Twitter was created a decade ago, but didn’t truly see the height of its rampant popularity until 2012. I know–not too long ago at all. It played a huge impact in Middle Eastern revolutions, and David Cameron threatened to ban it during the London Riots of 2011. So…understandably, there are a lot of little, let’s call them “issues”, to deal with when running a social media site. Not the least of which is trying to figure out how to manage content and behavior; especially when that content is delivered anonymously and rampantly throughout the entire world.
Scary stuff. Free speech–for some–is a terrifying, and yes (no matter what your dipshit friends say) uniquely American, concept. It’s important that certain elements of free speech are well-defined. Especially in a structural environment like Twitter, where there is no guarantee or promise of true freedom of speech. We mustn’t forget, Twitter is not a public space. While it’s open to the public, it is not a utility, and it is essentially tantamount to a giant house party. And when the host says you gots-ta-go, you gots-ta-go.
But this has put a bee in the bonnet of many on the Alt-Right, which isn’t (despite what your dipshit friends say) a White Supremacist Hate Group. Though, in all fairness, it does contain those people. The Alt-Right is an anomaly that mainstream media is now trying to wrap its tiny-little-brain around, now that it’s reported to be one of the main unchecked reasons Donald Trump is now picking out his perfect White House Throne Room decor.
If you’re looking for me to explain what the Alt-Right is, I can’t. Because nobody can. And that’s because most of the Alt-Right isn’t actually right wing. The only things we can say about the Alt-Right for certain says nothing about their politics and more about the behavior of their base: categorically and objectively offensive championship level trolling. And this is something that Twitter seems unable to abide.
So what does Twitter do when they’ve run out of collective shit to fill their collective pants after the most pants-shittingest election of all pants-shitting history? They sell their members short and ban everyone on Twitter with a verifiable (if not, Twitter Verified) Alt-Right account. A purge of free speech. But only free speech coming from perceived and actual White Nationalists, because if anyone’s going to out-Nazi the Nazis, it’s fucking Twitter.
Now, this is important for two reasons–first off, it does effectively nothing but force prominent members of the social media community to create new accounts or simply wallow in social media prison like Milo Yiannopolous; and second, it ushers in phase two of Twitter‘s master plan, which is to allow users to generate their own Safe Spaces by choosing words to censor from Tweets.
So let’s say, for some reason you’re following a bunch of racist accounts who constantly use bad words that hurt your eyes. You chose to follow these people, but you just can’t handle those darn words…so rather than Mute or Block or unFollow said individuals or set your account to Private, you decide to open up your Twitter settings and type out every filthy homophobic, racist, misogynistic word you could possibly let your fragile trigger-prone conscious imagine…and hit SAVE. Twitter is now free of bad words, and your world is now a better place. Congratulations, precious.
Or, let’s consider the more likely scenario: you lasted through 2 years of election coverage and you’re fed up. Now you just want all mentions of Trump, WikiLeaks, Alt-Right, etc from your feed. You would empirically rather shut down your main vein of ideas and news and thoughts than learn something outside of your bubble, engage ideas you disagree with, and keep informed. Well done. You’ve just decided to be a fucking moron. Press X to not die.
We’ve established that everyone lacks the adult mental stability to intellectually discuss ideas. We’ve gotten to the point of “MAD=SMASH” and “Things I Don’t Agree With Or Understand=RACISM” and that’s not OK. Or, that is to say, it would be OK if those choosing to avoid certain information (i.e. self-censoring their social media feeds or blocking people who voted a different way than they did) would keep their fucking mouths shut. But they don’t. And they won’t. So here we are.
What we now have are two groups of people (the Triggered and the Non-Triggered) effectively speaking and listening entirely within echo-chambers…if they hadn’t been already.
At least…this is what we would have. But contrary to the behavior of those with obvious issues dealing with it, the real world exists. No, not the crappy reality show where douchebags compete for the title of Captain Douchebag…well, sort of…but not in this context. I mean the world we all live in and have to share; a world full of facts and feelings. A world where we have problems and solution. A world where Donald Trump is about to be sworn in as President of the United States and memes & daily affirmations are shared more than actual ideas.
But fuck it, right? The world goes on turning until the day we’re all hurled violently into the Sun; a world where the “morally superior” choose to minimize ideas rather than explore them, march and burn things with threats of violence toward “others” if they express dissent, and then turn around, with a pretty face and pink hair, and call someone else a fascist.
After all, if Twitter can do it…why not you?