Twitter

Twitter Sucks Because We Suck. Don't Blame @Jack

If social media feels like a cesspool, don't go swimming.

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Ekinyalgin/Dreamstime.com

A lot of criticism of Twitter takes the form of public tweets aimed at Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey (@jack). Those tweets have heated up in recent years because Twitter is President Donald Trump's second-favorite tool for reaching his base. (Perpetual campaign rallies ranks number one, because of all the cheering.) These days, many of the complaints charge that Dorsey and his company aren't doing enough "conversational health work" to make Twitter an inclusive public forum for divergent opinions that also reduces or prevents "abusive" speech.

The hard fact is, no matter how much Dorsey commits himself to making Twitter a safe space for debate, conversation, and entertainment, he's always going to be criticized for not doing enough. (In this, Dorsey has the small comfort of not being Mark Zuckerberg, who I'm guessing gets orders of magnitude more criticism because Facebook is orders of magnitude more successful—despite today's market slump.) Dorsey will remain in the crosshairs as long as he runs the company—that's because, if you're running a social-media platform, there's no version of top-down censorship of "abusive" content that works out well.

Many of the complaints have focused on whether, under Dorsey's leadership, Twitter is adequately (or consistently) following through on the company's commitment "to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress." Why are the complainers tweeting Dorsey personally? It's partly because Twitter's commitment to the "collective health" of "public conversation" comes from a pinned Tweet on Dorsey's Twitter page. Twitter wants us to understand that the company is devoting more resources to policing its Terms of Service agreement (a.k.a. TOS) that incorporates the "Twitter Rules."

Per the TOS and the Twitter Rules, users are forbidden to use the service for illegal purposes, including active misrepresentation and fraud. They're also officially barred from "abusive behavior," which can include verbal harassment, "unwanted sexual content," and "hateful conduct." That last category warrants its own explanatory page, which provides a nonexclusive list of types of "hateful conduct"—threats, racism, and, if I read it right, pro-genocide content. But Twitter also explains that "context matters": a tweet that might seem like "hateful conduct" considered in itself may in fact be a parody of such content in the context of a larger exchange—or even a direct quote of somebody else, reproduced so it can be analyzed and criticized.

Twitter's policies, taken together, quite properly underscore the fact that human speech and writing are tricky media. Trying to police them simplistically (by banning racist invective, say) can result in the suppression of speech of high social value (like tweets that identify and criticize racist invective). Computer algorithms aren't great at identifying context—we don't yet have I-A.I. (Ironic Artificial Intelligence). And, sadly, human beings tasked to respond to complaints about TOS violations aren't always reliable either.

On top of the difficulty of judging (quickly) whether tweets are "abusive," there's also the problem that the judgment is post-hoc. So if you have an active Twitter account, you can post pretty much anything, no matter how offensive or incendiary, with the confidence that it will remain visible to other Twitter users for a while, and perhaps indefinitely. Twitter expressly states in its policies that it relies to a large degree on user complaints to identify content problems in a timely way, but there will always be some policy-violating content that falls through the cracks. At the same time, mischievous users have learned that they can game the complaint system to shut down their tweeting opponents, temporarily or permanently, by reporting them as violating Twitter policies. Neither Twitter nor any other platform has the technology, resources, or personnel to make perfect decisions about whether tweets violate Twitter policies and need to be deleted (or whether users responsible for the tweets in question should be shut down, temporarily or permanently).

Worse, they can't even be relied upon to make consistent decisions. Any content policing of the comprehensive sort that Twitter's most stringent critics call for is certain to lead to censorship that can't be rationally defended. Consider the temporary suspension of the account of the brilliant journalist, TV writer, and producer David Simon, who (now notoriously) has tweeted the wish that certain of his virulent Twitter opponents—many of whom are Trump/MAGA supporter—die of "boils" or a venereal-disease "rash that settles in your lying throat." Simon apparently discovered he'd been suspended when he wanted to tweet something about the death of his friend Anthony Bourdain. Once the suspension was lifted, he learned that some of his tweets had been removed and—of course—wished a plague of boils on Jack Dorsey. "As far as I'm concerned," he wrote, "your standards in this instance are exactly indicative of why social media—and Twitter specifically—is complicit in transforming our national agora into a haven for lies, disinformation, and the politics of totalitarian extremity."

