Twitter took the wrong side

Tech company censors marginalized users, propagates spread of fascism

Michaela Edlin, Managing Editor

Twitter has compromised its reputation as a free speech platform, due to its alleged censoring of LGBTQ+ content and the refusal to monitor the spread of Nazi ideology.

Twitter users should be aware that the site is inconsistent in how it handles controversial tweets, and seems to have censored anti-Nazi sentiments.

The company recently placed a temporary ban on the accounts of multiple LGBTQ+ and Jewish users for tweets that “violate the Twitter rules.” However, accounts of some notable Neo-Nazi leaders remained verified (a sought-after distinction) until Nov. 15, when new rules for revoking verification included the promotion of hate speech.

Examples of such tweets that Twitter claimed to be “abusive” include the content of Twitter users @coffeespoonie and @RadicalMariposa.

@Coffeespoonie, a self-described “disabled Jewess,” tweeted, “Nazis are people. Nazis are human beings. They were young once. They have parents. Many are parents, or will be. They have dreams. They have feelings. They have human bodies. They sleep. They get sick. They age.  And they still deserve to be shot. That’s very [expletive] important.” The aforementioned tweet resulted in a 12-hour ban due to “targeted harassment,” one that would have been lifted once the offending tweet was removed.

The fact that a Jewish woman was censored for speaking out against the depravity of Nazis and showing that humanizing Nazis should not be used to pander for sympathy is irresponsible and unforgivable. This is only one instance of the hypocritical actions of Twitter who have championed free speech, yet have allowed the spread of Nazi ideology and censored those who speak out against it.

The company had only removed the verified checks from neo-Nazi accounts after outrage due to the verification well-known neo-Nazis such as Jason Kessler, who organized the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August.

Even though Twitter came out with a statement early November that stated that a person’s verification status  does not mean an endorsement of the individual, but as to “authenticate or identify the voice.” The company has yet to condemn fascism and the neo-Nazis who were once verified. Twitter has also not taken any steps to prevent or claim responsibility for the proliferation of Nazi propaganda that has clear footholds on Twitter.

Not only does Twitter have a flippant policy on Nazis, the company has taken similar steps to censor transgender users who have spoken out against violence they face from cisgender people.

This is ironic and inflammatory due to Twitter’s public endorsement of LGBTQ+ users. When the verified account @twitteropen tweeted in support of same sex marriage legalization in Australia; Twitter has proven that their support is only superficial.

Twitter user @RadicalMariposa was banned for seven days and forced to remove their tweet that was published Nov. 26 saying that cis women who feel threatened by transgender women can “choke, fall down several flights of stairs, and then die.” The violent language calling out cis women was harsh, but did not necessitate a ban, as it was used facetiously. By banning @nonbinarygxd, Twitter ignores the root of the problem: Cis women cause violence against trans people because they feel if it infringes on their womanhood. Trans people have every right to reprimand this oppressive and incorrect viewpoint.

Marginalized groups, such as transgender and Jewish people, who have been historically targeted by fascism, have been shut down and dismissed by Twitter.

Nazi ideology is centered around the justification of a white-ethnostate free of all people of color, Jewish people, disabled people and queer people achieved through mass genocide; the fact that this doesn’t seem to violate the Twitter abusive policies is absurd. Not only this, but they chose to censor LGBTQ+ and Jewish users for defending themselves. It is clear that Twitter is complicit against violence perpetrated against oppressed users.

Twitter’s allowance of Neo-Nazis’ spreading propaganda is not championing free speech, and neither is the unjustifiable censorship of LGBTQ+ content and creators.