In the postmodern era, communication accessibility has expanded to an unmatched level—not ever before seen since the abandonment of Latin within the Church. With this grand expansion and abundant freedom has come a necessity of civil responsibility. However, not all are called to uphold their duties and responsibilities. To counter the reckless, totalitarian limitations are placed, resulting in a curtailing of free speech and a forced acceptance of leftist culture.
This tension in social media is centered around ideology. Twitter, the primary platform of modern discourse, claims to promote free speech and diversity of opinion. As a platform, it does not. It is a vacuum of common ideological culture, ill representative of the populace. A lack of tolerance towards conservative or dissident thinking has also led to suppression and censorship.
“I don’t think that’s fair or right,” says CEO Jack Dorsey in reference to Twitter’s own company environment. Twitter has become so liberal that its conservative employees “don’t feel safe to express their opinions.” Dorsey acknowledged the company’s overwhelmingly strong viewpoint in a 2018 interview with NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen. At the time, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions considered a formal investigation into the suppression of conservative viewpoints. Like other social media platforms, Twitter tries to avoid political bias with the use of software algorithms. However, these algorithms are written by humans, making them innately biased. Policy development and enforcement philosophy are thus geared towards a left-wing progressive viewpoint more representative of Silicon Valley.
Twitter claims it does not tolerate behavior that “harasses, threatens, or uses fear to silence” individuals (“Twitter’s Enforcement Philosophy & Approach to Policy Development”). Controversial, offensive, and even bigoted perspectives are allowed to reflect real-world conversations. When it comes to policy, Twitter conducts its research and drafting through its internal teams and Trust & Safety Council. Enforcement is primarily focused on the context of the messaging. Twitter considers who the behavior is being directed at, who files the report, the severity of the violation, and if the content is of public interest. Furthermore, the impact of the content and its source are also considered providing room for editorialization (“Twitter’s Enforcement Philosophy & Approach to Policy Development”).
Many conservatives allege suppression and censorship, but it may not genuinely be either. Ideological values may be the true focal point of the problem. However, Twitter is not very transparent and rather ambiguous with its rules. The primary biases, if they lie in values, must lie within what is deemed “hateful conduct” and “abusive behavior.” What is considered “hateful” and “abusive” does not correlate to each value system equally. This leaves room for bias to take root and manifest in suppression and censorship.
In June of 2018, a Pew poll found 72% of Americans believe social media companies censor views they don’t agree with. Conservatives had relied on anecdotal proof until 2019 when Quillette conducted their own empirically driven research. Still, evidence of abuse does not answer the “how.” In Quillette’s research, Richard Hanania remarked:
Harassment and the advocacy of violence are serious issues, and there is nothing morally objectionable about social media companies removing this kind of content from their platforms. However, such laudable objectives should not be used as cover to prosecute ideological campaigns.
Hanania acknowledges the root of the issue to be the contextualization of the code of conduct.
Twitter’s contextual evaluation came under hardened scrutiny after a New York Times tech writer’s tweet displayed anti-white racism. Sarah Jeong tweeted several derogatory tweets aimed at white people. “Oh man its kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men,” Jeong tweeted in 2014. “White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along,” tweeted Jeong. “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.” Those are only a few of the racist tweets from Jeong, who tweeted a hashtag “CancelWhitePeople.” Twitter did not suspend Jeong’s account or remove the tweets. She also posted a graph claiming that “whiteness” resulted in being “awful.” She has claimed that it was only satire but apologized, nonetheless.
In an attempt to expose the double standard of leftist antics, prominent conservative activist and commentator Candace Owens mimicked Jeong’s tweets. She swapped “white” and “men” with “black,” “Jewish,” and “women.” Owens was banned for 12 hours, with Twitter citing her tweets about Jews as the reason for the ban. Strange how when its derogatory against Jews its bad, but with whites its not. Twitter later reinstated Owens’ account, claiming they “made an error.”
The anti-white sentiment has emerged full throttle after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer. Leftists claim the rhetoric is “antiracist.” Preaching the decline of whites doesn’t appear to be “antiracist,” though. These illiberal progressives believe in a notion of white repentance or social reparations. Many claim that it is impossible to be racist against whites. As a result of this discrimination, many alt-right and dissident right responded on Twitter with the hashtag “itsokaytobewhite.” The hashtag was almost purged from Twitter, but too many stood against anti-white racism to let Big Tech decide their values. It is odd enough that white progressives are okay with this anti-white racism. It is like they do not value their own identity. Nonetheless, the anti-white sentiment is stronger than any white identitarian belief which is why it is more palatable for Twitter’s platform. That does not excuse the racism, particularly from whites; it only demonstrates the substantial divergence of values, logos, and perspective.
