Twitter’s new “hate speech” policy is going to cause more problems than it solves

posted at 2:41 pm on January 4, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

One of the other things some of you may have missed over the holidays was the announcement from Twitter that they were going to be beefing up their enforcement policies and cracking down on violent speech. Or speech that promotes violence. Or something. On the surface that sounds great, since it’s already verboten to make death threats against people (or threats of other violence) or to try to raise up an army. But as with most things in the era of the Social Justice Warriors it never stops there, does it? (CNN)

In a blog post Tuesday, Twitter said it has updated its policy in an attempt to stop people from tweeting abusive and violent posts.

“The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice,” said Megan Cristina, Twitter’s trust and safety director said in its blog post. “As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs — but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse.”

In case you’re wondering if I’m just paranoid and this policy is a perfectly harmless and legitimate attempt to stop murders and terrorism, you can check out the company blog post on the subject here.

Today, as part of our continued efforts to combat abuse, we’re updating the Twitter Rules to clarify what we consider to be abusive behaviour and hateful conduct. The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice. As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs –but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse.

As you can see, it took no time at all to make the leap from “threats of violence” to harassment, intimidation or attempts to “silence another user’s voice” on the social network. That sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it? It’s almost as if some users might feel unsafe if they are exposed to opinions different than their own and need Twitter to set up a safe space for them.

Still, some people seem to find the policy to be a good thing, such as our friend Leon Wolf at Redstate.

While I am aware of the well-justified concerns of many conservative activists about the potential abuses of Twitter’s new “Hate Speech” policy, I applaud Twitter for finally doing something about a problem that was making Twitter unenjoyable and borderline unusable: perpetually abusive anonymous (often racist) trolls…

[T]he power to troll anonymously on the Internet is apparently too tempting for human nature to resist. As a result, Twitter has ceased to be a fun – or even tolerable – environment. If you have enough followers to make the free-flowing exchange of ideas fun, then you also have enough trolls that reading your mentions column will instantly put you in a bad mood. No one wants to spend significant amounts of time on a service that does nothing but give them negative emotional feedback.

I’m a big fan of Leon’s, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take exception to his interpretation here. He seems to find trolls annoying and feels that their presence on the network is what’s killing Twitter’s revenue stream and driving away users. But honestly, how much of a hassle is this for most folks? You only see the people you follow in your lists, and if trolls come into your mentions (assuming you watch your mentions) you can quickly report, block or simply mute them. (That last one is my new favorite feature.) If some insulting yahoo can ruin your day by showing up in your timeline then social media might not be the right pool for you to swim in.

But the much larger area of concern is the question of free speech and open debate. Right out of the gate Leon starts by mentioning, the well-justified concerns of many conservative activists about the potential abuses of Twitter’s new “Hate Speech” policy. Those concerns are well justified indeed, since we’re not talking about death threats. We’re talking about reporting people for “abuse” when it falls to Twitter and Twitter alone to decide what constitutes abuse or hateful speech. And the arrows generally only fly in one direction on that front as we all know.

If some liberal comes barging into my mentions column and says they are working to allow unrestricted immigration from Syria into the United States, I suppose I’ll feel a little “unsafe” at the thought of their succeeding, but I’m not going to report them. I may call them an idiot or engage them in a debate or just hit the mute button on them, but I won’t go running to Daddy Twitter to get their account banned. But what happens if they decide to jump in on a link I post to an article where I reiterate my belief that “transgenderism” isn’t a thing or that the Black Lives Matter movement is engaging in thuggish, dangerous behavior by shutting down shopping malls and roadways or chanting for “pigs” to be fried like bacon? Am I expressing my opinions? Of course not. I’m engaging in hate speech and making them feel threatened. Which way will Big Daddy Twitter go when the complaint about my tweet comes in?

We might get an idea of how “tolerant” the Twitter management is by looking at some of the advertising policies they’ve already put in place. Did you know you can’t advertise tobacco products on Twitter?

Twitter prohibits the promotion of tobacco brands and the online and offline sale of tobacco and tobacco accessories globally.

This policy applies, but is not limited, to:
– Tobacco of any kind
– Cigars, cigarettes and cigarillos
– Tobacco manufacturers
– Electronic cigarettes, even when marketed for smoking cessation
– Pipes and rolling papers
– Cigar bars and hookah lounges

Sure, most of the world wants to cut down on smoking, but at least here in the United States (and virtually everywhere else for that matter) tobacco is still legal. And yet Twitter has taken the initiative to simply ban people from advertising a legal product. How do you suppose they come down on SJW issues?

