Sometimes I toss and turn late at night, wracked with worry and anxiety, thinking about what my life would be like if it weren’t for Twitter’s safety team making sure my innocent, virgin eyes are safe from the horrors of honest opinion and disagreement. I wonder what life was like for my parents and grandparents, who did not grow up with paternalistic social media tech giants. Did they just…say things? And just…hear things? Without anyone explaining context? How did they know what was misinformation and what was just crazy right-wing loon talking points?
I shudder to think about the type of chaos they grew up in.
I kid, naturally. Twitter’s safety regulations are far from helpful these days, and frankly, far from being about safety at all.
I woke up Tuesday morning to news that Twitter would be implementing new rules for safety and privacy.
Beginning today, we will not allow the sharing of private media, such as images or videos of private individuals without their consent. Publishing people's private info is also prohibited under the policy, as is threatening or incentivizing others to do so.https://t.co/7EXvXdwegG
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 30, 2021
What exactly does this mean? What are the parameters for sharing images of others? Can I share a picture I took at a parade without having to get 1000 disclosure slips signed? Can I share a picture of an FBI suspect at large? Can I share a picture of a Karen scolding a little black girl for selling water on the sidewalk in front of her house?
Your guess is as good as mine. What you see is what you get, for the most part. They do clarify it somewhat in their blog post. I suggest you read the entire thing (it’s not very long) so you have the full picture of what they’re talking about. It isn’t exactly all bad. For instance, Twitter intends to crack down on doxxing, which should be good news for conservatives who are consistently harassed by progressive journalists who have the singular career goal of “punching nazis.”
threatening to publicly expose someone’s private information;
sharing information that would enable individuals to hack or gain access to someone’s private information without their consent,e.g., sharing sign-in credentials for online banking services;
asking for or offering a bounty or financial reward in exchange for posting someone’s private information;
asking for a bounty or financial reward in exchange for not posting someone’s private information, sometimes referred to as blackmail.
However, the rest of the new policy is absurdly vague, a sort of “will they/won’t they” strategy that seems to raise more questions than answers.
That is on purpose, which I think most of our regular readers have already concluded. The real goal here – of course – is to become the arbiters of “misinformation” and to squash “misinformation” which naturally means squashing conservative content and opinion because that is the only type of “misinformation” the progressive robots at Twitter recognize. Most conservatives would actually appreciate it if Twitter would just be honest about their intentions to modify and censor conservative conversation on their website. At least we would all know where they stand and we could end this ridiculous theater of objectivism.
But of course, they can’t do that. Twitter cannot be honest about their intentions toward conservatives.
That’s because Twitter needs conservatives.
I receive messages daily from conservative friends admonishing me for staying on Twitter, encouraging me to get over to places like Telegram or Gab or Parler, to free myself from the clutches of liberal social media censorship on platforms like Twitter. And I do have accounts on some of those sites. Call it “saving up for a rainy day” if you will. I like having alternates should I need another way to communicate with readers and friends. However, I don’t interact regularly on those sites. I don’t find them interesting. There is no dissent, no arguing, no discussion. Everyone is just echoing each other because we’re all on the same side; and that’s fine, it really is. Necessary, even. We all need a soft place to land, a place to go where you know you’ll be accepted for your beliefs and who you are.
But it’s boring. You can build all the alternate Twitters you want. They won’t ever beat Twitter in the market because there are no liberals there. That means there is no back and forth, no dissent, no ridiculing, no calling out people for their ridiculous wokeism. Nothing like that. And that really is the lifeblood of a place like Twitter.
Despite what the legacy media would have us believe, conservatives still (and always have) represent about half of this country. That means there are a lot of us. Millions. Still a healthy amount to support a conservative platform, but to compete with an outfit like Twitter? No, of course not.
Twitter knows this. Their goal is not to eliminate conservatives on their platform. If it were, they could have done that long ago and it would be well within their rights. They could become a liberal-only platform very easily and still be very profitable; but they would no longer be dominant. They know that in order to remain influential and growing, they have to have a diverse customer base.
The conundrum is that they’re also staffed by a bunch of spoiled, ideological, alt-left progressives who hate anyone who even shows a hint of counter-culture leanings. So what’s a budding Mussolini to do when you need opposing viewpoints for success but you also think opposing viewpoints are the spawn of satan?
You make up vague rules, you apply them unevenly, and you hope that the conservatives on your platform feel the same way about debate and ridicule being the foundation of a successful social media site. You give them just enough leeway to feel okay about being on there, but you also do your damndest to make sure their ideas don’t see too much light. So you shadow-ban, “congest” sharing, “accidentally” delete tweets…you do all of the things that don’t necessarily have a digital trail, then you call the people who complain about such tactics “conspiracy theorists.”
Despite all of our wailing and caterwauling, the truth is that Twitter has no intention of banning conservatives from their site. They cannot survive without us.
We’d all do well to remember that.