— Thought Crime #2063 (@EchoOwl) November 11, 2014
Last night, a reader wrote:
It looks like the fears mentioned in your post have already come to pass; @nero, the Twitter account of Milo Yiannopoulos, a writer for Breitbart, is currently suspended. I am no fan of the guy – he is trans-phobic, but not violently or inappropriately so. I am sure his account will be re-enabled shortly, but that this group was able to get his account shut off not for harassment, but for wrong-think, is disturbing. I’m really liberal/left leaning, but nothing gets me foaming at the mouth more than crap like this. This does a ton of harm to the Women’s Rights movement, turning off people like me who would normally support it wholeheartedly.
Gawker’s Tom Scocca accuses that reader and me of the following:
What really matters is not the stalking and abuse that has taken place, but the hypothetical danger that feminists will seize power as authoritarian censors, burning Beethoven and establishing anti-masculinity brainwashing camps.
No. Try again, Tom. As I’ve now written many times – and did in the post Scocca links to – I actively support suspending abusive, stalking tweeters or those threatening violence. I just worry that some are using this to advance a left-feminist ideology through censorship of journalists. I would imagine a Gawker writer might be sensitive to journalists’ being censored on Twitter because of saying politically incorrect things. Apparently not. Easier to throw a few tired, ancient cheap shots at yours truly than see if I’m actually onto something here. Another reader notes some non-harassing tweeters have also been suspended recently:
Gone are the accounts of Mykeru, a critic of feminism within the Atheist-Skeptic movement, as well as Janet Bloomfield, Social Media Director of A Voice for Men. Their accounts also disappeared in the past three days. Thunderf00t, another prominent critic of feminism within the Skeptic movement, had his account suspended for close to a month. None of these accounts were abusive or harassing. The only thing they had in common was that they were all critical of feminism.
Or critical of a particular strand of contemporary left-feminism. It looks as if Thunderf00t has had his Twitter account suspended because he linked to YouTube videos critical of Anita Sarkeesian. @nero’s account just went back online, but did WAM get it suspended in the first place? Here’s evidence they did:
— srh (@srhbutts) November 11, 2014
We’ve asked WAM if they did or did not report @nero for suspension. No word back as of yet. And what threats or stalking or harassment did @nero engage in to merit the brief suspension? Drum roll:
Yiannopoulos apologized for that sexist swipe against @redlianak:
I am sorry @redlianak. That was a shitty thing to say. No interest in engaging further but wanted to apologise for the Mediterranean temper.
— Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) September 19, 2014
So it looks like he had already been held accountable for his shitty words in the best way – public embarrassment, not Twitter censorship. And the tweeter who bragged of getting Yiannopoulos banned was quite clear why of another reason: @nero opposed marriage equality, and is therefore allegedly homophobic (especially because he’s gay). So the standard for banning people from Twitter is now homophobia. And why not? If homophobic speech oppresses someone, it must be forbidden, right?
Let me know if you’ve been suspended for ideological reasons – and not for harassment or stalking or threats of violence. And if you know of a Twitter account that has been rightly suspended for actual threats to individual women, ditto.