United States

Oct 4, 2016

Strong, silenced type: in censoring bigots, Twitter has only amplified their hate

If the genuine hope is to end racism, sexism, homophobia and all their unfortunate cousins, then Twitter et al have got it arse-backwards.

Helen Razer — Writer and Broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and Broadcaster

As previously reported in Crikey, the world will be shortly shot to hell. In an effort to document this unfolding farce, we bring you the latest from the bloodiest, most deprived corner of the planet, which is, of course, the social internet.


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6 thoughts on “Strong, silenced type: in censoring bigots, Twitter has only amplified their hate

  1. mikeb

    If Ford, Bolt, and Overington stopped whining about how hard done by they are then they truly would be silent.

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    They tried to silence me, but then they realised I had no voice, and was already silenced, so I didn’t have a bully pulpit from which to pronounce that I’m being silenced. The silence of my silence is silent.

    I think!

  3. Zarathrusta

    We need to stop thinking about who can speak and look instead at who can be heard above the amplified speech of many.

    1. Duncan Gilbey

      Indeed. Everyone transmitting, no-0ne receiving.

  4. safzoro

    I believe you can forget the dream that internal contradictions might lead to the end of the liberal humanist movement. There’s nothing about a belief system that dictates that it needs to be consistent, unfortunately and you need only witness the success of religion to see that.

    What’s happening here is two or more ideological groups defining themselves in opposition. The alt-right g*mergaters have defined themselves as anti-feminist, and the feminists almost in response have become puritan. Banning Milo is fairly irrelevant to that as both have independent existences and can find ways around it, as you note.

    However, the alt-right are brutal when it comes to naming, shaming, doxxing and online harassment. That’s not theoretical, that can cause young victims to kill themselves. Most online forums before Twitter were much heavier handed about policing online civility and only recently has Twitter been dragged kicking and screaming to moderating behaviour. Milo specifically was banned for repeatedly harassing black actress Leslie Jones, hacking her personal site and making public alleged nude photographs of her. He personally has been banned for that specific reason and rightly so.

    Within all groups, people conform – including those groups allegedly defined by ideas. The need to conform quickly overtakes rational thought, and more so when there is a moral basis to the group, so transgressions of the norms–ie questioning them–is seen as morally offensive. The more polarised and threatened the groups feel, the stronger the pressure to conform. That’s what’s happening here, and while racism and sexism has become a badge of honour for the alt-right it’s not going to end. “How dare you silence me” is just a war cry.

    Ironically, the social media age has given more people more voice than ever before. Whether they can find an audience is another matter.

  5. AR

    So what are we talkin’ here – lumpen salt of the swamp types or whiny, needy inadequates who just need to emote rather act and get out of their own way?
    Surely the common element is that there is so little real experience to be had in quotidian life as lived by most people.
    More than half of the planet’s population is urban (in the white West it has been for decades) and their food, water & self of personal worth, if any, derives from artificial & contrived sources provided by those with a stake in keeping them so.
    Think of Barnett’s overcrowded rats – no danger & plenty of food but they still went nuts.

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