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The twitter purge

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, January 14th, 2021 - 109 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, human rights, internet, social media lolz, twitter, uncategorized, us politics - Tags:

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.

One local website also appears to have its number of followers tanking, or maybe it was always like this.

Simon Bridges was concerned.

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.

109 comments on “The twitter purge ”

  1. francesca 1

    Crikey Micky , sounds great that the world has swung left.But has it?I think the poles have shifted somewhat.

    Merkel's centre right Christian Democrat Union party is more left than NZ's Labour party

    Biden is left??

    Depends who you're comparing him to

    In fact the whole world swung so far right from the 90's on that even a pause looks left

    When Trump makes Colin Powell, Cheney and Mad Dog Mattis look good , you've got a totally skewed vision of progress

    Trump has managed to sanitise the worst warmongers and killers of the last 20 years

  2. Had a short holiday in lovely Napier. The motel we staying in had Sky, which we don't subscribe to. So we had an opportunity to watch parts of the Aussie India cricket test, but also Sky News.

    Jeez, what a right-wing propaganda outlet. Late at night some regular plonker on about climate change being a hoax. Then another regular feature, on about the various states' covid responses. Misogynism (is there such a word?) rife and the premier of Victoria took a battering because (mainly) he was vaguely left leaning. And the economy, don't forget about how the economy is suffering.

    So I don't quite agree that the left is in the ascendancy. Be nice if it was, and that it continues to rise.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.1

      Yes Tony +100, We find Aussies liked and voted for Pauline Hansen in large numbers in Qld, and Alan Jones is a mouthpiece for the right. A "Shock jock".

      More people though are supporting left leaning pollies who have appeared to do better with the virus controls, and there have been some pretty pointed lampoons of their PM, who is right wing.

    • tc 2.2

      It's not ascending in Oz Federal politics with the acting PM and a lib backbencher knowingly stoking the flames.

      One nation sadly represents a fair chunk of Ozzzie's accurately cobbah, it's why they got returned to Oz federal parliament as Hanson and Roberts hit the sweet spot.

    • RedLogix 2.3

      So I don't quite agree that the left is in the ascendancy.

      Yes but in terms of the big social media tech giants the left does have a virtual monopoly. There is no question that Silicon Valley and the Democrats have entered into a close alliance, and the right is highly conscious of this.

      This leaves the debate wide open to legitimate accusations of political censorship if everyone does not tread carefully. For example Ron Paul was booted off FB and YT, apparently by an algorithm. Unless such actions are undertaken with transparency and accountability, the blowback will be nothing like we've seen yet.

      And the risks are incredibly obvious; many social media tech shares have plunged in value substantially in recent days.

      • mpledger 2.3.1

        Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos – they may not be Republican but they aren't on the left.

      • mickysavage 2.3.2

        Yes but in terms of the big social media tech giants the left does have a virtual monopoly. There is no question that Silicon Valley and the Democrats have entered into a close alliance, and the right is highly conscious of this.

        You are right but I think this is the case because the left in the US is currently rational whereas the right is not.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Almost certainly this 'ban by algorithm' is going to morph into something very similar to what the CCP has been doing to run it's 'Great Firewall of China'. This is could very rapidly shift the ground under what we understand as free speech for everyone. Let's do a quick once over what got us here:

    Free speech is not absolute. There are many limitations, but three are relevant when evaluating the aftereffects of the events of January 6.

    First, and perhaps least importantly, while you have the right to speak your mind, you do not have the right to be listened to or respected, nor the right to speak on someone else's place or time. The first enables me to utterly ignore most of what AOC says (except for its entertainment value), and the second enables tech giants to block Trump and folks like him from their platforms. Neither AOC nor Trump have legal recourse here as neither immunity from my laughter nor platform access are Constitutional rights.

    Second, and far more importantly, you do not have the right to incite violence. Way back when in 1919 the Supreme Court ruled that speech either designed to cause violence or speech that could be reasonably expected to lead to violence is flat-out illegal and punishable with jail time. It's called the Clear and Present Danger principle and was updated in 1969 by a test called Imminent Lawless Action.

