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Twitter’s new ‘Safety Council’ makes a mockery of free speech

11 February 2016

11:54 AM

11 February 2016

11:54 AM

If you think it’s only crybaby students who set up safe spaces in which they might hide from gruff words and ugly sentiments, think again. More of the world beyond touchy campuses is being safe-spaced too. Consider Twitter, which this week announced the establishment of a ‘safety council’ — Orwellian much? — to ensure its users will be forcefielded against abusive, hateful or unpleasant blather.

Yesterday, on Safer Internet Day — which promotes ‘safe, responsible, positive and boring use of digital technology’ (okay, I added ‘boring’) — Twitter revealed that it has anointed 40 organisations to advise it on how to make sure tweeters can ‘express themselves freely and safely’. This Trust and Safety Council, to give it its full, somewhat ominous name, will discuss what kind of ‘tools and policies’ might be required to allow users to report ‘hateful’ commentary, and potentially have it extinguished.

Given the censorious instinct of some of the group’s Twitter has entrusted to devise its safety policy — the Internet Watch Foundation; the Safer Internet Centre; Feminist Frequency, which campaigns against rough, sexist speech online — we can be sure the final policy won’t be to allow people on Twitter to say whatever the hell they want and everyone else to engage with, ignore or block them as they see fit. No, we’re likely to see the development of tools that allow for the flagging and maybe even squishing of dodgy or just unpopular viewpoints.


Most agitators for ‘safety’ on Twitter claim simply to be battling violent death threats or harassment. It would be too generous to call this disingenuous. It’s downright false, as Twitter’s head of policy in Britain, Nick Pickles, made clear yesterday. In a piece for the Guardian, Pickles said the great challenge confronting the new Trust and Safety Council is the fact that the internet has made ‘challenging, even upsetting, viewpoints… more visible’, in a way that ‘is not always comfortable to look at’. And the question for Twitter is how to ensure ‘that the noise generated by those who seek to create division’ is ‘drowned out’, ideally by what Pickles decrees to be ‘voices of hope and respect’.

Got that? This is about ‘drowning out’ challenging or upsetting viewpoints. For all the Twitter safety crowd’s claims about merely wanting to wipe out violent or misogynistic speech, in truth their concern is with certain moral outlooks — the upsetting ones, the vulgar ones, the ones that those voices of respect (ie. respectable people) find unappetising. Having once described itself as ‘the free speech wing of the free speech party’, Twitter has now openly said it will encourage the drowning out of ‘viewpoints’ that its elite council of ‘safety advocates, academics and researchers’ decree to be problematic.

There’s a tsunami of Orwellian euphemisms in Twitter’s illiberal new initiative. By ‘safety’, it means the right of certain people — those who are driven by ‘hope and respect’ — not to encounter things they find upsetting. So safety means censorship. And the use of the words ‘trust’ and ‘safety’ in the title of its new council cannot disguise that this will basically be a 21st-century, virtual version of the Vatican’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Only where the compilers of that book of banned things aimed their ire at heretical or lascivious utterings, Twitter and its advisers will drown out ‘challenging or upsetting’ views.

Even those of us, like me, who don’t use Twitter should be concerned about the site’s shift from bigging up free speech to promising ‘safety’; from being a free-for-all to a safe space. For it speaks to the creeping corrosion of the dream of internet freedom. In 1996, the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, written by cyberlibertarian John Perry Barlow and lovingly cited by early internet warriors, cockily said to governments: ‘You have no sovereignty where we gather.’ The internet was seen as an unprecedented free space, where anyone could publish their thoughts at the click of a button, and where old national laws against blasphemy or hate speech or thoughtcrime might be circumvented.

Not anymore. In recent years, new groups have emerged to demand restraints and gags on ugly or problematic speech. They aren’t governments, whom that Declaration of Independence said were ‘not welcome among us’. Rather they’re advocacy groups, safety experts, feminist campaigners, and Twitter’s right-on users and bosses, a new motley crew who, under the banner of ‘safety’, want to hamper the expression of disturbing or upsetting views.

