Twitter bans James Woods, and President Trump notices
Is it time to break up Twitter, or regulate it as an edited platform?
The people over there really went over the line, not to enforce rules, but simply to show us all how powerful they've become by suspending one of the most popular Twitterers, actor James Woods, whose pithy, perfectly composed tweets have brought him 2.12 million followers.
Breitbart had the story that happened.
James Woods, one of the few conservative stars in Hollywood, has been locked out of his Twitter account for over a week now for "abusive behavior," once again demonstrating the double standard the tech giant holds when it comes to enforcing rules.
Twitter suspended Woods for a tweet that read, "'If you try to kill the King, you best not miss' #HangThemAll," according to his girlfriend Sara Miller.
And the disgusting censorship was noticed by President Trump, who went into a full tweetstorm about all the instances of social media censorship of conservatives he could think of in just the past few days:
So surprised to see Conservative thinkers like James Woods banned from Twitter, and Paul Watson banned from Facebook! https://t.co/eHX3Z5CMXb— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
Thing is, it is censorship, a very raw, creepy, Mao-style censorship coming from a private company. The leftists running Twitter and its algorithms claim to be a private company, which they seem to think gives them the right to run their company any way they want, but their erratic censorship practices make them an edited platform.
Now, it's fine and dandy to be an edited platform as a private company, but they want it both ways — the non-accountability of a public utility but the private censorship practices of an edited platform. If they can be declared that, they would need to be regulated as newspapers are — responsible for every single word that goes out on their site, including the words of the freaks and killers and terrorists who also employ their platform. They'd have to edit every last bit of it, not just the words of people they don't like politically, or who have politically powerful voices they don't like politically. Someone tweets murder; maybe Twitter should now be suable for it, given that it's chosen to be an edited platform instead of a public utility.
Because it isn't rules anyone is violating based on their banning practices; it's big voices they don't like.
How capriciously are they censoring? Well, against the backdrop of Woods's tweet, which was the repetition of an old saw dating back to a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, I've gotten actual death threats that Twitter didn't deem worthy of any censorship when I complained to it about the problem. Only time constraints prevent me from locating the correspondence and posting it. Freaks threatening death? Not a problem for them. Woods citing an old saying? Ban!
What's more, they make their money through getting their customers' information in exchange for the right to post, something Mickey Kaus has noted is legally known as 'consideration.' If they are going to go around censoring now, not only are they an edited platform, but they are also suable for breach of contract with their customers.
Here's another thing. Woods is big, and Woods attracts a lot of eyeballs to Twitter, which is exactly what it should want as a company to make money. Banning Woods is contrary to its own business interests, given that it drives away customers for the practice. As a public company, Twitter ought to be suable for lost profits by shareholders, too.
Trump was right to point out that the matter is getting out of hand. It's time for some legislation to hold the company accountable and force it to choose whether it wants to be the equivalent of a public utility, such as the phone company, or else a censoring, capricious, edited private platform that would also be forced to be accountable.