    Rudy Giuliani’s "trial by combat", Trump's "we're coming for you", and Trump's weeks-long encouragement of his supporters to show up in DC January 6 to disrupt the election certification are all very nearly textbook examples of non-protected – in fact, criminal – speech. So much so that all will likely be included into future law-courses as actual textbook examples. (Fun fact: The Clear and Present Danger principle was first manifested by the Supreme Court to codify the punishment of an antiwar activist. Trump is in some weird historical company.)

    Third, you do not have the right to publish falsehoods that you know are falsehoods, especially should such falsehoods cause reputational or economic harm. Such actions come under a mix of libel, slander, and defamation laws. Trump is very familiar with slander laws as in his pre-presidential days he sued pretty much everyone he did business with under their umbrella.

    What Trump and Powell and others in Trump's inner circle have done are not political views. These are political lies specifically intended to warp the American system and inflict personal harm upon others. Having things like this declared out of bounds in public life doesn't bother me one iota. Countering such statements isn't censorship because what's being countered isn't protected speech.

    In all the advanced democracies there is also an absolute prohibition on political violence. I maintain that this must apply no matter how virtuous or justified you think your cause is, because this will always be a matter of political opinion. In this both Trump and BLM/Antifa are wrong to advocate or tolerate violence for political purposes, but crucially are not equivalent in terms of culpability.

    The President of the USA is held, by the purpose of their office, to a higher standard than a political activist, or even a relatively junior political figure. When various Democrat politicians explicitly cheered on BLM protests and even openly paid their bail when they got arrested, this was stupid and damaging, but not in the same league as the President's actions.

    For all of these reasons there is now a widely agreed case for Trump, and members of his inner circle who enable him, to be declared out of bounds and de-platformed. Even many moderate and responsible Republicans wholeheartedly support this now. And if impeaching him over the Ukrainian allegations was a reach too far, this isn't. If only both sides did not have history for exploiting the impeachment process for less than stellar reasons, there would now be an overwhelming bi-partisan momentum to have it done by lunchtime.

    All communities require ‘moderation’ to ensure the discourse remains civil and productive, even here at TS. And that should tell us something about the very high importance of being even-handed.

    Note carefully, the above is not a political argument against Trump, it's a question of the legitimacy of his speech and actions. Trump isn't wrong because him and his supporters are right wing, it's because they stepped over an important and well established boundary. If we focus on this, then the uncomfortable question of ‘who does makes the decision?’ becomes a little less fraught.

    • Incognito 3.1

      I was going to respond to each of your three limitations to free speech but it seems that you’re having your hands full again because a few ‘mini tornadoes’ (AKA ‘shit storms’) appeared out of the blue and crossed your path 🙁 Are you a storm chaser, by any chance? 😉

      BTW, I hope that you were not suggesting that Colin Powell is a member of “Trump's inner circle” because it sure reads that way in your comment!?

    • Phillip ure 3.2

      it would also be a nightmare for the Republicans should trump stand again..

      a long shot…given the n.y. state investigations..as just one reason..

      an impeachment passed by both houses would take care of that problem/possiblity..

      the Republicans have every reason to support impeaching trump…

      in cauterizing him out of the american body politic..

      • woodart 3.2.1

        trump is done politically. his name is no too toxic for $$$ donations, which are the lifeblood of american politics. rednecks in pickup trucks dont have the $ to be useful. look at how golf and big business have publically given him the heave-ho in the last week.

  4. Maurice 4

    WE have forgotten what a good ole "dose of the salts" or even Cod Liver Oil does …

    Piles of the proverbial steaming stuff…….

    Will this clog the system?

    Who will clean all that up?

  5. Twitter is done…Ban Twitter in NZ…no USA based corporate should be able to directly control NZ politics….

    Twitter did not ban the worst of the BLM violent hate messages…in fact, they (Twitter) spoke of the First Amendment, and the Open Internet to prevent ANY bans of those messages..

    • Morrissey 5.1

      You seem confused. BLM is not violent; it is a response to massive police violence against black Americans.

      Where you are correct is when you point out no US corporate should be able to control NZ politics. In fact, Twitter should not be trying to “control” American politics either.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        I agree there is no unequivocal evidence that the BLM leadership has openly advocated violence; they're probably a good deal smarter than Trump in this respect.

        But there is a lot of evidence that they repeatedly tolerated, for much of the year, violence being done under the cover of the protests they were organising.