We’ll probably find out soon enough.

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Comments

Unless it’s speech containing hatred of Trump.

Then anything goes of course.

NapaConservative on January 4, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Twits twitter.

ebrown2 on January 4, 2016 at 2:44 PM

will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice

If someone is timid, you can intimidate them by saying it looks like it might rain.

LashRambo on January 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM

Ultimately Twitter is a private company. If they want to drive away their customers/users then so be it. Twitter is not a utility that owns the only means of transmission. They are a social networking site that anyone can emulate.

NotCoach on January 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM

It’s not a “hate speech” policy. It’s a “harass conservatives” policy. It’s already being applied unevenly, and is basically an excuse for San Francisco based Twitter to restrict and control conservative speech.

I’m a big fan of Leon’s, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take exception to his interpretation here. He seems to find trolls annoying and feels that their presence on the network is what’s killing Twitter’s revenue stream and driving away users.

He’s wrong. What’s driving people off Twitter are SJW “virtual mobs” making it more and more difficult for ordinary people to interact. The uneven application of the “hate speech” policy is going to drive even more people off the service.

Left-leaning CEOs need to understand that trying to chase off all non-liberal customers will make your company uncompetitive and unprofitable. Note what’s happening to the newspapers right now.

Doomberg on January 4, 2016 at 2:48 PM

1 more reason why I’ll never join twitter

Rogue on January 4, 2016 at 2:49 PM

I’ve never been a Twit, but I do have a favorite tweet. Don’t know who wrote it but you’ve seen it.

“My favorite thing about Obama is all the racial healing.”

Meremortal on January 4, 2016 at 2:50 PM

But no effort to stop the dropping of people into the Twitter Gulag.

Quelle suprise.

The Schaef on January 4, 2016 at 2:52 PM

So, something along the lines of “Hey, Twitter Thought Police: Why don’t you all ST*U”—that would be prohibited?
Yeah; thought so.

Yet another reason I don’t use Twitter. Well, that and not being a 16 year old girl.

orangemtl on January 4, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice,”

Sure they won’t, as long as it is directed at any leftie but go ahead and say what you want to a conservative.

major dad on January 4, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Which way will Big Daddy Twitter go when the complaint about my tweet comes in?

This is something we’re going to have to get used to with globalization. Very few countries share America’s commitment to free speech. They’re either expressly totalitarian (China, Russia), have strong “hate speech” laws (Western Europe, Japan, etc.), or otherwise restrict speech. Even in America, 47% of the country has no compunction about shutting down conservative speech.

Since Twitter operates around the world, it will probably be better off long-term by adopting more speech restrictions than not.

Outlander on January 4, 2016 at 2:57 PM

I’m a big fan of Leon’s, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take exception to his interpretation here. He seems to find trolls annoying and feels that their presence on the network is what’s killing Twitter’s revenue stream and driving away users.

One person’s “troll” is another person’s citizen exercising his or her First Amendment right.

Clamping down on what once was a forum for lively and open discussion is likely to hurt their revenue stream and drive away users more than the occasional “troll” saying something offensive or perceived as threatening.

IMO, any real threats should be forwarded to law enforcement, and let the ‘twitter-verse’ police itself for the most part.

But I suspect this has more to do with preventing potential lawsuits than anything else.

s1im on January 4, 2016 at 3:04 PM

No one reads the Tweets posted on Twitter.

albill on January 4, 2016 at 3:04 PM

I’ve never been a Twit, but I do have a favorite tweet. Don’t know who wrote it but you’ve seen it.
“My favorite thing about Obama is all the racial healing.”

Meremortal on January 4, 2016 at 2:50 PM

David Burge, also known on Twitter as Iowahawk tweeted that a while back; if you don’t follow him, you should, he’s clever as h*ll, as you were so impressed.

BTW, if they’re going to be kicking people off Twitter for suggesting Obama should get his *ss whipped, I won’t last 5 minutes!

SkyKing on January 4, 2016 at 3:05 PM

The Truth is Hate Speech therefore the Truth Tellers must be destroyed.

VorDaj on January 4, 2016 at 3:06 PM

After residing on Twitter for over 7 years, having over 20,000 REAL followers, riding thru uncountable suspensions and eventually a permanent ban, I finally realized that Twitter has the “Rules for thee but not for me” philosophy.

