Titania McGrath’s Twitter account was permanently suspended for about a day. She has written about the trauma in a post over at Quillette called “I Now Understand How Nelson Mandela Felt”.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always supported censorship. Major social media platforms have a responsibility to ensure that we are expressing the correct sort of free speech. Twitter’s decision to suspend Alex Jones, host of American website InfoWars, set the right kind of precedent. I fully supported this action because Jones is known for disseminating fake news and wild conspiracy theories. But the fact that I was also banned makes me think that Twitter were being secretly controlled by InfoWars from the very start.
Indeed, Twitter’s modus operandi appears to involve routinely silencing those who defend social justice and enabling those who spread hate. In my short time on the platform, I have regularly come across hate speech from the sort of unreconstructed bigots who believe that there are only two genders, or that Islam is not a race. It’s got to the point where if someone doesn’t have “anti-fascist” in their bio, it’s safest to assume that they’re a fascist.
The permanent suspension only lasted for a day, but the experience was traumatic and lasting. I now understand how Nelson Mandela felt. If anything, my ordeal was even more damaging. Mandela may have had to endure 27 years of incarceration, but at least his male privilege protected him from ever having to put up with mansplaining, or being subject to wolf-whistling by grubby proles on a building site.
Yeah. Twitter bans are tough. My permanent ban lasted several months. It’s interesting to a see a bona fide SJW beginning to understand that Twitter is neither a neutral public forum nor a trustworthy business partner.
Do not pity me. As a woman in a heteronormative patriarchal world I am accustomed to males like Jack Dorsey attempting to keep me silent. In my absence from Twitter, I took the opportunity to spend some time at a resort in Val d’Isère, where I could relax and contemplate my oppression. I even managed to write a book which I have entitled Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. I did want to call it My Struggle, but that title was already taken apparently.
Read the whole thing.
And get on Gab.
Glenn Reynolds shut down his Twitter account a few days ago. In his latest USA Today column he writes—
Since I got off Twitter, I’ve filled the downtime I used to fill with tweeting by going what I did pre-Twitter, reading novels on the Kindle app on my phone. It’s better, and I’m happier.
John Sexton has a post over at Hot Air about how Twitter has restored Jesse Kelley’s account, claiming that the ban was temporary. Of course, the message they sent him when his account was shut down specifically said that the ban was permanent and that no appeal was possible.
I doubt that Twitter was lying when they banned Kelley. They probably intended the ban to be permanent, but they weren’t able to get away with it. Most of the time, Twitter can ban an account without any consequences. However, in Kelley’s case potential consequences not only existed but also may have been seen as too great to confront. A Senator and a Senator-elect took interest at a time when questions were being asked about the possibility that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had committed perjury before a congressional committee. Those facts could have provided reason enough for Twitter to want to make the controversy go away.
Such a scenario squares with my personal experience. I was permanently banned with no possibility of appeal from Twitter in 2015 as a result of false accusations of “targeted abuse.” When the related court cases were resolved in my favor and the possibility of civil liability arose, Twitter decided that my business account could be restored. They still won’t restore my personal account.
The Gentle Reader can review the facts and make up his own mind.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
Permanent is Temporary.
Big BrotherTwitter is watching You.
UPDATE—Baldilocks has some thoughts on holding Twitter’s feet to fire over at Da Tech Guy Blog.
This had to happen sooner or later—
Glenn Reynolds has shutdown his Twitter account. He posted this at Instapundit—
People seem to want more, and although there’s nothing duller than posting a screed on why you’re quitting a platform, here’s the gist: I’ve never liked Twitter even though I’ve used it. I was a late adopter, and with good reason. It’s the crystal meth of social media — addictive and destructive, yet simultaneously unsatisfying. When I’m off it I’m happier than when I’m on it. That it’s also being run by crappy SJW types who break their promises, to users, shareholders, and the government, of free speech is just the final reason. Why should I provide free content to people I don’t like, who hate me? I’m currently working on a book on social media, and I keep coming back to the point that Twitter is far and away the most socially destructive of the various platforms. So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others. At least I’m giving my reasons, which is more than they’ve done usually.
Twitter will be less interesting without Prof. Reynolds’ tweets. The site is spiraling down the drain, but I still find it useful in promoting this blog. I’m not ready to pull the plug yet.
UPDATE—Jon Gabriel has this comment over at Ricochet—
Hopefully, Twitter will restore Murphy and Kelly’s accounts soon and Instapundit will return. But for their sakes, it might be better if they don’t. Real life is a lot more interesting than a dying social media service.
Get on Gab.
The New York Post has an editorial posted about the Twitter’s shameful toleration of Louis Farrakhan as it purges conservatives and libertarian account. The Post‘s editorial closes with these words—
If Twitter can’t find a way to police Farrakhan’s hate tweets, it should give up on pretending to enforce objective standards.
As someone who had accounts “permanently” suspended because of false accusations of “targeted harassment,” it’s my personal experience that Twitter is neither an honest nor trustworthy business. I was never told what I specifically did to harass anyone, but one of my accounts was restored after I won a court case and appeal related to one such false claim. I’ll continue to use Twitter to promote this blog as long as there is enough audience left therer to make using it worth the bother, but I won’t expect fair dealing from Twitter.