I asked Simon in a tweet whether he was calling for the more censorship, but just of a different kind. His response?

"You will notice that I have at no point urged Twitter to remove others. Only to preserve the legitimacy of replying to liars, frauds and fascists with a full-throated range of abiding contempt. To require us to engage with such people seriously is to validate the blood libels." In short, Simon's complaining about inconsistency as well—he believes, not unreasonably, that the best answer for hateful speech is to answer it with contempt.

What this means is, short of having a system in place in which all users' tweets are prescreened by an editor before they become public, we're not going to see any top-down editorial policy—even one informed by complaints from the user community—that works well on the kind of large platform that Twitter is (and that Facebook and other social-media platforms are). Heavy top-down administrative moderation may have worked well enough on the smaller private forums, and on the PC-based bulletin board systems (BBSes) of decades ago. But if the large-scale dominant platforms—not just today's, but tomorrow's as well—are pressured into censoring more and more content, the complexity of identifying what really counts as "abusive" speech guarantees that some large fraction of the user population will be unhappy with the results.

The platform companies know this. They're (mostly) quite aware that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (including its most recent amended version) gives them the right to curate user content. They're also painfully aware that invoking that right leads both to higher expectations of editorial control and to more and more dissatisfaction as users disagree with particular editorial decisions. Even so, Twitter, like all the other dominant platforms, is investing more in finding ways to reduce user complaints about abusive content. But until we have built our Ironic A.I., the best fix is still to remind users they can make their own decisions about what to say and what to hear.

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106 responses to “Twitter Sucks Because We Suck. Don't Blame @Jack

  1. What’s Twitter?

    Is that one of them interweb sites where you twit each other?

      1. Styx, on something or other.

        I absolutely don’t have the magic power to make links actually work, so just use your imagination.

        1. ZOMG I did it! I can finally pass Remedial HTML 101!

          1. Congratulations.
            Welcome to HTML5.

  2. You know who else was the subject of Godwin’s writings?

    1. Holy shit, this is the actual Godwin.

      1. You are worse than Hitler.

        1. Apparently, Mike Godwin has been contributing to Reason for quite a while, and I never noticed. Shame on me.

      2. Yeah, he writes here sometimes. He has other articles here too.

        1. I too had no idea. It’s like meeting Kim Kardashian or something.

          1. No offense to Godwin, but I’d rather meet Kim K-W, assuming Kanye was cool with it.

  3. “to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.”

    It’s an impossible standard and makes me wonder why they would do this?

    Mine would be: Life. Discuss. We’re not referees.

    And then laugh at everyone.

    1. Every company on earth has a laundry list of platitudes in its “mission statement”.

      None are honest enough to go with “Our mission is to make a lot of money”.

      1. And then save the world! But first to make a lot of money and bang chicks – and guys and stuff.

      2. The most ironic being Google’s “don’t be evil”

        1. Individual rights being the definition of evil – – – – – – – – –

        2. As if Brin and Page knew what “evil” is.

        3. live eb t’nod
          live eb t’nod
          live eb t’nod
          live eb t’nod
          live eb t’nod
          live eb t’-AAAAARRRRGHGHHH!!! IT’S HAPPENING!!! DARK LORD I AM HERE! YOUR WILLING SERVANT!!!

      3. I don’t think Twitter has been terribly successful in that goal either (though Dorsey, personally, might be).

      4. “Every company on earth has a laundry list of platitudes in its “mission statement”.
        None are honest enough to go with “Our mission is to make a lot of money”.

        Agreed, and there isn’t a single commie willing to admit his/her goal is mass murder and universal poverty.

