Twitter CEO ‘De-platforms’ People at Will

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Apart from any company “due process” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey simply issues orders and refuses service.

The Twitter CEO’s own feed informs the world that his platform has nothing to do with allowing people to communicate freely. Rather, it is about “collective health.”

Notice the word “openness.” It means the opposite of what you might think. It means Twitter is closed to anyone who doesn’t seem open enough to Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey. How is this determined? In some cases it seems that Jack just decides and his minions comply and terminate your services.

Just like Facebook, Twitter is a liberal company that wants to foster liberalism. If that happened naturally, they would leave things alone. But because it isn’t happening, they are working to make it happen.

If you think Twitter censorship will be or is limited to people like Richard Spencer, you’re naive.

Fast Company reports, “When Jack Dorsey’s Fight Against Twitter Trolls Got Personal.”

Last November, Twitter stripped Richard Spencer, the high-profile white nationalist, of his blue checkmark, his verified status on the social media platform. His badge’s removal, coinciding with a purge of other alt-right account verifications, came just days after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that Twitter’s verification system was “broken,” in response to a growing user uproar about neo-Nazis being conferred this status marker. The original intent had been to denote an account’s authenticity, but over time it has been erroneously interpreted as an endorsement. “We failed by not doing anything about it,” Dorsey wrote in his tweet. “Working now to fix faster.”

Inside Twitter, though, some were surprised at how swiftly Dorsey had acted. The company, traditionally known for slow, at times enigmatic, executive decision making surrounding which users and content to allow on its platform, quickly worked to roll out new verification guidelines and enforcement measures. Yet, according to several sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the hasty decision to eliminate certain alt-right verifications–and, at other times, to suspend particular bad actors from the service altogether–has come directly from Dorsey himself. “Jack said we should do this,” members of the team involved with removing the statuses told coworkers at the time.

The rationalization, people familiar with the situation say, has become an increasingly common refrain at Twitter as Dorsey has thrust himself into addressing trust and safety issues, a dynamic that’s both promising and fraught, as Fast Company learned during reporting for our new cover story on Twitter and its struggles to eradicate digital pollution from its platform. While some insiders are heartened that Dorsey is finally giving product safety the attention and resources it deserves, others fear his personal involvement could create a policy and enforcement minefield that calls into question the impartiality of the system, especially if he continues to step into internal decisions related to individual accounts.

Of course, by using the term “twitter trolls” in the headline, Fast Company is making the problem worse.

Read the full story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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