Jeong is one of many who have overstepped the boundary. Former democrat congressional candidate Saira Rao has made similar tweeting decisions. Her timeline is fully dedicated to the “white man.” She has made it clear what she is about, and yet Twitter struggles to see any hate. In 2019, Rao tweeted, “White people have done everything to make my life miserable. Yet I’m supposed to not hate white people? If we were to replace white with black or any other race, she would have been suspended. She has a verified account and tweets the vilest things against white people. Rao is known in the dissident circles of the right as a “racial comic.” However, there is nothing funny coming from this first-generation American Indian. After her primary defeat, Rao said she was ready to “give up” on white people, accusing them of her loss. She has furthered the claim of racism against the DNC with rather bombastic accusations. Ironically, Rao even hosts her own club called “Race to Dinner,” where she invites white women to join her private dinners to “bear witness” to the pain of “Black and Brown” women. If it isn’t clear enough, this woman wholeheartedly hates white people.
The white guilt of modern culture has gotten out of hand, but it is a tenet of the new liberalism. How can one who values their identity adhere to the new gospel? Twitter demands adherence, and if you are to repulse the anti-white rhetoric via discourse, expect limitations on your account. Imagine if Rao’s words were about any other race. She would be shunned, publicly shamed, and banned from these platforms. Strangely familiar, that is what has happened to Donald J. Trump. And yet, we have struggled to find real racism in the former president’s words. But he said, “China virus!” Wuhan is in China, so his words seem fitting. Regardless, Twitter cannot expect white people to allow this. They have been letting enough slide by with illiberal thought, intolerance for their heritage, social classism based on racial identity, etc. It is maddening how strange the world has become, especially to the apolitical white person. Twitter should at least acknowledge the cultural reckoning and set aside some “privileges” similar to the protected classes.
Regrettably, the anti-white embracement of liberal whites prevents a conversation about equal treatment on the platform. Far-left democrats understand this while also understanding their protection as “protected classes.” No one stands up against anti-white racism except the dissidents who are falsely labeled and shamed to the corners. No one is “supposed” to advocate for the white masses.
When Ilhan Omar tweets antisemitic commentary, things are handled differently. In June of 2021, Omar tweeted a moral equivalence between the U.S., Israeli and Afghan actions to those taken by the Taliban and Hamas.
We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.
In a Morning Consult/Politico poll, 31% of voters said the tweet was antisemitic, while 41% said it was not. 35% believed it was hostile to Jewish people. Alas, Omar has apologized for her tweets, so “it’s okay,” at least according to the people who count. In 2012, she tweeted “Israel has hypnotized the world” and in 2018 she posted, “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews.” In 2019 she tweeted, “the Benjamin’s baby,” a reference to a song about $100 bills, and AIPAC, a pro-Israeli lobbying group. The Jewish Committee Relations Council of Minnesota claims the references are clearly antisemitic. Again, after racist remarks, democrats issue an apology, thus immune from responsibility and cancellation. Twitter still has yet to take any action against Omar. She is of a protected class which apparently supersedes her accountability as a public figure. This is why care ethics may be ideal but not practical.
In 2015, after Donald J. Trump declared victory in the U.S. presidential elections, comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted an image of her holding a bloody decapitated head of the newly elected president. Griffin did not provide any “context,” which might explain why the photo was up for 9 hours. It broke the sensitive media policy, which states a user “may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within live video or in profile header, or Lists banner images. Media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also not permitted.” The exceptions to this rule are for documentary or educational content, of which the tweet does not fit the two. Twitter claims, “to limit exposure to sensitive images and videos and to prevent the sharing of potentially disturbing types of sensitive media,” and yet the tweet had 10.9k retweets and 48.5k likes. That would extrapolate to millions of impressions at the minimum.
In 2017, Griffin posted to CNN’s White House Reporter, Jim Acosta, who observed Trump speaking at an event about protecting seniors with diabetes. The tweet read, “Syringe with nothing but air on the inside should do the trick. F*** Trump.” Such a syringe would result in a potentially fatal air or gas embolism traveling to the heart or brain. Twitter removed the tweet as it was clearly against community guidelines. Griffin wasn’t suspended or removed, even after calling for a doxing of the Covington Catholic High School students. Twitter claims, “you may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so,” and yet Griffin tweeted, “The reply from the school was pathetic and impotent. Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these f*****rs wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again…”
All three of these accounts are verified; however, Jeong’s was not at the time of her indiscretions. None of the POCs were suspended, banned, or forced to delete said tweets. However, Griffin was suspended and forced to delete her tweets. Separate but equal does not exist, yet whites are treated to have more responsibility and better judgment. That seems to allege POCs do not have the capacity to understand nor the demeanor to hold civil conversation. Race eugenicists may argue for this tiered system based upon cognitive ability, but others would argue against it. It appears the hood has certainly been revealed with Twitter’s embracement of such contextualization of policy. Lowering the threshold of accountability may pave the way for equity, but certainly not equality.
