Twitter has joined Facebook and Reddit in Silicon Valley’s post-Orlando hall of shame. They’ve become the latest social media platform to censor users for discussing this weekend’s Islamic terror attack.
The victim is Mark Kern, a highly prominent video game developer who worked on the original edition of Blizzard’s highly acclaimed World Of Warcraft, who was suspended from Twitter earlier today.
Kern currently runs the League For Gamers, a consumer advocacy group fighting censorship and moral panic in the video games industry. Kern, who had more than 61,000 followers on Twitter prior to his suspension, was a frequent critic of the platform for its drift towards censorship over the past two years. Now he’s been censored himself.
What did Kern say that caused his platform on Twitter – which formed a key part of his activism – to be taken away?
Few would disagree that the statement is exceedingly moderate. Kern suggests mosques with radical leanings – not even all mosques – should be subject to the same surveillance as everyone else. Yet, apparently, this was enough for Twitter to ban him.
Kern provided Breitbart News with the following comment:
I have not been given a reason for my suspension from Twitter. I did start an appeal process and have received a case number.
I’ve long been critical of Twitter and other social media for what I see as bias against libertarian and conservative views. I know Twitter has shadowbanned me before, limiting the reach of my tweets. We conducted several tests and noticed that up to 30% of my tweets are never seen by others.
But perhaps it was my last string of tweets which offended someone. I was tweeting, critical of the State Department and DOJ for failing to properly vet radicalized suspects who go on to commit mass murders such as the one in Orlando.
My last tweet was asking, in essence, why the State Department would excluded radical leaning Mosques from the same surveillance applied to the rest of the america people: i.e. the wholesale scanning of our e-mails and other private online communication. It was after this tweet that I was suspended. I have no idea if that is the tweet that did it, but I suspect it was.
I’ve long anticipated the censorship of social networks, which is why I created a free-speech network for gamers at www.leagueforgamers.comI encourage any gamer interested in being able to have free opinions and thoughts to subscribe to that site. Its free, and we work with an all volunteer staff. It’s repugnant that these giant social networks are censoring us and manipulating news on trend lists (such as what Facebook as done). We need alternatives and more people should migrate to free networks like leagueforgamer.com before its too late.
Kern is a well-liked figure amongst gamers, and has frequently spoken out on their behalf on issues such as Blizzard’s refusal to introduce “classic” versions of World Of Warcraft to their official server list, and the games press’ descent into yellow journalism and moral panic in the wake of the GamerGate controversy. His suspension from Twitter is likely to cause uproar amongst gamers on the platform, which is already facing a reputation crisis over its censorship over conservatives.
UPDATE: Markus Persson, the billionaire creator of Minecraft wants answers from Twitter:
— Markus Persson (@notch) June 13, 2016