Thank you, thank you. Aren’t you kind.
I know what you’re thinking. If every priest looked like this those little boys would stop complaining.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing — no! No, it’s not Hillary in there, stop it.
No, we are gathered here in the presence of God …
(SLIDE: DONALD TRUMP)
Yes, that one.
Oh, speaking of daddy, I hear Glenn Beck is on suicide watch after Ted Cruz’s endorsement, but hasn’t jumped off the ledge yet so it isn’t him in the coffin either.
No, we are gathered to mourn the passing of something much like Harambe. A great and much-loved American institution, gone before its time.
An institution that began life with the promise of hope, with the vitality and vibrancy of youth.
It’s a life that has ended now, cut short by hubris, by Hitler memes, and by Hillary.
I am speaking of course about Twitter.
God has a habit of smiling down on the Dangerous Faggot. Just this morning we learned that Twitter is in talks with Google and Salesforce about a potential buyout, and may receive a formal bid soon.
Being sold to another company is the corporate version of deleting your account, and Twitter is now on the brink of a humiliating fire sale after months, perhaps years, of nosediving stock price.
This comes as the company loses yet more key staffers, including its head of TV, and the head of its awful “Moments” feature.
At its inception, Twitter was the bright young face of social media. Now, well, it’s FUCKING DEAD.
How did this happen?
Well, it wasn’t just because they banned their most fabulous user.
Some of the nails in this coffin are more apparent than others, like the company’s legal problems. Even Twitter’s own investors are filing lawsuits against it.
I’ve had to keep revising this speech to change the number of law firms formally investigating Twitter,.
The lawsuits and investigations have a consistent theme — they allege that Twitter has misled its investors.
One way Twitter allegedly misled its investors was with incredibly rosy user projections. They claimed they’d have 550 million users in the “intermediate term” and a billion at some time in the future.
With Twitter’s tiny user growth rate, our descendants might well be memeing from Mars by the time the platform has a billion people on it.
There are still more serious charges here. Twitter is accused of misleading investors by not disclosing material changes to the company.
For those of you that don’t deal with the stock market and public companies, in the interest of protecting investors, companies are required to disclose changes that might will be important for investment decisions.
Most companies go a bit overboard on what they disclose, to make sure they don’t get the type of lawsuits Twitter is now on the receiving end of.
In Twitter’s case, the lawsuits and other investigations, of which there are at least 12 happening now, allege that Twitter changed the internal metrics they use to gauge usage of the site from timeline views to daily active users.
That may not seem like a big deal to you, it’s just a simple change in how users are viewed. But the investors in Twitter’s stock should have known about it. And the reason they should have known is that those numbers show Twitter usage is flat or declining.
There are other grim allegations that further close Twitter’s coffin. Charges like this — their new products and innovations have not had the slightest impact on monthly active users or engagement.
Or that the stated acceleration in users is due to quote “low quality monthly active user growth” unquote. Low quality users sounds suspiciously like the bots and garbage accounts that clog our feeds.
Or maybe they just mean Black Lives Matter.
Twitter’s investors have taken very serious losses on this stock. It has dropped from about $50 a share 18 months ago to just $18 today.
Investors don’t get mad, they get even. Well, that’s a lie, they get very mad, then they call their lawyer to get even…. And Twitter, God rest its soul, is feeling that now.
Twitter may have legal problems coming from others beyond their investors.
For one thing, there’s the Milo problem. I know, I know, like the Holy Ghost, I always seem to pop up when you least expect me.
After being banned from Twitter permanently, I requested all of their records about me from their European headquarters, a legal right we have in Europe.
They wouldn’t respond, they claimed I live in America! While it is flattering to pass as American, it simply isn’t true. I am currently appealing to the data protection commissioner for Ireland, and if necessary will escalate it to the court system.
I suspect, and my devoted congregation will no doubt agree, Twitter must have some notes on my account that they really really REALLY don’t want released.
But as hard as it is to believe, I may not be Twitter’s worst headache, at least legally speaking.
The Left thinks the government has a moral obligation to force small Christian owned businesses to personally bake cakes for and to personally photograph gay weddings or provide free birth control, but a publicly traded company valued at more than $10 Billion can discriminate all it wants—so long it’s aimed at conservative white men.
When I asked Barack Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest about social media censorship at a White House press briefing in March, he sounded like Milton Friedman when he responded, “part of what’s built into our system is a respect for private companies to put in place their own policies.”
This was news to me. Never in the Obama administration’s history has it showed any “respect for private companies to put in place their own policies.” The vast majority of the over 20,000 regulations issued since he took office restricted private companies’ ability to enact their own policies.
Furthermore, I did not ask the government to do anything to Twitter, and nor have the vast majority of libertarian and conservative critics of Twitter’s censorship. I simply wanted to ask the President to reaffirm the values of free speech – not just because free expression is a good in and of itself, but also because it’s good business.
