It’s not just conservatives and libertarians who are questioning Twitter’s permanent ban of Breitbart editor Milo and his @Nero account; some independent voices are speaking up against the social media company’s assault on free speech.
Tim Pool is an award-winning journalist who has live-streamed events from Occupy Wall Street to Ferguson using the handle TimCast. Pool’s footage has been featured on major media outlets, he’s worked with VICE and since 2014 he’s been with Fusion TV.
Although Pool built a large following on the left, his narrated lifestreams are actually much more fair than the MSM and Pool has a track record of covering what he sees, whether it’s police or protesters acting up. Pool is also an active Twitter user and in this exclusive interview, he’s got some questions.
LEE: So we’re talking to Tim Pool of the great Timcast. Look, you cover protests, you show the cops if they’re doing bad stuff, you show the protesters, right? You try to be fair. How do you feel about this Twitter thing with Milo?
TIM: You know, so what I said before is, there’s the official reason as to why they banned Milo, right? I personally didn’t see Milo direct his followers to do anything. I do understand there’s a lot of hate on the internet, and I personally don’t know what the solution is. I don’t think banning personalities is a solution. I think what that does is inflames the fight, you know, and it’s given more attention to what’s going on with Leslie Jones and Milo. If we just sort of – you know, look, again, I don’t know what the answer is, all I can say is banning Milo made this so big in the press, so big to everyone, that it’s become a major issue that everyone’s talking about.
LEE: You know, you did a great video where you talked about this in your own experience, where you’ve been threatened on Twitter.
TIM: Oh, absolutely, more than threatened.
LEE: And they directed people, right?
TIM: I had a very powerful account — I can’t direct my followers to them so I can’t bring it up, who they were — but they have over a million followers, and they said that I was a spy with the government and to go and get me. And within a few minutes, ten thousand hits on Twitter – ten thousand mentions plus just racking up – of people saying we’re going to get you, wait until you see what we do to you, things like that, like we’re going — short of saying we’re going to kill you, wait until our gangs come and find you and you’ll see what happens. This user three years later is still active, has gained several hundred thousand more followers, and there was no action taken in response to me being forced to flee a country over these threats. So I have to wonder: what is the real reason for banning Milo? Because I don’t necessarily believe that… look, I don’t believe just now is when they’re deciding to ban hate speech and this kind of thing because they banned Chuck C. Johnson a year ago, so they’ve definitely banned people in the past. They didn’t ban the person who attacked me, but they did ban Milo, so it seems selective. I don’t know what the reason is, I personally like the platform, it’s not the best platform in the world but it really works for what I do in news. In this particular issue, I don’t know why they would do it but it seems very selective.
LEE: Yeah, no, I like the platform too, and one of the things was when I was in Baton Rouge, a Fox News producer wanted to go to the police and just say, look: can you just tell us how to do our job? Give us some guidelines and we’ll follow them. But the problem I have with what Twitter’s doing is I don’t know what the — do you know what the guidelines are? Do you know what to do to keep from getting banned at this point, cause I don’t – you know what I’m saying?
TIM: I mean, I know the general rules. I’m not gonna tweet at somebody some… I’m not gonna call somebody names, I personally try not to get into fights with people, I try not to be mean to people, I’m not perfect, but I really hope to just have a conversation with everybody of all political spectrums, of any ideology, be them – you know, if they’re the worst person in the world that everyone hates, I still want to have a conversation and better understand them, and I think even though Milo is — Milo’s a dick, there are a lot of people who will accept that —
LEE: I think Milo would agree with that.
TIM: Yeah! Absolutely, he’s a mean person. There’s a lot of mean people. But we can’t run away from this stuff because it happens in the real world. So I don’t know what the answer is. I know Twitter as a business has a lot of heat from investors and for potential clients that are scared of this kind of stuff, and I think that’s scary for our future because these conversations happen in the real world. We can’t pretend like they don’t exist. I don’t know what the answer is. I just don’t. I just don’t. I just know that free speech is important, that’s all I really know.
LEE: Cool. Yeah, definitely check out Timcast, he’s a great source. I told him I watch his stuff all the time. He’s a great source to see live and raw what’s actually happening. And you play it fair, and Tim, thanks for taking the time.
TIM: Thank you.
Poole made a video about Milo’s Twitter suspension and it’s worth checking out and sharing with your open-minded friends who may not be on the right but are getting sick of politically correct speech haters.