Where do you come down on this whole Twitter vis-à-vis free speech thing?
I haven’t really dived into it to be honest. I’m not clear on what precisely they are and aren’t doing.
Mostly I think stuff like this shows that the open protocol people were right from the beginning; it always would’ve been better for us to have had something like email for what we do on Twitter rather than one company that has to make calls about policies like this.
In the particulars, I think both sides are broadly right. It’s scary when a company whose platform is an important nexus of influence starts cracking down for politically motivated reasons, but the stream of vile shit really does make it unusable for a lot of people already. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What about you? Have you paid any closer attention to this? Do you have thoughts?
Tangentially, even after I tried to slough off overtly political follows, it still kept creeping up in my TL(which isn’t helped by whatever the fuck Twitter decided to do to my TL the last few days, before I finally(?) jumped ship). Seriously, I just opened up the mobile app, and the top 13 tweets in my TL are by people I don’t follow. Fuck Twitter.
Like any good libertarian, I say a pox on both houses. I’m even having to cast a pox on some libertarians, too.
You know me, I’m a pretty big fan of Ken White, but I can’t help but disagree strongly with a portion of his post here
I think it is logically coherent to believe or think that Twitter or any other private actor should uphold XYZ values, in this case “free speech values”. This is something that becomes more obvious to me if you believe Twitter’s rhetoric, that they supposedly embrace free speech. I think that might be the crux of why I don’t completely dismiss the concerns of RightWing twitter. If you(Twitter) supposedly care about free speech, like you say you do, you gotta attempt to live up to it. This would be analagous to how FIRE (and Ken White) would critique censorious behavior by private universities as failing to uphold XYZ values(in that case, open inquiry, skepticism, etc etc etc)
Now, his distinction between free speech legalism and the, granted, more amorphous “upholding XYZ values” is important, and way too many socialcon tweeps do conflate 1st Amendment with (lower-case) free speech, and the point is well taken that the mushier language of values makes the discourse more difficult to parse, maybe even impossible, but my response is, “so what?”
Twitter absolutely has every right to disassociate themselves from whomever and they have every right to not provide a platform for whomever, but seemingly arbitrary suspensions/expulsions/etc makes a lie of Twitters supposed commitment to free speech.
I don’t want to go toooooo far though, because then you have scumbag partisans making the illogical leap from “Twitter is sorta, kinda hypocritical when they say they’re big proponents of free speech but suspend/delete accounts seemingly because of political allegiances, since equally vile rhetoric by people who are of a different political bent are not treated the same way” to “I demand Twitter give me a platform because to do otherwise is to trample my free speech rights”
Right Wing Twitter are as big of whiny crybabies as they say SJW Twitter is.