We’re witnessing the beginning of the end of the glorious experiment in human intellectual exchange that was the Wild West Web. The censorious side is winning. They have successfully elevated their own right to psychic comfort over everyone else’s right to express their views, their anger, and, yes, their hatred. They think their right never to see something that upsets them outweighs the historic, hard-fought-for freedom of people to say and write what lies in their hearts and minds. What arrogance is this? Twitter, destroy your Safety Council before it destroys you and the sometimes ugly but ultimately amazing world of internet freedom.

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Show comments
  • Twitterendum

    What does John Perry Barlow make of Twitter now?

  • gregory alan elliott

    Hello from Can’t-ada!

    I have had an interesting time since I joined Twitter in 2009, and up to November 21, 2012 when I was arrested and banned from the internet. My trial ended “successfully” for me on January 22, 2016.

    As an artist, I enjoyed experimenting with Twitter in every creative way that I could. As a political junkie, I used Twitter against the hordes of politicians who knew very early on, that Twitter was a powerful political tool that could be used to shape public opinion. Twitter is powerful firstly because of the number of people using it, and secondly because of the real-time information it gathers. But mostly…

    Twitter is highly addictive. Just TRY quitting it.

    Regards, GAE

    P.S. While I was banned from the internet I took up reading and writing quotes. Quotes are like offline tweets. Enjoy these…

    “The less people know what is really going on, the easier it is to wield power and authority.” – Charles, Prince of Wales, speech 2 Mar 1975

    “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” – Edmund Burke

    “No obsession in the world is equal to the obsession to alter someone else’s thoughts.” – Gregory Alan Elliott, 2012

    “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell, The Road To Wigan Pier

    “We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than that only freedom can make security secure.” – Karl Popper, The Open Society And Its Enemies

    “I don’t make jokes — I just watch the government and report the facts.” – Will Rogers

    “…we were creating a world where the smartest way to survive is to be bland…” Jon Ronson, so You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, 2015

    “My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.” – Adlai Stevenson, speech Oct. 1952

  • Rex Darmstaedter

    I was recently booted off of Twitter for speaking about Christianity. I guess talking about Jesus is deemed “hate speech”. What is this world coming to?

  • Ozzy Guy

    So where are the speech police when a deranged feminist writes in The Guardian that she wants to introduce concentration camps for all men…and other lunatics express their support online!

    Leftist hypocrisy and double standards.

  • gerronwithit

    Safe means you have to hold LGBT sanitised views. However, if the cybernazis of the left think they can coral the Internet as their own ‘safe space’ then just wait 5 minutes and another Twitter type tool will come along and supercede the right on Orwellian controllers.

  • Omnia Incendent

    Anybody who wants to “invent” a new social media platform to replace twitter should start work on it now. Have fun spending millions 🙂

  • Dominic Stockford

    Safety Council? That’ll be twitter over for me then – white, male, conservative Christian, and over 50. it was fun while it lasted….

  • jeffersonian

    ‘We’re witnessing the beginning of the end of the glorious experiment in human intellectual exchange that was the Wild West Web.’

    Why surprised Brendan? That supposed paragon of fairness, the United Nations (general assembly) have successfully passed at least three resolutions advocating the restriction of global free speech on the grounds of ‘respect for religion’ (and given that the sponsors were the Islamic countries, supported by Communist and tin-pot dictatorships, we can safely infer that ‘religion’ means ‘Islam’).

    Our only saving grace is that (so far) the general assembly of the UN has little or no teeth (though the propaganda value is immense).

  • Walfgang Unkmadeus

    The Thin-Skin Circle-Jerk

  • Fencesitter

    Bye bye Twitter.

  • newname

    I don’t use Twitter and I like free speech. In fact, when I first became aware of Internet comment forums (about 15 years ago) I was excited by the variety of well expressed views, many of which were new to me and influenced my thinking. However, recently I have noticed that many forums seem to just degenerate into name-calling and insults, which makes me abandon them pretty quickly. I don’t want to ban anything, but I do wish that people wouldn’t respond to these posts, perhaps the posters would then lose interest. Instead many users seem to delight in responding to what is obvious baiting.

