Free speech for me but not for thee: new Twitter rules in effect December 18

Beginning December 18, the postmodern technocrats at the helm, a.k.a. your moral arbiters, are going to double-down on their efforts to shut people up, because apparently they know what’s good for everyone and you don’t.

The good news is that Twitter is being open about their efforts and that you, a possible Twitter user, can preemptively stop using it and mitigate their power trip.  Besides, I think I’ve written enough about the social and psychological damage social media causes. Now is as good as a time as any to free your mind and your life by abandoning Twitter and Facebook altogether.

The bad news is that the remaining compliant users will isolate themselves further, padding the walls of their echo chamber, exacerbating group-think and mob mentality. With fewer opposing opinions to deal with, the ability to admit fault, make concessions, negotiate, and be humble will be completely forgotten traits.  When these people lose the ability to dialogue, they will resort to violence when facing disagreements.

Furthermore, the subset of non-compliant users that are ideological opposites will relocate to another platform and continue their group-think elsewhere.  The distance between the two extremes grows, making the inevitable clash much more potent.

The death of nuance means that many innocents are caught in the crossfire.  If you don’t pick a side, you are the common enemy.

Let’s analyze some excerpts from the new Twitter rules that will take effect December 18.  Keep in mind that Twitter has at least been open about their censorship efforts, but you can extrapolate their behaviour to almost every major tech product you use considering how widespread “Big Data” has become. Your privacy and personal data is being harvested every waking second.  If Twitter can track your every move on and off site, then anyone can.

Abusive Behavior

We believe in freedom of expression and open dialogue, but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up. In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we prohibit behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.

There is a lot going on in this one paragraph alone.

“We believe in freedom of expression and open dialogue, but …”.  If they truly believed in open dialogue, then there would be no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts”. Let people speak, and let people defend themselves.  To assume people are “silenced because [they] are afraid to speak up” is inherently prejudiced — they are reinforcing bigotry they are supposedly against.  They are implying a subset of its users are too weak to defend themselves.

Unless they have a team of psychics working for them, the level of ego in their statement is off the charts. How do they objectively determine that someone else is too afraid to speak up?  Supposedly they just know.  How do they know when “fear” is being used, and how do they know when someone is being silent because of that?  Supposedly they just know.

With this amount of coddling, no one learns how to debate and argue their position properly.

What we see instead is that if you share the same ideology as the authoritarians, you can go cry “abuse” to shut down the other side of any debate without a lick of argumentation.

Violence and physical harm

Violence: You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people. This includes, but is not limited to, threatening or promoting terrorism. You also may not affiliate with organizations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes. We will begin enforcing this rule around affiliation with such organizations on December 18, 2017.

Hateful imagery and display names: You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header. You also may not use your username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior, such as targeted harassment or expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category. We will begin enforcing this rule on December 18, 2017

More grey areas are introduced here that supposedly they have the ability to delineate. What constitutes something being “hateful”, and to what degree does a Tweet cross the line from being an argument to being a “promotion” of violence? Supposedly they just know.

As with any persuasive statement used to justify excessive power and unnecessary censorship, their new measures suggest an act of goodwill by preventing violence and physical harm.

The reality is that they are making violence and physical harm more likely, as aforementioned with the splitting of ideologically opposed groups further into their isolated echo chambers.

By censoring those that have revealed themselves as actual purveyors of violence, that information now becomes hidden. It becomes more difficult to find the truth about something or someone if they never have a chance to speak.

Additionally, the identitarians in control of Twitter now have rationale to invade privacy, harvest more personal data and monitor off-site activity of its users. They are now armed with self-proclaimed moral law, the mob on their side, and an excuse to snoop on your private life.

The new Twitter rules are there to coerce any of its remaining neutral users to simply stop thinking, join the mob, and enjoy the benefits of unearned moral superiority.

Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.

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