Just a Theory

By David E. Wheeler

Posts about Backbone

Ban the Nazis, Twitter

Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler, in a Motherboard article provoked by a report that a Twitter employee explained that an automated banning of white supremacy would also ban Republican politicians:

Twitter has not publicly explained why it has been able to so successfully eradicate ISIS while it continues to struggle with white nationalism. As a company, Twitter won’t say that it can’t treat white supremacy in the same way as it treated ISIS. But external experts Motherboard spoke to said that the measures taken against ISIS were so extreme that, if applied to white supremacy, there would certainly be backlash, because algorithms would obviously flag content that has been tweeted by prominent Republicans—or, at the very least, their supporters. So it’s no surprise, then, that employees at the company have realized that as well.

Here’s an idea: ban white supremacists. Then when white supremacists complain, no matter what their office or political affiliation, cite the tweets at issue and explain how they violate the rules and qualify has hate speech. If they scream “free speech!”, invite them to find another platform on which to express their hate.

In other words, do the right thing, and have a fucking backbone.