In recent weeks Twitter has come under fire from conservatives and libertarians due to political profiling and censorship of non-liberal views. One of the biggest cases is that of Laura Loomer, a journalist from Minnesota. She was recently banned from Twitter for the rest of her life. Loomer was banned due to a tweet that Twitter moderators claim violates their terms of service. In her tweet, which was about a newly elected Muslim Democrat named Ilhan Omar, Loomer pointed out that Omar practices a religion that supports the oppression of both women and homosexuals. She is not incorrect, but Twitter still banned her. Yet, they have not banned Louis Farrakhan, who has tweeted that Jewish people are termites and are inherently stupid. In choosing to ban Loomer and not Farrakhan, Twitter has put its hypocrisy on full display.
I don’t agree with how Twitter has been handling the enforcement of their terms of service policy. They have obviously targeted conservatives far more than liberals. However, this is what happens when there is no strong competition. The owners and moderators know that anyone wishing to have an impact on social media needs to be on their platform. All of the conservative political commentators they issue a temporary suspension to come running back as soon as that suspension is lifted. These conservatives then complain about Twitter’s political bias while they continue to use the platform. This is only enabling the problem to continue.
If people truly want Twitter to change its ways and treat its users fairly across the board, then they need to leave Twitter in favor of another provider. Competition, and the prospect of losing user accounts, is what will motivate Twitter to behave more fairly. Simply said, Twitter wants to be profitable. They can’t be profitable if they don’t have users to see the ads that companies pay Twitter to display for them. Therefore, users leaving their platform in favor of a different one will hurt their bottom line. This will then motivate them to be more careful in how they treat their user base. However, a strong and direct competitor will not develop until people show that they desire one and are willing to leave Twitter to endorse it.
Currently, the best option for those who wish to leave Twitter is Gab.com. It is an instant social media sight much like Twitter, having the same functions of “liking”, reposting, following, blocking, muting, etc. It also adds something new called your “score”, which is an accumulated total of “likes” and reposts of your gabs. It is still a young site and is feeling out the kinks. It does function fairly smoothly though and it’s user base is steadily growing. Gab.com also prides itself on being a home for free speech, which is a welcome change from Twitter. If some influential people started using it daily, it would be able to gather more funding and accelerate its growth and functionality. However, famous people also tend to go where their fans are, so if their fans switch over to Gab they are likely to as well. Didn’t know you had the power to decide what social media sites Chris Hemsworth uses, did you?
These are my thoughts and opinions, please feel free to share your own in the comments section. I read every comment and welcome the respectful expression of differing views. You never know, perhaps you will change my mind about something! Thank you for reading.