  • Wedgie Benn
  • James Chilton

    For people of a “sensitive” disposition, it will never be “safe” on the internet until the censorship of Comment is Free (on the Guardian) is applied universally. Guardians of the World Wide Web are the next step in creating a womb for everyone.

  • Matt M

    Meh. No coercion, no foul. If this was a government act, I’d be way more concerned

    1. Twitter is private property. Their first responsibility is to return a profit. If this improves their product, they should do it. The Spectator also moderates its comments in order to make the online reader experience better.

    2. Twitter is already a leftie echo chamber. In fact, its not an excessive stretch to say it contributed to Labour’s election defeat, because they mistook Twitter for public opinion. We see shades of that again with Corbynism. Long may it continue.

    3. There’s no coercion here. Other social media platforms exist. If there is a demand for free speech sites, it will get served by someone. Maybe Spiked is looking for a new venture? The Twitter platform isn’t exactly complex. You could call it Spatter. Or Spitter. (contact me for naming rights).

  • Malcolm Stevas

    In the end Twitter is trivial, irritating, and IME almost useless in practical terms. But like most social media, I believe it’s of US origin? America is a curious blend of the boldly libertarian, the bureaucratically repressive – and the puritanical. This is evident not only in this latest Twitter thing (which ultimately is not important) but in Linked In, very big, influential, geared internationally toward professionals in many fields. It can be awesomely PC.

  • The Banana

    I’ve been saying for a while that the mainstream Left have turned into neo-Jacobins. They really have. We’ll have the Committee for Public Safety trying to perfect humanity soon.

  • Tamerlane

    If Twitter wants to be a ‘safe space’ for bien pensant liberals to stroke each other (off) and swap tips on renewable energy or fairtrade food then that’s fine by me, they can indulge themselves in the injustices of the Tories and reassure each other Corbyn’s definitely set for a landslide victory in 2020. Meantime the rest of us can get on with enjoying the real world free from Twitter, Stephen Fry, various indulged spoilt luvies and, most of all, Jeremy Corbyn.

  • Gebhard Von Blucher

    The owners of Twitter are entitled to adopt whatever fascistic rules they like. Those of unwelcome opinions will move gradually somewhere else on the Web where they are not proscribed – to a virtual equivalent of the Land of the Free. There we make our stand. Let Twitter rot.

  • Freddythreepwood

    P.S. There is no such thing as free speech. There has never been such a thing as free speech.

  • Freddythreepwood

    ‘we’re likely to see the development of tools that allow for the flagging and maybe even squishing of dodgy or just unpopular viewpoints’

    This on-line magazine has such tools. What’s so special about Twitter? Anyway, I couldn’t care less what happens to Twitter, or the twits who use it. Anything that renders it useless is all right by me.

  • Dominic John Chan Maca

    I keep wondering how the west ended up here in the first place. How “safe space” actually became a thing. How feelings gained more importance than facts.

    If I told myself from 3 years ago that this might happen I would have pukes and panicked.

  • John Smith

    If you are against this bullshit “Trust and Safety Council” and prefer not to be censored, then I suggest EVERYONE boycott Twitter. Starting now! All websites should stop including a twitter icon (such as this one) Just don’t use Twitter AT ALL!! Is it really hard to do? No! People can live without Twitter.

  • Daniel

    In fairness, Twitter is a private organisation. I don’t have much of a qualm with them cracking down on free speech if they hate it so much (though it does look a bit rich after all their pro-free speech rhetoric, but in a way they’re doing us all a service by showing once again how much that’s worth for a lot of people). Similarly, if they decided to ban all Russians, or all lesbians, or what have you, I wouldn’t be bothered either – they have the right to do so in a service they provide, whether the US government or free speech advocates or whoever else disagrees. For the record I think they’d be pretty dumb in all of those cases, but they’d still be within their proper rights. Just go somewhere else. Like 4chan.

    (If this happens to 4chan too I’d be legitimately miffed, though still not outraged.)

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Quite. Private organizations don’t have to give a platform to anyone – they’re not discriminating against any one group, but setting rules for the usage of their messaging infrastructure.

