Considering Twitter, Facebook, Google, and a few others control the entire world’s flow of information, we must ask if big tech platforms have too much power over what we can and can’t access.
A reader reached out to Counter Collective after Twitter arbitrarily suspended her account with several thousand followers. This is just another example of Twitter’s crackdown on free speech.
“I was thinking of deleting my account anyway so I don’t really care, but that’s not the point. They didn’t even tell me why,” she said. “I can’t be bothered with the appeals process. I’ll just stick to Gab for now” [referring to challenger platform gab.ai].
It’s now a little over twelve months since Twitter announced its Stasi-like “Trust and Safety Council” comprised of 40+ “organisations” and 13 “experts”. Needless to say many of those are highly politicised, non-transparent, and dedicated to censorship, which further adds legitimacy to claims of censorship by many on the right.
Earlier this year, Twitter caused a user backlash when they began censoring any Tweet they deemed “potentially sensitive”.
As if that didn’t interfere with the user experience enough, the tech giant soon began flagging entire accounts in the name of “safety”.
Two months ago, 4chan claimed to have obtained a leaked list of accounts being targeted by Twitter staff for suspension and banning. The list is unverified, but judging by the sheer number of pro-Trump accounts that disappeared throughout the election cycle, it’s highly likely real.
Tech pundits and Twitter insiders will make every excuse for Twitter’s plunging stock prices, but never address the elephant in the room. Any company that engages in censorship is ultimately doomed to fail.
We must be free to defend ideas we believe in and challenge those we don’t.
There is a silver lining to all this though. As existing players cave to authoritarian interests, they drive users to Alt Tech startups.