Flat White

Go jump in the lake, Clover – and Twitter, too

7 May 2021

1:21 PM

7 May 2021

1:21 PM

There is something deeply disturbing about the connection between Silicon Valley censorship and the protection of our left-wing political class. 

As a female conservative opinion commentator on Twitter, it is fair to say that I cop a lot of abuse. This often comes via threats of violence and rape – particularly from Black Lives Matter activists whose accounts are never removed. Then there is the daily wave of swearing, slander, and all manner of verbal diarrhoea of such low quality that you only see it produced in the wild by self-declared ‘union thugs’ and ‘feminist allies’. 

I have long accepted that this is part of the risk associated with having an opinion in the open forum. 

What is not acceptable is the one-sided censorship to the point of political interference engaged in by a platform that is not entitled to publishing privilege unless it wants to open itself up to legal liability for all third-party content. 

Yes, social media companies are private businesses, no – that does not entitle them to do whatever they like. Every businesses must adhere to government regulation. In the case of social media, their sacrifice of editorial control allows them to profit off content that no other publication can print. Twitter has taken over as a primary source of news because it is under no obligation to police the live updates of its users regarding sensitive situations. 

Yesterday, I was put on a twelve-hour suspension for the horrific verbal crime of – wait for it – telling Sydney Mayor Clover Moore to, Go jump in the lake’ in response to her post regarding a new wave of Covid restrictions hitting Sydney tomorrow. 

Apparently, this common Australian phrase which is interchangeable with, ‘bugger off you moron’ broke Twitter’s rules for encouraging self-harm. My suspension happened within minutes of the message being posted, which is remarkable considering it can take weeks to get violent Islamic terrorists taken down or even Twitter’s ex CEO who wanted to film people being shot against a wall. 

One wonders who had an account large enough to report this tweet as a priority, and who sat there and approved the suspension to protect the fragile feelings of Clover Moore from the valid criticism of a constituent? 

All I know is that this is how democracy dies. 

Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at Ko-Fi.

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