It’s no doubt that Twitter has devolved into an establishment-friendly censored platform in which right-leaning political thought is censored. The social media website was originally devised by its creators as a genuine free speech platform- a vision that was thrown to the winds when it became clear that open exchange of information was politically inconvenient to progressives.
A new study makes clear the extent to which the platform has gone to nuke conservative political expression in the past few years, under the leadership of Jack Dorsey. Columbia University academic Richard Hanania sought to document every suspension of a high profile-Twitter user since January.
Hanania identified 22 banned users who he categorized as influencers on the platform. Out of the 22, 21 were identified as known supporters of Donald Trump for President.
Only 1 high-profile liberal was identified as being (temporarily) banned- Rose McGowan. McGowan had been suspended after leaking someone’s private phone number, a clear violation of Twitter rules.
Hanania’s study only focused on widely followed accounts, and it’s likely that Twitter’s conservative-to-liberal suspension ratio would be even higher if his study documenting the site’s comprehensive ban policy.
Hanania noted that progressive Twitter users have escaped consequences for violating the platform’s terms of service. Examples included the New York Times’ Sarah Jeong, who was a source of embarrassment for the Times when her long track record of anti-white racial hatred surfaced shortly after being hired.
Jeong was never suspended, even though Twitter banned Candace Owens for facetiously repeating Jeong’s statements word-for-word towards other groups.
Another leading progressive to evade a Twitter ban was Kathy Griffin, who incited the public to doxx the identities of the falsely accused Covington Catholic boys.
Twitter’s mass implementation of censorship, which is applied in a far more punitive manner towards less prominent users of the platform, represents a fundamental shift from the original vision professed by the company. In 2012 a company executive had described Twitter as the “free speech wing of the free speech party.“
Such a description of the platform in 2019 is frankly laughable. But the evolution of the company’s approach towards political speech is a telling example of Silicon Valley’s mass institution of censorship after 2016- an approach adopted in the heat of a establishment panic following Donald Trump’s election.
In hindsight, the vision of a free speech platform was only possible in what’s called the “golden age of the internet,” a term used by critics of big tech to describe a period of time from 2000 to 2014 when major social media platforms were generally more accountable to users than major corporations and government.
The vision of a decentralized internet has largely disappeared over the past several years, replaced by a model in which progressives and liberals in the seats of power of major tech institutions feel they have no choice but to implement mass censorship to shield their political beliefs from criticism.
An example of this is the widespread shuttering of comment sections across online news outlets.
The transformation of the internet into a curated and patrolled zone poses major threats to democracy in America and in the West, broadly.
Should the attempt to shut down criticism of progressive ideals online fail, it’s possible that liberals could seek to shut down democracy itself as an alternative.
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8Chan Founder is Wanted for ‘Cyberlibel’ for Allegedly Maligning Current Owner of the Free Speech Site
Current 8Chan owner Jim Watkins has accused the site’s founder Fredrick Brennan of “cyberlibel.”
The Philippines has issued a warrant for the arrest of 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan after the man to whom he sold the controversial free speech website accused him of committing “cyberlibel.”
The Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 158 issued a warrant on Wednesday for the arrest of Brennan, his lawyer Alexander Acain Jr. confirmed to CNN Philippines. Acain says he will recommend for his client to return to the Philippines from the United States and post bail but is not sure if Brennan will heed his advice.
These charges have resulted from a complaint made by current 8Chan owner Jim Watkins, who bought the site from Brennan, after Brennan made tweets referring to Watkins as “senile” and “incompetent.” Brennan is being charged under the country’s Cybercrime Prevention Act.
“They are a malicious imputation of senility on the part of [Watkins,] a condition, status or circumstance tending to cause dishonor, discredit or contempt of [him,]” Pasig City Assistant Prosecutor Juliene Raymond Cabanacan said in an eight-page resolution issued on January 2 and received by Brennan’s attorneys last week.
Brennan, who is disabled and confined to a wheelchair, faces between 6 and 12 years in prison if he is ultimately convicted of the charges. He has become a vocal critic of how Watkins has handled 8Chan since he took full control over the site in 2016.
“I’ve tried to understand so many times why he keeps it going, and I just don’t get it,” Brennan said last year. “After Christchurch, after the Tree of Life shooting, and now after this shooting, they think this is all really funny.”
“Shutting it down, having these chan sites pushed underground, it wouldn’t totally stop these kinds of things from happening. But it wouldn’t happen every few months,” Brennan added.
Watkins, however, has contended that 8Chan is integral in the fight for global free speech and vows to keep the website up in some form to allow anonymous discussion on the Internet to continue.
“It is actually sinister behavior. Ours is one of the last independent companies that offer a place you may write down your thoughts free from having to worry about whether they are offensive to one group or another,” Watkins said after the media blamed 8Chan for enabling mass shootings.
“Power consolidation of the media beginning as radio and TV stations were gobbled up by a few strong and rich companies is now moving at a breakneck pace through the internet. It will effectively silence the masses and leave them with no place to voice their messages,” he added.
8Chan re-branded to 8kun in Nov. 2019 and was restored to the internet after being denied service by their DNS provider Cloudflare, which allows pedophiles to use their services to propagandize about the virtues of raping kids.
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