        As I said above however, while there is an obvious comparison to be drawn around the tactics both cases involved, the two are explicitly not the same in terms of culpability. The President is supposed to be the defender and bearer of the prohibition on political violence – not it's betrayer.

        • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.1

          probably a good deal smarter than Trump

          There are plants in my garden that are probably a good deal smarter than Trump.

        • McFlock 5.1.1.2

          BLM doesn't really have "leadership" at any meaning close to the idiots who idolise "Q" and dolt45.

          But even if there was a BLM "leadership" that "tolerated" violence at protests rather than inciting it, that right there is the answer to why BLM hasn't been culled on twitter but the right wingers have.

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.2.1

            I think it's very weak to rely on past practice here.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.2.1.1

              please elaborate on what you're talking about, specifically.

              • RedLogix

                There are plenty of left wingers who openly advocate for and defend political violence. Right on this thread, you included.

                Why do think the rule should not be applied to you? Just because Twitter banned Trump today, is there any reason why you think the left will remain exempt?

                • McFlock

                  Feel free to point out a specific comment of mine you think would have been banned under current twitter rules.

                  You constantly seem to argue that people here more left wing than you only support actions against hate speech because they think those actions will not be applied to the left. Please provide evidence that the left already violates those rules with impunity.

                  I comment within the rules here, yet I’m still happy to see the occasional tory troll receive a ban. This doesn’t mean I think I will never pick up a ban here – just that I know if I do pick up a ban then I will have thoroughly deserved it because I ignored the mods and broke the rules. I might have had one ban (came close a couple of times), but then I haven’t written anything close to “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. Unlike the twit in chief.

                  • RedLogix

                    You may not have advocated or incited for a specific instance of violence, but you repeatedly insisted that it's OK to do so if you feel politically justified.

                    There isn't a lot of sunshine between these two positions.

        • mpledger 5.1.1.3

          BLM leadership openly advocated NON-violence. Black people know that any transgression (real or perceived) is going to be met with harshly by the Police. Violence doesn't get the message to white people in the suburbs.

      • Gabby 5.1.2

        Maybe he means the neonazi twerps creating mayhem to put blm in the frame.

  6. Morrissey 6

    She's STILL rabbiting on

    If Twitter's directors were consistent or honest in their apparent determination to stymie misinformation, then surely they would close down the account of this crazed and foolish MSNBC opinionator….

    • The Al1en 6.1

      Like with that other great servant of the American left, Bill Maher, I never miss an episode of Rachel's excellent show.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1

        Of course you don't…that goes without saying, monkey see, monkey do.

        Rachel Maddow mentioning Russia, Putin and collusion hundreds of times in one 30-minute show.

        “Like with that other great servant of the American left, Bill Maher”…wtf, you still haven’t got it yet? Maher, Maddow are centrist liberals they are not Left, they are two completely different ideologies

        • The Al1en 6.1.1.1

          Having seen the quality of your contributions over the years, noting how often you're wrong, even a monkey brain can work out which one of you two is totally wonky, barking, and not always at the moon.

          Turn Thornton right side up.

          • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1.1.1

            Wrong about what?, I think I have acknowledged the times I have made mistakes and/or have been misinformed myself on this site, and was happy to do so, but what issues are you referring too?

            [Hi folks,

            Please debate the issues/topics and leave the personal stuff out of it, thanks.

            If you really insist on having a go at each other, there’s plenty of vacancy in the TS MIQ – Incognito]

            • The Al1en 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Well you're wrong about russian interference in in the 2016 election, which Maddow isn't, so that's a start.

              Make Thornton right.

              [Hi folks,

              Please debate the issues/topics and leave the personal stuff out of it, thanks.

              If you really insist on having a go at each other, there’s plenty of vacancy in the TS MIQ – Incognito]

            • Incognito 6.1.1.1.1.2

              See my Moderation note @ 12:47 PM.

    • Andre 6.2

      Hey mozzie, I'm a tiny bit curious what Keith Olberman has to say about the DIMPOTUS second impeachment. I figure maybe you can fill me in, since you seem to obsessively watch him.