Progressives there will say the most vile things, from wanting to kill you to raping your daughter (my favorite was having sycophants wish my son’s death on the battlefield) and NOTHING will happen to them by Twitter because the vile tweets are deleted.

Even screen shots are not accepted by the Twitter Rules team, which by my standard puts them in bed with the Progressives.

Oh, wait – Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, is friends of Deray. You know, the #Blacklivesmatters scumbag? Twitter’s corporate walls even has that hastag in the main lobby.

Go figure

MarineReconDad on January 4, 2016 at 3:07 PM

Twitter’s new “hate speech” policy is going to cause more problems than it solves

No, it’ll do the same thing as Facebook does. It will silence the right. If you notice the folks on the right have caught up with the left on its digital presence, that’s why they can’t win anymore and need to change the rules.

TheMadHessian on January 4, 2016 at 3:08 PM

BTW, Leon Wolf is a goose stepping little fascist.

VorDaj on January 4, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Hate Speech=Anything critical of Obama, socialism, or anything that is positive or supportive of anything white, male, or Christian.

ConstantineXI on January 4, 2016 at 3:09 PM

I’m a big fan of Leon’s

Lay down with fascists get up with fascism.

VorDaj on January 4, 2016 at 3:10 PM

No, it’ll do the same thing as Facebook does. It will silence the right. If you notice the folks on the right have caught up with the left on its digital presence, that’s why they can’t win anymore and need to change the rules.

TheMadHessian on January 4, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Which will kill Twitter. Because the Left is worse at Twitter than they are at Facebook. So Twitter tends to be dominated by the right.

Not that it matters, Twitter doesn’t make money anyway.

ConstantineXI on January 4, 2016 at 3:10 PM

About damn time. The Internet is already infected with too many AGW deniers and White Privilege deniers. We need to completely erase these cancerous posters and all traces of their hateful “evidence”. The risk of young and unenlightened citizens becoming diseased by indiscriminate and unapproved elucidations is just too great.

I finally agree with Leon Wolfe on something…all trolls should be exterminated – by force if necessary.

Frank Lib on January 4, 2016 at 3:16 PM

What will Twitter do with people who advocate smoking MJ? Is that going to be prohibited as well? I mean, if you ban promotion of cigarettes which are “legal”, you should ban MJ promotion which is still illegal in over 40 states and where you can be prosecuted by the Feds.

laughing1 on January 4, 2016 at 3:20 PM

Ultimately Twitter is a private company.

NotCoach on January 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM

True. Which means it’s not a 1st Amendment issue, but a stupidity issue.

Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice

So, will they retroactively boot all the folks who extorted that guy to quit Mozilla?

GWB on January 4, 2016 at 3:20 PM

About damn time. The Internet is already infected with too many AGW deniers and White Privilege deniers. We need to completely erase these cancerous posters and all traces of their hateful “evidence”. The risk of young and unenlightened citizens becoming diseased by indiscriminate and unapproved elucidations is just too great.

I finally agree with Leon Wolfe on something…all trolls should be exterminated – by force if necessary.

Frank Lib on January 4, 2016 at 3:16 PM

Global Warming is the biggest hoax in history.

And whites are the ONLY race without privilege.

ConstantineXI on January 4, 2016 at 3:21 PM

Ultimately Twitter is a private company. If they want to drive away their customers/users then so be it. Twitter is not a utility that owns the only means of transmission. They are a social networking site that anyone can emulate.

NotCoach on January 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM

So was Klein’s Bakery, supposedly.

Rix on January 4, 2016 at 3:22 PM

I’m a big fan of Leon’s

Jazz, you’ve evolved a LOT over the last year and, even during troubling times, have maintained a solid persona so we’ll put working on that (fan of his) issue on the back burner for now.
be well sir.

dmacleo on January 4, 2016 at 3:23 PM

I finally agree with Leon Wolfe on something…all trolls should be exterminated – by force if necessary.

Frank Lib on January 4, 2016 at 3:16 PM

You volunteering, Frank?
(Or are socks exempt?)

GWB on January 4, 2016 at 3:25 PM

The Koch Bros need to fund a Conservative version of Twitter.

I can see it now – Progressive heads exploding like the aliens in Mars Attacks.

MarineReconDad on January 4, 2016 at 3:36 PM

The Koch Bros need to fund a Conservative version of Twitter.

I can see it now – Progressive heads exploding like the aliens in Mars Attacks.

MarineReconDad on January 4, 2016 at 3:36 PM

At the rate they are burning money Twitter will be for sale for $1 like Newsweek.

