When Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos, a blogger for the conservative news website Breitbart.com who used the Twitter handle Nero, Yiannopoulos reacted with characteristic modesty. He told the New York Times the ban launched “the beginning of the end for Twitter.”
Oddly, Yiannopouolos may be right. In February, the social media platform announced its “Trust and Safety Committee.” With Orwellian overtones, CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted, “Twitter stands for freedom of expression, speaking truth to power, and empowering dialogue. That starts with safety.” The San Francisco startup invites all comers to post their thoughts by name or anonymously. The more outrageous the tweets, the more attention they attract. Unbowed, Twitter HQ gets all sanctimonious when trolls get nasty. Like, who knew that would happen?
Conservatives knew that the Twitter panel, comprised of left-leaning organizations, would target the right. Their suspicions were confirmed when Twitter promptly shuttered the account of Robert Stacy McCain, an anti-feminist blogger. Twitter would not disclose which Tweets led to McCain’s ostracism. Likewise Twitter won’t stipulate which Tweets were the reason Yiannopouolos had to go on Tuesday.