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Some Brave Apollo

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If Reason isn’t careful, it’s going to get done for false and misleading labeling.

New ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Twitter Version of 1984’s Ministry of Truth
Twitter says it wants to strike a balance between free speech and harassment. It didn’t.

And that, mesdames et messieurs is just headline. But at least the breathless spurt of words sort of prepares you for the lede.

In order for users to feel confident expressing themselves “freely and safely,” Twitter is debuting a new advisory group dubbed the “Trust & Safety Council.” But a quick glance at its membership roster suggests the council is almost as Orwellian as it sounds—and overwhelmingly biased in favor of speech suppression.

At this point I had a hunch that Mr. Soave was a whiny twerp and what sounds Orwellian to him is the idea of people being flicked on the ear if they use Twitter to harass, stalk and bully other human beings.

Then I read the nut graf and my theory was confirmed.

If you thought Milo Yiannopoulos losing his blue checkmark was the opening salvo in the next great culture war (I tended to agree with Popehat’s Ken White that the controversy was overblown), then this might be your virtual invasion of Poland.

Also, you are total fuckwit and should not be allowed to handle anything sharper than a baby crayon. But what exactly has Mr. Soave seeing Big Brother Nazi, or Big Nazi Brother, or DoubleHeaded Hitlers behind every bush?

In fact, despite the press release’s claim that the council includes a “diversity of voices,” virtually none of the council members are properly classified as free speech organizations. (Full list here).

VIRTUALLY NONE! That’s ZERO! With some numbers added!

And then … You’re smart people, I’m sure you can spot the tell in the next paragraph.

Some of the groups—such as Hollaback! and the Dangerous Speech Project—don’t think harassment should be criminalized outright. But the vast majority are certainly more concerned about allowing too much speech rather than too little. Notable members include Feminist Frequency—the blog and Youtube channel of anti-Gamer Gate activist Anita Sarkeesian—the Anti-Defamation League, and a host of suicide-and-domestic-violence prevention groups.

Schmuck.

Credit or opprobrium where due – Thus Blogged Anderson for this Tweet.

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  • Thirtyish

    I came just to say, great song.

    • Halloween Jack

      Indeed!

    • Joseph Slater

      I love the version on the (IMHO) underrated “David Live.”

  • Where does Feminist Frequency advocate criminalizing any speech that isn’t already illegal? Serious question; the Reasonbots on Twitter had no links to share, & FF left that out of their 2015 annual report (THEY WOULD, WOULDNT THEY??).

    • Nobdy

      Looks like the Ministry of Truth has already scrubbed the evidence.

      IT’S A CONSPIRACY!

    • Zipp Zanderhoff

      They said that my favorite game, Boob Physics Male Power Fantasy III, has underdeveloped female characters!

      It feels just like I’m being dragged off to the gulag!

    • JMP

      Look, they imagine that, if Anita Sarkeesian had the power to censor video games, then she would do so, and it doesn’t matter that she has never advocated government censorship, they just know that that is what she wants!

      Sadly, when asking that question of the GamerGate idiots, I have gotten basically that exact answer.

      • It’s always projection. They imagine Sarkeesian wants to censor them, because if they were still in charge, they’d ban all non-wingnuts from everything.

        • Heron

          That’s certainly what they’re trying to do in the state leges.

        • Casey

          I’ve gotten the “Sarkeesian wants to make it illegal to produce video games that she thinks are sexist, like Super Mario” line from ‘gators online before, and it just makes me think most of them are around 12 years old – that phase where kids start to feel the need to establish their own identity separate from their parents’, but still have the magical thinking of a child.

          At its root it’s really a “Mean Mommy’s going to take away my toys” sort of thing. Pointing out how ludicrous it is to believe that some lady with a YouTube channel is going to get the 1st Amendment overturned is just a waste of oxygen.

    • Halloween Jack

      Asking the whiny-ass titty-babies to provide proof just means that you’re part of the Feminilluminati.

  • sharculese

    anti-Gamer Gate activist Anita Sarkeesian

    Anita Sarkeesian was there first. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that gamergaters are anti-Anita Sarkeesian activists?

    • DrDick

      I would say calling them subhuman psychopaths might be more accurate.

    • Matt McIrvin

      Second only to being anti-Zoe Quinn activists, I would say.

