I’m scheduled to be on Fault Lines with Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan at 7:20 ET this morning to discuss the Nunes v. Twitter, et al. lawsuit and the health of the Twitter platform.
Congresscritter David Nunes (R-CA) is suing Twitter and several Twitter account holders alleging negligence, defamation per se, insulting words, and common law conspiracy. He’s asking for $250,000,000 in actual damages and $350,000 in punitive damages. Here’s a copy of his complaint. (H/T, Fox News’ Scribd account)
I’ve read the whole complaint. It describes disgusting tweets of the sort that are far too common on Twitter. I think that it presents a case that Twitter does not fairly apply its Terms of Service, but I don’t understand how it alleges behavior by Twitter that gets around the protection it enjoys under federal law (47 U.S.C. § 230) as an interactive computer service. He seems to have a much better case against the Twitter users than against the service itself.
IANAL, but Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy’s suit in California alleging that Twitter’s unfair treatment of her amounted to a breach of contract seems to make more sense to me.
From my point of view as a Twitter user who was permanently banned based on false and malicious complaints and whose account was suddenly restored when the civil and criminal complaints against me failed, it seems that the only way to get Twitter to live up to its promise “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, and to express their opinions and beliefs without barriers” is the realistic possibility of legal liability. The Murphy case appears to have a basis in law, Nunes’ suit not so much.
I’ve been informed that my podcasting partner Stacy McCain has received a seven day suspension of his Twitter account because he engaged in “dead naming,” i.e., referring to a person presenting as the opposite sex of his or her biological sex by that person’s birth name.
Explaining Twitter Safety’s aversion to inconvenient truth might be easier if one could refer to Twitter Safety by its birth name, but the outfit’s exact origin is unclear. Cheka? Gestapo? Stasi? Savak? Miniluv? …
Alas, it seems my favorite SJW doesn’t understand how Twitter works.It Twitter had an IQ filter set for a lower limit at around 90, it’s traffic would plummet, something an advertising-based service can’t afford. She’ll just have to deal with the capitalist reality of the situation.
The last few years have been rough on the media business, and the past week has been a real doozy. The media have been crunched between bad economic news (more layoffs) and worse reporting (fake Cohen testimony, fake Vietnam Veteran, etc.). I posted this tweet yesterday as a response to a post by my podcasting partner Stacy McCain—
This morning, Charlie Martin has a post over at PJ Media that expands on the economic wisdom in Pablo’s reply.
Some years ago, I crunched numbers from the New York Time‘s 10K financial statements and found that a single copy of the Times cost them about $4 to print, ship, and sell. At the time the cover price was $1; to make a profit they had to sell more than $3 worth of advertising or something. (Now you know why they, and many other publishers, have turned into tour organizers and sell merchandise.)
A single column of the paper version of the Times costs between 1¢ and 10¢ to print; delivering a similar amount of advertising, with full-color graphics and even video, costs between one and ten million times less, and can be targeted to the guy who just googled for fly-fishing gear instead of everyone on the Upper West Side.
When your competition can deliver a better product for 0.000001 times as much, your business model has big problems.
When new technologies make a product obsolete, it’s time to look for a new business, and that new business will undoubtedly require a new business model. If the cost of entry into journalism is vastly reduced and there are vastly more people able to engage in reporting, then some of those new competitors will drive out some of the old players. That’s the free market at work as people vote democratically with their wallets. As Stacy notes in a post today,
Liberal journalists do not want to admit that their political bias may be a major reason for their industry’s decline, but when the money crunch hits, they insist that their work is valuable to “democracy.” But what did BuzzFeed do to attract hundreds of millions of dollars of investment capital? Quite simply, they figured out how to game the Facebook algorithm for cheap hits with clickbait, which might have been good for BuzzFeed’s traffic numbers but didn’t do anything in terms of creating an informed citizenry.
It seems to me that BuzzFeed’s core problem is that it can generate lots of clicks, but those clicks don’t generate successful advertising impressions. BuzzFeed’s cost per million views may be dirt cheap, but the cost per sale seen by the advertisers is too high. The site’s product does not attract serious, qualified eyeballs for its advertisers. One of the consequences of a free market is that our competitors are free to out-compete us.
So BuzzFeed is laying off 400 employees, 15 % of its staff. That means that they had close to 2,700 people on the payroll. Now, Stacy and I haven’t been able to lose millions of dollars a year of other peoples’ money, but our blogs have generated modest profits. The Other McCain operates with one full-time and two part-time bloggers. Hogewash! gets by with me part-time and the occasional assistance of members of the Vast Hogewash! Research Organization.
To paraphrase Instapundit: You’re gonna need a smaller blog.
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.