Journalist Tim Pool debated with Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde, as well as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on the Joe Rogan podcast Monday, and sparks flew in a segment posted to Twitter by The Polish Patriot.
“You have an argument between two people, and you have a rule that enforces only one side of the ideology, and you’ve banned only one of those people,” Pool told Gadde.
The ideology in question was transgenderism. Twitter recently banned “misgendering” in its terms of service. Conservatives who point out the biological fact that men are men and women are women can now be booted from the platform, which is what happened to a woman whose account was banned.
“We have a rule that attempts to address what we have perceived to be instances of abuse or harassment,” Gadde said. “What I’m trying to say is not that you can’t have those viewpoints. If you’re taking those viewpoints and you’re targeting them at a specific person in a way that reflects your intent to abuse or harass them – ”
Rogan interrupted to ask specifically whether it was permissible on Twitter to say that a woman is biologically female.
“She responded with ‘men aren’t women, though,'” Pool said, referring to a woman who was banned from Twitter for arguing the biological basis of sex. “And that was her first – in the series of events that was what got her the suspension and the warning.”
Gadde said that that instance was a first strike against the user, to which Pool asked why that would be a strike in the first place.
“Again – it’s like the context of the – I don’t, I don’t have all the Tweets in front of me. There were like 10 or 12 Tweets going back and forth and my understanding is tht in the context of all of those she was misgendering a particular person,” Gadde said, faltering.
Pool fired back.
“So you’re having an individual who is debating a high-profile individual in her community, and she’s expressing her ideology versus hers, and you have opted to ban one of those ideologies.”
That was an inescapable blow for Gadde.
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Facebook Will Create “Oversight Board” For Users to Appeal Censorship Decisions
A smidgen of accountability.
Facebook is planning on rolling out an “oversight board” to which users of the platform can appeal the censorship of content.
“Over the next few weeks, our nearly 3 billion users will have access to an independent review of difficult content decisions,” announced the company in a Thursday blog post.
Oversight Board to Start Hearing Cases https://t.co/AAaa2nPmsF
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) October 22, 2020
Facebook is describing the oversight board as a “global body of experts separate from Facebook that will make independent and binding decisions on the cases they choose to hear.” Facebook users will presumably have the option to appeal incidences of censorship to Facebook’s oversight board when they have exhausted use of Facebook’s existing censorship appeal process. However, the existing process is only available on a seemingly arbitrary basis, and it’s probably not unlikely that those who already aren’t in Facebook’s good graces won’t be allowed the opportunity to appeal to the oversight board.
The overseers are employed and selected by Facebook itself, casting serious doubt as to whether they’re genuinely impartial arbiters of social media censorship.
It’s hard to tell if this is a step in the right direction or merely a ruse for the monopoly to counter accusations that its arbitrary censorship process is undemocratic and authoritarian. In predictable fashion, the powerful Oversight Board is staffed almost exclusively with Soros-linked neoliberal progressives, some of whom have already advocated for a European understanding of “free speech” as opposed to an American one.
With great power comes great responsibility, and Facebook seems content to accept the former without the latter. It simply isn’t their place to declare what is permissible political speech.
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