I do not have a problem Twitter banning people. They are a private/public company. They have to protect their brand. Their responsibility is to their reputation. Twitter is in a bad situation. They are a short-form social network. User growth has been flat for months. It’s not looking good for Twitter. However, does that mean you should ban people you do not agree with? Twitter thinks so.
The problem: Twitter keeps saying it’s a beacon for free speech. No, you’re not. Honestly, this is not free speech. Twitter and others are doing worse in Europe:
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft sign EU hate speech code
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Microsoft agree to remove hate speech across the EU
Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft agree to EU hate speech rules
There’s a persistent clampdown on speech abroad. Twitter, Facebook, Google and others are making sure people do not talk the problems Europe is having with crime and the refugees.
[Tweet “My problem is Twitter keeps talking about how they want to preserve free speech.”]
My problem is Twitter keeps talking about how they want to preserve free speech. Milo is the latest in Twitter’s lack of consistency. Twitter banned him for being on the wrong side of the political spectrum. I do not care what political leaning the CEO ascribes to. It affects the business. Twitter, you’re not apolitical. If Twitter does act on its own policies most of these would be considered harassment. However, they are not. If you are going to have rules/guidelines; be consistent. I’m using Leslie Jones because she did targeted harassment.
The Free Speech Problem:
I don’t think Leslie Jones understands free speech. I’m referring to what the constitution states. The constitution protects hate speech. The courts have defended unsavory speech. The reason: they wanted good speech protected. You cannot give an individual unfettered judgment over what is “good” and “bad” speech.
However, businesses are not the government. The first amendment does not apply to them. They are not bound by it. Unfortunately, most Americans do not understand what the First Amendment. We blindly think free speech is only speech we agree with. We need to understand the only speech that is not protected is the one that incites violence.
[Tweet “You cannot give an individual unfettered judgment over what is “good” and “bad” speech.”]
List of United States Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment
I am using Wikipedia because they have links to the court cases.
The Elephant in the Room:
The biggest problem I have with Jack Dorsey is this relationship he has with Deray Mckesson. They have been on a Recode talk. Twitter has given donations to his bid for Mayor of Baltimore.
Netflix, YouTube, and Twitter donate to Black Lives Matter activist’s mayoral campaign
This is a conflict of interest. Twitter seems biased or compromised in this matter. It’s time for them to acknowledge this fact.
[Tweet “This is a conflict of interest.”]
I do not mind if Twitter is a left-leaning social network. I would not agree with their direction, but, it’s not my company. Facebook is the same way. They are both lying to everyone about their objectivity. The evidence does not support the claim.
You Get a Ban, You Get One, Everyone Gets a Ban!
This is the most damning part of Twitter’s weird banning policy. Charles C. Johnson got banned from Twitter. The tweet below was the offense.
The tweet above was a neutral tweet. There was no threat. Deray’s tweet is that of a scared kid. He cannot take criticism. Twitter banned Charles. Is this what free speech has come to? Deray used his influence to get rid of criticism. This is an example of censorship. Twitter’s response is pathetic. Th
Twitter suspended the account of Charles C. Johnson on Sunday after he posted that he had begun to solicit donations that would go toward “taking out” DeRay McKesson, a civil rights activist. – Mashable
The language is vague. This would not hold up in a court of law. A speech case needs a specific threat of violence. What does “taking out” mean? I do not agree with everything Milo says. I will not agree with everything Charles says. However, that does not mean they should get censored.
Jack, be aware of your lack of consistency. Twitter does not need more drama. Your company is not in a good position to do this. Twitter has lost 20% of its revenue growth. This is a big deal. Twitter: be consistent.