by Claire Bernish, Activist Post:
Twitter announced it will be joining in the pro-censorship campaigns currently sweeping social media under the familiar guise defenders of liberty and free speech love to hate: terrorism.
Twitter’s version of the Thought Police, however, sounds somehow even more Orwellian than the original: The Trust & Safety Council — which will, unsurprisingly, “work to develop policies censoring speech on the site,” as the Washington Examiner described.
“To ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter, we must provide more tools and policies,” the social media’s statement paradoxically begins. “With hundreds of millions of Tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power.”
President Obama has called on social media sites to join the fight against terrorism, which essentially translates into a censorship push. And as with any push for censorship, though the premise might be rooted in laudable intent, the reality almost always ends in a clamp down on those who choose to voice less popular opinions — and, if allowed to continue without careful oversight, eventually ensnares almost all dissenting views.
Worse still, the practice of employing the community-at-large as its own watchdog creates a pervasive atmosphere in which individuals self-censor — one of the more insidious ways free speech can be curbed.
While Twitter’s explanation of the Trust & Safety Council appears warm and all-inclusive, its language presents evidence of a seriously slippery slope, stating certain groups maintain an “acute to need prevent abuse, harassment, and bullying” among other issues.
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