        1. But that wasn’t really communism! It’s the intention that counts! Then intention to murder and pillage in the name of our cause! Towards utopia!

    2. But FEELINGS! (especially hurt ones)

    3. Why would they do this? Because of shit like this:

      “The Twitter Trust and Safety Council provides input on our safety products, policies, and programs. Twitter works with safety advocates, academics, and researchers; grassroots advocacy organizations that rely on Twitter to build movements; and community groups working to prevent abuse.”

      Thank you Anita Sarkesian.

  4. “You will notice that I have at no point urged Twitter to remove others. Only to preserve the legitimacy of replying to liars, frauds and fascists with a full-throated range of abiding contempt. To require us to engage with such people seriously is to validate the blood libels.” In short, Simon’s complaining about inconsistency as well?he believes, not unreasonably, that the best answer for hateful speech is to answer it with contempt.”

    I’m not saying it was aliens. But it was aliens. That’s Simon is saying.

    He can’t explicitly *say* he wants censorship but he wants censorship. For those icky people over there.

    1. What is left unsaid in that exchange is that one man’s blood libel is another man’s hard truth. There is no “objective” frame of reference for these opinions.

      The left has tried to coopt the media and tech companies and have them decree their view of what is “right” in the world as the correct view. The right has now sought to fight fire with fire, summoning the mob to hoist the left by their own petard.

      Only the free speech ideals espoused by libertarians addresses this in a way that doesn’t directly place a powerful thumb on the scale – speech should be answered by speech.

      1. “blood libel”, while generally speaking can refer to any slanderous lie about a group of people, specifically refers to the lie that Jewish people use the blood of Christians in their religious rituals.

        1. Which is to say, even if someone fervently believes something, it can still be objectively wrong and slanderous/libelous.

          PS: While typing my response my browser freaked a little, and my unfinished post got posted, hence why I had to reply to myself to finish my response. Quite inconvenient.

          1. Sure, “can be”. But not always. Or even usually.

            Remember, we live in a time where a gay white man who is married to a black man is universally known to be a homophobic racist. (Milo)

            We live in a time where a 3 man panel discussion featuring two Jews and a Puerto Rican can be disrupted by a self-righteous white guy who denounces them as racists and Nazis. (as relayed by Dave Smith)

            This is a time where the overtly Jewish Ben Shapiro can be denounced as anti-Semitic and have a large chunk of the populous believe it.

            These are the times we live in. And I’ll argue that these times are not a special exception, but the normal human condition. People will believe what they want to believe, even if it doesn’t survive even the slightest scrutiny. Remember, a large majority of the black population in the US was certain that OJ Simpson was innocent (for a brief period of time), something that was rather impossible to believe, given the facts presented. We’ve seen social conservatives vote for Trump, seemingly without holding their nose. And people brought to tears by the notion that Hillary Clinton didn’t get to be President.

            So I’m going with my previous assertion… that for most purposes relevant to Twitter there is not an objective truth that could reasonably be adjudicated.

            1. For fear of getting into specific arguments…

              Gay people can be homophobic.
              White people can be racist and still fuck/love black people.
              For that matter, black people can be racist against black people.
              Jews can be Nazis and anti-Semitic.

              In short, people can quite easily have really bigoted beliefs that, if fairly applied, would include themselves. People are pretty good at rationalizing away such conflicts.

              So without getting into the details of any of the people you mentioned, that’s not the rhetorical slam dunk you appear to think it should have been.

              To the actual point however, I was responding to what you said, “What is left unsaid in that exchange is that one man’s blood libel is another man’s hard truth. There is no “objective” frame of reference for these opinions.”

              I was not responding to what you are claiming you meant, “[?] for most purposes relevant to Twitter there is not an objective truth that could reasonably be adjudicated.”

              It’s trivial to see that yes, in some cases there is an objective “truth”. And in other cases it’s just people being ass-hats. Claiming that there is no objective “truth” is objectively false.

              1. There is an objective reality. Either Jews sacrificed Christian babies for blood rituals or they didn’t. Opinion doesn’t enter into it.