Some legal minds feel attacks on Twitter will come in the form of free speech arguments that are not first amendment based.
These might take several forms:
- Twitter’s terms of service, which it claims I and other conservatives violated when they terminated our accounts, represent a contract. Courts often refuse to enforce “unconscionable” contracts.
- Twitter seems to censor straight white men, while many blacks, women, gays and other victim groups have said much worse things and escaped without censure. This could potentially violate anti-discrimination laws.
- The state of California has its own free speech protections separate from the First Amendment, which it has applied to impose free speech rights on private property.
Any of these scenarios may come to pass against Twitter. If I were in Twitter’s legal department, I’d be more nervous than Anthony Weiner’s Rabbi.
A lot of executives have jumped ship over the last year, but no one from legal. I wonder why?
Twitter’s product is notoriously terrible. Everyone has experienced problems with their mobile apps, but the platform had tremendous potential.
From becoming an excellent way to spread information and articles, to making history on the fly by trending the truth outside of the mainstream media, Twitter had important roles to play in our culture.
So what went wrong? Twitter converted, like your crazy cousin that went to a Glenn Beck rally and came out a Mormon.
They didn’t convert religions, but they converted from being a free speech platform to being a clubhouse for the regressive left.
They stopped caring about great content from the most entertaining and creative people and devoted their efforts to not offending people who are perpetually offended.
Consequently, all the “problematic,” mischievous, artistic, dissident, subversive people, like me, Azealia Banks and a wide variety of lesser-known libertarian and conservative writers, thinkers and shitlords, have been nuked. More will follow.
Twitter’s politics reflect the worst that can be found on American college campuses. The company has repeatedly prioritised hurt feelings over free speech.
As Twitter systematically bans the best and most creative users and turns their site into an unholy alliance of crybaby SJWs and militant Islamists, regular users have come to the conclusion that Twitter is not the place to be anymore.
Assuming they ever wanted to be there.
All social media companies were built, at least partly, on the promise of free speech. Over the past few years, we’ve seen that this promise is a lie.
This is true for every social media giant. Facebook just announced a voter registration drive — obviously an attempt to tilt the election in favour of Hillary Clinton. They recently fired their entire trending news team after we exposed their progressive biases. And of course, as Pamela Geller will tell you, they are just as quick to clamp down on conservatives as Twitter.
But more than Facebook, I think the betrayal of free-speech values is particularly acute Twitter, which once – don’t laugh – billed itself as the “free speech wing of the free speech party.”
Their supposed purpose, is still, and I quote “Our mission: To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”
Twitter was once the home of political radicalism. It was one of the primary platforms for Occupy Wall Street and the primary platform for the Arab Spring. It would be difficult for any similar movement to emerge on the platform today, let alone a conservative one.
Can you imagine third-world revolutionaries using Twitter today? “Topple the dictator! March on his palace! Pull down his statues!” Oh wait, you’ve been banned for abuse and harassment …
The progressive left piles disingenuous demands for rules against “abuse,” “harassment” and “hate speech” onto the company. (As always with the left, these words are just another way of saying “you hurt my feelings.”)
Twitter is also hopelessly beholden to a small selection of celebrities — overly dramatic, attention seeking divas who constantly make a scene over tiny things. I hate those kinds of people.
Really though, it’s true. Twitter marches to the tune of a tiny group of pushy progressive celebs. Worse, they aren’t even the hot ones!
(SLIDE: LESLIE JONES)
I mean, if you’re going to sell out your core values to a celebrity, at least pick someone good looking! Showbiz is one of the few areas where the fashionable and handsome outnumber the grotesque.
It was BuzzFeed, in a rare act of passable journalism, that revealed the extent of corruption at Twitter. When Zelda Williams threatened to quit Twitter – okay, in fairness, unlike our friend Leslie she’s at least about a seven.
When Zelda Williams threatened to quit Twitter over abuse, the company’s entire executive board met to discuss the problem. According to an insider at the company, the CEO “scrambled” to delete accounts accused of harassing her.
Let’s be clear, the harassment of Williams, which took place after the death of her father, Robin, was not pleasant. But that is what block buttons are for.
Getting mean messages online is part of being famous, trust me. Most people are sensible enough to just switch off the computer. But progressives and celebrities — but i repeat myself — use nasty comments, which everyone in public life gets, as political ammunition.
Twitter is not a platform for free speech any more. But it’s not really anti-harassment either — I mean, come on, if they banned everyone who hurt someone’s feelings, they’d have to ban every gay, every feminist, every BLM activist and every journalist from the platform.
That would leave about 11 people.
Instead, Twitter has a protected class of privileged users who it defends from minor slights, and a slowly depleting mass that it neglects and brands as “abusers” and “trolls.”
There are also, of course, users that Twitter explicitly refuses to protect and users who can, it seems to the rest of us, get away with literally anything.