ConstantineXI on January 4, 2016 at 3:55 PM

I finally agree with Leon Wolfe on something…all trolls should be exterminated – by force if necessary.

Frank Lib on January 4, 2016 at 3:16 PM

Is that a request for someone to go on a killing spree (we’ll assume for these purposes a legal killing spree, although I don’t see how it’s possible–yet) or a challenge to a duel (again, if it’s legal somewhere, it might be)?

Kevin K. on January 4, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Twits tweet and narcissists facebook. I do neither. I’m so boring. My time at the NSA also keeps me from using a cell phone.

vnvet on January 4, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Twitter, that’s one of those right wing echo chambers, right?

HumpBot Salvation on January 4, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Twits twitter.

ebrown2 on January 4, 2016 at 2:44 PM

My sentiments exactly.

HotAirian on January 4, 2016 at 4:20 PM

I’m a big fan of Leon’s, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take exception to his interpretation here. He seems to find trolls annoying and feels that their presence on the network is what’s killing Twitter’s revenue stream and driving away users.

Poor little Leon he works for the the largest Anti free space speech advocates of them all, Red State and SMG.

RickB on January 4, 2016 at 4:22 PM

Twitter, that’s one of those right wing echo chambers, right?

HumpBot Salvation on January 4, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Depends on whether you follow @twitchy/twitchy.com.

In theory, I very much agree with Jazz (hey, theres a first)—but (and I’ve had a recent brush with this reality), what’s the difference between this proposed moved by Twitter and the terms of use used to ban commenters/delete comments here or on any public forum. There should be very clear guidelines in place (no, “harassment” doesn’t cut it) and a pretty high threshold for censorship, and process for appeal if warranted. Then I don’t really see a problem with it.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Ultimately Twitter is a private company.

NotCoach on January 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM

Bingo.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 4:26 PM

Wow. A whole post about a private company from a “conservative” blog author? I thought the conservative mantra was “let the market decide”

Politricks on January 4, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Twitter is a private company, if they want to require all comments to be rated G I could care less. Personally, I would require every one to use legitimate ID and post using their real names, to end the scourge of trolling behind anonymity, then it wouldn’t have to be censored.

Rode Werk on January 4, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Nobody gives a f*ck about Twitter aside from journalists and celebrities.

spinach.chin on January 4, 2016 at 4:56 PM

I thought the conservative mantra was “let the market decide”

Politricks on January 4, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Only when it applies to government interference in private business, jackass.

spinach.chin on January 4, 2016 at 4:58 PM

Yes, I read that Leon Wolf article and thought it was horrible.

1) Is redstate with Leon Wolf now going to go a bad direction, e.g. bad ideas?

2) Twitter is one of the few free speech zones left on the Net. Shut it down, really, conservatives as free speech is getting shut down every where?

3) Leon’s response was weak, IMHO. Don’t like trolls, so you need them suppressed? Sounds a lot like the SJWs, to be honest.

4) Andrew Breitbart had the right idea. Expose the left for what they are – ugly, hate-spewing sentiments is a good place. He was a happy warrior, and I loved him for that.

I worry a bit not only about Twitter, but redstate now too. You don’t have to get them right all the time – but a miss on free speech, its a shame and not a good start to 2016 to see us throwing in common cause with those pushing for its suppression.

PrincetonAl on January 4, 2016 at 5:14 PM

“our friend Leon Wolf at Redstate” is a psychopathic mod that bans anyone who dares question his authoriteh. HuffPo isn’t so sensitive. Not my friend.

dengony on January 4, 2016 at 5:26 PM

I predict the death of Twitter.

myiq2xu on January 4, 2016 at 5:27 PM

“our friend Leon Wolf at Redstate” is a psychopathic mod that bans anyone who dares question his authoriteh.

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

myiq2xu on January 4, 2016 at 5:29 PM

Depends on whether you follow @twitchy/twitchy.com.

Cool, so one twitter account out of millions. Now define how twitchy is a right wing echo chamber. What are they echoing? I thought they mainly pointed out the absurdity of the libtards on twitter. I guess in your feeble little mind..that constitutes an echo chamber.

In theory, I very much agree with Jazz (hey, theres a first)—but (and I’ve had a recent brush with this reality), what’s the difference between this proposed moved by Twitter and the terms of use used to ban commenters/delete comments here or on any public forum. There should be very clear guidelines in place (no, “harassment” doesn’t cut it) and a pretty high threshold for censorship, and process for appeal if warranted. Then I don’t really see a problem with it.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Except that’s not how it’s gonna work now is it? Because the twitterverse is controlled by dishonest libtard hacks like you.

