The corporate media is in hysterics because a few of their own were finally suspended on Twitter.
Twitter reportedly banned the accounts for sharing information about the location of Twitter owner Elon Musk’s private jet.
This comes just after Musk said a “crazy stalker” followed his car, which had his 2-year-old son inside, and jumped on top of it. Musk said that anyone found to be “doxxing” the real-time locations of people will get a suspension.
Hence, Twitter banned the accounts of several journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN who had shared information about the plane location or the Twitter account that had been tracking it in real time. Twitter also banned that account.
“Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else,” Musk tweeted. “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.”
Twitter has apparently suspended the accounts for a week. However, one journalist, Aaron Rupar, has been permanently banned from the platform. This means he can’t tweet and can only use Twitter in “read only” mode. Rupar has spent years as a bad actor on the platform. His hallmark reporting includes selectively-edited videos that demonize his ideological opponents.
It’s quite a juxtaposition for institutional journalists to suddenly get suspended. Has there ever been so much elite, corporate media wailing and gnashing of teeth?
This CNN segment with journalist Oliver Darcy is something.
Just last year, CNN was deeply concerned about Twitter allowing “misinformation peddlers” on the platform. Darcy has not only called for other media companies to be censored, he was also a major backer of removing then-President Donald Trump from social media.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is suddenly deeply concerned about Twitter suspensions and people spending too much time on social media.
To be honest, it’s rich suddenly hearing from journalists and Democrat politicians how Twitter suspensions are proto-fascist (or maybe semi-fascist or crypto-fascist, it’s hard to keep track), the end of free speech, and a harbinger of democracy’s imminent demise.
This same cadre seemed to be little troubled by the right-leaning accounts that have been suspended or permanently banned in the last few years. In fact, I remember a few years ago, when Twitter censored the New York Post for reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, how the corporate media warned that “unfettered” free speech was a threat to democracy.
Where were these defenders of free speech when The Babylon Bee, a satirical website, was banned for poking fun at Rachel Levine, a transgender official in the Biden administration whom the Bee named “Man of the Year”? Twitter labeled this “hateful,” and told The Babylon Bee to remove the Tweet. The Bee team didn’t and they got locked out of the account.
When this happened, Musk mused about buying Twitter, adding a delicious sense of irony to our turn of events.
Twitter banned users for Tweeting “learn to code” at journalists who had lost their jobs, in reference to media stories about how people who lost their jobs in coal mining and other industries should learn to code.
Now it’s journalists getting suspended for sharing private information. Won’t somebody think of the journalists!
As I wrote at the beginning of the Elon Musk takeover of Twitter, the reason the Left was in panic mode wasn’t just because they thought they would get censored (though through their apparent doxxing of Musk they found a way to do so), but because they lost institutional control.
Honestly, I think the idea that a non-leftist would become an institutional gatekeeper was so far beyond their conception of how the world works that they never imagined that the same tools used to suppress their opponents could be turned on them.
This is the biggest gap between the Right and the Left, not just in the United States, but throughout the West. In societies that have become more censorious and truly intolerant of diverse views, the institutional Left is effectively the gatekeeper of what’s considered acceptable speech. They manage and ensure that debate in Western societies is effectively a safe space for liberals.
There are even some allegedly on the “Right” who are happy with this dynamic and now distressed that the Left lost control of a single plank of their gatekeeping power. Suddenly the whole “it’s a private business, they can do what they want” thing isn’t so satisfying to these types.
If anything, this ban does highlight some of the problems with Twitter, social media, and Big Tech. Yes, these are private companies—in some cases with worrying and perhaps pernicious ties to government—but given the power they have over the marketplace of ideas, it’s reasonable to expect a certain amount of transparency in how they set policies. That’s the case especially when it comes to censorship.
There have really been three distinct problems with social media rules in the past.
The first is the big one. They often seemed to be driven more by ideology than anything else. Mock ideas that Christians hold dear and there is no response from Big Tech. Say that a man can’t become a woman, which is a biological reality, and you are in danger of being censored and banned.
This is how Youtube, for instance, went after The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation. John Daniel Davidson, an editor at The Federalist, was suspended for saying that the aforementioned Levine is a man.
The second issue is that the rules are often unclear, and in this case the now-banned journalists may have a gripe. However, this is hardly a new issue for the company.
Third and finally, the rules as they exist are unevenly enforced. This ties back to the first problem of ideology. Often it seems as if Twitter’s rules have been used to target people who broadly disagree with the establishment Left.
It’s clear from the “Twitter files” released by independent journalists that Twitter employees used rules about “hacked” materials to block the Hunter Biden New York Post story despite having no evidence of hacking. They even used tools to censor the reporting that they typically only reserve for blocking child pornography. Maybe they should have been more concerned about the actual child pornography problem that’s been rampant on the platform.
One left-wing regime defender wrote that Twitter was just trying to keep pornography off the website. Please. The most innocuous Twitter searches often turn up reams of explicit pornography. They didn’t seem to care much about that.
The lesson from the latest Twitter bans is that left-wing, institutional journalists typically only care about deplatforming and free speech when it concerns their own. Their current angst comes from their loss of power.
A single billionaire isn’t going to solve the issues with Big Tech. However, he can do a fine job of exposing its problems and the media enablers who only “speak truth to power” when that means protecting their own power and the causes they believe in.
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