      • P_S_W

        It will just become a self-perpetuating echo chamber.

  • Leon Wolfeson

    So bullying and harassment is going to be harder. Hmm.

    • Daniel

      You’ll just have to be a bit more tricky I think. My gut tells me it’d be easier to get away with it from the left so long as you do it in a sort of deniable way. Harrass and bully people whose faces you don’t like but pretend that it’s because you have opinions, that sort of thing. If only I had the time and a Twitter account…

    • Colonel Mustard

      Don’t worry. It won’t apply to your bullying and harassment of commentators here.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Ah, so it won’t apply to your fantasies…

  • clandestinepower

    twitter is so lame anyway. hopefully they stay this route and end up defunct by mid year. or how about the sjws can just keep it, and all the sane people can find a better social media platform?

  • Jonathan_Silber

    What is more divisive, more anti-social than the effort to suppress uncongenial free speech?

    People who can dish it out but not take it are unfit for life in free society.

    • Daniel

      Trouble is that society is made of people. So if most people become unfit for life in free society, it’s the free society that goes away and not those people.

  • Jonathan_Silber

    Exactly why is it beyond the pale to dislike women and to say as much in public?

    • Daniel

      Because free speech is good and all, but you’ve got to have some limits!

    • Colonel Mustard

      Because it is misogynist to do so. Please note that feminist misandrists who dislike men and say so are under no such compunction.

  • ElDerecho

    Liberals love net neutrality… the policy where all bytes are treated equal by carriers. So I say we apply that to social networks as well. For services that have effectively become public utilities, like Twitter and Facebook, the service should not be able to remove any posted content with the exception of illegal content. Don’t give me this ‘they are a private company, yadda yadda…’ nonsense either. If the large telecoms, which are private companies, can be forced to treat traffic equally, social networks that use those same lines can be. Like I said, liberals should be all for this idea.

  • calbeck

    I’m with #GamerGate. We called this BS over a year ago, and you lot threw us under a bus. We’re still here, BTW, still NOT running women off the Internet and still about ethics in journalism. Hi.

    • Ivan Ewan

      Keep fighting the good fight!

  • The Masked Marvel

    Safe space, echo chamber, whatever.

  • Davedeparis

    Well Feminist Frequency for starters is an ideologically extreme group already notoriously hostile to free speech.

  • Old Fox

    By “safe” of course they mean safe for the hard left to prattle unopposed; they don’t mean safe for members of the Tory party, the middle class, the indigenous working class, share holders, shopkeepers, Christians, European nationalists, traditionalists, classical liberals or even sceptical neutrals. Such people, far from having their safety protected, are in fact the targets of our “safe space” bandits; indeed, the spaces in question are being made safe for organised aggression against anything or anyone “on the right” – a programme which would doubtless find increased legislative support from a kangaroo government involving the current, Hamas-friendly Labour leadership. As ever, the left is seeking to infiltrate, dominate and close down debate – not through decisive proofs or brilliant insights, but by means of mob hysteria and the dead hand of perverted law.

    • Daniel

      Well, yeah, it’d be weird if they imposed safety out of principle without it being used to harm some groups and benefit others. Even when people try to do so it generally odes not work out that way.

    • Sausage McGuffin

      It’s a dying platform anyway – too few new subscribers and a serious revenue problem.

      The effort described is merely an exercise in deckchair rearrangement in the hope this new ‘safety’ will bring back corporate spend scared away by its reputation for unbridled trolling.

    • Ozzy Guy

      Hey…leave kangaroos out of this. They are nice and sensible creatures…

  • Jeff Thompson

    That’s funny. A comment I left has disappeared. I do hope I haven’t been CENSORED by the EVIL LEFTY publication THE SPECTATOR. WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHTS??!?!?!?! FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!!!!!!

    • St Martyr

      What’s up Jeff? You guys have the Guardian to Salon to the BBC to Yahoo….why are you here?? You WON.

  • splotchy

    It is bad enough that free speech is being constrained – worse is that the constraints will be one-sided. The feminists and other social justice partisan groups earmarked by Twitter to be judge and jury have members with a record of objecting to the ‘hateful’ talk of others, while freely indulging in it themselves. People have lost their jobs and even jailed for twitter offensiveness, yet those who report them often tweet with aggression, distortion and untruths.

