There is a long-standing contentious relationship between social media giants like Twitter and popular conservatives that use their platforms. Donald Trump is no exception. Recently, Twitter decided to “fact-check” two of Trump’s tweets about vote-by-mail. An exclamation mark followed by the words “get the facts about mail-in ballots” written in all blue prominent letters were added to the bottom of each tweet.
Reactions to this decision by the left-leaning social media giant are mixed. Those on the left that have been clamoring for more censorship of conservatives, especially Trump, jumped for joy. Most conservatives, especially those that have already been censored, had a much different reaction. Trump responded to Twitter’s decision in a series of tweets.
Conservatives are no stranger to the wrath of Twitter’s left-wing bias. Alex Jones, Infowars, @alx, Milo Yiannopoulous, Laura Loomer, Anthony Cumia, Roger Stone, Baked Alaska, James Allsup, and more are permanently banned from the “platform.” Other conservative figures experienced temporary bans.
Twitter Is Vague With Policy Direction
Twitter is not a very transparent company. When asked for reasons why conservative figures are banned while liberal figures – who say and do worse things than conservatives on Twitter – do not get banned, not much response is given.
Political commentator and news blogger Tim Pool appeared on The Joe Rogan Podcast across the proverbial aisle from Twitter CEO Jack and a Twitter employee who just happened to be a lawyer to confront Twitter directly. All of Pool’s questions about conservatives and censorship were met with expert dodges by the crafty lawyer. Not much was accomplished on the much-heralded podcast appearance.
Twitter’s anti-conservative bias is as clear as water in the Bahamas.
Most social media companies operate out of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. This is one of the most, if not THE most, liberal places in the world. So it’s no surprise that there is an anti-conservative bias in the company. Jack has even admitted as much. The problem is that Twitter wants to operate as a “platform” and not a “publisher”. These are two very distinct classifications.
Platform vs Publisher
A “platform” is not subject to the same legal liabilities as a “platform”. Therefore, “platforms” have more legal leeways. If a person posts something illegal to their Twitter page, only that person is legally responsible. Platforms do not publish. But if a publisher curates, approves, then posts something onto their platform, then they are legally responsible.
Case in point – Gawker posted Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and was sued out of existence.
If Twitter, and other social media giants, want to keep their privileged “platform” status, then they cannot behave as “publishers” whenever they see fit. And if they want to be fact-checkers, they can’t just fact-check one person. They will have to fact-check everyone. Or they will have to pick and choose who to fact-check. Such as big-name celebrities or public figures. Which expressly defines them as a publisher and not a platform.