Twitter Accused (Again) Of Violating Free Speech Principles

Twitter LogoAs we previously discussed, Twitter has become a lightening rod for the free speech community — repeatedly accused of content-based censorship and a liberal bias. Now Twitter is again being accused of a departure from the policy of unfettered free speech in the filtering of negative comments against President Barack Obama. The culprit of this latest violation is former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo who in 2015 allegedly ordered employees to remove abusive or offensive replies to President Obama during a Q & A session.

While Twitter and Costolo deny the story as inaccurate, they have refused repeatedly requests from the media to explain what precisely was inaccurate. They also failed to respond to requests from BuzzFeed before it ran the original story.

BuzzFeed cites former Twitter staffers who say that Costolo ordered them to deploy an algorithm to filter out abusive language directed at Obama. Staffers are described as upset by the decision. Theres is also an allegation that the site removed comments directed against Caitlyn Jenner.

It is bizarre that Twitter has not responded in detail to the story to refute the allegations. It was the same dismissive response shown earlier in the elimination of the account of Milo Yiannopoulos.  The story may be inaccurate but, given Twitter’s past controversies, the onus is on the company to establish the facts. It is clear that Twitter is viewed by a wide array of users as hostile to the free speech principles that once defined the company.  Twitter appears little concerned over these misgivings and appears even less inclined to take steps to guarantee an open and free forum for the exchange of ideas.

28 thoughts on “Twitter Accused (Again) Of Violating Free Speech Principles”

  1. Twitter’s stock has dropped significantly and they have been losing subscribers. A bigger scandal is the number of accounts that are actually bots, somewhere about 1/3.

  2. ” Use a different app or create your own for crying out loud.

    True, but:
    1. Noted above, bakers have to sell wedding cakes to gay couples when they disagree, so why does Twitter get away with it?
    2. Twitter advertises itself as a Utility and as Free Speech advocates. They are neither, and so are lying to their stockholders (and ruining the stock value).
    3. We are in a civil war; no holds should be barred. Attack attack attack.

  3. Forget the so called loss of free speech on Twitter for a moment; have people lost the right to choose? Use a different app or create your own for crying out loud. If Verizon prevented you from from installing the Twitter application on your phone, would you whine about your service or switch to a different carrier?

  4. Democrats and the bureaucrats hired to impose their statist worldview like regulating atoms. Physical stuff. Creating zoning laws and regulatory barriers to say who can build what where. What kind of energy to use. They are moving into regulating expression lately. They want to tell you what kind of symbol you can wear on your hat, what your football team can be named, and what kind of shapes six year olds are allowed to chew their breakfast pastries into.

    But they have left the oligarchs in Silicon Valley who deal in digital bits and bytes rather than atoms mostly alone. The oligarchs at Twitter, Facebook and Google have built massive global monopolies. Those oligarchs contribute heavily to Democrat campaigns, and coincidently the Democrats/bureaucrats eager to regulate the image on your hat seem uninterested in regulating these global monopolies who are suppressing speech Democrat voters don’t like.

    I want less regulation of everything: atoms, bits, bytes, and speech. But if the Silicon Valley oligarchs are going to politicize their global monopolies, then they risk being turned into regulated public utilities.

  5. New media like Twitter, Google News, Facebook and Instagram have joined the MSM in becoming part of the Democrat machine. Watch for the backlash. It may be bloody.

  6. Twitter does not offer free speech. As a private corporation it answers to no one except push back from the public. If they keep this up another medium will be invented and they will lose revenue.

    Just ask Jeanette Jing the avid Bernie tweeter who was suspended. After outcry it was reinstated.

  7. Watch what you say. You will get kicked off this blog. Look over your shoulder. Heil Donald.

  8. Just curious if a bakery can be forced to bake a cake for Gay people. Why can’t Twitter be forced to allow everyone have their say?

  9. Twitter is a free enterprise. What law requires it to publish or convey whatever is written? I can’t think of any private enterprise that can’t exercise its exclusionary discretion. The Feds restrict specific words deemed obscene from broadcast federally licensed stations. The internet obviously is not so governed..

    The marketplace is the “regulator.”

    Private enterprise censorship….ok…so what?

    Haven’t seen what was not passed on.

    Would this blog kindly publish the specifics which offended Twitter? No? Hmmmmm.

  10. Milo said he’s going to sue Twitter and wants all documents related to banning decisions-making for his discovery. – Let’s see how far that goes.

    We know a Saudi Prince owns 35% of Twitter stock – there’s speculation regarding his power over the company. [shrug]

    I like twitter, but I’d go elsewhere if there was the promise of free speech. Course some people can get ugly – but ban those people – doxxing slurs and threats – not the topic starters

    Milo makes a very good argument – if Beonce tells her fans to go after Taylor Swift and she’s not banned, what’s the standard then? Milo didn’t even tell anyone to go after the ghostbuster’s woman, trolls need little to be inspired.

    Anyway – Twitter it just SET in Unix on a colorful platform, nothing to it – you got enough servers you’re can run the whole show on a shoestring.

    This topic on speech just get more interesting every day from Nazi’s cakes to teens cutting themselves for Bieber –

  11. You’re a twit, you’re a twit.
    You’re a twit all the way.
    From your first day on buttbook to your last dying day.

    Get off of Twitter and get off the pot.
    Seek out some friends who are not full of snot.
    Facebook and Twitter and all of the rest…
    Suck all your money and feast on your breast.

  12. Corporations control nothing. It is those who run corporations that do the “something” or the controlling.

  13. When individuals within a corporation control the “public forum” FREE speech dies.

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