Last night my friend Stacy McCain was suspended from Twitter with no warning or explanation or any apparent path to appeal. Surely it is just a coincidence that this happened shortly after Twitter created a Star Chamber, ahem, Ministry of Truth, no, that’s not it: a Trust and Safety Council, and appointed as a member a frequent target of Stacy’s anti-feminist and pro-Gamergate critiques, Anita Sarkeesian, feminist and anti-Gamergater.
There is no First Amendment issue here because Twitter is a corporation, not the government, so it has the right to suspend, ban, and censor its subscribers. But it is a poor business model to do it secretly and as a type of gaslighting, to push a political agenda, as Twitter does, which elevates progressive points of view while suppressing those of conservatives. Conservatives are right to be outraged. Specifically, Twitter has been doing the following:
- Removing the checkmark showing an account authentically belongs to a prominent person, as happened recently to Milo Yiannopoulos, who is @nero on Twitter.
- Shadow banning: keeping lists of accounts that are white listed or black listed, and hiding the black listed ones so they do not appear in search results.
- Suppressing certain trending hashtags, such as #FreeStacy, by turning off autocomplete for them.
Thanks to the above practices, Twitter is revealing its transformation from social media platform to cult. The best conservative response would be to build a better mousetrap. But right now, feminists, it’s time to toughen up, buttercup, and win by the strength of your arguments rather than your power to silence your opposition: #FreeStacy.
P.S. If you aren’t winning by the strength of your arguments, it means you need to discard them and get better ones, not seize the power to control or destroy the people you can’t persuade.