The shoe is officially on the other foot.
Jack Dorsey and the Twitter safety brigade overstepped their authority by deleting a tweet from Nigeria’s president, claiming that it broke the platform’s rules against “abusive behavior.”
So, in one of the greatest “who the hell do you think you are?” moments in recent memory, Nigeria’s president banned Twitter from his country forever. Or, as Twitter would put it to make things sound a bit less Stalinesque, Nigeria “permanently suspended” Twitter.
Twitter is unhappy.
“We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria,” the company said. “Access to a free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society.”
That’s a strange way for Twitter to admit that it has stripped Donald Trump and countless other American conservatives of their human rights, but the company is run by leftists, so I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s not simply that the Left are unconcerned with their own blatant hypocrisy. They revel in it.
“We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world,” the statement finished.
Working to “restore access” to a microblogging site in Nigeria is a euphemism for what the company is actually doing—subverting the laws of a sovereign nation.
If access can’t be restored, I suppose Jack Dorsey will just have to build his own Nigeria.
Twitter’s chutzpah in dealing with the Nigerians speaks volumes about how it views itself on the global stage.
Openly attacking a nation’s head of state shows that Jack Dorsey views himself as the kingmaker of communications—not just in the United States, but worldwide. Jack Dorsey gets to decide who says what, and when, in the modern-day public square. That’s a hell of an ego for a grown man who wears a nose ring.
Meddling in the affairs of a sovereign nation is no small deal. It’s the type of provocation that, if carried out by another country against Nigeria, could be considered an attack on Nigeria’s sovereignty, or even a declaration of war.
But it also appears to be a fantastic litmus test for public corruption.
If Dorsey is pushing you around, you are either weak, compromised, or both. (In the case of our Republican Party, it’s both).
For example, Twitter is also banned in China. With the exception of a few high-ranking Chinese Communist Party leaders and state propaganda outlets, nobody in the country of more than 1 billion people can use it. In other words, Nigeria and China now share the same position on Twitter.
But you won’t catch Jack Dorsey taking swipes at Chinese President Xi Jinping. He’ll never vow to allow access to his platform to Chinese citizens. He would be barking up the wrong tree. China is a serious country with a serious government that fiercely protects itself from foreign influence by the likes of Dorsey. China is indeed an authoritarian country, and it may be a bad place to live. But it doesn’t answer to international corporations, because international corporations might not have China’s best interest in mind.
In countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both American allies, Twitter is heavily restricted. Those countries are also serious about enforcing their own laws and protecting their own sovereignty. They, like China, are not particularly agreeable places for politicians to engage in backdoor deals. Their governments, which have strict rules against libel and blasphemy, have the ability to control access to the site. They prosecute people who use the site to break their laws. Jack Dorsey doesn’t advocate an #OpenInternet in those countries. In fact, rather richly, Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal reportedly owns more of Twitter than Dorsey himself.
Compare that to the United States, which (allegedly) has laws too. I’m not saying that China, or Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates are better places to live than the United States. In fact, our laws, as opposed to those of the aforementioned repressive regimes, let us express ourselves freely, almost without restriction.
But the United States is also a deeply corrupt country. Our leaders do not care about our laws—not even the First Amendment, perhaps our most precious law. In America, the people in charge can’t stand up to Jack Dorsey because he runs the show here. A great many politicians are beholden to him. He has bought and paid for them twice over. He has bribed them into submission under the guise of “lobbying” and PAC contributions to their election campaigns.
Nigeria, a Third World country, is actually less corrupted by the influence of Big Tech than the United States.
Because of this, Dorsey gets to decide whether you’re allowed to participate in public debate in America. Hell, he can ban the president of the United States, and half of our lawmakers will cheer him on. Two-thirds of the other half won’t even openly object.
“Conservative leaders” will bend to Dorsey’s will, too, because he’s organized his authoritarian regime as a corporation. While he declares war on the First Amendment, and by extension America’s very way of life, David French and his has-been NeverTrump friends make excuses, offering platitudes about the rights of private companies, and lecturing that somehow, we’re all going to be forced to bake wedding cakes for gay couples if we force Dorsey to knock off the censorship.
Say what you will about Nigeria, but at least it has enough sense to know when it’s being taken for a ride by someone to whom it doesn’t have to answer.
And at least its leaders have more pride than America’s limp-wristed GOP.