    • Nobdy

      Can you call someone an “activist” if what they do is direct message hateful word salad to ‘uppity’ women and beg for money to make incoherent Youtube videos nobody watches?

      I feel like activism requires a little more…activity.

    • Now that takes some chutzpah!

    • The Temporary Name

      Gaming enthusiast Anita Sarkeesian.

  • DrDick

    So preventing people from engaging in cyberbullying is just like 1984 and a threat to free speech? Then my smacking him upside the head with a Louisville Slugger would just be a love pat, I guess.

    • timb

      What’s weird (and I said this on Twitter, but no one reads me there either) is how no left wing ppl whined. Surely, there must be organized gangs of left wing trolls too, right? The right-wing bullies on Twitter constantly whine about being harassed and whined about this announcement. But Lefties were silent. What if we lose our (non-existent) troll gangs

      • Heron

        Make no mistake, there are plenty of people who consider themselves “liberals” and frequently vote dem, who are also Gaters; misogyny knows no political labels, unfortunately. So at least some of these people complaining are folks who consider themselves “leftists”. I’d agree that there are far fewer libs and rads than cons though. I’d say the big difference is that Leftie jerks aren’t organized the way Con ones are? The conservative internet exists entirely for winding up and aiming right-wing manchildren like these guys, and there’s no real equivalent for the left.

  • Norrin Radd

    Its not Twitter’s place to police speech. They shouldn’t even be caving in to Obama’s DOJ’s efforts to stop ISIS’ rants. Sunlight and disinfectant you know.

    • sharculese

      That’s a really easy thing to say when it’s not your feed that’s being spammed by people who need you to know that they think you’re a fucking whore.

      • efgoldman

        That’s a really easy thing to say

        Also when they’re doxxing you and making very real threats.
        My daughter knows both Sarkeesian and Quinn. She used to do gaming journalism for money, from a feminist perspective at a well known site (in fact was hired for that reason). We are both glad she’s doing general interest journalism now.

        • sharculese

          I both remember this and know what site you’re talking about. I’m sad your daughter got scared out of gaming journalism but happy that she’s working in a place that probably safer.

          • efgoldman

            I’m sad your daughter got scared out of gaming journalism but happy that she’s working in a place that probably safer.

            They had a mutual parting of ways; I think the bosses were afraid of exactly the same thing happening to her. Now she’s writing daily and researching for a major, about as-reputable as can be, non-profit, at about a 30% raise, besides.
            She’s the poor bastard who has to read all the regulatory findings and stream the hearings about pretty much anything to do with ISPs, phone service, net neutrality…
            She’s got a big series coming out on a well-known subject I can’t divulge.

        • timb

          Yeah, pretty ballsy of him to him to say. Maybe if an organized gang of doxing jackasses published your address, contacted your employer, published your kid’s name, DM’d your address to strange gun fanatics, and sent a packet to a local TV station requesting they do a story abt you, you’d feel differently.

          The two masterminds of this harassment have been suspended multiple times for TOS violations, yet, when you show Twitter support that they’re back, you get nothing.

          Come close to quitting Twitter multiple times

    • Sunlight isn’t a very good disinfectant when you’re dealing with photosynthetic algae.

    • NonyNony

      Just like when there’s a guy in McDonald’s calling all the women in the place whores, it isn’t McDonald’s place to police speech. Right?

      Twitter is a private business. It is absolutely their place to tell people verbally abusing their users to go pound sand.

    • Zipp Zanderhoff

      Twitter’s website. Twitter’s rules.

      When are you going to stop pretending that a privately owned website is considered some kind of public free speech zone?

      • efgoldman

        When are you going to stop pretending that a privately owned website is considered some kind of public free speech zone?

        At about the same time they’ll admit (different “they” but same thought process) that a business or church or school has the right to keep firearms the fuck out.

        • sharculese

          Since Georgia passed its blanket open-carry law, a lot of businesses around where my brother lives (especially the liquor stores) now have signs outside that essentially say ‘don’t bring your guns in here, idiot.’

          • Lee Rudolph

            Since Georgia passed its blanket open-carry law,

            That would be the so-called “Linus’s Law”, right?

            • efgoldman

              That would be the so-called “Linus’s Law”, right?

