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Twitter Announces That Yes, It’s Okay With Bigotry

Who is surprised? Not me.

After many social media platforms took a stand and removed Alex Jones from their services, Twitter has finally made an even grander statement on where it stands politically …. by saying that it is a platform for everyone, so “offensive, controversial, and/or bigoted” views are completely welcome on their platform. What isn’t welcome is harassment, even though that usually goes hand-in-hand with bigotry OR tends to be applied to people who are calling out the bigots and Nazis on the platform.

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Let’s unpack this for a second. Yes, free speech is in the Bill of Rights, but that doesn’t prohibit consequences for saying something awful. YouTube, Facebook, and the other sites that banned Jones all did so because he violated the terms of use by espousing absolute and utter terrible garbage, some of which had real-world consequences—like the harassed and hounded parents of slaughtered Sandy Hook children, who Jones insisted were “crisis actors.” But Twitter, as per usual, is more concerned with defending Nazis than calling them out and taking a stand.

The concept of harassment is also hilarious because Nazis and other hateful groups on the site are using these tactics to silence, harass, and threaten other users with their violent, disgusting rhetoric. The people who call out this speech are the ones who get shadowbanned or full on banned, despite the fact that they are also exercising their right to free speech and are doing so by standing up to people who will tweet vile, hate-mongering things.

By taking this stance, Twitter is essentially saying that Nazis and people who claim Sandy Hook didn’t happen are more than welcome on their site. They are using their platform to elevate this disgusting rhetoric that could actually lead to real life violence, but will ban kids for putting “Elon Musk” in their display names. They could join other sites in making a stand against bigotry (and before anyone tries to come for this, the First Amendment does not mean you can’t ban people from a business or platform for espousing their views; it just means the government can’t jail you for saying them). But instead, they’re all but announcing themselves as the pro-Nazi platform.

The sad fact of the matter is that Twitter’s controversies are one of the only things that’s keeping the unprofitable platform relevant, and they seem to be doubling down rather than trying to clean house.

It’s enough to make you want to boycott the site in its entirety. Twitter has given rise to some powerful social movements, but now it feels as though it just wants to appease a certain segment of its base with this decision. So maybe it’s time to find a new place that isn’t actively trying to create a hostile environment for marginalized groups. The only way to enact meaningful change here might be to take our business elsewhere. So, who wants to be the one to find the new Twitter and start the move there?

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Kate Gardner
Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.

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