      • Morrissey 6.2.1

        Sorry, my friend, I haven't obsessively watched Olberman since he was a (very amusing) sports commentator. Since someone decided to embarrass the poor fellow by paying him good money to rant (hilariously) about politics, I haven't really kept up with him. He does make the odd surprise guest appearance in living rooms of the sane, as a strictly comic performer.

    • Stuart Munro 6.3

      Trump was Putin's best ever investment. US influence has declined across the map.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.3.1

        "Trump was Putin's best ever investment"…are you actually serious?..holy shit!

        • Stuart Munro 6.3.1.1

          Deadly serious – we're not all Putin dupes here.

          And if you knew his history thoroughly you wouldn't be one either – progressives cannot support murderous kleptocrats – and you seem to be progressive.

          • Morrissey 6.3.1.1.1

            Stuart, you do realize that the infamous Steele Dossier has been discredited, don't you?

            • Stuart Munro 6.3.1.1.1.1

              It certainly hasn't been.

              The former head of MI6's Russia desk supplied some information. Russian trolls rushed to discredit it, even murdering some of Steele's sources.

              The unusually credulous, having no primary sources on Russia, readily buy into the hastily assembled counterpropaganda – that's you.

              I'm not sure what your motivation can be.

              • Morrissey

                It certainly hasn't been.

                In fact, it has. Glenn Greenwald sums it up concisely: "Even the Russiagate-friendly NY Times now essentially acknowledges, buried deep in articles, that the Steele Dossier was a fraud. But it goes far beyond that: there was massive abuse of power & disinformation from FBI & CIA as part of the 2016 Russiagate investigation…"

                https://theintercept.com/2019/12/12/the-inspector-generals-report-on-2016-fb-i-spying-reveals-a-scandal-of-historic-magnitude-not-only-for-the-fbi-but-also-the-u-s-media/

                • Stuart Munro

                  Peripheral issue – the substance of the matter was Russian interference in the elections and Trump's participation in it.

                  Contemporary intelligence is not journalism, it includes assembling a variety of materials of unproven value, some of which will be revealing. And some of it was.

                  The official US position is that Russia did steal Hilary's emails, which did much to put el Schlumpenfurher in the Whitehouse.

                  If not all Steele's sources were gold, that's normal for the trade – he didn't have an agenda.

                  • roblogic

                    Dems needed an excuse for the failure of disgusting warmonger Hillary Clinton to beat the doltish lout Trump

                  • Morrissey

                    If not all Steele's sources were gold…

                    LOL. Hilarious, even if unintentionally so.

                    … he didn't have an agenda.

                    Even more hilarious. yes

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Well you obviously have an agenda Morrisey – so you have nothing to laugh about.

                      But laugh it up – the guy responsible for the killing of half the male population of Chechnya and Ingushetia is an obvious hero to a certain kind of "left".

          • Brigid 6.3.1.1.2

            I'd say it's rather easier to call some one whose politics you disagree with a murderous kleptocrat than actually provide evidence of this.

            Wouldn't you say?

          • Incognito 6.3.1.1.3

            I think you’ve fallen in the false-dichotomy trap here.

      • The Al1en 6.3.2

        That was clearly the aim, weakening forces opposing a broken russia, along with undermining confidence in an already fragile u.s democracy.

    • mpledger 6.4

      Did you actually read the post she linked to? While attributing one person's opinion to a whole country is overblown, the sentiment being raised by somone with political power isn't something to be ignored.

  7. The FBI claimed that over 50 people were killed during the BLM protests, including 10 police officers, and many people's homes/businesses were burned down…this was broadcast via Twitter — this IS violence…

    Twitter knew this (the BLM protests, and the violent under current), and still allowed its platform to spread the violence — knowingly…

    What is the different between BLM violence, and the 6th January uprising violence..?

    This is not a silly question, because Twitter is using INTENT of the messages as their reasoning for bans…

    I call BS on this because if you asked the victims of the BLM protests the INTENT of those messages — I am sure they would want them ban too.

    As for BLM leadership, the FBI is investigating this corporate (yes, they are a registered corporate, selling BLM stuff on-line— they attached themselves to a Social Movement — that’s all) for encouraging violence…as a marketing tool to sell BLM stuff.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      What is the different between BLM violence, and the 6th January uprising violence

      I'm on record here as condemning both, but there is a crucial difference and I apologise if I wasn't clear on this before. It's one thing for local activists and junior politician's to flirt with the boundaries of political violence.

