On Alternative News and Free Speech
Twitter is increasingly becoming the "benevolent" social media platform.
It's not by accident. Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO, is a benevolent person.
Just look at the direction he's taking his company:
Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard. 🧵— jack (@jack) December 11, 2019
I admire him for that. I think he's the most benevolent of the big social media CEOs.
I love listening to The Joe Rogan Experience. It seems like he's able to pull a great conversation out of anybody.
The episode he did with Jack Dorsey, Vijaya Gadde, and Tim Pool is a perfect example of this.
In this episode, he moderates a conversation between Twitter management and one of their biggest critics.
It was a long conversation. On one side, Pool feels like Twitter unfairly punishes conservative voices on its platform. Twitter's response is that all actions it takes are on a case by case basis and are intended to stop targeted harassment.
In the past it's seemed to me like what Pool was right.
However, after listening to the podcast, I could also see how it just so happens the people breaking the rules are conservatives.
The other day I saw on the news that U.S. intelligence thinks the coronavirus strain we're dealing with was created in a Wuhan lab.
I couldn't help but think about what happened with ZeroHedge early on in the outbreak.
For those outside of finance Twitter, ZeroHedge is an alternative news site with an apocalyptic slant. Most of everything they write is about impending global economic collapse.
Before they were banned, every time I opened one of their articles, Twitter displayed a warning saying that the information was likely to be false.
I never believe anything I read on the internet anyways. I don't know why anybody would. Even the more established news outlets have been caught spreading misinformation accidentally on the internet.
By gatekeeping ZeroHedge like that, Twitter was making the decision to trust what I was reading instead of letting me use my own judgement.
When the pandemic first started, ZeroHedge was one of the first groups to talk about the Wuhan lab, and they speculated that the virus originated there.
Twitter was warning users about these articles and it turns out ZeroHedge was right.
You could say they were lucky but that's besides the point. Jack Dorsey wants Twitter to be the place where people have tough conversations.
Sometimes, tough conversations are about speculating and giving people the chance to tell each other they are full of shit.
Twitter decided this conversation wasn't worth having, and they got it wrong.
Most of the information we see is opinion.
Very few things are facts.
If life was just made up of facts, it would be super boring.
I think because of this, our brains naturally have a hard time separating facts from opinions.
When Jussie Smollett faked the attack on himself by two Trump supporters, his side of the story was immediately set up as fact.
Any articles questioning those facts were instantly marked as fake news. Their authors were called bigots.
It turns out, those writers were on to something when they were asking questions.
Imagine if Twitter would have warned users about these articles. People would have been denied a useful point of view.
This is why freedom of speech is a right.
The benefit of not having "bad opinions" on Twitter is not worth the cost of of losing even one opinion that gives us a useful point of view.
Twitter thinks it's warning people about facts that aren't true. Really they're warning people about opinions.
Opinions have no inherent truth. They are just opinions.
There's a big difference between facts that aren't true and opinions Twitter doesn't like.
They mean well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
They are so powerful, the President of the United States uses Twitter to address the nation and the rest of the world.
Twitter should stop warning users about what they don't like. The people, as the Constitution advised, should be the ones to decide for themselves.