Pre-Musk Twitter’s pedophile problem and a few other important points
Thanks to Elon Musk, we’ve learned that Twitter’s management intentionally silenced Donald Trump, that it worked with the Biden campaign and federal law enforcement agencies to do so, and that it willingly censored anyone who might foil the efforts to end Trump’s political chances. This mattered because Twitter had become a primary vehicle by which Americans saw and shared politically-related facts and opinions. Those are facts. What is equally important are the lessons to be learned from those facts.
1. While Twitter silenced conservatives, it was an open platform for really bad people, including pedophiles.
Conservatives frequently pointed out that, while they were being silenced (see below), Twitter was an open platform for bad people. Twitter lied about the first charge while insisting that the bad people allowed on the platform (such as the Iranian government, which is sadistic and at war with both America and its own people) were there because of their “newsworthiness.”
Apparently, pedophiles are also newsworthy. Thus, while Twitter managed to ban or shadow-ban every conservative site, no matter how small, it couldn’t seem to ban the pedophiles who openly used Twitter for their sick needs. (And while I am definitely not accusing Twitter’s Chief Censor, the Stasi-like Yoel Roth of being a pedophile, it’s an interesting fact that the man who used his own Grindr experiences as the basis for his Ph.D. thesis—telling you just how much non-STEM doctorates are worth—was more concerned about leftist politics than about pedophiles.)
Elon Musk, however, instantly put an end to the pedophile forum that was Twitter. Moreover, he’s called out Twitter for not acting on pedophilia and Jack Dorsey for yet another lie, this one about the pedophile problem:
You all belong in jail. https://t.co/myTZtHcuXR— Cernovich (@Cernovich) December 9, 2022
this is false.— jack (@jack) December 9, 2022
At the same time, Ned was spending millions of dollars on Warriors seats. Super messed up priorities.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
2. Hidden gaslighting.
To be clear, I use the term “gaslighting” in the original sense, as seen in the brilliant 1944 movie, Gaslight: Using lies and tricks to make people disbelieve the evidence of their own senses and experiences.
Image: Jack Dorsey testifies before Congress. YouTube screen grab.
In this case, what conservatives’ senses and experiences informed them was that Twitter was systematically shutting them down, whether by limiting the reach of their tweets (shadow banning) or explicitly censoring specific tweets, or banning conservatives altogether.
Democrats, from Twitter on down, insisted that conservatives were simply being paranoid. The problem, they said, wasn’t Twitter, it was conservatives themselves who, being incapable of developing attractive ideas or maintaining interest in their products, were simply crybabies. Indeed, Jack Dorsey testified under oath before Congress that no conservatives were ever subject to systemic censorship. We now know these were all manipulative lies.
Bari Weiss’s part of the Twitter expose shows that conservatives were correct and that everything they alleged that Twitter was doing to them was absolutely true. Conservatives—and, more importantly, the sort of apolitical, disinterested Americans, the ones who swing elections—were being gaslighted.
3. Hidden partisanship.
When I spent my junior year abroad in England in the early 1980s, I found the open partisanship of the newspapers fascinating. The Telegraph was the most conservative; The (Manchester) Guardian was the most leftist; and The (London) Times tried to straddle a midpoint between the two.
Foolishly, because I was young and a good Democrat, I told my British friends that the American media was nonpartisan, which was much better. In fact, while I don’t have much good to say about England of late, it’s the British model—openly partisan media outlets—that is much better.
In post-WWII America, the media were never non-partisan, although they pretended to be so and were still able to produce content that reported “just the facts.” After Trump, the American media finally cast off that pretense.
The tech outlets, however, insisted that they were impartial forums on which Americans could share their beliefs and stories. This fooled relatively apolitical people into believing that Twitter’s judgment calls about stories that were allegedly Russian disinformation or that put people in danger (coincidentally, always and only leftists, never doxed conservatives) were equally apolitical. This lie about partisanship gave credibility to what remained on the site, all of which was run through a highly partisan filter. The same, of course, holds true for Facebook.
The Twitter Files reveal to ordinary Americans that the most-used outlet when it comes to informing Americans about politics was and is hysterically partisan. It expanded its power by claiming neutrality. Sadly, it’s unclear whether those ordinary Americans who aren’t too interested in politics but who do react to headlines and swing votes will ever know this. That’s because the mainstream media is systematically suppressing the Twitter files. That was true for the first release, and it’s still true now that the second and third are out there.
Social media outlets, which Americans believed were impartial forums on which they could exercise free speech—so much so that they became the new public square—have heinously abused the power they acquired. Musk, to his credit, is revealing that abuse of power but, ironically enough, the collective old media still have the strength to hide these revelations. As was ever the case, gaslighting and partisanship hide the left’s sins—including the ongoing sin of child exploitation.