      It's quite another for the President to openly incite it. That conclusively betrays the office and is far more culpable.

    • Stuart Munro 7.2

      What is the different between BLM violence, and the 6th January uprising violence..?

      It should be obvious – one was based on documented and often videoed murders of black people by police, with the police not being charged. The other was based on lies about stolen elections, pedo rings, and incoherent ranting intended to incite the overthrow of legitimate government and precipitate violence against inoffensive senators.

      • RedLogix 7.2.1

        Nope. The perceived legitimacy of the cause never justifies political violence.

        • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.1

          Rubbish.

          There is a right to respond to things like broad daylight murder. Some would say a duty.

          • RedLogix 7.2.1.1.1

            Really? More unarmed whites are killed by cops than blacks. Do you imagine that gives white people the OK to pursue protests that routinely end in looting, arson and intimidating thuggery?

            Because I don't.

            • McFlock 7.2.1.1.1.1

              “Routinely”? What proportion of BLM protests end in any of those things (other than thuggery committed by police)?

              • I Feel Love

                "routinely", slippery word.

                • Forget now

                  6% of the time is hardly "routinely". Also possible bias in police being inclined to see more offences in an anti-police-violence protest, than a supposedly "law and order" one.

                  ACLED’s data also shows that US law enforcement agencies were more likely to intervene in leftwing versus rightwing protests in general, and more likely to use force when they intervened. American law enforcement agencies made arrests or other interventions in 9% of the 10,863 Black Lives Matter and other leftwing protests between 1 April 2020 and 8 January, compared with only 4% of the 2,295 rightwing protests.

                  Half of the time police made any intervention into a leftwing protest, it involved using violent force, ACLED found, compared with only about a third of the time for rightwing protests.

                  Overall, 94% of the leftwing demonstrations in the past ten months were peaceful, compared with 96% of the rightwing demonstrations, according to ACLED’s most recently updated data. Kishi cautioned that the process of categorizing demonstrations as peaceful did not take into account whether demonstrators who engaged in violence or property damage were responding to aggressive or violent behavior from the police.

                  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/13/us-police-use-of-force-protests-black-lives-matter-far-right

            • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.1.1.2

              I think Rousseau would say yes.

              The constituents of a modern democratic state do not take the Hobbesian view, that the state has unlimited sovereign power to kill them at its pleasure or through maladministration. So if or when it does, it can expect civil unrest.

              The franchise voters grant to those wretched self-serving vermin (who as often as not sell it off to corporates for personal advantage) does not grant them the right to kill them except in rather special circumstances.

            • Phil 7.2.1.1.1.3

              More unarmed whites are killed by cops than blacks.

              The raw number is utterly meaningless. The rate at which US black/minority engagement (for want of a better word) with police results in death is multiple times higher than for whites… and that's the entire fucking point of the BLM protest movement.

              Do you imagine that gives white people the OK to pursue protests that routinely end in looting, arson and intimidating thuggery?

              Apples and oranges. BLM protests were almost universally peaceful right up until the point police escalated the violence.

              • RedLogix

                The rate at which US black/minority engagement (for want of a better word) with police results in death is multiple times higher than for whites

                Yes and the rate at which blacks engage the police in high stakes situations is also many times higher. They commit around 50% of the homicides for a start.

                While for Asians the comparable data is even lower than whites.

                This is complex story, with many factors. Just assuming that bad policing is the only cause here probably isn't going to make much difference; apart from a lot of satisfying riots.

    • Andre 7.3

      What is the different between BLM violence, and the 6th January uprising violence..?

      Arguably not much, since it appears both lots of violence were largely initiated by roughly the same group of far-right provocateurs looking to make trouble. The significant difference is that the BLM protests were intended to be peaceful, and were disrupted by outsiders intent on using them as cover for mayhem, while mayhem was the only intent of the Capitol insurrection.

      https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-race-and-ethnicity-suburbs-health-racial-injustice-7edf9027af1878283f3818d96c54f748

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-28/antifa-boogaloo-extremists-at-us-floyd-protests/12388260

      https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article243553662.html

      Plenty more to be found using search terms such as 'blm protest arrest provocateur' or 'blm protest arrest right extremist'.

