The Orwellian-named Trust and Safety Council on Twitter is tasked with protecting us all from upsetting thoughts and rude people. However members of the council are drawn almost entirely from moderate liberals, while groups on the right are ignored. Some conservatives on Twitter are complaining of either being pushed out or marginalized (by having their tweets appear less.) This kind of quiet censorship should alarm everyone because such stifling of views could just as easily happen to those left of liberal too. “Oh gosh, we just can’t be having any criticism of capitalism, it’s just too divisive and upsets people.”
Yes, there is horribly hateful stuff on the Net. However, social media makes it easy enough to block someone. Having an apparently one-sided council determining nebulous guidelines which could lead to people being banned is not good for freedom of expression and is not good for Twitter. Especially since anyone deemed a harasser automatically has fewer rights and ability to defend themselves.
Originally, this commentary was going to center around exactly zero libertarian or conservative groups being involved in Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, and the dangers associated with Twitter letting people who went before the UN with a straight face to say getting beheaded for witchcraft and being told you suck on the Internet are the same thing, dictating what is and is not “harassment.”
For those intellectually bankrupt critics out there, a woman getting beheaded for witchcraft is violence against women, and Sarkeesian and Quinn claimed being told, “You suck,” on the Internet was violence against women; therefore, mathematics dictates being beheaded for witchcraft and being told you suck on the Internet are the same thing (if A=B and B=C, then A=C). Oh, and they also want constitutionally guaranteed rights of evidentiary procedure and due process suspended, but only for “harassers.”
Isn’t Twitter’s value derived exclusively from the ability of its user base to share information and opinions with each other without Orwellian interference from a Ministry of Truth incapable of providing ideological balance to the service? Or, put another way, doesn’t Twitter become valueless if it can’t provide the service it claims to provide? I believe the answer to that question is an emphatic “Yes.”