Current American Spectator intern Avery Bower wrote a piece titled “Twitter to Q-Anon: Goodbye and Good Riddance,” praising Twitter expunging 150,000 QAnon accounts and throttling and otherwise “limiting the influence” of accounts praising the conspiracy (and probably just mentioning it). Please go read his well-written piece for context.
Conspiracy theories can result in dangerous actions. That’s absolutely true and demonstrable. For example, for the last three and a half years, the media, the DOJ, the FBI, and Democrats led by Congressman Adam Schiff, Chair of the Intelligence Committee or, more specifically, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, have lead a conspiracist crusade against candidate and then President Donald Trump accusing him of being alternatively a Russian asset, a procurer of peeing prostitutes, and an Ukraine influence-wielding tyrant.
Conspiracy theories are dangerous, indeed, and can have startlingly dark consequences. For those who foisted the Russian collusion hoax, none of the bad actors perpetrating it have been banned, shadow or otherwise, or throttled or booted from the Twitter platform.
None of these conspiracy theories was true. One could argue that perpetrating them undermined the Constitution, America’s standing in the world, and national security. Further, President Trump and his voters were robbed of the goodwill enjoyed by a newly elected president. The conspiracy theory deprived the president of enacting his mandate to the extent he and his voters would have liked. It caused good people to avoid serving in the administration. Ultimately, it wasted over 50 million taxpayer dollars on a known faulty premise.
In fact, current breaking news regarding the Mueller investigation imbroglio has been lost in the rioting and looting and COVID-19 pandemic, but it further demonstrates not that President Trump was in some conspiracy but that a vast conspiracy existed within the top echelons of law enforcement governance to stymie the president and, if all went well, push him out of office and maybe even force him to serve prison time.
So yes, conspiracy theories are dangerous, indeed, and can have startlingly dark consequences. For those who foisted the Russian collusion hoax, none of the bad actors perpetrating it have been banned, shadow or otherwise, or throttled or booted from the Twitter platform. In fact, many of these people have vast audiences, far more than the average QAnon crank, and exert far more influence.
Then there are the Chinese hoaxers. Remember them? Those who blamed the American military for creating the virus they loosed upon the world? They’re still operating on Twitter. In fact, the New York Times, in yesterday’s edition, had an op-ed written by a man who renounced his American citizenship and is currently defending China. Cranks abound and are given plum placement at the Paper of Record™ and on Twitter.
People involved in conspiracies to kill people are on Twitter. ISIS, the Iran regime leaders, and even guys like noted anti-Semites Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton are on Twitter. Al Sharpton incited race riots and murder. He still has a platform both on Twitter and at MSNBC. Farrakhan almost cannot speak without saying something derogatory about Jewish people.
So while feeling sympathy for Chrissy Teigen’s distress at being targeted by Q-conspiracists, her plight is relatively minor compared to the Republic-destabilization that a legitimate conspiracy caused. And those wild-eyed nuts are still around and often spewing their latest insanity on CNN.
For those who believe this response is callous, this writer knows, more than most, the scary consequences of getting cross-wise with wild-eyed obsessives online. I have been threatened with very detailed plans for my demise and being the object of Anonymous’ ire at one time. Any writer of prominence on the right has been the object of abuse and derangement if they’ve said anything worth saying.
Teigen’s pleas for relief give Twitter the cover to deactivate and throttle many voices who tweet about Q but are more dangerous to Twitter for reasons other than promoting conspiracies. The fact is nearly all the Q fanatics are also Donald Trump fanatics. They mobilize against Twitter’s political interests, which are entirely leftist.
Get rid of Q. Make Twitter safe for Leftist activists … and no one else.
This whole argument might be moot, however. Twitter’s advertisement revenues are declining. Twitter has always been a largely inactive social media platform. That is, most of its users are lurkers. About 90 percent of its users don’t even tweet. A small percentage of users are actively engaged. This has been true since Twitter launched.
Now, Twitter is suffering from declining advertising revenue, and it’s a significant enough problem that they’re considering charging a subscription fee to be a part of it. Will users pay for the service when it caters to a very narrow audience? Doubtful. MySpace was once the place. Twitter can pass away, too. Facebook is inhabited by grandmas sharing dog videos and mainly serves as a way to verify other apps. One can be sure that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t decide to be nice to conservatives because he shares their worldview. He does like their money and their data, though.
Twitter has always operated in financially questionable ways. Their engagement team is run by a team of smelly hippies carrying out Gaia’s work, making the world safe for people like Chrissy Teigen and no one else.
So should Twitter have conducted a purge on the QAnon folks? Only the ones involved in targeted harassment. And Twitter should institute a new rule: For every “dangerous” right-wing weirdo they boot, they should boot a left-wing one for fairness and balance. A good place to start: Adam Schiff.