Many of our readers will now be aware of Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ recent permanent suspension from Twitter. Twitter claims to be an unbiased platform, open to all voices. Yet the company’s CEO is far from neutral, and his attitudes regularly seep down into Twitter’s policies.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s political biases have been prevalent on the platform for years, constantly bending the social media services rules for those whose political views align with his own, while harshly punishing their political opponents.
A perfect example of this is Twitters open support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jack Dorsey enjoys a remarkably close relationship with leading Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson. Dorsey and McKesson have been close friends for years now, with Twitter even directly donating to McKesson’s failed Baltimore mayoral campaign. More recently, the pair shared the stage at Recode’s annual tech conference, conducting a joint Q&A on Twitter.
Black Lives Matter supporters have violated multiple Twitter terms of service rules with absolute impunity, from celebrating the deaths of police officers and calling for more to die to open support of the Baton Rouge cop killers, these tweets and many more have been allowed across the platform with no repercussion. Many of the tweets are still up, and the users have not received any punishment.
The fact that the CEO of a company that allows such tweets on their platform is so closely linked to one of the leaders of the movement inspiring them cannot be ignored, especially when there are so many other instances of draconian punishments meted out to their political opponents.
In addition to turning a blind eye to calls for cop-killing, Dorsey and Twitter are also shockingly silent when racist abuse is hurled at those who do not subscribe to his particular worldview.
Breitbart News reporter Jerome Hudson was recently subject to a tirade of vile, aggressive racial abuse from rapper Talib Kweli Greene, who repeatedly referred to the reporter as a “coon” and an “uncle Tom”. Many of Greene’s followers led a campaign of harassment against Hudson, saying that he was “cooning for money or attention or both”.
Weeks later, no action has been taken against those that tweeted the racist and vitriolic comments at Hudson but Dorsey was quick to jump to the defence of Leslie Jones, personally tweeting his support to her after she complained about abuse on the platform.
Hi Leslie, following, please DM me when you have a moment
— jack (@jack) July 19, 2016
Of course Jones was in no way reprimanded or punished for her retweeting of messages referring to Milo as a “gay uncle Tom” or her calling for her followers to attack other Twitter users. Her previous examples of racism have also gone completely unnoticed by Twitter staff, failing to see a problem with her calling black Republicans “morons” or asking if some Jewish mens Payot hairstyle “makes them more Jewish”.
The reason that Jones has not been punished for these tweets is painfully obvious: in addition to Dorsey’s ideological bias, it’s in Twitters best interest to appeal to comedians, film stars and entertainers who are more likely to drive traffic towards their website.
During a Q&A session at Recodes Code Conference in June, Dorsey had this to say about Twitter and freedom of speech on their platform, “ I think a platform, in order to be a platform, has to be free to every opinion and every voice and I think we need to hear them all. We need to hear every extreme to find the balance.” as promising as this response may be, it’s quite at odds with how Dorsey has been treating users on the platform.
Twitter has openly admitted to silencing speech criticising refugees in Europe, has mysteriously made hashtags such as #StopIslam disappear from the trending page and has actively promoted and supported groups such as Black Lives Matter less than a day after the murder of several police officers by supporters of the group.
Twitter is a private company and can manage its platform as they see fit. What they cannot do however is claim to be a bastion of free speech while silencing all those that disagree with them and such hypocrisy should be highlighted and derided by the media.
Milo himself summed up Twitters stance on free speech saying, “Twitter is intent on protecting free speech, as long as you are a Hollywood actress who bravely tweets about white people, or a New York globalist advocating for violence against Donald Trump. They’ve made it clear that being gay and conservative doesn’t get me past the velvet rope into their free speech club, which is looking more and more like the same liberal echo chamber the mainstream media turned into decades ago.”
Twitter should learn from the mistakes of the mainstream media, as they moved further and further to the left, they left a vacuum for outlets that didn’t comply with liberal narratives, causing independent outlets such as Breitbart to rise to the top.
Twitter may be useful for many things, but expression of diverse viewpoints is quite obviously not one of them. If they continue along their current path, they may well find themselves with very few users left to censor.
Lucas Nolan is a Journalism and Media student at Dublin Business School and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. He can be contacted via Twitter here: @LucasNolan_