The big Twitter censorship news continues to be the social media platform’s decision two weeks ago to block a tweet from The New York Post and its account as well.
To make matters worse, Jack Dorsey testified before Congress on Wednesday and, under questioning by Senator Ted Cruz, claimed that Twitter has opened the Post’s account. But there’s a catch.
Dorsey calls Twitter one among a spectrum of “communication channels.” Then he calls it a “distributor” that has a policy against distributing hacked materials. A social media platform, designed to “serve the public conversation,” does not limit its ability to “channel” nor does it curate “distribution” of material, both of which Twitter clearly does.
A platform is something we can all stand on, together. It is inert. It is neutral.
A channel, in effect, is also inert, but it can be constricted by the walls forming it as a channel. Likewise, distribution is an action, but it is we who distribute, not Twitter that curates that distribution. (To be fair, Twitter has Terms of Service, which govern the above, and which we all agree to.)
So when the Post tweeted screenshots with incriminating material from Hunter Biden’s laptop, implicating presidential candidate Joe Biden in criminal activity, and even cited the source of that laptop, Dorsey says “the [Twitter] team made a fast decision” to take down the tweet, and all its retweets, and block the New York Post’s twitter account itself.
To its credit, Twitter has technically unblocked the Post’s account, but ONLY IF the paper logs in and deletes the original tweet. Then, Dorsey claims, the Post can tweet “the exact same material in the exact same article and it would go through.” Huh?!
The Post can tweet anything — even about my acid reflux this morning — Dorsey said Wednesday.
Only if they login to their account and delete the original tweet.
There are two questions at hand: (1) whether the Post tweeted what Twitter claims is “hacked material,” which is prohibited under a 2018 policy, and (2) if not hacked, whether the material itself is prohibted under some other policy.
As to the first, Cruz points to the apparent conflicting decision by Twitter to allow The New York Times to release Trump’s tax information against his will. Dorsey says the Times wrote about it rather than distributing it. But Cruz said that the Times was writing about hacked material. The implication is that the Times was distributing the hacked material and, indeed, that was the effect.
As to the second question, the Hunter Biden material tweeted by the Post is not prohibited material. Again, from Twitter’s own Rules and Policies page, outlining what is not in violation of the policy: “inaccurate statements about an elected or appointed official, candidate, or political party…” So even if the Biden material is inaccurate, it is not prohibited.
Twitter has 152 million daily users and generated $1.2 billion in net revenue for the year prior to June 1, 2020 (source: Investopedia). The “platform” — which is the description I’ll charitably use from here on out — makes its revenue from advertising and, secondarily, from data licensing.
If I’m Twitter and content is tweeted that threatens my main source of revenue, I will put a stop to that content.
So who are Twitter’s main advertisers?
Nestle gets more than two times the impressions the #2 advertiser gets. And how does Nestle money flow into politics?
While the company per se doesn’t contribute, “the organization’s PACs and employees (and others associated with employees)” make the donations.
Nestle entities’ donations to Biden are 300% more than what they are to Trump. These same entities donated to the “DNC Services Corp” nearly 400% of what they gave to Trump.
To put it all in a nutshell:
Twitter’s largest revenue source overwhelmingly supports Biden over Trump. Therefore, Twitter is suppressing anti-Biden material to protect its financial interests.OpenSecrets.org