                But there is no objective truth to be found in other “blood libels”, either way.

                The left is calling on Twitter, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, et. al. to adjudicate this type of Truth.

                Milo is a racist and should not be given a platform. Maxine Waters is speaking truth to power, and should be amplified, even as she calls noted civil rights proponent Alan Dershowitz a racist.

                Even “freedom of speech is a right” is not an objective truth. These are all applications of personal beliefs. The problem with conceding “there is an objective truth” in these cases is that this is precisely the hook that the left is trying to use to get everyone to agree to mass censorship and propaganda.

                The right answer remains the same. The only answer for bad speech is more speech. Seeking to restrict “bad speech” can only have negative impacts. It is inevitable. And these people are not even acting in good faith. They are simply trying to win through silencing their critics.

            2. Yeah, people be idiots, as always. The difference about the past 100 years is that more of them survive to adulthood, have relatively easy lives (and thus energy to spew stupid ideas), and are not truly slaves or fearful subjects of an all-powerful monarchy.

              Despite what most progressives would claim.

  5. “conversational health work”

    Will that “lean forward” to “social justice”?

  6. Twitter is President Donald Trump’s second-favorite tool for reaching has base. (Perpetual campaign rallies ranks number one, because of all the cheering.)
    NeverTrump signaling by the second sentence, very impressive. Shikha must be envious.

    1. Pretty tame, compared to Shikha, and many others. It’s missing the vitriol and the grand pronouncements of Truth, Justice and the American Way which she just happened to pull out of somewhere. Anyway, you don’t have to be especially anti-Trump to recognize that he likes campaign rallies as a way of directly engaging with his base. Though the reach would seem pretty limited just due to their relative rarity outside of the actual campaign season. Trump, of course, wasn’t the president that introduced us to the perpetual campaign.

    2. I saw that too, and was discouraged by the millenial-style “personal assumption asserted as empirical fact” phrasing.

  7. There is a two decades old solution to this issue, created by Slashdot.

    Metamoderation.

    They have a user-moderated system where verified users moderate posts and then also moderate the moderation of other users. This user-enforced system of standards does not delete any posts, but users can read with a filter that removes “bad posts” from their view.

    It works pretty well when everyone in the community agrees to follow the same standards.

    And when politics gets involved… people start moderating based on politics rather than actual content. But ideally this would be fixed by metamoderation – people who are too partisan in their moderating will lose the power to moderate.

    1. Metamoderation.

      A better form of moderation would be MAGAmoderation.

    2. OR instead let everyone say their piece and if you don’t like what they say you can respond or just ignore them or unfollow or whatever the media deems ignore.

      1. Easy enough to ignore a single individual twit or tweet. But if you have even a smallish organized outrage group, they can easily overwhelm your timeline. You get a similar feel here if you ever get into a MH thread, last name rhymes with BEEN, though at least here that could be fixed with a “ignore commenter” feature. (I hope he doesn’t have a search alert for his initials.)

        There is also a cost for reading sufficiently stupid stuff, even if you’re reading just enough to skip over it.

        This is not to suggest I believe Twitter should be engaging in censorship (“moderation”), quite the opposite. At least beyond the extent required by law like in cases of true threats.

        1. You should be safe. It’s not that sophisticated of a bot.

        2. Or a one man outrage group, like Hihn.

          1. Hihn is legion. We probably shouldn’t be speaking his name; there is evidence to suggest that it will invoke him.

    3. Moderation attracts the sort of people who should never be permitted to have power of any sort; metamoderation is no different (because people who get a kick from censoring other people, get even more of a kick from censoring other censors).

      To believe otherwise is na?vet? at a level almost-equal to those who believe that it’s possible to have a political system that won’t be captured by sociopaths; that somehow an institutional structure can prevent inevitable dynamics from running their course. Belief in angels, in other words.

      Removing constraints on expression is a good thing, always and everywhere (* assuming that the objective is the determination of truth values in the least-cost way).

