Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Gizmodo Validates Widespread Beliefs On Twitter Censorship

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tells us something they really didn't mean to say in this little video chat about Twitter.

They complain about how far to the right has taken the site – giving into conservatives, allowing there to be a place where you “can be a racist without getting called out for it.” The thing they don't mean to say but do is how extreme the was on before Musk.

You recall what the defense of Twitter moderation was before? That only the truly extreme, meant to and capable of hurting people directly, was kept off? This wasn't political censorship, of course it wasn't. This was just keeping the conversation clean and legal, to make sure there was no actual physical damage done by incitement to violence and so on. That was the sort of righteous claim that was being made.

The complaint here is that Musk has teamed up with Florida Gov. . Now, it's entirely possible to not like DeSantis or his views – that's freedom and liberty allowed to us all. But to try to insist that he's of such an extreme right position that he shouldn't be allowed on an internet platform is ridiculous. The man just got 59% of the vote in one of America's most populist states. By definition that means his views must cover the center – the 41 percent is the minority, right?

Similarly, they complain about being about to use Twitter for his next show. Again, it's not necessary to agree with Carlson but he did have the biggest news show on cable. Again, that's not evidence of extreme or fringe views – it's necessary to be appealing to a significant percentage of the population – at least approaching the median viewer  – to achieve that.

Which is the thing that Gizmodo really didn't mean to reveal. These extreme views were being kept off Twitter. This protection was necessary for the public conversation, as it used to be put. Now we see what they're complaining about when that censorship is stopped. They're complaining that entirely commonplace views can now be said in public. The old rules would have had someone with 58% of the vote written off as an extremist. The most popular cable news show as being something that shouldn't be allowed to sully that sacred space of the town square conversation.

It's that which shows us how extreme the censorship was before. How much