Earlier this year, lawyers acting on my behalf filed a legal complaint against Twitter in California. The social media behemoth has been suspending accounts, not because users break Twitter rules, but because they break rank. Despite repeated claims that the platform exists as a space for free speech, and the company’s professed public commitment to refrain from banning users for ideological reasons, Twitter is now doing just that. Those who fail to adhere to the company’s preferred politics are picked off, with no accountability to speak of.
During an interview on a recent podcast, Sam Harris pressed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on the recent ideological crackdown. Dorsey responded that the platform did not generally ban people for “one tweet,” but that it looked at “behaviours in the background” to determine which users should be suspended. Dorsey referenced behaviours like “doxing,” “threats of violence,” operating multiple accounts in order to harass particular people, and inducing “troll armies intending to silence someone.” I have done none of these things, yet was banned from the platform anyway, supposedly for breaking Twitter rules. Which rules? I can’t tell you—because Twitter hasn’t told me.
It’s Calvinball all the way down.