Wow. A whole post about a private company from a “conservative” blog author? I thought the conservative mantra was “let the market decide”

Politricks on January 4, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Let us know when libtards want to step up and try this approach.

HumpBot Salvation on January 4, 2016 at 5:29 PM

had acct at redstate, seldom posted, just a few comments.
during discussion over banning I mentioned that if I ever did anything bad enough to be banned for I would not argue/fight it/create other accts/etc as I figured mods knew rules better than I did.
was banned for that.

dmacleo on January 4, 2016 at 5:37 PM

HumpBot
You know what twitchy is, right? It’s a tweet aggregator. If that’s not the definition of echo chamber, I’m not sure what is. And where do you think they’re getting their tweets? Mostly from other conservative tweeters. Yes, lots of conservatives tweet. You can call names and throw ad hominem all that you want, but that doesn’t make you smart, nor does it make you know what you’re talking about.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 5:41 PM

About damn time. The Internet is already infected with too many AGW deniers and White Privilege deniers. We need to completely erase these cancerous posters and all traces of their hateful “evidence”. The risk of young and unenlightened citizens becoming diseased by indiscriminate and unapproved elucidations is just too great.

I finally agree with Leon Wolfe on something…all trolls should be exterminated – by force if necessary.

Frank Lib on January 4, 2016 at 3:16 PM

I’m concerned that you might interpret some post of mine I might make some day as indiscriminate, and call it hate speech, which would totally intimidate me. Such intimidation can only be viewed as direct harassment, which I find quite offensive.

For the sake of the internet, you must immediately and forcibly terminate yourself and/or your online presence.

Your sacrifice is heroic, and appreciated.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 4, 2016 at 5:52 PM

Just out of curiosity, how many of you feel that harassing and bullying students anonymously is ok and should be tolerated by Twitter and other social media outlets like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook? Could Twitter’s new policy be an attempt to crack down on bullying of underaged students in our middle and high school? I’m just asking because I deal with this crap every day. Parents come to my office and ask what the school can do to stop the harassment and down-right meanness on social media. I don’t have a lot of options but to tell them to get their kids off the internet.

pullingmyhairout on January 4, 2016 at 5:59 PM

HumpBot
You know what twitchy is, right?
It’s a tweet aggregator. If that’s not the definition of echo chamber, I’m not sure what it is.

Then you don’t know what is. Thanks for confirming you’re an idiot and a lying sack of shit.

And where do you think they’re getting their tweets? Mostly from other conservative tweeters.

No, actually they get most of their tweets directly from the source…libtards tweeting to their fellow libtard followers in their little twitter echo-chamber.

Yes, lots of conservatives tweet. You can call names and throw ad hominem all that you want, but that doesn’t make you smart, nor does it make you know what you’re talking about.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 5:41 PM

Need a tissue, you whiny POS? Apparently it’s you who doesn’t know what you’re talking about. You prove it on a daily basis.

By the way, how many times have you been banned here at HotAir? With yesterday, I count at least twice.

HumpBot Salvation on January 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Politricks on January 4, 2016 at 4:33 PM

i actually have to agree. not to mention, its kinda funnt to see a number of these arguments pop up here at HA recently, given that this site actually has rules for banning people for certain types of speech. guarantee you, if i refer to homosexuals with a certain word, the comment probably wouldnt get past the filters and i might even get banned.

avgjo on January 4, 2016 at 6:08 PM

HumBot
You clearly know nothing about Twitter or twitchy. Sorry for it. And since you think I’ve been banned twice, it doesn’t seem you know much of anything else either. Sorry for it.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM

HumBot
You clearly know nothing about Twitter or twitchy. Sorry for it. And since you think I’ve been banned twice, it doesn’t seem you know much of anything else either. Sorry for it.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Yeah, your sorry alright. Fraud.

Keep showing your ignorance. It’s hilarious to watch.

Hilarious that he didn’t know what Twitchy really was, but thought he knew what Twitchy really was and used that flawed thought to try correcting you.

blink on January 4, 2016 at 6:15 PM

What’s hilarious was the idiot trying to pretend twitter isn;t a leftwing echo-chamber by deflecting to twitchy. And ignoring that liberals outnumber conservatives by 100 to 1 and if you dare upset the hive by pointing out their lies or absurdity it gets you banned or blocked.