      It results in shitstorms from time to time, and people with short attention spans might get bored trying to find out which words are the good words. That only matters if the overarching aim is the size of the audience, which in turn is only a sensible objective if the business model relies on leveraging eyeball-count (i.e., shit is funded by ads)… in which case, everything turns to bullshit eventually (because the most ardent minority wins, irrespective of the merit of their arguments).

      Word/character limits, moderation and the rest, are tools for dumbing things down so that the sorts of people who click on ads, stick around.

    4. And back in the day, on Usenet *you* had filtering capabilities to filter according to your values.

      It would be trivial to allow people to set their own filtering preferences, including by delegation to others.

      But that would mean that Twitter wouldn’t control what you saw. Never expect the Left to give up power voluntarily.

    5. “It works pretty well when everyone in the community agrees to follow the same standards.”
      Most everything works pretty well when everyone agrees.
      Sorry, that is lame in the extreme.

    6. There’s a ton of solutions to the issue. But every single one of them requires breaking the broad/universalist aspirations of these platforms/communities.

      A universalist platform is not created to serve users. It is created to serve advertisers. And any advertising-centered business model is death to an actual social community – online or not.

      Unfortunately that ad-centered model also kills off any competition because the ad model scales up much faster/cheaper. Until it saturates even that universal market – and then shatters into fragments. Hopefully, we’re getting close to that with the current gen of social media – but unfortunately it will likely be replaced by yet another iteration of an ad-centered model. Rinse and repeat.

  8. But Twitter also explains that “context matters”: a tweet that might seem like “hateful conduct” considered in itself may in fact be a parody of such content in the context of a larger exchange?or even a direct quote of somebody else, reproduced so it can be analyzed and criticized.

    Like when my neighbor makes a point of talking about his visit the Holocaust museum and how much he dislikes the Nazis, because he is angry at a Jew who is part of the conversation.

    1. “I like X people just fine, it’s just their ideas you gotta watch out for. At least when they disagree with mine.”

  9. Garbage In, Garbage Out

    1. Garbage in, moderated garbage out.

  10. It doesn’t take long to learn other people’s triggers when talking with friends or in a small social setting. Then one can simply avoid bringing up the triggers for the sake of keeping the relationships. Why would anyone want to go online to communicate about contentious topics with complete strangers? That’s what riding mass transit if for.

    1. Why would anyone want to go online to communicate about contentious topics with complete strangers?

      Since you are posting here, I’m going to hazard that either (A) you already have an answer, and want to see how yours compares to others, or (B) you are currently suffering from cognitive dissonance over the obvious conflict between your behavior (going online to communicate about contentions topics with complete strangers) while condemning such behavior, and want to get some help reconciling the two.

      Either way, good meta post.

      1. There’s not that many regular commenters here, so I think the first 2 sentences apply more to commenting on H&R. I think it’s safe to say that most people know what other commenters triggers are (maybe not everyone’s, but a lot) and how to avoid them. Or how to deliberately set them off for the lulz.

        1. Um, this article is up on H&R. I guess it’s one of their weird double-posts where they create an H&R blog just to link to the full article, but for folkings that just catch H&R updates, they’ll still see it.

          Heck, if it hadn’t been re-blogged (or whatever) by H&R, I wouldn’t have seen it to start with.

    2. It doesn’t take long to learn other people’s triggers when talking with friends or in a small social setting. Then one can simply avoid bringing up the triggers for the sake of keeping the relationships.

      Or deliberately bring up the triggers in order to sabotage the relationship.

      1. Which is what makes being online so great…..

        or so terrible.

        Depending on if your personality aligns with Hihn, Tony, Mary, etc.

    3. Good one, sharmota4zeb..

  11. That’s what riding mass transit *is for.

    1. I thought the bus and subway (and associated stations) are for experiencing the full richness of sights and smells that go along with full crazy.

