The Independent: Twitter Has Made Milo a Martyr in the Cause of Liberty


From Will Gore writing at The Independent:

The permanent suspension from Twitter of Milo Yiannopoulos for violation of the site’s “hateful conduct policy” has thrown the issue into particular focus. Yiannopoulos, a conservative writer and provocateur, appeared to criticise the actress Leslie Jones for expressing concern at racist and sexist abuse she had received from other users. He referred to Jones “playing the victim” and criticised her acting ability. He was accused not of direct racism himself but of fanning the flames of harassment.

The problem on this occasion is that Twitter appears to have played the man rather than the ball. Yiannopoulos might well be a disagreeable prat, but banning him from social media will do more to whip up those whose postings really do go beyond the pale than his continued presence ever could. His voice and his ability to be heard extend beyond the confines of the Twittersphere – hard though that may be for Jack Dorsey to believe.

Vulnerable people should not be left to the mercy of the mob – either on Twitter or on the street. But by enabling ostentatious rabble-rousers like Yiannopoulos to present themselves as martyrs in the cause of liberty, there is a danger that Twitter shifts the focus away from their misdemeanours, instead of holding a mirror to them.

Read the rest of the story at The Independent.