      • RedLogix 7.3.1

        Now go look for the equivalent claims that Antifa provocateurs led the invasion of the Capitol. Not hard to find.

        None of us are in a position to evaluate these claims but I'm pretty skeptical of them both.

        • Andre 7.3.1.1

          Just did that. There's a few claims from proven prolific liars such as Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar. Everyone with the tiniest shred of credibility that has taken a look at the claims has concluded there is zero evidence of any antifa involvement. Including the FBI.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2021/01/08/fbi-no-evidence-antifa-involved-in-capitol-chaos/?sh=3b829f366379

          https://www.bbc.com/news/55572805

          https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/jan/07/theres-no-proof-antifa-stormed-capitol-rumor-sprea/

          So if you think there's is any reason to doubt the massive amount of investigation and debunking already done, go ahead and put up your evidence.

          • RedLogix 7.3.1.1.1

            Yes but BLM persisted for months organising protests they knew were going to turn violent at night, and took no responsibility.

            While even Trump managed to call the Capitol invasion off within hours once he realised how badly wrong it had gone.

            • Andre 7.3.1.1.1.1

              White privilege in action there RedLogix.

              You're blaming BLM for actions taken by others against the clearly expressed intent of BLM to be peaceful. Those others were mostly on the white supremacist spectrum. At the same time seeking to deflect from and minimise and justify the actions planned and carried out by insurrectionists mostly on the white supremacist spectrum.

              • McFlock

                BLM protests police violence, police consistently respond violently, therefore BLM tolerates police violence… /sarc

              • RedLogix

                Enough with the condescending claptrap, blacks are every bit as responsible for their actions as all other ethnic groups.

                If they knew that all of the looting, arson and thuggery was been done by white supremacists under the cover of their entirely peaceful protests, over and over, then persisting with them seems stupid and damaging to say the least.

                • McFlock

                  Try saying more than the least.

                • Andre

                  As explained just below at 7.3.1.1.1.2, BLM supporters have a constitutional First Amendment right to peaceful protest.

                  Your comment reads as advocating giving white supremacists an explicit thug's veto to that constitutional First Amendment right.

            • Andre 7.3.1.1.1.2

              Further to the BLM protests, the First Amendment says:

              Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [my bold]

              Some discussion of how that right of assembly and petition is interpreted is found here: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/interpretation/amendment-i/interps/267

              One of the most important police functions in the US is protecting the constitutional rights of citizens. In the case of BLM protests, police had an obligation to ensure BLM protestors could have their protests peacefully, as is their First Amendment right. The police conspicuously failed to fulfill their obligations. In some cases, even worse the police sometimes even appeared to be the initiators of the violence.

              Worth reading on how often the BLM protests were peaceful:

              https://time.com/5886348/report-peaceful-protests/

              • RedLogix

                Over the years I've come to regard false flag claims as usually unjustified.

                In particular you have to be impressed at just how quickly all these very stupid white supremacists got organised to use BLM protests as cover, right from the outset.

                I'm not ruling out that they could have gotten involved latter on, but not right on the first night.

                The thing is when you organise a large mass of people and tell them to be angry the chances are something bad is going to happen.

                It's perfect cover for all sorts of misdirection, on all sides. Which is why I'm very cautious about this kind of claim.

                • Andre

                  There is actual evidence and facts available here.

                  The links I've put up show actual arrests of white supremacists and other right-wing extremists at BLM protests. Where they've been instigating violence.

                  You? All you've provided so far are vague insinuations with precisely zero backup.

                  • RedLogix

                    Yes and as I've said before, ongoing protests have become a magnet for this kind of misdirection. But are you really claiming that all of the looting, arson and thuggery that I've seen many instances of was all done by white people?

                    • Andre

                      I haven't claimed all, like you've just strawmanned.

                      I have said words like mostly, likely, largely and other similar words in relation to which groups are initiating violence.

                      When it comes to the looting and arson in the wake of violence breaking out, I really haven't any sense of which groups might be responsible in what proportion. Nor do I much care, I'm much more interested in who is provoking the breakdown of the constitutional right to peaceful protest. Property damage after that breakdown is mostly repairable and compensable, the harm done to people by the violence and destruction of their rights is not.

