For something as utterly decisive and damning as the first several installments of the “Twitter Files,” it’s very intriguing to see the Left scramble to assuage, debunk, and account for the clearly inappropriate and possibly treasonous activity of the then rogue social media company, Twitter.
From this camp, we’ve heard from the typical celebrities who threaten to leave but then never do, because it isn’t financially expedient for them to do so. There are those saying the “Twitter Files” story is a “nothing burger,” which is far from an eloquent defense of Twitter’s actions. And there are those holding the hard line that censoring and banning dissenting or differing voices is justified and even patriotic. The argument is swirling about too that Twitter has become “unsafe” since Elon Musk has taken over, yet Musk’s team has cracked down rigorously on child exploitation content on the platform. What does “safe” mean any more to progressives?
From what we know so far with these “Twitter Files,” an outrageously partisan leadership team at Twitter knowingly censored, banned, and limited conservative voices, or, more generally, views that were not their own. This censorship was endemic, systemic, and very much deliberate. In the name of “safety,” Twitter bosses controlled what consumers could see and couldn’t see.
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In Part I of the Twitter Files, journalist Matt Taibbi showed how Twitter bent its own policies to suppress the bombshell report about Hunter Biden’s laptop. We knew in Oct. 2020 and we know now that the contents of this laptop were authentic and incriminating. Yet Twitter crushed the story, which the New York Post broke first, and subsequently suspended the Post’s Twitter page.
In Part II of the Twitter Files, journalist Bari Weiss uncovered what many of us knew was already happening: through various means and technological techniques, Twitter safety team execs were limiting the content of leading conservative voices, or in one instance, a Stanford Professor/Medical Doctor who dared voice concern about Covid lockdowns for kids. This premise, coming from a leading medical expert, turned out to be true, yet was blacklisted from trending on Twitter. As it turns out, the “trends blacklist” was a relatively mild form of “visibility filtering,” as it’s commonly known at Twitter. Other voices were hit with “search blacklists,” “do not amplify” tags and other censorship classifications.
In the following installments, more evidence was shown, in the form of screenshots of internal communications, of a spectrum of malpractice ranging from favoritism all the way to Marxist-style suppression. In the most recent Twitter Files edition, journalists rightly contrasted tweets of Donald Trump and the Ayatollah Khomeini. The first tweet from the former president praised the 75M people who voted for him in 2020, the second from Iran’s spiritual leader called for the liquidation of all Jews. The first was cause for a total ban from Twitter, the second resulted in no action at all.
Those of us who are privy to history know that where free speech is obstructed, totalitarianism makes its home.
The kicker is that all of this work was being coordinated by shadowy departments within Twitter, like the Strategic Response Team — Global Escalation Team, and the department of Global Trust and Safety. These apparent arbiters of truth regularly collaborated to shut down one particular point of view, using every tool at their disposal, including government agencies and Democrat lawmakers. They regularly met, internal Slack messages imply, with the FBI, the Whitehouse, and Democrat politicians. Twitter’s former Deputy General Counsel, Jim Baker, who joined the Twitter team after a tenure at the FBI, happened to be a critical cog in the wheel that produced the false Steele Dossier and surrounding Russia Collusion scheme. These facts are, of course, not acceptable.
It might not surprise you that most mainstream media platforms don’t have much to say about the Twitter Files or have some method of explaining it away. But those of us who believe in free speech, who don’t think that opposing viewpoints are “dangerous,” can’t allow this one to slip away.
This one thing, free speech, defines and guides free societies. And those of us who are privy to history know that where free speech is obstructed, totalitarianism makes its home.
Joe D’Orsie is state representative-elect in Pennsylvania’s 47th legislative district.
8 thoughts on “Joe D’Orsie: The Twitter Files — let us not soon forget”
Paul Lushbaugh agrees
Uh. Thanks for parroting the right-wing whining, Joe. Keep it up and you’ll fit eight in with the rest of the Repub house members that did nothing to win over Pennsylvanians. Enjoy the minority.
Stop whining and put forth a plan to improve the GOPs image. Then people will care when we get the shaft.
The extent of FBI and Twitter cooperation is frightening. What’s been disclosed so far is chilling and should be of great concern to all sides.
Meanwhile the right is deafeningly silent about Elon Musk cooperating with far right nutjobs like Andy Ngo to ban political enemies at their behest. I’d rather law enforcement be involved than some random conspiracy theorist with no oversight and no authority to make decisions other than the fact that they belong to the same small circle of silicon valley tech elites as the owner.
Of course, I know the right wants to “defund the FBI” because all their “law and order” “back the blue” stuff is so obviously hypocritical nonsense.
Oh and btw, are you frightened by the GOP letting ISPs sell private data to government agencies (or whomever else may be the highest bidder)?
Keep in mind ISPs have access not just to posts on a single private platform but activity across the entire internet.
What about the cooperation of Meta with law enforcement officers in handing over supposedly PRIVATE messages between a mother and her underage daughter?
How about Trump insisting that Apple should create a backdoor to their encryption to allow access by law enforcement (or foreign adversaries, or hackers)?
Cicero, with a rant this unhinged, you should write for the Inquirer!
Pretty bold of the right to continue virtue signalling for “free speech” while cheering their darling Elon Musk on to ban journalists (among others he happens to disagree with). “Free speech for me but not for thee!” – The entire hypocritical right wing media.
Here’s just a tiny, partial list of notable bans that “free speech absolutist” and Right wing deity Elon Musk has banned so far:
Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin)
Jeph Jacques (@jephjacques)
Chris Kluwe (@chriswarcraft)
Rich Sommer (@richsommer)
Amy Rose Brown (@arb)
Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club (@EFJBGC)
Chad Loder (@chadloder)
Edith Frost (@edithfrost)
Jack Sweeney (@JxckSweeney)
Aaron Rupar (@atrupar)
Drew Harwell (@drewharwell)
Donie O’Sullivan (@donie)
Ryan Mac (@rmac18)
Matt Binder (@mattbinder)
Micah Lee (@micahflee)
Keith Olbermann (@keitholbermann)
Steven L. Herman (@W7VOA)
Linette Lopez (@lopezlinette)
Susan Li (@SusanLiTV)
Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz)
Paul Graham (@PaulG)
It’s almost as if this were never actually about free speech at all. Just like how stealing Garland’s SCOTUS seat wasn’t actually about the fact it was an election year, banning abortion access was never actually about states’ rights etc.
Why anyone would ever be gullible enough to actually trust the flimsy pretexts the right uses to cover for their radical, anti-american, and deeply unpopular positions?
I would be gullible enough. Unfortunately for Cicero, the right ideological positions are not radical, not anti-American and certainly deeply unpopular as a review of voting records will demonstrate. Of course, all those banned from Twitter, Facebook, etc. are of no consequence and fully justified. from the Left’s point of view. Having more than one concept in one’s philosophy apparently causes heads to explode on the Left.