Believable? Well, it's sourced. I guess believable depends on whether you believe the sources.

    Milo is a tabloid hack, though. I've said that myself from the get-go.

    What is noteworthy is that Milo had his check mark removed because… no reason given?

    No reason required to be given. Frankly, if I were running Twitter, I wouldn't provide reasons for anything and I would be arbitrary as shit, simply because I don't believe owners/companies are required to provide reasons for anything not required by law. "I feel like it." should be a sufficient reason for any company.

    And all the evidence points in one very, very clear direction.

    Well, all the evidence I've seen is what Milo tweeted to whomever. He says he was joking. I don't personally believe he was, because if I said something like that, I would be serious about it. Regardless, if what he said is against TOS, joke or not, tough shit on him. Rules are rules.

    Usually people just call Roosh a 'rape apologist' because he made a troll piece people took seriously

    It wasn't a troll piece. Roosh was quite serious about the whole rape legalization thing. He only tried to take it back as a joke when even his own followers took exception with it.

    And as much as i've heard other insane shit about vox day (and seen it firsthand), i can't recall him justifying marital rape either?

    1) There is no "marital rape".
    2) Marital sex is never rape

    Of course he doesn't justify marital rape, because marital rape does not exist according to him. If you decide to have sex with your wife, even if she is physically trying to get you off her and screaming "NO! DON'T HAVE SEX WITH ME! NO!", then that's not rape because it's marital sex and thus justified.

    You obviously don't travel in the evangelist/Christian nationalist circles much or you'd know this line of thinking.

    As for Milo, he is hardly 'pro-harassment', but even if he was, it's about on par with his opponents,

    I thought you guys were all ethical-minded about the no doxxing? I mean, wasn't that a huge discussion on KiA when Milo doxxed? That it was OK because, well, Master Milo? Or was it only the "ethics cucks" that objected?

  86. James says

    @Castaigne

    No reason required to be given. Frankly, if I were running Twitter, I wouldn't provide reasons for anything and I would be arbitrary as shit, simply because I don't believe owners/companies are required to provide reasons for anything not required by law. "I feel like it." should be a sufficient reason for any company.

    Being arbitrary and non-transparent is a quick way to lose customers. Imagine if a restaurant owner decided to eject patrons seemingly at random without explaining why. Sure, you're free to operate your business however you like, but that doesn't mean that you should, nor does it mean that people aren't free to criticize you for the way you do things and eventually take their business elsewhere if things don't improve. Twitter gets away with this because they're basically the only viable option in their particular niche right now, but if they piss people off sufficiently, alternatives will spring up and gain momentum.

  87. says

    Ken, are you sure he wasn't / isn't criticizing the lame and stupid hashtag response to the murders of the cartoonists and a "bunch of folks" in Paris? And that stupid, sickly, preening, parade? Reminiscent of that stupid, lame, #bringbackourgirls thing.

  88. says

    Marc, are you sure he wasn't / isn't criticizing the lame and stupid hashtag response to the murders of the cartoonists and a "bunch of folks" in Paris? And that stupid, sickly, preening, parade? All reminiscent of that stupid, lame, useless, #bringbackourgirls thing.

  89. says

    You say you're tracking instances of pretty awful harrassment that's not being addressed by Twitter. That implies some level of recording, even if it's you just writing stuff down in a spreadsheet or whatever. So what would make this a more compelling argument: publish it. Your entire argument is that it is obvious that Twitter is being inconsistent. So show us the equivalent tweets: here, this guy said ABC and got censured¹, this other person said the same ABC and did not get censured. I mean, data makes this argument way more compelling. Put it all in the light. Otherwise it's just hearsay and your saying "trust me guys, I've totally found places where Twitter is inconsistent." Otherwise it's just confirmation bias and all that.

    The other thing is that the existence proof isn't terribly compelling. Twitter has to mine and monitor kajillions of tweets, and it's a new thing they're doing, and they don't exactly have a broad range of responses they can make. No system will be implemented perfectly. So the fact that it is imperfect, even if it starts off biased, isn't evidence that it was intended to be biased and that it is intended to continue to be biased. Even if you're right, the idea that everything they're doing is a perfect expression of their corporate will is a tough argument to make.

    So it's really easy to pick at them and say their implementation is imperfect. You're probably right that there's some bias in there. After all, they're trying to address some pretty awful shit that's aimed at a specific group. If your argument is that there are equal volumes of equivalent shit flowing equally in both directions, I think you have a lot of justification to do. (An example here, an example there doesn't do it) I would assert that it's much worse shit, in heavier volumes, flowing in a particular direction. Thus, the effort to tamp it down is going to affect one side disproportionately due to simple maths. The bias exists in the stuff they're trying to tamp down, not just in the method they use to tamp it down. Thus, the whole thing boils down to data. Post it. Let everyone see. Otherwise it's all just confirmation bias in your head.

