I’m now inclined to side with Jimmy Dore, who sided with Donald Trump over the question of Twitter’s arbitrary application of censorship, although Trump wasn’t actually censored at the time. Trump did bring up the legalities of Twitter stepping in to decide what was permitted or not. Trump’s dispute arose over a simple warning tag that Twitter placed over his Tweet — not its removal — and most certainly not his entire removal from the platform. Twitter’s so-called legal “Safe Harbor” is predicated on the company not interfering in its users’ communications and therefore having zero liability for what is posted there. But they DO interfere to a growing extent, and this interference is both arbitrary and accelerating.
I have been removed from the platform not for spreading fake news, and most certainly not for violent threats to anyone, but rather for calling those who do spread disinformation a forbidden word. The word itself is now a deadly mine, and so don’t type it. The language police, those nameless, faceless, unaccountable rodents in the festering, subterranean bowels of Twitter Inc. have erased this word from the English language. Take heed. If you type this word — it doesn’t matter the context — you may be booted from Twitter instantly without any recourse and all the connections you’ve forged there severed forever.
A little backstory: language is vast and sprawling. Slang terms have been around for centuries and are a perfectly valid usage. If anonymous censors were held to account, they’d have to justify why they were attacking some accounts and not others for saying the same things. That is the area where Twitter has no standing: the hypocrisy, the selective enforcement, the double-standard, the deliberate misreading of a word.
So, here is the offending Tweet:
“Your retarded fanbase refuses to wear masks, and is therefore spreading it recklessly. Number of total cases is up, and it isn’t going away, silly propagandist.”
Analyzing this verboten message, the only conceivable problem (for a P.C. Fanatic) must be the single word “retarded.” Twitter was under no obligation to explain exactly why the communication was of such a sinister nature that my entire account, history, and followers list had to be instantly destroyed and thrown down the Memory Hole.
So, let’s accept that calling a mentally handicapped person “retarded” would probably be rude, offensive, and unnecessary. That still doesn’t rise to the level of “hateful,” not unless someone was calling for euthanasia against the handicapped — as I’m sure some others on the platform undoubtedly do.
The Tweet, however, was directed at the right-wing propagandist Laura Ingraham, who is not mentally handicapped. So the little question of relevance comes into play, but only if the scurrying roaches in the disease-ridden sewers of Twitter Inc. had any inkling whatsoever of the concept of relevance in the first place. They have demonstrated no such acumen.
If one doesn’t direct the word “retarded” at someone with an actual mental handicap, then it cannot possibly fall under the amorphous catch-all censorship category of “hateful conduct.”
Case in point, on the very same day that I told Laura Ingraham that her retarded crew were acting recklessly, and thus endangering innocent people by spreading a pandemic, she Tweeted out this:
Laura Ingraham @IngrahamAngle
I am completely offended! Idiot was a term for a mentally handicapped person! This is outrageous. The double-standard has brought this farce into stark relief. Ban Laura Igraham immediately for hateful conduct against the mentally handicapped.
I did attempt to respond to Twitter that:
“Retarded” has been a colloquial synonym for STUPID for over a century. Are you canceling everyone’s account who calls another person “stupid” by any of a hundred synonyms? Because you’d have no more members.
A quick Google search of “stupid” on Twitter.com finds:
“About 5,560,000 results”
That response was never read, as the great corporation has no interest in responding to those it has censored. It simply erases you, and threatens that it will erase you further should you attempt to evade its blacklist. This is how I would expect corporate governance to operate.
NBC repeatedly broadcast a Saturday Night Live sketch where a pair of young Bostonian lovers would rib each other:
“No, you are!”
Will NBC, SNL, or any of the actors, writers, directors or producers involved be sanctioned by Twitter Inc.? Their accounts destroyed?
By selectively enforcing rules on certain accounts and not enforcing them on others, Twitter has shown itself to be retarded.