North Texas Daily

Bigots run amok on Twitter

Bigots run amok on Twitter

Bigots run amok on Twitter
November 15
19:38 2017

Twitter has got it all: Vine threads, memes, news and even those cute little sound effects when you drag down to refresh the timeline. It’s even got “Moments,” collections of related tweets with a little description, which I’m sure at least a dozen users are familiar with and even read. But one cool feature the site doesn’t have is an effective, fair and sensible reporting and suspension policy.

It’s 2017. We’re all on social media and so is every company, political group, news organization and so on. The pandemic nature of Twitter allows for everyone to have a platform to say whatever they want. “Everyone” includes people like Mark Collett, a political activist and author that speaks frequently about fighting against “white genocide.” On Monday he tweeted a picture of a city on fire with the words “Europa Erwache,” German for “Europe, awake.”

This hails back to a famous Nazi song called “Deutschland Erwache.”

Another type of Twitter account allowed to express views freely is Agenda of Evil, an account dedicated to distributing biased “news” related to the Islamic faith. The account’s pinned tweet is a link to a video about how Islam is being “enforced globally by stealth via the U.N.”

Paul Joseph Watson, editor of “Infowars” does quite a bit of tweeting as well. If you’re familiar with the radio show, you know what topics Watson likes to talk about. He recently tweeted responding to the notion of sexual harassment training as “demonizing an entire gender.”

There are a million more accounts where those came from.

Accounts like these, so clearly invested in stirring up volatile reactions, oftentimes have large followings. This means their hate is more likely to manifest into real-world violence. Twitter provides these ideas a platform to be shared and expanded, despite having policies in place meant to combat inciting violence and peddling hate speech.

Rarely does Twitter take actual steps to discipline bigot accounts, in fact, more often than not, users violating much less severe terms of service get punished. One Twitter user’s account was suspended after she tweeted a harmless, admittedly critical, observation about Taylor Swift. Swift’s fans got wind of the tweet and reported it by the thousands until the woman’s account was suspended.

Which one do you think is worse? A joke about a celebrity or the sponsorship of distrust and outlawing of an entire religious group? Which one do you think might yield real consequences?

Whether Twitter really is just dropping the ball here or there are ulterior motives, their failure to take action against accounts like these speaks volumes. The U.S. president is using the site to threaten war against North Korea. If that isn’t inciting violence, nothing is.

Actress Rose McGowan said it best when she asked Twitter, “When will nuclear war violate your terms of service?”

Feature Image by Max Raign

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Rachel Herzer

Rachel Herzer

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