Twitter banned the parody account “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Press Release (parody)” late on Monday night, even though it explicitly followed Twitter’s rules for parody accounts.
The @AOCpress account was run by Twitter user @OfficeOfMike, who was also banned, and posted over-the-top and highly satirical tweets parodying the policies and beliefs of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It clearly marked itself as a parody both in the name of the account, and in the account’s bio area, with the sentence “I’m the boss… you mad bro? (parody)”.
Twitter is moving the goal post.
If Twitter can't suspend you, they make up new rules to do it. pic.twitter.com/4TLrbAQZQ0
— Mike (@FuctupMike) May 7, 2019
This type of self identification as a parody account would seem to be precisely what Twitter requires for such an account to exist on its platform.
According to the rules Twitter sent to the @AOCpress account’s email address, which the big tech platform claims the account broke:
“You may not register or create fake and misleading accounts. While you may use Twitter pseudonymously or as a parody, commentary, or fan account, you may not use misleading account information in order to engage in spamming, abusive, or disruptive behavior, including attempts to manipulate the conversations on Twitter.
In other words, while Twitter allows parody accounts, it expects them to be clearly identified as parody accounts in the account information. Having the word “parody” in both the name of the account and its bio would appear to meet this criteria, but apparently was not enough to satisfy Twitter.
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 7, 2019
Strangely, the account was created in November of 2018 and rose to a reasonable level of popularity before it was banned Monday night.
Twitter added that the “account will not be reinstated.”
While President Donald J. Trump met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to discuss the major issues facing the platform, it does not seem to have curtailed Twitter’s desire to systematically censor conservatives worldwide.
Just last week, the tech giant banned the account of British activist-turned-politician Tommy Robinson within 24 hours of its creation, showing it is unafraid of brazenly interfering with a sovereign nation’s political process.
Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?
Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?
Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.
The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”
In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.
“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”
CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.
The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.
Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.
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