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Iowa Federation of College Republicans Kicks Iowa State University Chapter Out of Network for an “Insensitive” Tweet

Just the Latest in Thought Policing Promoted by So-Called “Conservative” Organizations

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On November 10, 2020, the Iowa Federation of College Republicans (IFCR) proceeded to defederate Iowa State College Republicans simply for making tweets that offended its leadership.

The Iowa Federation of College Republicans (IFCR) moved to defederate Iowa State College Republicans on the basis of inflammatory tweets, inappropriate behavior and disregard for fellow citizens Tuesday, according to a news release.

In a statement, the IFCR leadership declared:

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Although we all identify as Republicans, the IFCR Executive Board and Central Committee wish to convey inclusivity and diversity of opinions; including within the party structure.

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The leaders added:

While we do promote civil discourse over these ideas, we as a federation unequivocally condemn any real or perceived threat of violence.

Ryan Hurly, the president of the Iowa State College Republicans, had choice words about this move by the IFCR leadership. Hurley declared, “The motion to defederate us is a very weak move and a fine example of cancel culture on the right.” The Iowa State CR president added, “Whatever happens, we are excited to bring genuine conservatism and patriotism to Iowa State University.”

After the media announced Joe Biden as the projected winner of the 2020 election, the Iowa State College Republicans twitter account made a post calling on fellow conservatives to brace themselves for the uncertainty that lies ahead.

The account tweeted on November 7, “Everyone, you must arm up, expect these people to attempt to destroy your life, the elites want revenge on us.”

The ISU Police Department was informed about this tweet due to several students believing that it constituted threatening language. However, police officer Kaitlyn Boor said the tweet did not merit any legal action.

“At this point, I get why it might be a little alarming for some to read,” Boor stated. “But they do have that right to kind of post what they want to. But with something like this— and I’m more than happy to pass it along to my supervisors and make them aware of it— it’s not all too alarming.”

Twitter ended up temporarily restricting Iowa State College Republicans’ account but it is now up and running. Unsurprisingly, College Democrats have called on ISU to take action against Hurley for his tweet.

Hower, Hurley told the Des Moines Register that “Our thought in writing the tweet was to support everyone in their right to bear arms.” He added, “People have sickly twisted it. Violence is not our intent.”

BLP was able to reach out to Hurley to get his side of the story. He alluded to IFCR attacking America First members of the CRs:

The Iowa Federation has impeached Trump supporting candidates this year. We have always been unabashedly patriotic and America First, while they have not been. They’ve never supported us in any way while we doorknocked, made calls, etc.

He added that the IFCRs “were looking to get rid of us, they’ve strongly disagreed with us from the start on several key issues. They’ve been asked repeatedly to explain their reasoning and they cannot.”

The conservative student leader stressed that his tweet was about reminding “people of their Second Amendment rights” and he asserted that “in a Biden administration, we likely would see several weapon regulations, so we wanted to encourage any prospective purchasers to act now. No violent intent.”

Hurley concluded by revealing that members of his organization will be participating in marches and rallies, while others will be helping out candidates in Georgia.

The fact that a Republican organization is willing to kick out fellow Republicans for harmless calls to action is indicative of a political culture that has no respect for free speech. It’s not just the Left, but it’s also the establishment Right that poses a threat to any meaningful discourse at university campuses.

 

Free Speech

YOUR NEW MASTER: Twitter’s Head of Conversational Safety, a “Young, Queer Asian-American Businesswoman,” is “Rethinking” the Concept of User Safety

Do you trust someone like her to make Twitter “a safer place”?

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The media company Protocol, a sister site of Politico, recently published an article about Twitter’s new “head of product for conversational safety,” Christine Su. It claims that Su, a “young, queer Asian-American businesswoman,” is revolutionizing what “user safety” on social media means.

Twitter hired Su around six months ago to be in charge of “what might be the most difficult task on Twitter,” despite having no apparent experience in politics, programming, and media relations. But Twitter seems to like her for her “creative” and “somewhat radical new ideas” about user safety.

“As a queer woman of color who is an Asian American in tech in rural America, that experience is a very intersectional one. I’ve had plenty of experiences moving through spaces where I wanted more safety,” Su said.

Protocol writes that Su’s vision incorporates “transformative and procedural justice.” Transformative justice ostensibly refers to a non-retributive form of repairing harm done to someone and preventing it from happening again; procedural justice to enacting a set of rules that “make harm rarer in the first place.”

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This all sounds nice and dandy—but beware. So-called transformative and procedural justice will not benefit you, but will crush you. Anything that’s perceived as “harmful” against “women and people from marginalized groups” can and will be used to censor you. Christine Su may reassuringly claim that “the point is not to make the entire world a safe space,” but she’s open about the fact that she will help give the Coalition of the Fringes more control over what people are allowed to do and say on Twitter.

Examples from the article:

  • Creating an audio hangout feature called “Spaces,” which will allow users to determine who is allowed to participate, as well as who can speak and when. (Note that it’s being tested on “women and marginalized groups of people” first.)
  • Potentially doubling down on functions that “encourage people to read content before reposting it.” (Which is exclusively done to censor or limit the reach of conservative and other right-wing content.)
  • Building tools that “create private pathways for apologies, forgiveness and deescalation.” (The finer details are still a work in progress according to Su.)
  • Defining what a “meaningful conversation” is. (Would people like Su think that anything right-wingers say or believe belongs in a “meaningful conversation”? Let’s just say I wouldn’t bet money on it…)

You know full well that a company like Facebook would shortly follow suit. After all, it’s not just Twitter that Su is “revolutionizing,” but the concept of social media itself. Figure out where all this is heading.

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