Acknowledging the difference of treatment based upon “class status” is only the beginning of Twitter’s troubles. Rules should be equal for all, but understandably some individuals, not groups, may need that extra protection. It is a far cry from social justice to demand higher accountability for whites. It is also remarkable the blatant double standard attributed between different ideologies, conservative and liberal. All of the women excluding Rao offered apologies after public angst. The same right to apologize is not acknowledged among those on the right. Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is a fine example. Greene has been known to push the envelope.
Last May, she stated, “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.” Many found her comments to be antisemitic. As a result, she was booted from her committee assignments, although she apologized. The point here is that culture has shaped Twitter, and Twitter has in turn shaped the culture. Only those “worthy” of repentance may be granted the ability. The mixing and mashing of cultural relativism with social media has transformed American culture to the very thing that has set it back. Politically correct, third-wave feminism-driven, and anti-due process social media is now the mainstream culture. As one Fordham University communications professor proclaimed, “We can’t make everyone happy.” So why do we cater to the 1%, 4%, or even 13% while admonishing the 40-50%? Strange it is how utopias work, although the decline matches its lack of practicality with hard realism.
Continuing along the lines of Twitter’s privilege system and its allowance of fact. Prominent paleoconservative journalist, columnist, and blogger Steve Sailer understands “wrong think” well. Sailer tweets data-driven analyses of crime almost daily. Last January, he tweeted, “There were 14 unarmed blacks killed by cops in 2020. Unarmed blacks are more likely to grab for other’s guy’s weapons: e.g., Michael Brown, Armaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks.” Two days later, he tweeted, “What caused 2020’s record increase in urban murders? It’s Black Lives Matter that got those extra blacks murdered by other blacks in 2020,” supplemented with a link to an article by the National Review. Both tweets granted him a 12-hour suspension on the grounds of being hateful and promoting violence. Sailer appealed the tweets citing his sources which appear to be true based on the Washington Post’s database of police killings and Brooklyn College professor Robert Cherry’s studies on murders. Twitter has removed both tweets after providing Sailer the opportunity to remove or appeal.
Sailer’s tweets did not break community guidelines of hateful conduct or promoting violence. This goes back to the protected class issue. Nothing bad can be alleged of the protected groups, regardless if they are true. Again, raising the accountability for some shuns the truth of others. At this moment, while Sailer and other crime analysts tread thin ice, Rao continues to tweet derogatory sentiments about white people. One goes punished, the other acclaimed, although both are not comparable but may seem comparable in the light of new liberalism. Context is everything for Twitter; remember that.
How can we amend this rather significant problem with Twitter? It is not about the rules per se. The contextualization is biased. The viewpoint of Twitter is progressive left-wing with a partisan “interpretation” of care ethics. Contextualization, the lens through which the conflict is analyzed, is biased. That may be due to the company’s employment, but also its philosophy. Individuals are not provided with an equal opportunity to build themselves up and effectively deliver their messaging, which is the only purpose of such platforms. Here is where there is a need for true diversity—ideological diversity.
Resolving the problem at hand may require a dismantling of the culture. The majority, the some odd 50-60% of the country, represent the whole. And yet, care ethics and this newfound liberal ideology demand representation of the few, or at least it claims. Ideological diversity has never been a part of progressivism. It just needs to appear that way. The allowance of counterpoints would strip progressivism of its perceived values showing its true worth, and that cannot be allowed. If Twitter did not embrace its platform’s culture of relativism, neutrality could be attained. Nonetheless, the ideal can still be wanted.
Twitter should consider ideological and cultural initiatives for prospective employees. Diversity can only be pragmatic in representation, so with the expansion of different minded employees, there can be nuance to the context in which problems are evaluated. Twitter should revamp its rules to represent the populace’s values. The rules should be detailed, clear, and evolving. Those who have their accounts suspended should have the opportunity to express their opinion and request to have the suspension reviewed by another Twitter specialist or team. These steps should be taken at a slow, gradual pace to maintain the platform’s current ebb and flow. Only through slow determination can a lack of ideological representation be amended.
Regarding the over policing off non-protected classes, it should be acknowledged that this distributive justice can lead to arbitrariness in interpretation and application of the rules (Sama and Shoaf 95). As a result, it can appear unfair or dishonest. Twitter should provide the ability to opt in and out of such classes. Since it is not the user’s account that is deemed protected, but the messaging of the received tweet, contextual evaluations should place its emphasis on the account before the message. Understanding that there never is “perfect information”, contextual evaluations are very important to the platform’s due process. Users would have the ability to disclose their protected status to Twitter or omit and relinquish such privileges. From the information based upon the account’s protected status, Twitter should be able to make more accurate decisions. The algorithms will have to be refined in order to decipher protected status as well.
Over time, Twitter’s culture should become more representative of the populace. This will be a painstaking process filled with errors. Errors are where Twitter can find its flaws in order to create a sturdy foundation in which true inclusion is achieved. This does not mean the platform will foster pure harmony. What will be achieved is equality of speech for all users.
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