Tag Archives: twitter

Alt-Right Twitter Purge

As a consequence of Trump’s win, Twitter has begun purging alt-right accounts, including the accounts of Matt Forney, Richard Spencer (and his NPI accounts), Pax Dickinson, and others. This is the problem with social media – you do not own it, rather you rent it, and you can be evicted at any time. I can only imagine how awful it felt for Milo to lose his account and all the years he spent gaining those followers, all of it gone in a few keystrokes. Twitter knows it cannot ban all the accounts, as much as it may want to, because then it would seem obvious what they doing to even outsiders, and their corruption and bias would be exposed.

Gab.ai is one solution. But the problem is running a social network is expensive, so eventually after it grows beyond a certain size, outside money (such as from VCs or advertisers) may be required to pay for maintenance, improvements, hosting, and security, but then you relinquish some control in the process. Another problem is that it isn’t big enough. Twitter and Facebook are only games in town – the alternatives just can’t compare in terms of viralness and networking. Viralness is like a drug…you want the page views, likes, and re-tweets, because they validate your importance and impact, providing a dopamine rush similar to that of a psychoactive drug.

Reign of Terror Begins: Twitter Bans Milo

Twitter Bars Milo Yiannopoulos in Wake of Leslie Jones’s Reports of Abuse

This is unprecedented because it’s the first time Twitter has banned the account of a major public figure for alleged ‘TOS violations’. Usually it’s ‘one strike and you’re out’ for accounts with fewer than 10,000 followers, whereas much bigger accounts have a lot more leniency. And celebrities can do anything they want, proving that not all users are equal under the TOS, as if that is a surprise.

Ms. Jones in particular has borne the brunt of the online abuse in recent days, especially since the release of “Ghostbusters” in the United States on Friday. Hundreds of anonymous Twitter commenters hurled racist and sexist remarks at the star’s Twitter account, rallied and directed by Mr. Yiannopoulos this week.

This seems to imply Milo actually dispatched these ‘mobs’ against her, which given the bias of the NYT, is probably false.

All over the internet, and especially on Twitter and Reddit, people are rallying in support of Milo.

In a brief interview on Tuesday evening, Mr. Yiannopoulos said, “This is the beginning of the end for Twitter.”

“Some people are going to find this perfectly acceptable,” he said. “Anyone who believes in free speech or is a conservative certainly will not.”

The problem is Twitter is not a platform for ‘free speech’. Their TOS gives them the right to ban accounts for any reason. Same for Facebook, Instagram, Blogger, Gmail, and others.

My advice if you have a huge twitter account: dial it down. Getting banned and losing all the followers you spent years accumulating is never worth it.

Vox has their own spin: Milo Yiannopoulos’s Twitter ban, explained

n 2014, Gamergate — the anti-feminist harassment movement that surfaced in gaming culture and spread into larger internet culture — also fought against many gaming franchises that sought to be more diverse.

Hmmm….mean comments on the internet, versus actual physical assault against Trump supporters.

Or that Leslie Jones has a history of racist tweets against white people.

Since then, the movement has effectively become a cornerstone of the alt-right, and still continues to influence everything from the presidential election to major tech conferences. It overlaps with large swaths of 4chan, men’s rights activism, the online atheist movement, pickup artist culture, Reddit, and Tumblr.

So now it’s atheism too…because Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris acknowledge the enemy of western civilization is not Christianity but Islamic terror.

Though multiple attempts have been made to paint the Ghostbusters backlash as a product of what is perceived (largely inaccurately) as a more general trend of fan entitlement,

According to the left, criticism of a shitty movie and its actresses becomes racism. The left thinks they can impose their values on society, and no one is allowed to push back? The Vox article goes on and on. The author, Aja Romano, who is a ‘Web Culture Reporter’ obviously abdicated any journalistic integrity as a ‘reporter’ in her obviously biased coverage, but this is not too surprising either.

Finally, some decent reporting: The Verge questions Twitter’s Orwellian ‘anti-harassment system’. This is similar to the equally arbitrary and draconian YouTube ‘copyright’ rules, which are often invoked not to protect legitimate copyright claims but to suppress content.

Free Speech and Twitter


and from Social Matter This Week in Reaction (2016/02/21)

Twitter’s House, Twitter’s Rules. One could hope Twitter might enforce their terms of service fairly without a view to the orthodoxy of the opinions expressed. But Twitter is under no moral or legal obligation to do so. Who are we kidding? It’s their house. They’ll do what they want. Don’t let the door bruise your arse on the way out if you don’t like it. – See more at: http://www.socialmatter.net/2016/02/23/this-week-in-reaction-20160221/#sthash.Gy9ji2zD.dpuf

Hmmm…even though I agree Twitter censorship is becoming problematic, Twitter, being a private company, has discretion to to whatever it wants within the law, so while we may be mad that they are disabling right-wing speech, it is within their right to do so. Way back in early 2015 during the Ellen Pao Reddit upheaval, I predicted censorship would become a problem and I implored the ‘right’ to create and run their own social media and content platforms instead of depending on a third parties that can pull the plug without warning. When Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, WordPress, or Facebook deletes your profile, everything is irrevocably lost. You lose any followers, search rankings, all content, and, most importantly, your username/handle. Grey Enlightenment content is always backed-up, and the domain is not going anywhere. It costs money to do this, but it’s a small price to pay to not have near total control over your content.

The problem is ‘free speech’ does not apply to the private sector, only the public, which given the size and importance of the private sector, is becoming quite limited. The Constitution would have to be amended, to include a clause protecting some or all private sector free speech, voiding the bulwark that has historically separated the two sectors.

Some on the ‘alt right’ also seem to have a fixation on preserving free speech, while also opposing democracy, and I don’t think this contradiction is logically consistent. We need to choose one. A reactionary state cannot, by definition, have a 1st Amendment (or equivalent).

But that doesn’t change the fact that the left are hypocrites, preaching the virtues of ‘free speech’, tolerance, and democracy while silencing speech they oppose.

From Reactionary Future:

Liberalism is acid, it is cancer, it is the most hideous disaster to befall mankind and until it is stopped completely, the disaster will continue its work. Enough of these abstract and contextless values such as liberty, equality and freedom. Enough of the fraud.

Free speech and assembly may be limited to persona autonomy.

As for Twitter, they don’t need us (the dissident right). Twitter is morphing into a broadcasting company, where a couple hundreds or so popular Twitter accounts post updates to their millions of followers, much like TV, where millions passively consume the output of a handful of creators. Celebrities can broadcast tour dates and new releases. TV studios can broadcast new shows and schedules. Sports teams can broadcast scores and rosters. Like cable TV, deep-pocketed advertisers can buy ‘sponsored Tweets’ in these broadcasts, to be seen by millions of followers. Content on TV tends to be much more nuanced than on the internet, and Twitter is moving that way, too, in suspending and ghosting potentially controversial accounts and hashtags. Performing cost analysis, Twitter executives determined that the pageviews and ad-impressions from controversial content is a trivial compared to Justin Bieber/Selena Gomez/CNN pablum.

Good Tweets