Take a trip to the archives and see if ol Civil isn’t the zombie Proud Rino.

HumpBot Salvation on January 4, 2016 at 6:35 PM

Today, as part of our continued efforts to combat abuse, we’re updating the Twitter Rules to clarify what we consider to be abusive behaviour and hateful conduct. The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice. As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs –but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse.

omg — choose!

Axe on January 4, 2016 at 7:08 PM

If someone is timid, you can intimidate them by saying it looks like it might rain.

LashRambo on January 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM

Stop trying to silence me!

Oxymoron on January 4, 2016 at 7:15 PM

Twitter has a long track record of selectively enforcing it’s rules to the benefit of Progressives and the Left and the detriment of Conservatives and the Right.

Twitter employees who enforce the rules clearly have Leftist political biases and they routinely exploit their power to protect their fellow travelers and to attack people who don’t share their political views.

More rules just means more opportunities for these petty little tools to abuse the rules.

novaculus on January 4, 2016 at 7:41 PM

Related, one can follow the hell-raising Sophie Ro, notable variably banned miscreant, for now, @SophieRo3.

Axe on January 4, 2016 at 8:06 PM

I expect the next time a scientist is harassed and berated for the shirt he wears, Twitter Co. will race to his defense.

/sarc

Gyro on January 4, 2016 at 8:21 PM

“The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice,

Given the history twitter has of banning/silencing/punishing others for political views; this intimidates me, and is silencing another user’s voice. I have no doubt the harassment will come soon enough.

Clearly their policy violates their policy.
Now what?

gekkobear on January 4, 2016 at 9:00 PM

HumpBot
You know what twitchy is, right? It’s a tweet aggregator. If that’s not the definition of echo chamber, I’m not sure what is. And where do you think they’re getting their tweets? Mostly from other conservative tweeters. Yes, lots of conservatives tweet. You can call names and throw ad hominem all that you want, but that doesn’t make you smart, nor does it make you know what you’re talking about.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 5:41 PM

1) That’s not the definition of echo chamber
2) You clearly don’t know what one is

The Wikipedia entry on “echo chamber” is pretty decent:

In media, an echo chamber is a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed or otherwise underrepresented.

Unfortunately, the definition misses the use of “echo chamber” as a pejorative. If all you’re doing is collecting what other people have said on a subject, then there is no expectation of originality in the first place. We already KNOW that the comment was made originally on Twitter. Twitchy is not echoing, but quoting.

Calling Twitchy an echo chamber is about as dumb as calling attributed quotes plagiarism. If you’re not trying to pass off a comment as original, then it doesn’t make much sense to call it unoriginal.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 4, 2016 at 9:06 PM

Twitter can do what they want – it’s their site, just like HA. They can ban adverbs if they like.

Has Twitter tried to demograph their users politically? They might find they can’t afford to lose the right anymore than they can lose the left. After all, they have not yet figured out how to make money from their bright idea, have they?

There is a company whose meagre lunch is waiting to be stolen!

virgo on January 4, 2016 at 9:09 PM

The Koch Bros need to fund a Conservative version of Twitter.

I can see it now – Progressive heads exploding like the aliens in Mars Attacks.

MarineReconDad on January 4, 2016 at 3:36 PM

.
“When I’m calling You-whoo-hoo-hoooo . . .”

meerbock on January 4, 2016 at 9:50 PM

In theory, I very much agree with Jazz (hey, theres a first)—but (and I’ve had a recent brush with this reality), what’s the difference between this proposed moved by Twitter and the terms of use used to ban commenters/delete comments here or on any public forum. There should be very clear guidelines in place (no, “harassment” doesn’t cut it) and a pretty high threshold for censorship, and process for appeal if warranted. Then I don’t really see a problem with it.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 4:25 PM

You didn’t read the post all that carefully. Nobody is surprised at that. If upheld equitably, there is ostensibly no problem with such a policy. But there is more than ample evidence, going back to the very beginning of Twitter, that the views on what is and isn’t acceptable speech is imbalanced, and Jazz makes that distinction rather plainly.

When “commenting” on Conservative thoughts can be as vile, profane, and inhuman as imaginable and be considered perfectly acceptable “discussion”, while ANY statements, however politely and reasonable made, which are in opposition to the PC status quo, are considered Hate Speech and moderated/quashed/banned, an imbalance exists. There is a failure of equitable filtering in the minds of those involved. You’d understand that if you weren’t made of exactly the same stuff.

Freelancer on January 5, 2016 at 11:08 AM