Last week noted Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy began letting the Twitterverse know that the platform had suspended her. She received repeated notifications to delete tweets asserting that men are men and can not become women. Meghan has long asserted that trans ideology that pushed to allow biological men to take advantage of legal and other protections provided to women is harmful to the feminist movement.
For this position she has been branded a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) and repeatedly reported by trans activists and their allies on the site. After deleting the purportedly offensive tweets and being vocal about Twitter’s actions, her account disappeared again.
It now appears she has been permanently banned from the platform. Noted feminists came to Meghan’s defense calling for her account to be restored. Conservative Twitter came to her defense as well for a variety of reasons. Some asserted that this is a policy and political topic that is worthy of debate. Other supported Meghan’s assertion as biological fact.
Over the weekend, Twitter adopted a policy that says that “misgendering” and “deadnaming” is now prohibited on the platform. The first means calling a trans woman a man or using masculine pronouns. The latter is referring to a trans individuals previous identity.
Then on Sunday, Twitter permanently suspended Conservative writer and radio host Jesse Kelly. According to Jesse, he had no ability to appeal and was not asked to delete any particular tweet. Different than Meghan’s experience, his account was blown up in one fell swoop for no specific reason.
Both of these users were verified and sported the blue checkmark. That indicates they were who they said they were and generated content that people might be interested in. I am not sure if Jack Dorsey understands, but it is interesting content that brings people to the platform.
But now Twitter is essentially curating that content. They are deciding what ideas and commentary are okay to be published and what content is not. This move dances dangerously close to making Twitter a publisher rather than a platform.
Continuing to move into this direction would be a legal nightmare for Twitter. Copyright violations, defamation and libel occur readily on the platform. With these types of content restrictions and limitations on ideas that can be shared, Twitter is no longer simply a communications channel.
Taking on that type of risk alone should make Twitter’s investors nervous. However, they should also question exactly what market Twitter is trying to capture. As a “social media platform” it would seem that market would be quite large. Anyone could join and discuss a wide range of topics.
Twitter even had enough foresight to provide users tools such as “block” and “mute” so users could avoid content they did not like or avoid users they did not want to interact with. In other words, no one needed to see Meghan’s opinion if they were not interested. No one needed to read Jesse’s opinion if they preferred not to.
Apparently this was not good enough for a segment of users. And Twitter as a for profit entity has decided to limit their market in response. The majority of their guidelines align with the 8% of the adult population that identify as Progressive activists.
At one time Meghan would have counted herself among those activists. But the Left has a nasty habit of eating their own and now she is banned. The far Left wants de-platform even moderate conservative voices. Ask Tim Miller
To continue down this path, I can’t imagine what kind of revenue model or growth the company has planned. Advertisers want more eyeballs, not less. Users want free speech, not forced speech. Curating content could cross the line to being classified as a publisher, not a communications platform. Terms of Service is a contract that is binding, not something can be applied in a discretionary manner.
Nice business model you have there, Jack. Not sure it’s built to last.