The Bird is Free   6 comments

We can hope, at least.

And it’s kind of fun to watch the leftists meltdown because Elon Musk closed on his purchase of Twitter.

Bloomberg claims Musk’s stated purpose of recreating Twitter as a free speech site where permanent bans for misplaced pronouns won’t exist will “alienate” advertisers and the New York Times worries the site will devolve into open death threats.

Wow, just wow!

It’s tough to make up that level of hyperbole.

Being Banned

I was banned from Medium recently for stating a biological fact. The writing platform offers no appeal and they don’t let you remove the objectionable content (in my case, a comment on someone else’s article) while allowing unoffending articles to remain. It’s a permanent ban. You’re not allowed any pathway to redemption. You’re done!

Twitter does the same thing. At least they (usually) give you some warning before they block your account and they gave the Babylon Bee an opportunity to deplete their offending post (stating a biological fact), but for the most part there’s no redemption allowed and there have been some highly prolific voices deleted from Twitter and given no way to return.

What Musk Says He’ll Do

I don’t know Musk, so I’m only going on what he has said he plans to do. Of course, there will be content moderation, but he claims there won’t be permanent bans unless for repeated egregious acts encouraging violence toward specific individuals and groups. He wants to allow all voices to hold opinions in the defacto public square.

But to fix Twitter’s culture, he will need to fire a lot of Twitter employees. He started by removing the management team which has staunchly defended removing accounts for simply stating controversial viewpoints without encouraging violence. We all know they hold a deeply biased view. If a Twit is from a left viewpoint, they can post extremely abusive comments against people on the right without any sort of repercussions. Meanwhile, right-leaning Twits could be removed for stating biological facts and asking if we can please have a reasoned conversation about the implications of this. And then there is election interference. We all know NOW that the New York Post Hunter Biden laptop story was substantially correct and should have been a part of the news cycle ahead of the 2020 election, but because of the politics of the Twitter management team and their 7,500 censors, the article was essentially hidden from the view of most Americans.

This is what Musk says he hopes he can correct through his eventual goal of pruning the company down to about 2,000 employees.

Will the Advertisers Object?

I’ve worked in journalism, used to hang out with the ad team at my newspaper, and have helped with ad campaigns. What advertisers want is potential customers. How much of Twitter’s traffic in the last few years has been bots? We don’t know right now, but Musk has said his software engineers are investigating that right now. I rarely post anything but novel (book) information on my Twitter feed, but I do occasionally like and retweet the work of others. I’m a libertarian, but I appreciate some conservative thoughts. And when I do that, I get deluged by angry people. About a month ago, I received an actual death threat from someone whose profile says he lives in my community. Consequently, I don’t spend as much time on Twitter as I once did. I represent the millions of potential customers who Twitter was happy to push away. As some of the accounts I have followed have been removed from Twitter, I’ve also spent less time on Twitter.

It’s a dumb idea from an advertiser’s perspective to reduce the potential audience for their products.

Advertisers want an increasing audience.

What I Hope Musk Does

Of course, he doesn’t listen to me and I’m just chiming in my opinion, but this is what I would like to see in the revamped Twitter.

Look at all the banned accounts and review them for actual incitement of violence or ad hominem attacks. If they’re not guilty of either one, reinstate them.

Going forward, warn people who engage in this behavior and remove the content if it is egregious.

Don’t impose permanent bans unless someone repeatedly and egregiously displays this behavior and even then, allow a pathway of redemption.

The 1st Amendment is pretty absolute and we need to uphold that tenet while recognizing that there are limits and they also need to be acknowledged. Give us a few years of interacting on the level once more and society might actually remember how civility works.

Lela Markham is a novelist. Check out her books on Amazon.

Posted October 30, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

Tagged with , ,

6 responses to “The Bird is Free

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  1. The 1st amendment has been forgotten and advertisers have left them as brung ’em to the dance behind in favor of catering to a nonexistent fairyland of ethnically androgenous diversity and pandering to a ridiculously small percentage of their buying population. The old argument of “I don’t see myself in there” is a two-way street. It’s about time someone like Elon had the balls to open up the First Amendment again.

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