Twitter: You can actually ban the Nazis

Paris Martineau writing for The Outline:

THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS WAS A LIE

Years of outbursts from hate group after hate group have forced these companies to realize that the laissez-faire attitude they’ve leaned on for so long doesn’t actually work, but rather, makes the entire thing rot from the inside. But the fact that platforms won’t fully commit to managing the content that people spew on these platforms leaves a vacuum of confusion and hypotheticals, which generally (like all things nowadays) lead to conspiracies and misinformation.

In all this time, no company has actually tried totally depriving bad ideas of oxygen. Trust me, this is a sentence I never thought I’d say, but in times like these, Twitter (and the tech world as a whole, really) could learn a thing or two from Medium.

One of the multitude of problems Twitter is currently facing is that they just can’t make up their mind about what they want their platform to be.

I recently copped a 7-day account suspension for calling Dinesh D’Souza a cunt and a piece of shit (more on that episode later). Plenty of people replied telling him to go fuck himself, Ron Perlman quoted him calling him a piece of shit multiple times and suggesting it would be best if D’Souza disappeared himself, CPAC (seriously) called D’Souza’s comments “indefensible”, and D’Souza eventually deleted his tweet and apologised.

For some reason though, I’m still in the time-out corner.

The truth is, Twitter has no real expected standard of behaviour. They’re happy to put me in time out for using the word “cunt” while simultaneously leaving this disgusting tweet up on their platform…

… in spite of the fact Coulter’s tweet blatantly violates Twitter’s Hateful conduct policy, and calling someone a “cunt” definitively doesn’t.

Twitter, you are pretty broken for a lot of reasons, but one thing you might want to focus on is the quality of the content of some of the biggest voices on your platform. And if Speech (capital “S”) really is your North Star, maybe don’t haphazardly hand out suspensions to passionate, long-time users for using “bad words”. You silly cunts.

Karl Smith is a New Zealander living in Melbourne, Australia. He's an art and design, tech, and pop culture enthusiast. Previous gigs include musician, concierge, picture framer, designer and product manager.