Following on from the attempted coup in America Twitter not only cut Trump’s twitter feed but also cut POTUS’s feed when Trump tried to use that account.
Then it went on a big cull. closing down 70,000 accounts world wide associated with Qanon.
There were some local consequences. Democracymum had her account shut down as did Red Baiter. Former ACT candidate Stephen Berry lost his ability to tweet and neofascist Damien De Ment will tweet no more.
Vinney Eastwood, aka @Guerillamedia is also gone. I have met him and had dealings with him. To be frank he was rather crazy. The Agenda 21 conspiracy stuff is a bridge too far. Agenda 21 was an attempt to make a more sustainable world, not an attempt to subject us to mass slavery. He may have 50,000 youtube subscribers but there are more than 50,000 crazy people in or near New Zealand.
Overseas some right wing commentators have complained about how many followers they have lost.
So I have actually lost 30k followers in 4 hours? Is that even possible? Parler iced? Is this to please @JoeBiden? Does he know what Twitter is ?— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) January 9, 2021
One local website also appears to have its number of followers tanking, or maybe it was always like this.
Simon Bridges was concerned.
The suspension of NZ Twitter accounts is an overreaction. This isn’t about whether anyone agrees with what any user was saying. It’s about freedom of speech. And pushing views underground is more dangerous than letting them be out in the open for all to see.— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) January 13, 2021
Should we be concerned? Should we be afraid? Is the absolute freedom of speech at risk?
I don’t think so.
Let’s look at the big picture.
The world has trended left in the last 12 months. It is amazing how when faced with a global pandemic that made most of us realise the importance of community, the importance of compassion and the importance of science the world started to turn away from the conspiracy riddled misogynist uncompassionate right.
The conspiracy theories were needed because the 1 percenters and their wannabes were never going to have a critical mass by themselves. They needed others to join up, and the more gullible the better. Democracies are frustrating in that normally you need a majority to succeed and America, despite its best attempts at voter suppression, was finding that thanks to the help of people like Stacey Abrams more and more people were having their views counted.
The evidence of the left trend? Aotearoa’s 2020 election result was outstanding, a once in a lifetime result.
America swung left, the orange one is no more.
And in the UK a significant majority now disapprove of Boris Johnson’s handling of his job and Scotland is ready to vote independence.
People are turning away from right wing extremism. And the tolerance for their hate speech is low and getting lower. Take that fascists.
And freedom of speech is not an absolute. There has to be reasonable limits. Spouting crazy stuff like there is a global “Deep State” cabal of satanic pedophile elites and that Trump is waging a secret war against the Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media is just so many levels of bollocks. It is more likely that he is a member of such a cabal rather than fighting them.
So a private entity closing the doors on the propagation of such idiotic ideas as well as the advocacy of armed insurrection is not a crisis. It is what should normally happen. Speech should be something that is valued, not wasted on the harmful propagation of crazy ideas.