By: Phil | 11-15-2017 | News
Photo credit: Viorel Dudau | Twitter

The Great Twitter Purge Begins

Twitter has began "unverifying" a large number of accounts recently and the Gab (David to Twitter and Facebook's Goliath) and others feel the new terms of service may go too far. Twitter reserves the right to penalize users for infractions that did not occur through their social media platform. James Allsup and the organizer of Charlottesville's Unite the Right, Jason Kessler were unverified with the new terms active. Unite the Right attendee and former Buzzfeed writer, Baked Alaska was suspended outright. Another controversial figure affected is noted white nationalist Richard Spencer. Spencer, who was previously verified, expressed his disappointment then lashed out in the wrong direction apparently arguing <i>against</i> net neutrality, saying "It's time for Washington to regulate Silicon Valley. Law-abiding citizens should have a right to use social networks, payment systems, and hosting, which make up the public square of the 21st century.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">So now if you break Twitter&#39;s rules *off* of Twitter they might take action against your account. <br><br>Not only that but if you &quot;support&quot; any group or individual that does this they can also take action against your account. <br><br>The mental gymnastics here is on another planet. <a href="https://t.co/52NuFHD9vh">https://t.co/52NuFHD9vh</a></p>&mdash; Gab: Building A Censorship-Proof P2P Protocol (@getongab) <a href="https://twitter.com/getongab/status/930983185143382017?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 16, 2017</a></blockquote>

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What Spencer fails to understand is how giving control of the internet to the government could lead to either side of the partisan false-dichotomy known as the two party system having undue control over the free flow of information through cyberspace. With net neutrality, it is theoretically impossible for ISPs to throttle bandwidth for a site <a href="https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/computers/item/21976-net-neutrality-puts-political-websites-in-the-crosshairs-of-censorship">because they don't like it's content or agree with its politics.</a> Allowing the government to control cyberspace is a slippery slope to cyber-censorship and surveillance Chinese style.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/Twitter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Twitter</a> for banning Baked Alaska and stripping Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler of their blue checkmarks. A deal is a deal, and you guys are totally awesome. <a href="https://t.co/dIvGatrzMM">pic.twitter.com/dIvGatrzMM</a></p>&mdash; Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) <a href="https://twitter.com/eugenegu/status/930957458935304192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 16, 2017</a></blockquote>

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2017 certainly hasn't been the best year for free speech. The trend, especially in Silicon Valley, seems to be signal boosting congruent political beliefs and shutting down dissenting opinions. The need for new infrastructures is very important at this time, part of the reason why the David's of cyberspace like Gab.ai are so necessary. <a href="http://www.gab.ai">Gab</a> is working on building a censorship-proof P2P network as well as a cryptocurrency. <a href="https://www.icann.org/">ICANN</a> is another noteworthy project that aims at attempting to rest the reins of control from the hands of a small Silicon Valley oligarchy.

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