Black Lives Matter activists flout Twitter’s rules against incitement to violence on a daily basis by calling for the deaths of policemen on the platform, and Twitter does nothing.
The BLM hashtag is on the wall at Twitter. So this is perhaps no surprise. Of course, if you believe what people are saying, Twitter is quite literally in bed with Black Lives Matter.
(SLIDE: DORSEY AND DERAY)
Republicans, including Donald Trump, are bombarded with death threats, and Twitter does nothing.
Feminist activists are allowed to dox and harass whomever they please, with no repercussions. Twitter does nothing.
Conservative women, in particular, are subjected to daily ritual humiliation. Twitter does nothing.
And it’s only now, after years of criticism, that Twitter is doing anything to combat terrorism on its platform. For years it was the case that you could openly recruit for ISIS on Twitter, but get suspended for ridiculing feminists.
The result of this uneven enforcement is a lack of trust from users. Where Twitter users once felt free to speak their minds, now they hesitate, wondering if their next tweet will get them banned. This is a recipe for disaster.
Think about it for a moment. Twitter is a platform for short, sharp, snappy comments. It’s somewhere for you to say what’s on your mind, as it pops into your head, without hesitation.
So what happens when you take a platform built for speaking your mind, and add fear of arbitrary punishment into the equation? Users will hesitate. They won’t speak their mind. They’ll start to think of how they can caveat their words with politically correct niceties, how they can couch their language, how they can please everyone — and suddenly, guess what? You’re way over the character limit.
Twitter took an experience that was fun, like chatting to your mates at a bar, and turned it into a place of fear, where you’re still chatting to your mates at a bar — but there’s a squad of Stasi agents sipping cocktails a few seats away.
The result has been entirely predictable. Users are simply logging off.
Twitter may have dug their own grave, they may have their investors nailing the coffin shut, but it is the users who are carrying the shovels to fill in the hole.
User growth at Twitter is moribund. The growth in monthly active users per quarter is less than a single month at Facebook. And remember, the smart money has been saying Facebook isn’t the place to be for quite a while now.
Compared to the rapid double digit growth of platforms like Snapchat, Twitter’s lack of growth is an embarrassment.
You don’t have to believe the user stats either. You can follow the money and get the whole story.
RBC Capital Markets has completed a new survey of advertisers, and has found damning evidence that advertisers recognize Twitter is not an effective way to reach consumers.
For the first time ever, more advertisers plan to decrease their Twitter ad spend than increase it.
30% of surveyed firms won’t spend a dime on Twitter, and only 3% see a rising return on investment when advertising on Twitter.
Advertisers don’t care about politics, they care about consumers seeing their ads and engaging with them, and it isn’t happening on Twitter any more.
Of seven key advertising platforms in the survey, Twitter is ranked fifth. Google, Facebook and YouTube are the top three.
As I mentioned before, European consumers have a layer of protection that Americans don’t have. We can legally request private companies to provide to us all information they hold about us.
Twitter has become so ideologically driven, opaque in its business practices and schizophrenic in its rule enforcement, I believe it is a very good idea for any European Twitter user to request their personal data.
It costs you less than 7 euros to make the request, and if it costs a lot more than that for Twitter to comply, that’s their problem, right?
That’s why today I’m announcing the launch of a website that will help you to do just that. I hope to encourage 10,000 people from the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and other EU countries to request their data from Twitter and see what the company is saying about you.
The age of social media censorship began recently. In early 2013, it was still just a distant dot on the horizon. But some people saw it coming. One of those was the late progressive activist Aaron Swartz, a rare example of a liberal who still cared about free speech. Here is what he said.
Both the government and private companies can censor. But private companies are a little bit scarier. They have no constitution to answer to. They’re not elected. They have no constituents or voters. All of the protections we’ve built up to protect against government tyranny don’t exist for corporate tyranny.
Is the internet going to stay free? Are private companies going to censor the websites I visit, or charge more to visit certain websites? Is the government going to force us to not visit certain websites? And when I visit these websites, are they going to constrain what I can say, to only let me say certain types of things, or steer me to certain types of pages? All of those are battles that we’ve won so far, and we’ve been very lucky to win them. But we could quite easily lose, so we need to stay vigilant.
Had Swartz lived, he would have seen his warning come true. He would seen social media companies abandon their ideals of free speech and become vehicles of censorship and political discrimination.
He would have seen the platform of the Arab Spring become the platform of whiny, privileged Ghostbusters stars.
And what’s more, he would have seen it all draped in the PR-friendly shroud of progressive causes like feminism.
Would Swartz have been a progressive today?
Ladies and gentlemen of the congregation I invite you now to join me in a celebration of the life of Twitter, Inc.
(SLIDE: RIP TWITTER)
A fitting end, I hope you will agree, to a life marked by treachery, deceit and ignominy.
God bless you all, and I am happy to take your questions.
Watch Milo’s full speech below.