Want to know why I never look at anything on Twitter? It’s because of the whole big deal being made by the so-called ‘leaking’ of emails within the Twitter management team about banning Donald Trump.
Trump had his Twitter account permanently suspended two days after the January 6th Capitol assault, but the company had been flagging his tweets for months, warning users that he was violating the company’s policies on messaging which was considered ‘inflammatory’ and an incitement to ‘further violence.’
It now turns out, thanks to internal emails supplied by Twitter to a liberal spieler who writes mostly about environmental affairs, that the day before Trump was banned, an organized campaign to delete Trump’s account resulted in messages to Twitter from a number of anti-Trump personalities, public figures and organizations, led by none other than Michelle Obama, whose message to Twitter said, in part, "Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technologies from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection."
The leaked Twitter emails also include correspondence between Twitter staff which resulted in deleting content about the alleged Hunter Biden – Joe Biden ‘scandal’ involving the son’s efforts to connect his father to a Ukrainian energy company for all kinds of personal financial largesse. These emails were given to another liberal journalist, Matt Taibbi, who used them to build a Twitter feed about how Twitter’s policy for patrolling and controlling content on its platform had become compromised by political considerations and was now out of control.
In his reportage, Taibbi makes the point that the initial content guidelines for Twitter were designed “to combat the likes of spam and financial fraudsters,” but then increasingly were used to “manipulate speech,” in particular political speech which ran counter to the political slant of the Twitter management group.
What is the political orientation of the Twitter team? According to Taibbi, “overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the Left (well, Democrats) than the Right.”
Taibbi’s belief that the Twitter workforce is a bastion of liberal belief is based on reports from the Open Secrets website, which shows that in the last three election cycles, the Democrats received more than 95% of the political donations from Twitter given to both sides.
What I love about all the internal Twitter emails flying back and forth is how so many company employees consider themselves to be experts on Constitutional law and 1st-Amendment free speech ‘rights.’
Want to see what you can and cannot say on Twitter? You can read the company’s guidelines for acceptable content right here. Here is how Twitter explains the criteria it uses to decide what kind of content will appear on their site: “Twitter's purpose is to serve the public conversation. Violence, harassment and other similar types of behavior discourage people from expressing themselves, and ultimately diminish the value of global public conversation. Our rules are to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely.”
Except this statement contains a certain sleight of hand, because Twitter’s real purpose is to run advertisements which generate revenue and keeps the stock price up. And as long as that advertising doesn’t say something that violates a law, Twitter can accept or reject any advertising it wants, and I guarantee you won’t see Michelle Obama or anyone else voicing any concern about how Twitter judges the ‘safety’ of those ads.
The internet may have started off as a way to create a ‘global public conversation,’ but its primary purpose today is to get advertisements for products and services into the homes of people most likely to buy some of that crap. And as far as I’m concerned, whether Trump or anyone else is violating how Twitter claims it protects users from abuses of speech, that’s nothing more than a sideshow when one considers what the real role and business of the global superhighway has become.
It’s a few minutes after 12 noon on a Sunday and my Gmail account has already received 14 advertisements today.