Nationalize Twitter

twitter-flag

Twitter is a highly popular social media platform primarily used by brands and celebrities to engage with their customers. It is also a widely utilized method of communication between other sorts of content creators and their audiences. Twitter is how information travels in 140 characters; it dominates that space, of sending short bits of sharable text out for consumption on the entire Internet. No other platform provides a close alternative with a comparable userbase.

Thus when Twitter—which bills itself as a free speech promoter—arbitrarily bans high profile users from the platform without any transparency despite having allowed their presence for months and even years, it is questionable. It is questionable that MIT-cited election influencer Ricky Vaughn was banned from Twitter, despite being in the same impressions bracket as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). It is questionable that Richard Spencer, a verified user with no notable history of Terms of Service violations was banned, along with the accounts of his organizations.

But what isn’t all that questionable is what the root of the  Alt-Right purge is, an imperative to no-platform White nationalists and other heretics. Now, your first instinct—and that of many people both left and right—might be to say that Twitter is a corporation and therefore not required to uphold the first amendment. You don’t have the right to speak your mind on Twitter; you have the right to not be locked up for it by the government. That’s true, but it’s also not in the Alt-Right’s interest to be banned from Twitter for political speech, as Twitter is an important front in the meme war.

In many ways, being anti-speech goes against the ethos of the United States. And so Twitter, by banning people who have heretical opinions, also goes against that ethos. But no one really believes in that anymore, or not as widely as they used to. Appeals to “American values” are as caustically cynical as they come. Case in point: those who decried Trump as anti-American and aberrational now torch American flags in demonstration against him and wave the Mexican tricolor. So much for that.

But back to Twitter. To be excluded from the corporate-owned virtual public square is de facto exclusion from the public square itself. And that is precisely what goes against the customs of the American people. Twitter is so massive and unrivaled as to be a utility company more than anything else, and by banning people for political speech it effectively violates their right to participate in the public space.

Or something. The point is, we just had an election where social media dominated traditional media, and Twitter wants to ban nationalists from participating in it. We must oppose this and propose alternatives, and the best alternative is to nationalize the platform. The government already collects all your data anyway and can request it be turned over from a third party if they want it, so really what is the financially slumping, publicly-traded Twitter even in business for? Getting people to click sponsored content?

Nationalize the damn thing. It would be in the Alt-Right’s best interest to have a “right” to use Twitter. You people like rights don’t you?

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19 Responses to Nationalize Twitter

  1. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

    Like

  2. The Bagman says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. A few items would seem in our favor:

    1) Trump is himself a heavy twitter user.
    2) Trump supports use of eminent domain (moreso than so-called conservatives).
    3) Questionable or controversial attempts to nationalize industries go to the Supreme Court–which Trump may well (and should, unless the memes lie) dominate before the next presidential election.
    4) Trumps mistreatment at the hands of the media should long since have disabused him of any hope of fair treatment from the powers that be–including Twitter.
    5) Peter Thiel’s involvement in the transition team (and perhaps in the administration) means that someone with Trump’s ear is well aware of the extreme corruption of the tech sector. (Thiel goes in the bog last, yeah?)

    So if our influencers and free-speech absolutist fellow-travelers can get this issue before a President Trump after he appoints at least one (preferably two) Justices, there’s a good chance he can move to nationalize Twitter–and for far less compensation than its laughable $14.000.000.000 evaluation.

    Hail victory.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems like we could extend common carrier status to Twitter and other social media, just the way it is applied to telephone companies. A telephone company is not allowed to interfere with what customers talk about. Twitter and other social media companies are indeed utilities. Social media is the de facto way people communicate in The Current Year, and social media companies should not be allowed to silence Americans.

    I smell the UN. Only the USA has a 1st Amendment. Twitter and other social media companies operate in many countries which have restrictive laws against “hate speech,” and the UN purports to require nations to ban it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Steel T Post says:

    The Twitter Doctrine, i.e., “freedom of association,” should apply to all people across the nation, including cake and pizza shops. If Twitter can discriminate against Trump supporters, then discriminating against Hillary supporters is fair game.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lingane says:

    Dear Lawrence, have you a copy of this article ? https://www.nationaljournal.com/s/32748/emerging-republican-advantage

    View from 2016 POV, it could be interesting to analyze it

    Like

    • This is paywalled. Anyway, the notion of a lasting GOP majority is flawed unless immigration is frozen and growing numbers of non-whites leave the Democratic party.

      Like

      • lingane says:

        about this subject, here in France, a lot of my pro-Trump friends doubt he will apply his platform. From your POV, do you belive he will

        -clean-up MSM (or replace them by other thing)
        -deport at least 10 M
        -apply tariff trade (as Henry Clay, Friedrich List and all the parties would have agree in the 19e century, wich have make america rich, as opposite to declinist free-trade Britain)
        -encourage broke of blue states borders, by exemple Illinois separated from Chicago, etc.
        -replace jus soli by jus sanguinis

        IMO, without those 5 points, DEM would win the war, as completely as they won in 1945.

        Like

  6. Could replace Twitter without nationalization. A small team could implement a similar product to Twitter fairly quickly. There’s already an example, gab.ai

    Like

  7. commandacom says:

    What happened to wanting a smaller government and less government intervention in private commerce?

    Like

  8. Bar Tar says:

    >You people like rights don’t you?

    No. I want liberals in all their incarnations—progs and New Dealers and feminists and libertarians and classical liberals—to be striped, then whipped from the temple, and the tables of the money changers overturned.

    And traitors can be drawn and quartered.

    Nationalize Twitter and then ruthlessly suppress the liberals the same way liberals ruthlessly suppress you. Anything else is bringing a knife to a gunfight.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2016/11/27) - Social Matter

  10. Pingback: 6 Reasons Why I Gave Up On Libertarianism

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