                • Andre

                  When it comes to false flags, the only time that claim has been made with any apparent thought of it being taken seriously were with the lies put out by Gaetz, Brooks, Gosar et al about their insurrection.

                  When it comes to white supremacists and their allies turning up to BLM protests, they're generally pretty open about who they are and their intentions. It's that sometimes there are elements in the police that are more sympathetic to the white supremacist provocateurs than they are to their constitutional obligations to allow and enable peaceful protest. After all, the BLM protests are mostly about police misconduct.

                  Which is why Kyle Rittenhouse was helped to go home after murdering a couple of people at a protest, but there's a whole wikipedia page of incidents of police violence towards BLM protestors.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_police_violence_incidents_during_George_Floyd_protests

                  Indeed, the rot in the police has gone so deep, some police unions have openly supported the January 6 insurrectionists and seditionists.

                  https://www.motherjones.com/2020-elections/2021/01/how-police-unions-responded-to-the-assault-on-the-capitol/

                  https://www.npr.org/2021/01/12/955818891/u-s-capitol-mob-brings-questions-fallout-for-pro-trump-police

            • Gabby 7.3.1.1.1.3

              So you reckon Prump was in charge then?

    • McFlock 7.4

      What is the different between BLM violence, and the 6th January uprising violence..?

      Even assuming your reckons stats are correct, the difference is that twitter is banning accounts that write or distribute content that incites violence. If BLM tweeters incited violence, they'd get banned. But they don't do that nearly as much as the trumpists and the Q crowd.

    • mpledger 7.5

      Scale matters...

      As the New York Times reported July 3, four recent polls "suggest that about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks.

      https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/10/fact-checking-claim-about-deaths-damage-from-black-lives-matter-protests/113878088/

      And how numbers are counted matters too (note this is all demonstrations not just BLM) …

      At least 11 Americans have been killed while participating in political demonstrations this year and another 14 have died in other incidents linked to political unrest, according to new data from a non-profit monitoring political unrest in the United States.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/31/americans-killed-protests-political-unrest-acled

      So, where is the link to these FBI figures?

  8. Red 8

    The unintended consequences of these bans, coupled with only one side is really been told to look at the extreme element of its side of the left right divide will be interesting ( be careful what you wish for, prohibition very rarely works, think war on drugs, alcohol bans in the US in the 20s etc ) One in what now will become the outlet / response by the lunatic right fringe and two the triumph and revenge nature of discourse by the left, coupled with over reach by left politicians and media to take advantage of immediate situation hardly builds unity One good thing about mmp in NZ it provides a place for the lunatic fringe to participate within the system not outside it without capturing or destroying the majority center

    • Incognito 8.1

      One good thing about mmp in NZ it provides a place for the lunatic fringe to participate within the system not outside it without capturing or destroying the majority center

      It depends on what you mean with “participate” because the ridiculous 5% threshold almost guarantees that ‘the lunatic fringe’ will never make it into Parliament.

      Please note that this is going off-topic so if you want to discuss MMP, it should be taken to OM.

  9. Thanks RedLogix — that makes sense…

    However, did you manage to read the TWO messages from President Trump which resulted in the ban from Twitter…I have, they were not overly bad…they said, the American people should not have their voices ignored by the media —- and then Twitter bans it…

    Twitter is done…ban it from NZ

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      It is Trump that is done – it only remains to be seen if his bullshit will take some platforms with him – it seems to have ended Parler already.

    • Gabby 9.2

      Not 'overly' full of lies and cant? Well that's ok then.

    • McFlock 9.3

      The orange one has been given a massive amount of slack by twitter for years. When a bot started copying the oompa-loompah's tweets, twitter gave it the first suspension within three days.

      permaban was long overdue.

  10. Andre 10

    Just a reminder of what the Heroes of the Insurrection have been saying. On video, not twitter, but anyhoo …

    • Morrissey 10.1

      What a sad joke Ted Cruz is.

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        Deep

        • Morrissey 10.1.1.1

          Hardly. It was simply an observation. I don't need to remind people, surely, of how Cruz—cruelly but accurately dubbed "Lyin' Ted" by the Great One—pretended at one stage to be morally superior to the crude and oafish Trump, but soon "got in behind" like the obedient and despised lackey he is.

