WikiLeaks and Twitter have been on bad terms, due to their different opinions on censorship and freedom of speech. Now, with the recent ban on Milo Yiannopoulos, the conflict has got even hotter. Yiannopoulos is a successful Internet troll, who has been expressing conservative political thoughts and has been in the same boat before – meaning, he has lost his verification earlier this year for abusing the service and violating the terms of behavior policy.
The conflict between WikiLeaks and Twitter (via their CEO Jack Dorsey) has become serious right from the start. WikiLeaks was first to announce that Twitter acted in an unfair way, which depicts their point of view in cyberspace with the following tweet: “Cyber feudalism: @Twitter founder @Jack banned conservative gay libertarian @nero for speaking the ‘wrong’ way to actress @Lesdoggg”. Leslie Jones is, of course, the star of Ghostbusters. Following, Jack Dorsey replied that the reason is not what WikiLeaks have stated: “We don’t ban people for expressing their thoughts. Targeted abuse & inciting violence against individuals however, that’s not allowed.”
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 21, 2016
Instead of letting it go, WikiLeaks went on and compared Twitter with the recent mass arrests in Turkey and even with 1937 and Stalin’s Great Purge. As you can see, they consider Twitter punitive and authoritarian-like. So, a proper move for WikiLeaks would be to try and replace the bad service with a new, good one. Their following tweet reveals their goal: “We will start a rival service if this keeps up because @WikiLeaks & our supporters are threatened by a space of feudal justice.”
For instance, there is the similar behavior to that of Yiannopoulos that most likely continues without any answer or ban. It is also true that celebrities draw more attention than other Twitter users, and this causes a swifter reaction to their profiles. This does not mean, though, that Twitter allows different levels of freedom around.
They have been trying to handle everything, but it is not as if Twitter is here to change the world. It is more like a never-ending chatroom with talks and “light” comments, rather than a place where we will find the truths of the world. They indeed need better tools for handling all accounts, but that’s about it. The two parties agreed on that, with Dorsey stating that they are working on better tools for their users and WikiLeaks applauding that.
If WikiLeaks are serious about cyber feudalism and wish to react, a website would be more appropriate. There are also platforms where anyone can say what they want, without censorship. You can go to Reddit or 4chan or even start a new thing. It is OK to take matters seriously, but pushing it too far will not always reveal dictators…
Top/Featured Image: By Esther Vargas / Flickr