  12. Everyone that uses Twitter is a Nazi.

    1. Can’t argue with that.

    2. Nailed it.

    3. And if you don’t agree, you’re Hitler.

      1. Wait, how many Hitlers can there be?

        1. Ask Godwin. He’s the authority.

  13. Twitter Sucks Because We Suck.

    Who’s “We,” you got a turd in your pocket? /sarc

    Actually there’s a lot of truth to that. People have always sucked, all Twitter did was provide them a platform where they could reveal to the rest of the world just how much they suck 280 characters at a time.

    1. Pretty much this. Twitter has been a fantastic tool for consumers of news to know what the journalist is really thinking when he writes his articles.

      1. Yeah, anything that exposes the “normal” behavior of most people just reveals how sad the human species really is. We looked better when only a few family members and friends heard what we think.

  14. Twitter is President Donald Trump’s second-favorite tool for reaching has base. (Perpetual campaign rallies ranks number one, because of all the cheering.)

    You know who else used to hold a lot of rallies?

    Godwining a post by Godwin. This has to be the definition of meta.

  15. Not asking for sage. Just a playing field where one side is not handicapped (in the sporting sense, morons, not the disability sense… jeez everyone here is really stupid)

  16. Sage, safe, neither is likely.

    1. Sage is fine; but, like rosemary, it can be easily overused.

      1. As a former denizen of /b/ back in the olden days, I read that as “Not asking for sage” as in sageru (cf. desu).

        “Not asking for sage“, then writing “handicapped” instead of ‘retarded’… it looked pretty meta in that context.

        Charging lazors…

  17. A lot of criticism of Twitter takes the form of public tweets aimed at Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey (@jack).

    As long as you’re using Twitter, he doesn’t care either way. Who was it – Dennis Rodman? – that made side money selling “Dennis Rodman Sucks” (or whoever it was) merchandise?

    1. I suspect Nick Gillespie has found a way to make money every time someone cancels their subscription.

      1. He must be turning an enormous profit.

      2. Nick likely hit the jackpot when he went full “No True Communism” on twitter the other day

        “Totalitarians professing communism killed millions of people, but this analogy is flawed. Hitler was the leader of Nazism, Stalin the leader of…Stalinism, not communism.”

        1. Coming soon on Reason………”The Libertarian Case for Being an Apologist for Communism”.

    2. Who was it – Dennis Rodman? – that made side money selling “Dennis Rodman Sucks” (or whoever it was) merchandise?

      It wouldn’t surprise me Rodman did that too, but I know Brian Bosworth did.

  18. Social media platform “complainers” are invariably: (i) conservatives whose uses are restricted for not adhering to the platform’s (i.e., progressive) orthodoxy; and (ii) progressives who think the platform isn’t doing (i) with sufficient speed or breadth.

    More to the point – why use Twitter for anything aside from making money off other people using Twitter?

    1. why use Twitter for anything aside from making money off other people using Twitter?

      Because the human instincts that Twitter and other social media companies appeal to are universal regardless of idealogy and conservatives keep failing to make viable competitors.

      It’s basically the same problem conservatives have with all “tech” companies, Hollywood, comics, universities and so-on. They don’t think that X group represents their values, but the alternatives they try to make themselves just can’t attract the talent and money as the previously existing entities do, and never get the same reputation and prestige, so conservatives keep throwing money at ’em while whining that they don’t reflect their values.

      Or to put it another way… conservative stated values is that Hollywood/Facebook/Marvel/etc./so-on dont’ reflect their values and are hostile to conservatives. Conservative revealed values is that those companies are still good enough to throw money at, and that their explicitly “conservative” alternatives are not.

      1. Because the human instincts that Twitter and other social media companies appeal to are universal regardless of idealogy

        The human instincts that the social media platforms ‘appeal to’ (more accurately – manipulate for the benefit of their advertisers) are universal – and are also because of that NOT particularly human. We moderns understand how the brain functions now – and that knowledge is put to use – in a mass society – for mass marketing. That genie is out of the bottle and can never be put back in.

