While those of that are fortunate enough to never open Twitter may not be aware of it, the social media platform is currently going through the largest purge in recent history. Following the Capitol Hill riot, conservative accounts started to see their follower counts drop precipitously. At first, because virtue signaling is a favorite past-time among the right-wing commentariat, some blamed followers leaving because they spoke out against the riot. I figured out pretty quickly that such wasn’t the case.
I hate to burst the bubble of all those people bragging about losing followers because they spoke truth to power or something, but everyone seems to be losing followers today. I'm guessing Twitter is clearing out bots after the Capitol chaos.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) January 7, 2021
Now, it’s clear it wasn’t just bots being cleared out. President Trump was banned shortly after, and major accounts have disappeared since then, including quality users like Techno Frog, whose great sin was being one of the most well sourced exposers of the Russian collusion hoax.
Techno Frog was one of the best sourced, most informative accounts on this site. He was not a Trump supporting bomb thrower…and his account has been shut down. This isn’t just about Trump. It’s about shutting down perfectly acceptable information our overlords don’t like.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) January 9, 2021
In other words, this a coordinated purge of legitimate accounts that clearly didn’t break the terms of service. Facebook is doing the same thing, with Dan Bongino being hit as well on Friday. Social media aren’t just clearing out “violent” accounts. They are actively erasing information they deem unacceptable for public debate. By getting rid of Techno Frog, for example, years of extensive research and evidence has been wiped out.
And just in case anyone wants to claim the purging is natural, it’s not.
This is how you create an echo chamber… pic.twitter.com/aPDA37qKS0
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 9, 2021
Unfortunately, at a time when you’d expect everyone to be in agreement that this is wrong and a direct suppression of speech, some on the right continue to be willing lapdogs for big tech.
She’s a willful idiot who’s rationalizing targeted censorship and blacklisting, which she supports, by pretending it’s not driven by politics. It’s the equivalent of Steve Martin in The Jerk saying the guy shooting at him “hates these cans!” https://t.co/5W6TWzwSPW
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 9, 2021
This is not Twitter making a business decision. For one, Trump’s influence on the platform would have continued to bring in lots of money for the social media giant’s coffers. The argument being made that this was just a dry, non-partisan decision is obviously nonsense. That truth is bolstered by the fact that it isn’t just Trump who has been banned. But for a small segment of the right, continually bending the knee to big business always takes priority over everything else.
One of the biggest mistakes the conservative movement has made is assuming that morality can be completely removed from the market and that nothing bad will happen. That doesn’t mean that the government has to enforce said morality, but it does mean that you aren’t required to pretend these massive corporations are somehow superior to the peons and that their machinations are always pure and acceptable. Twitter is a garbage company that is using their influence to quash free speech. That deserves condemnation, not excuse-making.
Moving on, there’s also this, which makes no sense whatsoever.
I hope everyone is enjoying a taste of what Twitter would be like without Section 230.
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) January 9, 2021
So let me get this straight. We are getting a taste of what Twitter would be like without Section 230 while Section 230 is still in effect? Does that make sense to anyone? I mean, if we are “getting a taste” right now, then what’s the point of Section 230 in the first place? If Twitter can willfully suppress speech and ban people based on political persuasion, then the only thing Section 230 is good for is ensuring that no one can sue Twitter in response. That seems like a rather bad deal for the public, doesn’t it? Social media companies want the protections of Section 230 while they spit on the spirit of the statute, which is to maintain some consistent standard of neutrality in being a public platform.
To be frank, anyone still defending big tech is part of the problem. You are going to “muh private company” yourself until every semblance of freedom is lost on these monopolistic “public squares.” And while some may be naive enough to think the ban monster isn’t coming for them, the next four years are going to get worse. Twitter, Facebook, etc. have no fear anymore. Trump is gone. The GOP lost the Senate and no longer control the committees. It’s a free for all, and everyone except those who are in hock with social media monetarily (i.e. The Dispatch crew) are vulnerable. Wake up or suffer the consequences.
(Please follow me on Twitter to fight back against the purge…@bonchieredstate)