              Picked up your game since yum moved to Boston.

    • los

      Real Activists behead people.

    • Donalbain

      Errr… it literally IS Twitter’s place. They own it. Free market etc etc etc

    • Origami Isopod

      BAAAAAAWWW DEY FROZE MAH PEACH!!!

  • Nobdy

    If you thought Milo Yiannopoulos losing his blue checkmark was the opening salvo in the next great culture war (I tended to agree with Popehat’s Ken White that the controversy was overblown), then this might be your virtual invasion of Poland.

    Notable members include Feminist Frequency—the blog and Youtube channel of anti-Gamer Gate activist Anita Sarkeesian—the Anti-Defamation League,

    Just to be clear, he directly compared the Anti-Defamation league to Nazis, right? I didn’t misread that? He wrote a piece wherein he referred to the Anti-Defamation League as Nazis, read it over, thought “It’s good, I should publish it” had an editor AGREE with him, and now we’re here now discussing it.

    That happened, right?

    • When the entire article is an exercise in freshman hyperbole, these finer points can go unnoticed.

      But I doubt any editor looked at that. Hope not anyway.

      • Or the editor is the one who told him stick in a Nazi Germany reference somewhere. (Just in case the totally reasonable readers didn’t get that Twitter’s attempts to improve its public image and user experience are the equivalent of strapping a cage with a hungry rat in to some poor SOB’s face.)

        • wjts

          “Do it to @julia!”

          • apogean

            He liked Big Brother.

        • Room #101.

          • Adam The K

            More like #Room101.

        • Heron

          They’re libertarians over at Reason, after all; the modern inheritors of the argument that “not letting me enslave people is, in itself, slavery”. An editor being behind this wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    • So what was the virtual Gleiwitz incident in this virtual invasion of Poland? Inquiring minds would like to know.

      To be fair, he might have been comparing the ADL to the Red Army when they invaded Poland from the opposite front.

      • tsam

        IT’S JUST LIKE IT, OK? Gawd

    • timb

      Did you see this nudnik? Trust me, the only thing he’s good at is convincing billionaires he’s young and rising.

      PS he IS an editor

    • JMP

      Don’t you understand, though? Nazis were Bad Guys, therefore anyone that we disagree with are also Bad Guys and therefore just like the Nazis. It’s simple Reason logic!

  • McAllen

    Reason’s supposed to be libertarian, right? Why are they grousing about how a private entity runs its business?

    • Libertarianism, n. – The political theory that the best society is one which protects the freedom of every white man to think, say, or do whatever he pleases.

    • “Free speech” means that every private corporation is obliged to provide a microphone to every white middle-class male with an opinion (but I repeat myself).

      • The Temporary Name

        Marco?

        • tsam

          Polo?

      • efgoldman

        “Free speech” means that every private corporation is obliged to provide a microphone to every white middle-class male

        “Middle class”? No way. The proles will be told what’s good for them. John Galt was no wage slave!

    • Murc

      To be overly fair to libertarians, most of them will cheerfully admit they have no problem with private citizens condemning privately run companies and complaining how they run their business. They only care about state intervention.

      The ones who actually take their Randian fantasies seriously and try and live by them consistently, I mean. They do exist, there’s more of them than people think, but they’re not a significant political constituency. In some ways I regret that; actual libertarians are less toxic and far easier to deal with then “I say libertarian but I’m actually just a fascist” libertarians.

      • Pseudonym

        There’s nothing particularly antagonistic to real libertarian principles with complaining about a private company’s actions, but when your go-to metaphor for the private company’s actions is the invasion of Poland, it pretty much gives the game away about how dearly and closely those principles are held.

        • Heron

          Yeah, but they aren’t just complaining about it, they’re calling it censorship, implying it’s a violation of rights, comparing it to government overreach, and claiming the behavior is morally illegitimate. The most basic formulation of Libertarianism is “a man running a diner refusing service to whoever he wants for whatever reason is legitimate, and the government has no say in that.” What Reason is saying here is that Twitter has no right to even judge the service it provides to persistent and known harassers(provided they agree with us politically), let alone limit or suspend it, and that this “council” is not only illegitimate but(unholiest of unholies) “Governmental” in character.

