Richard Hanania earned a Ph.D. from UCLA after earning his Masters in Political Science there in 2015. Before that he earned his J.D. (law degree for the uninitiated) at the University of Chicago (shout out to Josh Hammer) in 2013. Why am I leading with his curriculum vitae?
I have a simple reason, besides showing that Hanania is a smart guy. He will be attacked on his record because violated a rule of established scientific rigor–he published data proving a social media platform is indeed engaging in systematic de-platforming of conservatives over liberals.
Cut to the chase, we all knew this to be true because of the circles we travel in. We see it. Liberals and casual Twitter users don’t see it so much because they only see one viewpoint. And that’s the point of de-platforming those you don’t agree with, isn’t it?
Indeed, assuming some randomness in enforcement unrelated to bias, one would have to assume that conservatives were at least four times as likely as liberals to violate Twitter’s neutrally applied terms of service to produce even a 5% chance (the standard benchmark) that a 22-data point sample would yield a result as skewed as 21-1.“It Isn’t Your Imagination: Twitter Treats Conservatives More Harshly Than Liberals,” Quillette, Feb 12, 2019
That’s 21 to 1, the number of Twitter suspensions of prominent Trump-supporters to other political Twitter users. Hanania used two research assistants to go back to Twitter’s founding and compile a list of every newsworthy suspension of a political poster. It’s a small sample, but statistically valid given the heinous examples of liberals engaging in the same online behavior and getting away with it.
There’s lies, damn lies and statistics, you say. True, but in this case, the facts support the statistics, and Hanania cites facts both inside and outside of Twitter to validate his conclusion.
Left-wing activists on college campus regularly engage in the practice of de-platforming—including the use of violence or the threat thereof as a means to prevent someone from speaking. Victims of this practice typically are conservative figures such as Ben Shapiro and Ann Coulter. At Berkley, when Milo Yiannopoulos tried to give a speech, a large mob threw stones and fireworks at police officers, and attacked members of the crowd. Around the same time, commentators noted that during the 2016 president campaign, when Bernie Sanders visited Liberty University, the evangelical institution run be Jerry Falwell, Jr., his message was met with “polite skepticism.”
Hanania has slapped the face of liberal academia, and expect the quiet but furious backlash to de-platform him to begin immediately. He will never be published or offered a professorial position at any liberal (that’s pretty much all of them) institution.
Maybe Twitter should hire him to help them put real standards in place. But then again, @Jack has already taken a side. Now we have proof.