Author’s Note: This was first posted at my site: The Decline and Fall of the United States of America.
I assumed that I would eventually be banned from Twitter. They eventually come for all truth-tellers: Milo Yiannopoulos, Zerohedge, Laura Loomer, Katie Hopkins… they will surely ban President Trump the moment they think they can get away with it. This week, the priestly censors came for me.
Oddly enough, it was not for my viral tweet suggesting that, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, that President Trump should rule like a king. It was not for my habitual use of the “drooling retard” meme. It was not even for my retweets of notorious thought criminals like Nick Fuentes, Ann Coulter, or Jon Del Arroz. No, it was for an entirely innocuous tweet reminiscing about the boxes of food that graced my kitchen counter as a child:
Perhaps an algorithm went overboard looking for any mention of Aunt Jemima, after the Quaker Oats company inexplicably bowed to mob pressure to remove the character from their artificial syrup products. Rather than deleting the tweet and serving my twelve hour sentence, I appealed, because this ban was capricious and absurd.
Thirty-six hours later, no response. Sure, it would have been quicker in retrospect to simply give in. But that is what they want us all to do. They want us to simply accept their arbitrary and capricious rules, granting them the moral authority to determine what speech is acceptable in the public square. I do not wish to grant them that legitimacy. Twitter, Facebook, and Google have captured a near-monopoly of social media discourse, and are now using their power to decide what we are allowed to discuss. It is long past time for the government to treat these companies as common carriers. The phone company is not allowed to disconnect you because you said something they disagreed with; so it should be with social media.
I am just a small person in the grand scheme of things; a writer and thinker with a few hundred followers. This (hopefully temporary) ban does not impact my ability to pay the bills or provide for my family. What if it did, though? What if I had a business that relied on Twitter or other social media outlets to gain and maintain clients? What if I sold books or other content through social media? Social media companies should not have the power to ruin someone’s livelihood on the whim of some low-level social justice warrior employee. I know of many content creators on YouTube who were making a good living, only for the company to suddenly demonetize their entire library without explanation. This is wrong, but this is also a warning that we should be careful about relying on companies that hate us.
I have learned a few things from this short vacation from Twitter. First, I did not realize how much I had come to rely on Twitter to keep up on breaking news. I do not watch TV, and I generally stay away from big news websites. I follow a wide enough variety of people on Twitter that if something important or interesting happens, I hear about it fairly quickly. For the past two days I have felt like I am living in a bubble, blissfully unaware of what is going on in the wider world.
Second, there exists an entire alternate universe of people who have been banned by mainstream social media. The problem with finding free speech replacements for Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube is that there are so many options. The reason Twitter is the modern day public square is because that is where the public is. No other platform has as many people, from President Trump himself to CEOs, journalists, professors, authors, movie producers, and millions of regular people like me. Every alternative platform bills itself as the new and better Twitter, but how do you choose? One exile might choose Gab, another chooses Parler, another chooses Minds, and another chooses Mastadon. Scott Adams recently promoted Locals, while Ramzpaul has moved over to Slug. If you want to keep in touch with them all, you have to sign up for half a dozen new services. Nobody has time for that.
In any case, I signed up for Parler and followed a few people. It looks like Twitter, but many of the people who post there are exiles from Twitter. Conservative activist Laura Loomer, for example, was banned from all the mainstream social media sites years ago, but she has a prominent presence on Parler. She is currently running for Congress in Florida and seems to be the frontrunner. Yet she is not allowed to speak on most social media platforms. That sounds like election interference to me.
Finally, with so much happening in the world I was hoping to do another livestream soon, but I realized that most of the people who would be interested in watching are on… Twitter. That is where most of my audience is. Streaming without Twitter would be like talking to myself in an empty room. Clearly I need to diversify my presence on the web.
Again, I am just small potatoes here. I doubt I was targeted in any way; most likely an algorithm was too aggressive and Twitter just drags their feet on appeals as a matter of policy. My story, as well as those of the much more prominent writers and thinkers who have been summarily banned, shows that we need regulation of this new public square in order to ensure our speech remains free. Libertarians can argue all they want about how Twitter, Facebook, and Google are “private companies” but the simple truth remains that these companies have enormous power over what can and cannot be discussed in public. In an age when schoolchildren are being doxxed for not sufficiently supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and where public figures are being fired and blacklisted for holding beliefs that run counter to the social justice zeitgeist, the need for free speech is greater than ever. We, who hold truth as a virtue, must fight for the right to speak that truth in public. The alternative is to give in to the persecution; to become an underground resistance to the totalitarian thought police.
I hope to have my Twitter account back soon. I will not give in, unless they force it, but I will wait out the appeal. In the meantime, find me on Gab and Parler, and maybe a few more alternative platforms soon. I also encourage you to visit and subscribe to the blog’s Telegram channel for updates and discussion.