    ¹ yes I know the difference between censured and censored.

  90. Castaigne says

    @James:

    Being arbitrary and non-transparent is a quick way to lose customers.

    I can understand that. Still not my problem.

    Imagine if a restaurant owner decided to eject patrons seemingly at random without explaining why.

    I would be greatly amused, frankly. Also, I would support the owner's right to do so.

    Sure, you're free to operate your business however you like, but that doesn't mean that you should

    There we disagree. I say that you should.

    or does it mean that people aren't free to criticize you for the way you do things and eventually take their business elsewhere if things don't improve.

    Here I agree. People are absolutely free to criticize your business practices. People are absolutely free to take their business elsewhere. We are sympatico on this.

    Twitter gets away with this because they're basically the only viable option in their particular niche right now, but if they piss people off sufficiently, alternatives will spring up and gain momentum.

    I'm OK with that too. That's the free market in action.

  91. Eyebrows raised says

    Hmmm. It's not the only shaky reasoning in the piece, but I'm still waiting for this evidence-impaired but still-scientifical-enuff-for-me experiment that Marc claimed he'd run. No, scratch that, I've given up waiting. Marc's only response was that he did an experiment that was sciencey enough in his own eyes to suit his argument, and if you doubt its sciency credentials then you're welcome to show your own experiment if you do it first.

    Not impressed with this.
    I'll bet that Marc won't even show his experiment design.

  92. Dan Weber says

    Earnest question: Where did Twitter proclaim that it had "free speech" as a value it would uphold?

  93. Moishe Pipik says

    I lost trust in Twitter when they did not suspend Spike Lee's account after he posted the address and phone number of some unrelated, un-involved family that happened to have the last name of "Zimmerman" during the whole case when a man defended himself against Trayvon Martin.

    Similar harassment was from the "Fat Activists" on reddit, getting "Fat People Hate" shut down. (I now follow it on voat.co, and no longer look at reddit, or their fatty fanbase.)

    But just getting it removed from Reddit wasn't enough. They were uploading illegal pornography to the new host's servers and then reporting them to the FBI. In some cases these links (according to the logs) were visited only twice — once by the uploader and once by the FBI, yet their hosting provider kicked them off. (And did Obama's FBI ever have the person reporting it arrested or investigated? Even through there was means and motive? NO!)

    Organizations and companies like reddit, twitter, "PyCon" (the Python programmers conference that for some reason thinks it needs to be a "safe space" for easily offended non-programmer feminists) are heading down a stupid path by pandering to a very vocal radical minority who will make the Internet no fun for anybody.

  94. Guy Who Looks Things Up says

    @Moishe Pipik

    I know, man. It just sucks when people expect you to act like a decent human being at a tech conference. I mean, what are they even for? Right?

  95. Castaigne says

    @Dan Weber:

    Earnest question: Where did Twitter proclaim that it had "free speech" as a value it would uphold?

    It doesn't.

    =====

    @Moishe Pipik:

    (I now follow it on voat.co, and no longer look at reddit, or their fatty fanbase.)

    Ah. Voat. Well, thank you for telling us everything about yourself. :)

    Organizations and companies like reddit, twitter, "PyCon" (the Python programmers conference that for some reason thinks it needs to be a "safe space" for easily offended non-programmer feminists) are heading down a stupid path by pandering to a very vocal radical minority who will make the Internet no fun for anybody.

    Sure thing, thanks for the unrelated editorial.

  96. Encinal says

    Peter M. says

    "Here's some more info on what Milo actually did:
    https://twitter.com/glinner/status/685993653425278976"

    Why the hell did you post a link to a tweet with a link with it, rather than just posting the link? I really don't understand what you were thinking here.

    "In short, fuck Milo, and fuck all his fanboys who ridicule "SJW"s for things like safe spaces then complain they want their own Twitter where they are safe to harass females and try to hide their racism behind intellectual arguments."

    Given that you haven't bothered to provide any evidence of your claims, the reasonable conclusion is that you're a liar.

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  1. […] Twitter has again been the centre of controversy following their removal of verified status from a prominent but notorious right-libertarian journalist with a reputation for setting packs of followers on people who have incurred his displeasure. Arguments rage over whether this is appropriate punishment for a serial bully, or whether it signals Twitter is publicly taking sides in the increasingly ugly culture war. […]