    Offensiveness, having contentious opinions, is all subjective. In dispute, why should eg the militant feminists decide who gets to speak and who is silenced? Twitter are free to make their own rules. But I hope people will recognise they are free to leave and that the many-headed hydra of free speech on the net prevails elsewhere.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Look out for “third party” complaints which appeared in Leveson and have recently re-appeared in connection with the ludicrously named Women and Equalities Committee when the ghastly Maria Miller, thinly disguised as a conservative, expressed the need for “mandatory national transphobic hate-crime training for police officers and the promotion of third-party reporting”. Third-party reporting or complaints is a means to facilitate the pursuit of criminal charges by agenda lobby organisations without the inconvenience of having to have a real victim making a complaint or having to prove actual harm. By this means such groups can be “offended” by or deem as “hate-crimes” on behalf of notional victims anything that they disapprove of, without having to prove actual harm. The concept of victimless crime was something New Labour was very keen on creating, undermining as it does the basic tenets of justice that have served this country for centuries, and allowing the determination of wrongdoing to become entirely subjective.

  • c777
  • AlexanderGalt

    I’m guessing that all the advisory groups are left-wing.

    • c777
    • Desperate Dan’s Porridge

      A fair assumption on the basis that all leftist are sanctimonious, priggish, imbecilic, unworldly, virtue signalling bores with an unquenchable lust to control other people’s lives.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Ah, so based entirely on your PC bigotry and projection…

        • Desperate Dan’s Porridge

          No that that is simply a rational definition of left wing people. Utterly worthless.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Mr. Utterly Worthless, as you call yourself, you confirm your PC collectivist bigotry and hate for a large proportion of the British.

            • Colonel Mustard

              And you love Tories and conservatives do you?

              • Leftism is a societal cancer

                He hates whites.

              • Leon Wolfeson

                No, I don’t like you.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Do you also guess that Xenu will return on a chariot?

      • AlexanderGalt

        Seems rather less likely.

    • Daniel

      There is left and then there is left. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of old un-PC hard left types that would struggle with thsoe rules too.

    • Leftism is a societal cancer

      You can see them here:

      Interestingly enough the anti-defamation league are on there.

  • SackTheJuggler

    After reading this, and hearing about Twitter’s latest problems on the radio this morning, I promptly cancelled my account. #kickthemwhentheyaredown

    • Blindsideflanker

      Never had an account, I refused to join the sound bite generation and be made to make an argument in 140 characters.

      • Hugh

        You could have said that on Twitter.

        • Blindsideflanker

          Yes , but you can’t say much else.

          • Hamburger

            I’m not sure about that. When Cardinal Razinger became pope one of our boulevard papers had the headline ‘We are pope!’. It said more than a six page article.

      • Desperate Dan’s Porridge

        Agreed. This ghastly forum has given every idiot with nothing to say their very own global village.

      • Jeff Thompson

        He said in 116 characters in comment section of a blog.

  • Leadweight

    I believe feminist frequency campaigns against the portrayal of women in compter games, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frenquency campaigns against rough, sexist speech online. Or more to the point she campaigns against peoples right to disagree with her online.

    • Jeff Thompson

      Someone needs to campaign for you to achieve a basic level of literacy.

      • WFC

        If you have no argument, attack your opponent.

        If you can’t even think of a good attack, flame their spelling/grammar.

        • Jeff Thompson

          Yes. You’re right. He has no argument so he attacks Anita Sarkeeesian. Very well spotted. A point for you. And, may I say, it’s very refreshing to see an anonymous commenter on the internet defending feminism in the manner which you have.

          • WFC

            Well, I suppose that a pretended misunderstanding of an argument is slightly more thoughtful (albeit less honest) than a spelling flame.

            But I’m sure you could do better still, if you set your mind to it.

      • Cole Pram

        She went to the UN and, literally, said people calling her a liar on line was harassment.

