*Original article published December 18, 2017
Twitter rolled out its new rules today, which include a plan to suspend accounts associated with hate groups “on and off the platform.” The policy is intended to curb hatespeech and combat the use of Twitter to organize events for groups who use violence to underscore their movement.
“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,” the policy says. Twitter staff have stated that they will be monitoring groups’ activities off the website to determine if they have violated the policy. The open-ended verbiage essentially acts as a catch-all, allowing Twitter to loosely define what they consider “promoting violence” in their own terms. Keep in mind, this extends to anyone affiliated with these groups, whether you endorse their behavior or not.
Several Alt Right accounts were suspended as early as this morning, including American Renaissance and users associated with the far-right group, Britain First. The crackdown has led many Conservatives to sign up for Gab, a rightwing-friendly social network that promotes free speech. Gab has gained tens of thousands of users, demonstrating that many have grown tired of Twitter’s obvious liberal slant.
To outline Twitter’s bias, let’s take a look at how it’s new policy has affected the Left. Local Antifa member, @RealAntifaSD, in San Diego, California is planning a protest at Miramar National Cemetery, a Veteran’s cemetery near Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. When reached for comment, the anonymous activist claimed his event will be “peaceful and civil,” yet a quick search of his Twitter account produced this gem:
In light of Twitter’s new policy, one would expect this account to be suspended for such behavior. Sadly, you would be wrong. Given Antifa’s reputation for clashing violently with both opposition protesters and law enforcement, the entire movement would now be in violation of Twitter’s guidelines. The fact that this account and the countless others associated with Antifa remain unscathed, is proof of Twitter’s hypocrisy and one-sided enforcement of its policies.