Add Pajama Media’s Bridget Johnson to the list of those summarily silenced by Twitter’s ongoing purge of conservative voices. According to her employer, Johnson, a long-time journalist with established bylines at, among others, USA Today, the Hill, Politico, NPR, and the Jerusalem Post, was removed from Twitter over the weekend without warning, cause or explanation.
A link to Johnson’s cache’d tweets (from late September) shows nothing close to any of the flame wars, abuse, taunting, bullying or anything else that violates Twitter’s intentionally-cryptic terms of service. As someone who has known Bridget for going on 10 years (in the early days of the inter-web-dot-nets I blogged at her site), this suspension makes even less sense. She is a total pro, a pursuer of facts, and as her Facebook account shows, nothing close to a flaming partisan.
As of now it appears as though Johnson is just the latest victim of Twitter’s Kafka-esque campaign to chill conservative speech, a campaign with no set rules, guidelines, or explanations when you are entirely disappeared due to a capricious act of corporate fascism.
Johnson’s journalistic focus has for years been on Islamic terrorism and immigration. Just prior to her removal, her headlines included, “Al-Qaeda Laments: Why the American ‘Enmity with the Sharia?”‘; “UN: Nations Should Agree ‘to Refrain from Using Deterrence Measures’ Against Migrants“; “ISIS Vows to ‘Take the Neck Off’ of ‘Pharaoh’ Trump“; and “Nevada Republican Signs Dems’ Petition to Force DREAM Act to the House Floor.”
Hardly the stuff of controversy. But the online protection racket involving inconvenient truths about radical Islam might have had something to do with it.
Twitter’s animus towards even anodyne conservatism has been well documented. Who will ever forget Twitter banning a campaign ad for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that told the truth about her work to stop the abortion industry from selling body parts.
Other forms of documented Twitter censorship of conservatives and conservative ideas involve a practice known as “shadow banning.” Twitter also “grays” the profiles of users it decides are guilty of posting “sensitive content.” This results in a warning to everyone else before the tweets can be read.
It seems almost sinister that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lured everyone onto his platform with the promise that, outside of criminality, free speech in all forms would be allowed to spread and blossom. Then, after he had cornered this market and made his site vital to political activism and discourse, the left-wing Dorsey dropped his cryptic and Kafka-esque set of rules that singles out conservatives with a punishing double standard.
Outside of the “block” button, what does anyone need in order to be protected from idiots and bullies? The answer is: nothing. So this is not about protecting people. It is about purging opinions and ideas the political left does not want heard or spread.
Twitter has been one of the most effective weapons ever for punching holes in mainstream media narratives and for the fact-checking of MSM hit-jobs. Twitter has allowed the political right to strangle all kinds of media lies, arguments, and talking points in their infant cribs. Left alone, Twitter is the new public square, a forum vital to any healthy democracy, which is why the left cannot allow it to be left alone.
Exhausted and out of ideas, all the left and its media have left is the empty rhetoric of identity politics, emotional blackmail, and torrents of fake news. Twitter allows the average American to use history, facts, and logic as a means to effectively rebut this nonsense, to undermine the elite bottleneck of idea and thought, and that just cannot be allowed to stand.
Meanwhile, without any fear of Twitter, Huffington Post leftists are allowed to taunt the family of a dying man simply because he is a Republican.