Trump And Internet Nazis Got No More Free Speach
Several social media companies took action against a bunch of rightwing hate-vomiters Monday, including a temporary ban on content from Donald Trump on the video streaming service Twitch, YouTube's removal of several white supremacist channels, and Reddit's finally lowering the boom on the subreddit r/the_donald and a bunch of other subreddits that had repeatedly violated the service's content rules, including — both sides! — a forum for the "dirtbag left" outlet Chapo Trap House. That led to another round of whining that Big Tech is censoring "conservative" speech. You might think that good decent conservatives wouldn't want to be associated with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but that just means you are a social justice warrior who doesn't appreciate Free Speach and you want to set up gulags for all who will not conform to your fascistic insistence on "basic decency" and "not advocating white power."
Yes, we are very sad about all of it, so very sad.
Donald Trump's channel on Twitch, the video service that's mostly known for livestreams of video games, was temporarily suspended Monday for "hateful conduct," which appears to be the first time the Great Man has been given a timeout on any social media platform. It was probably his smallest outlet, too, since the account had something like 125,000 followers, compared to the 83 million Trump has on Twitter. The New York Times has the deets:
The site, which is owned by Amazon, said two recent streams on Mr. Trump's channel violated its rules. One stream was of a rebroadcasted 2015 campaign event in which Mr. Trump made comments about Mexico sending drugs, crime and rapists over the border. The other was of his recent rally in Tulsa, Okla., where he talked about a "very tough hombre" breaking into a woman's house at 1 a.m.
"Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch," a Twitch spokeswoman said in a statement. "In line with our policies, President Trump's channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed."
The site didn't say how long Trump's channel would be down, so there's no telling when people will once again have the chance to see stuff that's readily available elsewhere. Twitch has also been under pressure to clean up its act, since video game voice chat is notoriously full of racist and misogynist speech. How the gaming industry is supposed to survive if 14-year-olds can't scream the n-word every three seconds has not yet been determined.
YouTube also swung the banhammer yesterday, permanently banning multiple far-Right channels including those for the white nationalist outfits American Renaissance and Radix Journal, as well as poor David Duke and Richard Spencer. In addition, YouTube axed American Renaissance's podcast channel. The biggest idiot to get the banhammer was wingnut manosphere asshole Stephan Molyneux, who liked to say that women wearing lipstick was exactly like men going around with a great big simulated boner in their pants.
Youtube said it had removed the channels for repeated violations of rules prohibiting "videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status," which it says have led to the deletion of over 25,000 channels since the rules went into effect in 2019.
Molyneux is somehow still on Twitter, where he cried that YouTube had "just suspended the largest philosophy conversation the world has ever known." The immortal shade of Aristotle replied by giving Molyneux the finger and farting in his general direction.
Reddit also did its part to end freedom as we know it by banning "r/The_Donald, r/ChapoTrapHouse, and about 2,000 other communities," although the vast majority of removed subreddits were already inactive or had fewer than 10 subscribers. The biggest to go was the Trump-fan site, which had no official connection to Trump or his campaign, but was a constant source of the greatest, most brilliant memes for triggering libs. Since Reddit managers "quarantined" the subreddit last year, many users had been leaving for more welcoming online sewers anyway.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said yesterday in a conference call with reporters that the move represented a change from Reddit's early, damn-near-anything-goes days:
I have to admit that I've struggled with balancing my values as an American, and around free speech and free expression, with my values and the company's values around common human decency.
Or to put it a bit more bluntly, as the Verge's Casey Newton did, that's a "major reversal" for a company that used to define "free expression" so broadly "that it once allowed users to distribute stolen nude photos freely on the site."
Get ready for lots of sad denunciations of how awful these moves are, from people who are certain that if you don't let Nazis shit in the punchbowl, then John Stuart Mill will roll over in his grave.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.