        “harassment” doesn’t simply consist of what is “legal and illegal,” but
        “also the day-to-day grind of ‘you’re a liar’ and ‘you suck,’ including
        all of these hate videos that attack us on a regular basis.”

        Pretty hard to argue this person isn’t trying to curtail speech they don’t like. Also ironic a critic has such a huge issue with criticism.

        • DragonBlood87

          It’s not ironic. Hypocritical, sure, but not ironic.

          • Cole Pram

            I think it can be both.

            “Ironic – happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this.”

            I certainly wouldn’t expect a critic to have such a huge problem with criticism, but I guess that hinges on accepting Anita is a “Critic” and not just a straight up troll / professional victim.

      • Eddie

        You know what? I think you are a fake account set up by Spectator admins to keep this thread lively. Am I right?

        • Colonel Mustard

          Wouldn’t be surprised.

  • rationality

    As we head into a full on fascist society that curbs further freedom of speech on a daily basis please can someone tell me why my ancestors fought for supposed freedom and liberty in the Second World War? Why did they bother as it was all just a lie and I cant tell one from the other.

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” Animal Farm, George Orwell.

    • Jeff Thompson

      Quick question – have you ever been arrested for saying something?

      • rationality

        Quick question – do you not see the analogy of Animal Farm and creeping fascism and the demise of free speech?

        In response no but I have has death threats and character assassinations for things I have posted.

        • Jeff Thompson

          I saw your analogy, but just because you have written an analogy down, that doesn’t make the analogy correct.

          So in summary, you have seen no evidence for your claims that we are heading into a full on fascist society, but you have decided to think that anyway.

          • rationality

            ‘So in summary, you have seen no evidence for your claims’

            I have clearly written death threats and character assassination. But it appears you are living under a rock somewhere and somehow unaware of the growing political correctness and totalitarian speech control as O Neill very describes as getting worse. Or are you looking to troll?

            • Jeff Thompson

              So death threats, one of the things Twitter will be trying to stop, are evidence that we’re heading towards full fascism.

              But also trying to stop death threats being issues on Twitter is a sign that we’re heading towards full fascism.

              Just throwing this out there but are you an idiot?

              • St Martyr

                Thanks for your contribution Jeff. Now run along back to your safe space,the rational are talking.

                • Leon Wolfeson

                  Ah, so you consider those not like you as “irrational”. As you want him to need shelter from your nasty…

          • Patrick Müller

            Maybe not in the USA, but I there have been several arrests in Germany because of a comment on Facebook or Twitter.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Yes, I see your right doing it. The Tories Snooper’s Charter, for instance.

          As for death threats…what did the police say?

      • calbeck

        That’s happened in Canada, with the Gregory Elliott trial.

        • St Martyr

          Jeff is a troll. He knows full well many people have lost their jobs or being arrested because they are called offensive against victim minorities. Say what you want re #BlackLivesMatter-who are crazy-but it’s never us racial minorities who are doing the twitter mob sackings but the White Left brigade.

        • NHLfarmteams

          They have no answer for this. Not surprised really. The entire case was feminists looking to extend their fascist dystopia into the judicial system. The fact it was a white man means it wasn’t worthy of mention in the liberal press once the innocent decision came down. Twitter having Feminist Frequency as part of their “safety” initiative is just furthering the agenda.

          It won’t change until enough people realize that feminism is a ruse. Far too many of the indoctrinated are too lazy to investigate the roots of this supposed movement for equality. In that way, it is very similar to other cults. Promising amelioration for the perceived oppressed, while actually being the new oppressor. It is appealing on the surface because it promises inclusion but in reality is built on Identity politics (women as a class) and is divisive by it’s very nature. There simply aren’t enough white knights in the world.
          We are seeing it play out in the Democratic debates. Bernie is a socialist as is Hillary. The split is over the gender class. As a woman Hillary needs to be propped up as a subjugated class. Steinem et al are telling women to vote based on genitalia and shaming women who don’t going so far a damning them. It should be a wake up call to any rational human being but sadly 50 years of feminist propaganda has had it’s effect.
          Gregory Alan Elliot was lucky that he wasn’t sitting in front of a feminist judge or PM selfie, Justin Trudeau.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So you want to mandate that private companies give your views a platform.

