Yesterday VICE News published an article offering its audience advice and instruction on how to prepare milkshakes to hurl at “fascists” like United Kingdom MEP Nigel Farage, actively advocating and inciting violence against conservatives, and apparently will receive no punishment for doing so.
On May 28, VICE News published an articled titled “How to Make the Perfect Milkshake for Throwing at Fascists”, written by Kim Kelly, a “journalist” who apparently covers what the publication considers “fascism” and metal music.
In the article, Kelly celebrates British politicians Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson having milkshakes hurled at their person, in what Kelly describes as “the latest trend that’s swept the young anti-fascist players of the British left.”
Kelly describes this as “activists or regular-ass people who are fed up with the state of things”, who take “matters into their own hands, through either violent or nonviolent means,” appearing to admit that hurling a milkshake constitutes violence, or specifically, assault.
The authorities in the United Kingdom appear to agree on this point, considering they arrested the man who allegedly hurled the frosty treat at Farage and charged him with common assault and criminal damage.
Facebook, Twitter, and other big tech platforms have actively banned conservatives for doing much less. The original ban of Alex Jones and Infowars was sparked by a debunked conspiracy theory that Jones instructed his audience to go to the homes of grieving parents with assault rifles, and the followup ban of Jones by Facebook and Instagram, which may see users banned if they dare to post a link or video containing the Infowars founder, was justified by calling Jones both “dangerous” and a “hate figure.”
Similarly, Gavin McInnes saw his livelihood destroyed and a total purge from social media after the Southern Poverty Law Center determined him to be a “hate figure.” He has been banned from Facebook and Twitter as a result.
Yet, VICE News and Kelly appear to escape consequences for their advocacy of political violence.
Kelly may attempt to characterize assaulting a person with a frozen concoction as a “temporarily inconvenience [to] powerful men,” but following the advice in the article will almost certainly result in an arrest and criminal charge for anyone who takes it.
Worse, this type of advocacy of political violence could lead to escalated violence. This may have already started, as earlier this month Robinson supporters had bricks hurled at them during a campaign event outside Manchester, England.
This illustrates an apparent double standard from the big tech giants. If a conservative can have statements taken out of context to appear to advocate some form of violence, they will likely be purged from all social media, and their supporters will be threatened with bans for defending them.
On the other hand, if a major left wing news outlet, which refers to its readers affectionately as “comrades”, explicitly endorses political violence, they get a free pass.
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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