Earlier this week, Twitter permanently banned Milo Yiannopoulos due to alleged Terms of Service violations. For those of you who haven’t been following along because you have a life, Milo has run afoul of Twitter before, but somehow this was the last straw.
And what was his crime? To hear Twitter describe it, it was harassing Leslie Jones, a star of the recent “Ghostbusters” reboot. In reviewing the Tweet logs, however, Milo didn’t really break the Terms of Service, but many of his supporters did by posting pictures of apes to Jones. There was also a possibly Photoshopped Tweet of something Jones allegedly posted, but didn’t.
Granted, I’m not on Twitter. (Too many twits on there, you know.) But what I do understand is Twitter is a private company, so the calls that Twitter are denying Milo his First Amendment right of freedom of speech to prevail in this case are not really applicable. Twitter, like any other online service, can make up their own rules and apply them as they see fit. Of course, that begs the question of how they apply their own rules.
Not very well.
The fact ISIS/ISIL and Black Lives Matter both retain their Twitter statuses for doing and saying far worse than Milo has is telling. Maybe if he starts beheading people or calling for the death of police officers Twitter will let him back on…
Seriously, what Twitter has done is egregious, but well within their rights to do. The Twitterverse has already established a couple of hashtags to protest Twitter’s decision, one of the hashtags being #FreeMilo. Twitter, being the social media geniuses they are, shut down the #FreeMilo hashtag. I guess the time they removed Milo’s verified status on Twitter didn’t teach them anything after many of his followers changed their profile pictures to ones of Milo himself.
But the icing on this crap cake comes in the form of Leftist Tweeters applauding Twitter’s decision, citing “hate speech” as their justification. Well, that’s a problem because when you start banning hate speech, it always goes underground until such time as it becomes acceptable again. By leaving it in the open, you can see the true hatred and act accordingly. For example, I tend to avoid Leftists altogether in online forums because inevitably their high-minded rhetoric will turn into the very hate they claim resides only on the Right. Need proof? Talk to Alan Keyes, Herman Caine, and other black Republicans/conservatives about how they’re treated by the “tolerant” Left.
Twitter’s double standards about their standards isn’t a good look for them, and it’s going to hurt them more than they think. That’s, of course, assuming they do think, which given their recent track record with Milo alone is suspect. Personally, I think Milo is better off without Twitter, but Twitter needs people like him to justify their draconian double standard.