          That’s the inconsistency people are noting here; not that they understood libers to be against complaining about corp activity, but that Reason is here saying that Twitter’s decision to police how its users use their service is not only just as illegitimate as all examples of Thieving Government(TM), but also Hitlerian in character.

      • los

        “(True Libertarians) do exist,” until about a week after they take that flight to Mogadishu, then are never heard from again.

  • Karen24

    Reason is supposedly all about the rights of private property. Twitter is a private company. If they want to make rules prohibiting the use of the letter R on every other Wednesday they can do that. Have the Libertarians suddenly discovered public utilities?

    • efgoldman

      Have the Libertarians suddenly discovered public utilities?

      What they haven’t discovered is irony.

      • Karen24

        LOL!

      • tsam

        Heh-nice.

      • Lee Rudolph

        What they haven’t discovered is irony.

        Irony is a combat mineraltrope; they’re boycotting it. PRIVATELY.

  • sharculese

    So as I understand it, Twitter’s current policy is they don’t verify you unless there’s proof people are actually parodying your identity, yeah?

    I remember a thing a couple of years ago where Survivor winner Tyson Apostol really wanted that blue check mark on his account, so he got a bunch of his fans to make up fake Tyson twitters until they agreed to verify him. Most of those accounts are still active and still funny.

  • wjts

    New ‘Trust and Safety Council’ Is Twitter Version of 1984’s Ministry of Truth

    Is “Minitrue”. Possessive, preposition, wrongthink adjective are doubleplus wrongwrite.

    • Pseudonym

      Doubleplus unrightwrite, please.

  • wjts

    Grossly off-topic, but am I the only one who’s pretty sure that Despair of the Endless was based off one of those things on the Diamond Dogs cover? (Also, I reckon that the Corinthian’s appearance was cribbed from the cover of Rain Dogs.)

    • Bruce B.

      I don’t recall Neil saying specifically, but neither would surprise me at all. That’s how he farms. :)

      • wjts

        So far as I know, there is no actual evidence in the form of statements from Neil Gaiman or any Sandman artist for either of my conjectures. On the other hand, LOOK AT THE ALBUM COVERS.

        • Malaclypse

          I’m not sure of that, but damn if Desire is not precisely Bowie’s imagery from “Life On Mars.”

        • Malaclypse

          Also, both Gaiman and Pat Fish have denied any mutual influence with Death, despite this.

  • galanx

    Libertarian suggestion for Mr. Soaves- start your own social networking site. I assume “Twitter4Assholes” may violate copyright laws, but I’m sure you can come up with something. Free Enterprise!!

    • Lee Rudolph

      I assume “Twitter4Assholes” may violate copyright laws, but I’m sure you can come up with something.

      Well…”Twitter” is supposed to evoke the sound of little birds, right? So, what evokes the sound of assholes?

      • rea

        They figure they have a right to the word, “twitter,” because they’re twits.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Well, we could abandon the sound metaphor, and go with Shitter.

      • Origami Isopod

        So, what evokes the sound of assholes?

        Hello, baked beans, my old friend…

  • So this bullshit comes from a cruddy web-site where the comments have to be policed so the drooling idiots who comment there won’t have any of their preconceptions shattered?

    As in:

    You must have an account and be logged in to comment.

    Sheesh.

    • tsam

      That’s different, see? What if some liberal comes in here work reading commie stuff around and we have to burn a bunch of books to fix it?

    • los

      “have an account and be logged in to comment”
      tempting if only to linkback to your observation. but then, then, then, ugh

    • “Logged in” sounds suspiciously sexual.

  • Gee, women get brutalized on a private company’s service and Reason doesn’t take notice until steps are taken to make Twitter safer for women?

    Quick! My fainting couch!

    Maybe if they had stood up and been counted when the Sarkeesian thing was taking place and defending free speech in the context of not fucking around with an entire gender, these words might have meaning now.

  • libarbarian

    OH YEAH!!! IT IS ON!!!!

    Twitter is all like “Cultural Libertarians, Surrender Your Blue Checkmarks.” and Milo is all like “Twitter, COME AND GET THEM!!!” Then Twitter be like “What is this madness?” And Milo be like “THIS IS BREITBART!!!!!””

    I can feel my abs getting more oily and defined as I write this.

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