The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Totalitarian Twitter Tactics

Posted on | March 19, 2019 | Comments Off on Totalitarian Twitter Tactics


Rep. Devin Nunes has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter, and it’s time to have a conversation about the silencing of dissent:

Does anyone remember “GamerGate”? In October 2014, a friend named Beth Haper urged me to pay more attention to the controversy that erupted over accusations of unethical favoritism by journalists covering the videogame industry. “Stacy, you need to talk to Adam Baldwin about this,” Beth told me, and I immediately called the actor, whom I’d met a few years earlier in California while visiting his friend Andrew Breitbart. Over the phone, Baldwin explained that “GamerGate” had awakened videogame enthusiasts to the menace that feminists and other “social justice warriors” (SJWs) posed to their pastime. Because I was then working on a book about radical feminism, this was of interest to me and I began paying closer attention to “GamerGate” with the eventual result that in February 2016 my popular @rsmccain account was banned from Twitter. Although no one at Twitter would ever explain exactly why I was banned (a company spokesman told Debra Saunders that “privacy” concerns prevented such an explanation), many observers noted that I was banned shortly after feminist ideologue Anita Sarkeesian, a key figure in the “GameGate” controversy, was announced as a member of Twitter’s “Trust & Safety Council.”
No less an authority than feminist author Amanda Marcotte has claimed that understanding “GamerGate” is crucial to explaining how Donald Trump was elected president and, while my views are diametrically opposed to Marcotte’s, I cannot deny the possibility she is correct about this, although perhaps not in the way she intends. What happened in “GamerGate,” from my perspective, is that the Left exploited the political prejudices of liberal journalists in order to redefine disagreement as “hate,” and to prohibit criticism as “harassment.” In the three years since I was banned from Twitter, the use of these tactics to silence conservative voices online — to “de-platform” and “de-monetize” the Left’s opponents — has escalated to the point that some have suggested anti-trust regulation be invoked against companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google. Beyond the First Amendment issues concerning online free speech, however, the Left’s increasingly common tactic of smearing their enemies with the “hate” label has important ramifications for every sphere of public-policy debate. . . .

You can read the rest of my column at The American Spectator.



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