Flat White

Twitter now claims to be an essential human right

7 June 2021

12:06 PM

7 June 2021

12:06 PM

Where to start? 

Twitter outdid itself over the weekend when it ditched any semblance of modesty and decided to identify as an essential human right:

This ironic outburst came in response to the Nigerian government enforcing an indefinite suspension of the micro-blogging platform after it deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Whatever you may think of the current political situation in Nigeria, Twitter is struggling to come to terms with the reality of human conflict. Like a true colonial white saviour, Silicon Valley spends its time meddling in public conversations. In doing so, it seeks to shape the global political landscape as if it were some kind of omnipresent digital deity. 

All it manages to do is trample over delicate situations, making things worse with its endless reel of duct tape. Twitter’s unwelcome interference is the reason it keeps getting kicked out of countries – except China, of course. That is a party Twitter was never invited into and doesn’t have the balls to complain about the lack of invitation. 

To summarise this week’s absurdity, the social media giant responsible for banning President Trump during the American election is complaining that its service has been blocked after it deleted comments made by another President. Its defence against Nigeria’s cold shoulder is that Twitter represents an essential human right – a right which the moderators of Twitter routinely deny to users whose politics they disagree with. 

For the last few years, Twitter has pruned its community guidelines into vague brushstrokes, giving its swarm of Millennial moderators licence to remove thousands of people who dare to speak against approved international policy. Far from being a ‘human right’, Twitter has created a censorial empire of corporate propaganda where the fragile feelings of its favourite politicians and celebrities are ruthlessly protected at the expense of ordinary users. 

‘Truth’ and ‘fact checking’ have become interchangeable with propaganda and dogma. Despite seeing itself as the moral standard, Twitter never finds time to apologise for promoting spin and silencing reality. It simply swivels its head around and ducks beneath its wing. 

Many complaints have been raised, both by citizens and public figures, accusing Twitter and its Silicon Valley peers of colluding to erase them from the internet without any ability to contest their digital execution. Anti-Trust Laws appear to be taking a nap, ignoring the behaviour of colluding corporate dynasties. 

If Twitter wants to argue that its service represents an essential human right, then it has to voluntarily bend the knee to free speech and give up its obsession with manipulating the social narrative of humanity. 

Is it a platform or a publisher? 

It doesn’t matter, because with President Biden in power, no one in America has the guts to challenge the legality of Twitter’s reign. 

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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