While it’s hardly surprising watching Twitter and Facebook assert themselves as the arbiters of free speech online and the decision makers on the question of what information should be seen or not seen, it still is pretty staggering to watch their blatant arrogance while doing it. Their rules are arbitrary—clearly favoring the Left—and affect everyone from Dr. Scott Atlas at the White House to someone you probably know.
Face it: we all have a conservative friend who likes to speak out on Twitter. Maybe she’s an aunt or a neighbor or sits in the pew in front of you at church. She’s Christian, pro-life, and thinks President Trump is doing a great job. But when she shares her opinions on social media, all of a sudden she runs into problems.
She is bombarded with hateful, profanity-laden messages. Her account has been suspended twice for Heaven-knows-what. Her tweets seem to get very low engagement, and she suspects she is being shadowbanned (although she can’t prove it). So she starts to self-censor, dialing back her real feelings because she’s worried Twitter will kick her off for good.
I’ll bet you know someone just like this. Maybe you know several. It’s not even up for debate that conservatives are treated badly on so-called social media. One might even start to think we aren’t welcome.
These private corporations have decided, so far without consequence, that they really do determine how free speech and the free flow of information are going to work in this country. Imagine for a moment someone squatting on public land and then grandly declaring that he is in charge of how that land will be used in the future. We’d laugh at the insanity of it, but that is exactly what these companies are doing: they are squatters on the Internet, which they didn’t build, don’t own, and certainly are not entitled to make the rules for how it is used.
I’ve made it clear that in his second term Trump should smash these companies: antitrust, removal of Section 230 exemptions, but perhaps more importantly, annihilating their revenue models.
Until then, however, what are we to do? Should we look for alternatives? Certainly.
Every day, millions continue to suffer Jack Dorsey’s daily indignities. Conservative voices are banned, subjected to biased “fact checks” by liberal editors and screamed at by a bunch of woke mafiosos who have no interest in listening and every intention of insulting, defaming, doxxing and canceling.
While I know they are mental midgets ignorant of how rights work, a word to them: in the real world outside your safe spaces, we have God-given rights to free speech and freedom of conscience. Further, free societies encourage the free flow of information rather than trying to hinder it.
Twitter is a battlefield, but a rigged one that is not even remotely fair to conservative participants. Twitter has their agenda, they make the rules and they will make sure they win. If you don’t believe me, just listen to Jack Dorsey’s own words: “I don’t believe that we can afford to take a neutral stance anymore . . . I don’t believe that we should optimize for neutrality.”
Twitter has picked sides. Conservatives aren’t on it. Their field, their rules. They win, we lose.
Just look at their leadership team. They say personnel make policy, and Twitter’s Head of Site Integrity, the division responsible for content moderation, is a woke liberal who hates Republicans. He’s called Mitch McConnell “a personality-free bag of farts” and wrote that there were “actual Nazis in the White House.”
I am not the sort to shy away from a spirited debate. There can be value in arguing with liberals and defending conservative principles. That’s how minds and hearts are changed, and we could stand a lot more dialogue these days. Honestly sometimes Twitter is as pleasant as a root canal with rusty dental tools. But think about this: Bots generate 50 percent or more of the traffic on Twitter, and over 80 percent of the content is negative.
Twitter is not a well-run company. Its stock price has been weak, having never climbed back to immediate post-IPO levels. Revenues have been flat, and the company lost money seven of the past eight years. And yet, we give this bad company that hates our values, censors us and treats us like crap a continual lifeline by playing in their sandbox. Maybe we shouldn’t anymore.
Let’s face it: politically active conservatives and the energy we bring are critical to Twitter’s entire ecosystem. Don’t believe me? Imagine for a moment Donald Trump ditching the platform and posting exclusively at Parler.
So why should we continue to prop up and capitalize Twitter? Short answer: we shouldn’t. It’s against our interests.
The same goes for other Big Tech platforms. Twitter may be the most vulnerable, but until we grow to use alternatives for networking, search (I started using DuckDuckGo.com a long time ago because Google is basically evil), video sharing like Rumble.com, even domain hosting, we remain vulnerable to abuse at the hands Big Tech as we fork over our money to help them tighten their stranglehold.
It’s time to vote with our feet and our wallets. I’m starting to think that we as conservatives should start investing our time and treasure in different platforms that are less hostile to our principles. We don’t have to move all the way overnight; in fact I would discourage it, for fear we might “ghettoize” ourselves. But we should probably start the process and build leverage in hopes that real measures in the very near future will help accelerate the breakup of these monopolies.
Twitter wants us to think it is the only game in town; that we’re stuck. We’re not. Let’s get the power of markets working for us, the sooner the better.