Despite the ruckus and noise created every time Twitter decides to go on an ideological banning crusade, whether it be against Alex Jones, free speech activists, or edgy teenagers, Twitter will never stop doing it, because it works.
Everyone (or almost everyone) is familiar with Twitter’s dubious banning practices by now. Whether it be stretching their own terms of service in order to justify silencing someone, or eliminating a user because they were deplatformed from another social media site. And everyone has surely also noticed that the receipients of most of these dubious deplatformings just so happen to pretty much all be politically aligned with conservatives or the dissident right. Meanwhile, you will have a free pass to say whatever you like on the platform, so long as your views as progressive enough.
A marge number of people wonder when Twitter is finally going to cross the line, when a straw is finally going to break the camel’s back. Because, in all honesty, how long can twitter keep doing this?
Forever. That’s how long.
There are a few components as to why this is the case.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the new public space. It’s all too after that you hear the phrase “why don’t you just go and make your own social media platform”. That’s about as stupid and naive as one can be. The value of a social media platform isn’t defined by how well it works, or how user friendly it is. It is defined by the number of people using it, and that alone. Building a new Facebook, or a new Twitter, would mean not having access to the vast majority of their userbase.
What this results in, is the first social platform catering towards a particular niche (i.e. Facebook’s timeline and profile system, or Twitter’s rapid short tweeting system) gaining an advantage that, if acted upon, will only continue to compound over time. The value of Twitter as a company is directly related to the number of people using it. And the reason newcomers will use it, is because that’s where everyone else already is.
People cannot sustain enough interest when figures are banned
The main driving force behind criticism of Twitter as a company is their dubious banning practices. They will regularly target Conservatives and anyone not conforming to the progressive ideological narriative of Silicon Valley. So far this has resulted in many provocateurs and political YouTubers losing their place on Twitter simply for having the wrong politics. This is completely irrespective of whether or not they actually broke Twitter’s terms of service, and given that you can be aggresively racist and hateful towards whites on Twitter with no penalty, their terms of service are clearly just there for show.
When these aforementioned figureheads get banned, there it outrage… for a couple of days, then nobody cares anymore. People have other things to be getting on with. This is a problem though, because this is what allows the mainstream left to censor without penalty. They know we all live in world where we are all drinking in tonnes of information online 24/7, and when you’re doing that all the time for such a long period of time, you become more and more easily distracted. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest of them are well aware of this, and use it to their advantage.
They receive tremendous support for their actions
The left will publicly celebrate the deplatforming of various influential right wing talking heads, and will make Twitter feel like they have done everyone a public service.
So no, Twitter will never stop deplatforming their ideological opposition, because ultimately, their goals are ideological in nature. It has worked well for them, it is successfully disarming and disheartening their opposition, and they will probably never face any real repercussions for doing so. Whenever you see headlines such as this, don’t delude yourself into thinking Twitter is on the verge of falling, because I can assure you it’s barely making a dent.
About Ciaran Murray
Ciaran Murray is the Founder of Sabre’s Edge Media.