Paper Who Hired Racist: Values Over Rules Will Totally Save Twitter

Over at the NY Times, the same paper which hired virulent racist Sarah Jeong to sit on their editorial board, tech writer Kara Swisher thinks she knows what Twitter really needs

Rules Won’t Save Twitter. Values Will.

This week, Alex Jones, the persistently mendacious conspiracy-theory spouter — yeah, that’s a real job in 2018 — finally became the ultimate swipe left of the social media age.

Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify and most other major internet distributors banished Mr. Jones, either permanently or for some unspecified star-chamber-determined amount of time, for hate speech and other violations.

But not Twitter. Instead, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive, founder and tweet inventor himself, took to his own platform to explain in the high-minded tone that one takes with small children that Mr. Jones wasn’t suspended from Twitter because he “hasn’t violated our rules.” (snip)

While principles and rules will help in an open platform, it is values that Mr. Dorsey should really be talking about. By values, I mean a code that requires making hard choices — curating your offerings, which was something Apple got made fun of for doing, back when it launched the App Store, by the open-is-best crowd.

Let me say that I have nothing but admiration for the long-suffering trust and safety team at Twitter, which has been tasked with the Sisyphean job of controlling humanity and scaling civility, armed only with some easily gamed and capriciously enforced rules. How are these people supposed to do that when the company has provided them with no firm set of values?

Values would require that Twitter make tough calls on high-profile and obviously malevolent figures, including tossing them off as a signal of its intent to keep it civil.

Who says people want to keep it civil? Who says people are against the wide open Twitter? Who says they can’t decide for themselves who they want to follow, who they want to interact with, and whom they want to block? If you want to read Alex Jones, that’s on you. Don’t like what he’s writing? Don’t follow. Is he tweeting nasties at you? Block him. We’re adults.

But, it can be a very slippery slope when we start using “values” based on whims. Whose values? Those of the far left?

Of course she jumps into what Trump does on Twitter, because Trump pretty much resided rent free in the heads of all Democrats, before moving to

All this is not to say that fixing Twitter will be easy; in fact, I think at this point it is nearly impossible. Add to that the fact that this is a global issue, making it hard to have any consistent rules that address the complexity of the world and, really, its deep and abiding ugliness.

But will Mr. Dorsey ever stand up to the uglies to protect the rest of us?

I’m an adult: I don’t need Jack Dorsey to protect me proactively. I’ll decide myself.

Interestingly, at the same time Bret Stephens has an opinion piece up defending racist Sarah Jeong

See, when we talk of “values”, again, whose? On one hand, they want to take down Alex Jones. On the other, they’re fine with protecting Jeong. We should also be wondering why a member of the Credentialed Media is advocating private sector censorship.

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15 Responses to “Paper Who Hired Racist: Values Over Rules Will Totally Save Twitter”

  1. drowningpuppies says:

    Enemy of the people.

    Once again President Trump is right.

    And the left cannot stand it.

  2. Jeffery says:

    Should private businesses be bullied into supporting every crackpot? By all means, if you object to the way twitter or Facebook run their businesses, don’t support them.

    Would you object if they blocked anarchists urging the violent overthrow of the Trump regime? I wouldn’t object.

    Alex Jones is not being censored, he has a thousand avenues where he can hand out his leaflets. tRump can continue to twit Jones’ crap. FOX can give him his own show. He can blast email, he can go on StormFront or Gateway Pudendum or TownHall or WorldNetDaily (oh, that’s his popular website) or Limbaugh or Hannity or Drudge, oh my!… you get the idea.

    Do blog hosts have rules that must be followed, WordPress, WIX, Weebly, HostGator, or is anything fair game? How about your own blog? Does your software ever block comments?

    • drowningpuppies says:

      So queermos can just go to another bakery for their wedding cakes, right?
      Little fella?

      • Jeffery says:

        Sorry, Charlie. No responses to you until you clean up your act. I’m censoring you.

      • david7134 says:

        The little creep censored you. Are you going to be able to handle the trauma? I hope you did not get triggered!

