If you are reading this, it means that my message was safely smuggled out of TWITMO.
It has been three days since I was placed in solitary, and denied any contact with the outside world. The prospects of escaping this sunken place are grim, but I remain in good spirits, fueled by the belief that in the end good will overcome.
Ok, a touch dramatic, but not really that far from the truth. In the digital age, social media can be the ultimate freedom and/or an oppressive prison, depending on which side of “the law” you land. In this case “the law” requires dogmatic adherence to the talking points pushed by the institutional left.
The most important “public square” that exists today is on the Internet.
In the time of our founding fathers, the public square was a physical location and the freedom to have access to and participate in a public discussion was absolutely vital. The absolute need for this freedom has not changed, but the location has.
The most important “public square” that exists today is on the Internet, specifically on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit. Had this technology existed in his day, James Madison would have included it in the Bill of Rights.
People (read: haters) scoff at the idea that platform access should be a civil right. Why? Because they don’t want you to speak. Their argument is often the proof of concept.
America’s founders knew that the most basic foundation of a free country was the ability of its people to speak freely and in the open about what they thought and believed. Without this right no others can stand.
The opposition to this inalienable right is the same now as they were then. The mobs that sought to silence and imprison anyone who dared say or think things they did not agree with. The vandals that broke in and smashed a printing press to stop the words from being printed. Censorship and totalitarianism have not gone away, they have just evolved to fit modernity.
Humanity always trends towards the gulag before it bends towards freedom. We may have to suffer a generation of digital censorship before we again overcome one of man’s most basic instincts: to oppress.
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) May 7, 2019
The calls from silenced conservatives for First Amendment protection on social media have been met by myriad non-arguments. Two of the most common are: “It’s a private company, duh!” or “Go make your own Twitter!”. Both of these disingenuous. These companies have made their product on the backs of a government-funded and created Internet, and operate under their protections.
The Internet is not a free market.
The Internet is not a free market.
There are a handful of companies acting as gatekeepers, and they wield nearly unlimited power over what is and isn’t allowed. You may as well say “go create your own Internet”, the same people that control the flow of information on the Internet, also control social media. They are one and the same.
Big Tech is a danger to free speech worldwide, not just in America.
Objectively there are a few major outfits that have become the modern day public square where important social discussion takes place: Twitter, Facebook, and Google being the largest. The ability of these companies to effectively remove voices from the discussion constitutes a real and viable threat to the First Amendment, our country, and Western civilization. Those who control what people can see and read, can control what people think and feel.
I am currently locked out of my Twitter account; silenced on the largest platform that I have. My crime? I posted a hilarious meme that anti-Trump trolls Brian and Ed Krassenstein didn’t enjoy.
Just like other speech haters in days bygone, they organized a mob to silence me. Although this time they didn’t have to smash my printing press, they just needed to report me to the “authorities”, and Big Tech smashed it for them.
The problem of censorship is one that grows exponentially when it is ignored. As more and more voices are censored, fewer and fewer are left to speak out. Eventually there is no one left to speak. Moving to a new platform ignores the problem and can ONLY lead to an eradication of free thought on social media. When Big Tech has completed the purge, where will you speak out when they decide to come after the ‘new platform’? Where will people be able to hear you then?
When Big Tech has completed the purge, where will you speak out when they decide to come after the ‘new platform‘?
I choose to fight this on my own terms and on a battlefield that truly matters.
I will not resign myself to speaking or expressing myself while on the run from the thought police. I will not pretend that running from the censors is the same as standing up to them. I will not bow to the faux outrage from a Krassenstein mob, nor any other coordinated social justice warrior attack.
I have appealed the official decision from Twitter and I sit in my proverbial cell awaiting their response.
As with any effective moral panic in history, the key to my freedom is placed right in front of me. Confess your sin and you will be shown mercy. Delete the offending tweet and admit to the mob that their action was righteous, then your sentence can begin.
I did nothing wrong, I owe the mob nothing, and admitting otherwise only invites more mobs and accusations. In the last 72 hours, thousands of people have posted comments saying that my suspension did not go far enough, that they will keep reporting me, and that I should be banned from the platform entirely. You cannot appease these people, you can only defeat them and make them think twice before they go to battle once again.
Never give into the mob.
Never give away your rights.
Never let them silence you.
Thank you all for the outpouring of support that I have received over the last few days, it has been truly humbling.
UPDATE: Since writing, Twitter sided with me in my appeal and restored both my account and the tweet that landed me in TWITMO… for 20 minutes. I was then suspended again for the same tweet.
I suspect that there is some disagreement within the power structure of Twitter about what does and does not violate their own Terms of Service (TOS). Even Twitter is unsure of how their TOS actually should actually function and where the line between activism and fair policy should be drawn on their side.
In the video (a spaghetti western meme featuring slapstick humor) that started my suspension there is no trace of the so called “targeted harassment” or “incitement of violence” that is claimed. The video only contains a two second scene that could be misconstrued as real violence. In that scene, President Trump shoots a revolver out of Jim Acosta’s hand before he can shoot him in the back. Throughout the video Trump’s holster is clearly marked with a Twitter logo to signify it represents tweets, not bullets. There is no dark undertone or call to action contained in this video which has been circulating on Twitter since January and has been watched half a million times without issue. However, all of this nuance is lost when it is viewed by leftists blind with rage for anything that portrays the President in a good light or more importantly, their side in a bad one.
I have now submitted a second appeal, and am again waiting patiently for a response from Twitter. I did nothing wrong, and I think it is time that people started standing up for themselves against the tyrannical behavior of both Twitter and the perpetually triggered leftists like the Krassenstein trolls.