          In early 2016, Glenn Greenwald summed him up with his customary acuity:

          I mean, if you look at what Ted Cruz has actually been saying and what he’s been doing, you could certainly make the case—and I would be someone who agrees with this—that Ted Cruz is, in many respects, maybe most respects, more dangerous than Trump. I mean, Ted Cruz is this true evangelical believer who seems to be really eager to promote this extremist religious agenda. You have him constantly expressing animosity toward Islam and toward Muslims in a way that’s sort of redolent of almost a religious-type war. He holds himself out as this constitutional scholar and small-government conservative and yet advocates some of the most extremely unconstitutional measures you could possibly imagine, like targeting American communities filled with Muslims with additional police patrolling and monitoring and surveillance and scrutinizing.

          https://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/24/glenn_greenwald_cruz_trump_clinton_playing

  11. Visubversa 11

    Twitter is very capricious in who it bans for what. It bans people and groups for refusing to deny biological science, and in Canada, a group for same sex attracted people has also been banned.

    • Incognito 11.1

      Rumour has it that one person’s girlfriend’s mother-in-law and her whole knitting group got booted off Twitter because he didn’t believe that albino giraffes don’t have blue tongues and redneck pandas don’t either. At least Twitter had the decency of returning their annual subscription fees in full. Apparently.

  12. Hi Visubverse, you are spot -on about Twitter…Twitter bans people/groups for little/no reasons sometimes…I say, NZ should ban Twitter.

  13. Incognito 13

    You don’t need Twitter to spread misinformation and delusional views.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/434533/billy-te-kahika-spreads-covid-19-misinformation-at-parliament-rally

    But Twitter is highly entertaining when reading about this ‘rally’.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      The big tech platforms (FB, Twitter, etc) started out with a very libertarian impulse, asserting that they were just 'conduits' and were not responsible for the content that users published. Now it seems they've pretty much been forced to admit that they are publishers, and they have to be responsible for the content.

      This puts them directly into the domain of journalism. Only at present they're doing it very badly, and very inconsistently. They're just not set up to do this.

      You have to admit that an incoming administration, married to an incredibly powerful, yet grossly incompetent media/publishing entities is a potentially quite frightening prospect.

      • Incognito 13.1.1

        They were/are naive to believe that giving billions of people a free platform in their hands that is accessible and live 24/7 (i.e. omnipresent) to say whatever they liked to an huge audience of whoever wanted to listen would bring out only the best in all of those people. Couple this to enormous company valuations and profits and we have a highly flammable and toxic mix full of internal conflicts and contradictions that cannot be reconciled without an ethical framework that is fit for purpose.

        I know, they didn’t start out with billions of signees and now the ‘monster’ that they have created is too big and strong. Even when they kill it, another one will grow and take over like another Hydra head. Either they evolve or they (must) die.

        I would suggest that the education system looks at incorporating and focussing more on civics and ethics in the context of modern online communication and presence. When I went to school gadgets like mobile phones only existed as Star Trek communicators and I had to learn neat handwriting in a straight horizontal line.

        • RedLogix 13.1.1.1

          Yes that makes sense. You and I both understand how very hard it is to impose moderation even on a very small space like TS, trying to recreate the same for a tech platform like Twitter seems utterly impossible … without resorting to unthinking algorithms.

          I've suggested this before, that the self-referential, positive feedback character of the 'suggested for you' algorithms is already driving us a little crazy. Adding another censoring algorithm on top doesn't feel like an improvement of any kind.

          And ultimately … again as we have both experienced … the only method that works is self-moderation. But getting there is going to be a long hard educational task. We'll have to want to do it, no government has the power to force us to be better people.

          (And as an afterthought, one of the reasons why I despise so many of the post modernist derivations so much, is that at root they undermine even the very idea of 'better'.)

  14. McFlock 14

    Another point about the difference when normal politicians talk about supporters "fighting" for a cause and when dolt45 does it: he's primed his audience that when he talks about violence, it's not metaphorical.

    Offering to pay legal bills if someone hits a protestor at his rally, casually suggesting cops use excessive violence after someone has been arested, all of that stuff. Then when he talks about followers being tough and fighting for his presidency, they know he's not talking about writing an angry letter or facebook post.

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