“Freedom of Speech, that’s some motherfuckin’ bullshit
You say the wrong thing, they’ll lock your ass up quick”
My thoughts, my words, my voice got censored yet again on the micro-blogging platform Twitter. Although this time it was only a 12 hour suspension in social media’s solitary confinement, the reason for my “timeout” was actually worse than the last time my original account got irrationally and unjustifiably terminated.
Apparently, Twitter thought my tweet that paraphrased a historic and iconic NY Daily News Headline from 1975 by substituting President Joe Biden and Governor Kathy Hochul for Gerald Ford’s for ignoring and neglecting New York City’s financial dire straits from the drastic funding of the migrant crisis like how President Ford did when NYC was also suffering from budget woes was not an apt comparison and criticism against them but a directed verbal threat against them to end their lives or a threat against New York City channeling those awful politicians? Either/or, it seems that Twitter’s new engineers that Elon Musk hired are flagging words for violence despite the obvious context.
As for the context of my not at all violent tweet: It was sourced from an article in the NY Post about the drastically superfluous amount of city money daily spent housing and feeding tens of thousands of migrants in New York City hotels and shelters which has led to Mayor Eric Adams levying gutting austerity cuts to numerous essential services to taxpaying residents. This has led Mayor Adams to publicly demand more financial help from Governor Hochul and President Biden who is responsible for the massive pilgrimage of illegal crossings over the U.S. borders in the first place. Both Biden and Hochul refuse to lift a finger or allocate another penny to New York City’s migrant crisis as Adams steadfastly and meekly refuses to call them out by name for their insouciance and negligence as Biden continues to be way more concerned with sending hundreds of billions of dollars to Ukraine while Kathy Clown heinously ignores it just like she did during her election campaign.
But what really gets me is that I got censored from an article I linked from the fucking New York Post, which was the first major newspaper that ever got locked down from a social media platform for posting their absolutely true reporting about Joe and Hunter Biden and the laptop containing Hunter’s perverted media files and the President profiting off his name and then VP position in an influence peddling scheme with energy companies and venture capital firms in Ukraine and China. Which has led to the current congressional hearings of Twitter’s top executives roles in colluding with the FBI, some House representatives and the Biden Administration to suppress that story along with other issues and policies from vaccines and pandemic mandates to the war in Ukraine. To think that when Elon Musk bought Twitter and assigned Matt Taibbi to lead the twitter files that exposed all this collusion and corruption, I thought this shit was going to be fixed. Apparently he didn’t get rid of all the “woke” moron engineers who built these violent word algorithms.
I can’t help but think that this lockdown was an attempt at intimidate me from criticizing two powerful and inherently corrupt Democrats than just an honest technical mistake and it sure looks like Twitter hasn’t stopped acting like a defacto government agency assigned to protect them. Because after my timeout ended, the message before my account was restored was nothing less than menacing that if I break the Twitter rules of violent speech again, my thoughts, words and voice would be silenced on the platform forever once again.
Now I know what you’re thinking, I’m just some dude with a blog (and admin on another), a twitter account and opinions and blogs, twitter accounts and opinions are like assholes in that everyone has one and whether and my opinion that I’m being deliberately repressed by accident by a tech corporation is far fetched and even ludicrous. But recent history has shown that even famous free thinkers like comedians, actors, elected officials and professional writers have also succumbed to being shut down and throttled by this platform as well. Like how slumlords (and public housing agencies) use controlled demolition to force tenants out of their homes, Twitter and other social media monoliths used the same method with algorithms designed to silence people gradually or quickly to protect the status quo and narratives put forth by permanent government establishments.
People make a big deal any time a controversial famous person gets removed from a major social media platform, and rightly so; we cannot allow such brazen acts of censorship to become normalized. The goal is to normalize internet censorship on every front, and the powerful will push for that normalization to be expanded at every opportunity. Whether you dislike the controversial figure being deplatformed on a given day is entirely irrelevant; it’s not about them, it’s about expanding and normalizing internet censorship protocols on monopolistic government-tied speech platforms.
But far, far more consequential than overt censorship of individuals is censorship by algorithm. No individual being silenced does as much real-world damage to free expression and free thought as the way ideas and information which aren’t authorized by the powerful are being actively hidden from public view, while material which serves the interests of the powerful is the first thing they see in their search results. It ensures that public consciousness remains chained to the establishment narrative matrix.
It doesn’t matter that you have free speech if nobody ever hears you speak. Even in the most overtly totalitarian regimes on earth you can say whatever you want alone in a soundproof room.
That’s the biggest loophole the so-called free democracies of the western world have found in their quest to regulate online speech. By allowing these monopolistic megacorporations to become the sources everyone goes to for information (and even actively helping them along that path as in for example Google’s research grants from the CIA and NSA), it’s possible to tweak algorithms in such a way that dissident information exists online, but nobody ever sees it.
Caitlin Johnstone: Censorship By Algorithm Does Far More Damage Than Conventional Censorship
Like I said, I’m just a dude with a twitter account (and also an amateur muckraking quasi-journalist). But a twitter account with over a thousand followers, which isn’t too shabby and apparently enough of a threat to get silenced for a half a day and also left at the mercy of bots and many other vindictive people with twitter accounts who don’t like my tweets, which just might include elected officials and bad faith activists/advocates cum lobbyists that I consistently criticize on there.
Quibble with and undermine me all you want, this ludicrous attack on my account should worry everyone. This is almost like the scene in the stunning dystopian movie Brazil where a filing error by a hapless worker led to a SWAT team invasion of a family’s home to detain a man suspected of being a terrorist by mummifying him but realizing their error they made them file a form about this mistake and let him go, even though they never removed the full body prison outfit they wrapped him in.
This may sound like hyperbole comparing being unable to tweet to actual and accidental temporary physical imprisonment, but being repressed from social media because an algorithm doesn’t understand context is still a serious violation of my and your constitutional rights. If you still don’t think it matters, recent events have confirmed that censorship is being normalized and institutionalized in government and even journalism. Even worse, Mayor Adams, who I actually defended with that absolutely non-violent tweet, has literally said that he wants to use censorship through social media platforms as a tool to bring down crime in New York City.
Like climate change’s effects on the shores of our cities, the first amendment has seen a lot of significant erosion in recent years by bad faith, insecure, rapacious and powermad elected officials in America (which stunningly consist of “progressive liberal” politicians like AOC and even NYC Council with their own tech “security force” they used to investigate “threats” to Tiffany Caban, which turned out to be just complaints from her constituents). Even other “free” nations like England, Canada and France have proposed tech surveillance to take down “harmful” words.
Not long ago we spent two decades fighting a war on terror, now because of government’s integration with and dependence and obeisance to Big Tech and their desperate need to control narratives to approve policies, it’s a war on criticism, dissent and expression. This isn’t a slippery slope of censorship anymore it’s a suicide dive off a mountain peak.
What they’re trying to do with radio, with this, uh, McCarran-Walter Act and a lot of other ways, is start by saying that they’re protecting the public from wicked rock bands, or girlie magazines, or whatever. But, if you follow the chain of dominoes that falls down what they’re really trying to do is shut off our access to information itself.
If they can’t do it by law they know there’s other ways to do it.
Jello Biafra, 1989.
Let my banished tweet show they already knew how to do it.