The President of a Koch-funded group that advocates for the interests of major tech companies questioned whether there would be any greater “poetic justice” than the possibility of President Trump dying of the Chinese coronavirus.
Berin Szoka is the President of ‘Tech Freedom,’ a Koch-funded group founded primarily to advocate against proposals to regulate and rein back major Silicon Valley tech companies.
This guy is the head of Koch-funded TechFreedom 🤨
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) March 10, 2020
Szoka’s comments came in the light of reports that Congressman Matt Gaetz had been exposed to an individual who attended the CPAC conference who has since been diagnosed with the Chinese Coronavirus. Gaetz traveled with President Trump on Air Force One on Monday before learning of his contact with the individual, and some brought up the distant possibility that Gaetz is infected with the disease and could’ve transmitted it to President Trump and the White House staff.
Szoka went on to apologize for his since-ratioed and deleted tweet on Monday night, stating that he wasn’t seriously saying that the prospect of President Trump dying of coronavirus would be a good thing.
I’d never wish death upon anyone but I get why people read it that way. For that, I’m sorry
Like many, I’ve been distraught at systematic downplaying of this crisis. My tweet came not from a place of malice but from deepest concern
It doesn’t express my organization’s opinion
— Berin Szóka 🌐 (@BerinSzoka) March 10, 2020
Szoka isn’t the first liberal to dream about their perceived political enemies dying of the virus. A Denver city councilwoman claimed she was being ‘sarcastic’ when retweeting a proposal to become infected with the virus before attending Trump rallies last week.
Szoka is a major lobbyist for the political and economic interests of Silicon Valley monopolies such as Google, Facebook and YouTube. It’s worth questioning if the behemoth media platforms he works for actually share his callous attitude towards the notion of his political opponents dying of the lethal and dangerous disease.
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”?
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.”
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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