        • drowningpuppies says:

          Just last week he said let the fun begin.

          Guess the little fella’s not having any fun.

          But I am.

        • drowningpuppies says:

          Just last week the little coward said the fun was just beginning.

          Guess the little fella’s not having any fun.

          But I am.

    • formwiz says:

      IOW Jeffery is only for free speech if it’s speech he likes.

      He has no problem with anti-white, anti-Semite getting a free ride.

      • Jeffery says:

        The answer to misinformation is more information, but no private business is obligated to serve as a platform for unfettered expression.

        Again, do you believe that platforms such as Facebook, Craigslist and twitter should give access to every message?

        If Facebook said they wouldn’t allow a pedophile discussion page would you consider that censorship? If they blocked an Islamic hate group would you object?

        If you don’t like the NYT decisions you can stop your subscription.

  3. Jeffery says:

    You should read Stephen’s essay. It is thought provoking.

  4. JGlanton says:

    This Stefan is much more objective than that Stephen:

    • Jeffery says:

      Jones is being sued for damages by multiple people based on his public lies. That is surely the answer.

      He called the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax designed to generate anti-gun sentiments, posted names and addresses (even maps). This was followed by threats to the families from Jones devotees.

      AUSTIN, Tex. — In the five years since Noah Pozner was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., death threats and online harassment have forced his parents, Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, to relocate seven times. They now live in a high-security community hundreds of miles from where their 6-year-old is buried.
      “I would love to go see my son’s grave and I don’t get to do that, but we made the right decision,” Ms. De La Rosa said in a recent interview. Each time they have moved, online fabulists stalking the family have published their whereabouts.
      “With the speed of light,” she said. “They have their own community, and they have the ear of some very powerful people.”

      Do any of you think the Sandy Hook massacre was staged? Do you think Alex Jones has some protected right to defame these parents and encourage his zealots to harass them?

      Jones posted a picture of a man, claiming he was the Parkland shooter. He was not.

      Mr. Fontaine filed a defamation lawsuit against Infowars, one of its reporters and its right-wing founder, Alex Jones, asserting that their story misidentified him as the gunman and caused his photo to spread across social media, message boards and other websites. But the short time it did appear on the site caused lasting damage, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Fontaine continues to be harassed and receive threats, the lawsuit said, and is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

      Hope Fontaine wins.

      Facebook etc is likely concerned that they’ll be held responsible and sued.

      And pizzagate, where Jones contended the Dems and Hillary were running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor:

      The hoax has had real-world consequences. The pizzeria, Mr. Alefantis and his employees have been besieged by threats. Nearby businesses have also been affected. And the hoax has even spread to several other pizzerias around the country.
      “It’s been a roller coaster of emotion and fear,” Mr. Alefantis said, in a telephone interview on Saturday, noting that he was still receiving daily threats online.
      Mr. Alefantis’s restaurant was closed for two days in December, after the police arrested a man, Edgar M. Welch, 28, a father of two from North Carolina, who they said showed up at Comet Ping Pong to investigate the claims and fired a semiautomatic rifle he had brought with him inside the pizzeria. Mr. Welch told The New York Times that he listened to Mr. Jones’s show.

      These are real people with real damages. What decent internet platform would want the reputation of being associated with Jones?

  5. david7134 says:

    When Twitter or other social platforms exclude content, they are editorializing and this lose that immunity conceded by platforms that are open. As such they can be open to legal action from numerous angles. It is one thing to exclude content that is dangerous such as the hate from Islam. But Jones does not rise to that level from what I have seen. In fact most liberal sights such as KOS or Raw Story give out more propaganda and hate than Jones.

  6. Jeffery says:

    Now more from the a**hole Alex Jones…

    The parents of several victims of the Sandy Hook massacre are suing Jones for his role in conspiracy theories that claim the shooting was a hoax.

    Jones’ attorney, Mark Enoch, argued in the objection that declarations filed by the parents should be rejected because they do not include home addresses or dates of birth.

    Why would the parents want to hide their addresses?

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