Saturday, August 13, 2016

#FreeStacy: Twitter's Trust and Safety Council is a secret star chamber to regulate on line behavior--what could go wrong?

Anita Sarkeesian: Member of Twitter's Trust and Safety Council Secret Star Chamber

Buzz Feed has an article on Twitter trying to take on trolls. As you can expect from Buzz Feed, it is a misleading biased article that only gives one side of the story.

No doubt there are abusive people on Twitter. Trolls are everywhere on the web and Twitter is no exception. But it is the lack of transparency with Twitter's Orwellian Trust and Safety Council that makes any self regulation of an allegedly "free speech" platform a problem.   

Robert Stacy McCain got banned from Twitter, almost certainly because he was critical of Anita Sarkeesian, who is one of the 40 "partners" on Twitter's Trust and Safety Council.  Who are these 40 partners and how to they make decisions and recommendations to Twitter?  While certainly critical of radical feminism and SJW hall monitors like Anita Sarkeesian, McCain has never physically threatened anyone. We can only speculate why he was banned (other than the fact he is critical of Anita Sarkeesian) since there no explanation or appeal from these decisions. When you put people with an agenda in a position of secret power without any accountability or oversight, it really is not going to be a surprise abuses will happen.  

Tapping Anita Sarkeesian for Twitter's Trust and Safety Council is problematic in itself, given Anita Sarkeesian's track record with Feminist Frequency
The rise of Feminist Frequency has been accompanied by a vicious form of social aggression that is unleashed on anyone who disagrees with Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh. Surprisingly active developer support has emboldened the bullying by the Feminist Frequency fan mob that often seeks to silence dissent over encouraging diversity and debate. Instead of making things better for women in the video game industry, these phenomena have strengthened the token status of women because all women are now judged in comparison to Anita. From where I sit, it seems that women are being forced into two roles: angry feminist stereotype -- aka Sarkeesian-esque trope -- or freelancer relegated to the back room where all the less desirables fight for slim pickings.
Then of course Twitter set its sights on Milo Yiannopoulos. Milo is and remains a social media gadfly. Of course Milo is offensive, that is his schtick. Milo's crime was mocking a celebrity, albeit a B level celebrity Leslie Jones. He got banned because allegedly he inspired his followers to say mean things. I can understand if Milo said things some of the more offensive things directed Leslie Jones way that got him banned, but to ban him because of what his followers said is problematic (sorry Tech Insider, both you and Leslie need to get a thicker skin)  One of the insults that Milo Yiannopoulos actually made, calling Leslie Jones a black man (she is sort of mannish), is called a joke.

Twitter is a private company and can do what it wants.  It obviously does not respond to pressure from a few right wing and libertarian bloggers. It can pretend to be for free speech and then suppress free speech--a stupid move but it can do it.  I recognize that on line harassment is a real thing, but if one is going to get in the free speech arena and start criticizing others (often pretty offensively to start)--being told "you suck" in response is not actionable abuse (let alone harassment). If Twitter wants to create a council for regulating on line abuse, at least make the process transparent and have voices and entities from a variety of perspectives involved.  

TOM: @MGTOW: Survey Question


  1. Meh, most of social media is for dopes. A lot of Hollywood is getting off Twitter and settling for Facebook. Sports types, too, although dinosaur media leans on Twitter some. Mostly, celebrities make mistakes on Twitter and Trump is no exception, but he does get pub from it. With censorship and the rest, Twitter will get old and fade out sooner or later and then other media will come out. MySpace died, accounts by the hundreds of thousands are being closed out of Facebook, too. The Latest Thing is always right around the corner.

    1. Much of what you say is true. Although twitter and other social media are useful for promotion. It would be nice to have a level playing field. Rather SJW can engage in whatever OTT behavior without repercussion, but conservatives who speak out are banned (overtly like Milo and RSM) or by shadow banning behind the scenes. The so called neutrals, like Sarkeesian, have their own agenda.

  2. war is peace. freedom is slavery. ignorance is strength.

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