      • Lenny Jackson

        I want to mandate that the government doesn’t force companies to ban politically incorrect posts. Don’t act like it’s a private decision. Typical head-in-the-sand libertarian.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          You are? I see.

          And funny, yes, I think private companies should not be forced in terms of platform as you propose…because it will of course expand from there.

          • Lenny Jackson

            “You are? I see.”
            Are you trying to be funny or look smart? Because you failed at both.

            “I think private companies should not be forced in terms of platform as
            you propose…because it will of course expand from there.”
            So you agree with me, but you’re being smug about it.

            • Leon Wolfeson

              I don’t see where you said that.

              • Lenny Jackson

                Because you’re a Notsee.

                • Leon Wolfeson

                  Ah, so you assign me to mental categories rather than point it where you said it. Right.

      • rationality

        I was making a not unreasonable comparison between supposed Natsi fascism and the oligarchical collectivist fascism of today, to use the visionary Orwell’s apt phrase.

        Why would I care about Twitter when I get a reasonable platform on here and elsewhere and you know it, otherwise you wouldnt be baiting me in a very amateur manner, every second night.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Ah yes, what the Nazis “supposedly” did. And then compare them with your far right today, all few thousand of them in Britain…

          Orwell was talking about your right;
          “rejects and vilifies every principle for which the Socialist movement originally stood, and it does so in the name of Socialism”

          The baiting is in your mind, spammer.

          • rationality

            Peak Leon.

            • Leon Wolfeson

              Constant Spaminality.

          • Colonel Mustard

            No. You have set yourself up here as a kind of left wing sheriff here, ranging up and down the comments.

            • Leon Wolfeson

              Keep whining out those fantasies.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Well you ghastly lefties mandate private companies not to give people a platform when you disapprove of what they say. You even take it further and assault people whose politics you disapprove of by spitting at them and referring to them as ‘scum’.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Ah yes, more PC fantasies.

          So you complain about not being able to preach hate – and then you complain about free speech. Make your mind up!

    • Daniel

      It was a lie back then too, but that wasn’t why they fought anyway. They fought for their countries. The cause was made up to pretty things up during and after the war, but it was obviously not the main consideration – otherwise you wouldn’t have been allied with us, for one.

      • rationality

        I am aware of that lie and thats why I used the word ‘supposed’. We were both on the wrong side. I just hope more of us recognise how badly betrayed we were.

      • Birtles

        Indeed. Almost right up to the moment that Mussolini took Italy into the war, the UK government was hoping to cut a deal with Fascist Italy, whereby it received French territory in North Africa if it remained out of the war, or, even better came into it on the UK’s side (the Great War being the precedent there for Italy).

    • Daniel

      You’re really kidding yourself if you think modern US is more and not less fascist than it was under FDR, a man who actively borrowed from the original fascist model and consolidated control over the entire political system in a way that would be unthinkable today.

      Twitter is really less fascist and more the latest iteration of that famous Anglo-Saxon repressive moralism, this time in Progressive.

      • rationality

        In the UK we have never had anything quite like this apart from maybe wartime. Its a very unnatural society and getting worse. It offends me to the core.

    • Ambientereal

      Discus platform is a good example of restricted freedom of speech. Even words that have been user in the main article are forbidden in the comments. Some kind of critics are forbidden too even if a cult and respectful vocabulary is used. I mean critics to politicians, society, ways of life, gender items etc.

      • Gilbert White

        Disqus is the stalinist wet dream?

        • Cap’n Careless

          Well I would prefer “Hitlerian” but I grasp the gist of your nub? Disqus moderators have a terrifying amount of power that would be the envy of Heydrich’s SD. Not only can they see your IP address (really, no kidding) but from that they establish your ISP and even your physical location. It can surely only be a matter of time before they also have the power to despatch the Gestapo to your house at 3 a.m. and thereby silence dissent and the unconventional employment of erotemes?

          • Ambientereal

            You see?? By issuing that comment I´m already in trouble!!!

    • Ozzy Guy

      And some pigs are more equal than others…