        Unfortunately the greatest success for that mass marketing (whether for marketing or politics or anything else ‘mass’) is manipulating the lizard brain part of the human brain. The five F’s – fight, flee, feed, freeze, fuck. We are an animal. And in large part because we know how to manipulate/domesticate other animals, we are also more subject to BEING manipulated/domesticated by others. The more we are manipulated, the less ‘human’ we become.

        Deliberately/consciously rejecting that entire massification is the only solution to recapture what we think of as ‘human’. But in truth it won’t really be human. It will be personal – and isolated – and will require reestablishing connections to others from scratch again – like in the pre-mass society days. And that takes work and has risks

  19. Bottom line Mr. @jack Dorsey:

    You banned me from your platform after another intent on committing BURGLARY for the purpose of STEALING MILITIA RIFLES was told by me he’d be SHOT with the very rifle he planned to steal in the course of BREAKING INTO A DWELLING; and, if the Heller decision means anything at all, it is that I’d be well within my FUNDAMENTAL rights to do that, regardless of what your company’s SCREWY SAN FRANCISCO VALUES tell you OUGHT to be the law.

    Furthermore, the irony is that, at the time you kicked me off, I was in the process of conveying information on serious federal crimes, including an unprosecuted case of TREASON, to LAW ENFORCEMENT (which, incidentally, a federal statute REQUIRES me to do).

    No doubt your actions were precipitated by the would-be CRIMINAL in this case, who unambiguously objected to being “threatened” for publishing his intent to COMMIT CRIME.

    Which is why I am supporting President Trump’s threat to CALL YOUR ASS ON THE CARPET.

    You deserve it.

    1. All I can add is = Fuckin’ A !!!

  20. Socialist Media blows chunks

  21. Lol…you folks are awesome…i wish Reason had a useful comment system

    1. One that sent a giant electric shock back through the ‘net and electrocuted you, faggot.

  22. Twitter has always been for twits. I like a lot on NPR, though not their political biases. But as I listen to the stream of NPR twits asking me to follow them there, I realize this is more and more a Limbo contest: How low can you go?

    I’d rather not compete on such a platform. Has the President not taught you anything, yet? You might think lefties would get it. But they clearly don’t.

  23. “conversational health work” = Silence the Right

    1. Just the Hitlers.

      1. Which, according to current progressive “thought” is basically everyone to the right of Hillary.

  24. But Twitter also explains that “context matters”: a tweet that might seem like “hateful conduct” considered in itself may in fact be a parody of such content in the context of a larger exchange?or even a direct quote of somebody else, reproduced so it can be analyzed and criticized.

    Sounds like something that Richelieu or Beria might have written: it’s far more likely to be applied in the opposite direction (whereby a piece of expression that is obviously parody is denounced as ‘hate speech’ by some ardent minority).

    Anyone who caves to those who want to control expression, becomes their bitch. You don’t get to restart at the status quo ante after apologising to SJWs and the other Little Berias of the Thought Police: the moment you show weakness they know you can be brought to heel whenever they feel like.

    Qu’on me donne six lignes ?crites de la main du plus honn?te homme, j’y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre,/i>” is true of 140 (or now 280) characters, as well. (It’s disputed that Richelieu ever said those words, but it’s a reasonable representation of his weltanshauung, and goes triple for the evil midget Beria).

    1. Never apologize
      Your apologies are the rope they hang you with

  25. What you mean “we”, white man?

  26. Yeah, only to preserve the legitimacy of replying to liars, frauds and fascists with a full-throated range of abiding contempt.

  27. At least Godwin ends up posting on a subject (re: Trump) which has been godwin’d to death.
    And agree with CD (above): we? Sorry, never used it, and have seen “twits” only by copies.

  28. Twitter is toxic. Accept it and move on.

  29. Easy to prove celebrities are complete idiots because of Twitter and that no one should listen to a word they say about anything.

    1. YUP.

  30. I don’t use twatter or fakebook, and I am tickled Trump took twatter away from libtards and is abusing them with it.

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