Twitter has axed another 235,000 accounts for promoting terrorism.
Over the last six months, the social media giant has added hundreds of thousands of banned accounts to its 360,000 ban total since about this time last year. This cleanup move has earned praise from the Anti-Defamation League, an organization protesting antisemitism and bigotry against the Jewish people.
Alt-right troll Milo claims credit for the Twitter terror purge
Meanwhile, alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, himself one of the fallen, claimed credit for Twitter’s recent cleanup, citing his prior highlighting of terrorist organizations’ use of the social media platform.
Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter earlier this year for allegedly inciting bullying and racial hatred against an African-American actress, so it may be a stretch to allege that Twitter executives hold his opinions in high regard.
A gradual end to limitless expression across free-of-charge platforms
Twitter’s recent cleanup actions are part of a greater trend in social media companies to establish clearer boundaries as to what kind of content is fitting to their platforms, ending a “Wild West” era of free content with virtually limitless expression possibilities. Now that social media is so widespread that it’s almost a given, platforms feel less need to adopt a “we need everyone” strategy, and have shifted to one of constructing a more positive environment.
Equally fascinating is the reaction to new content standards by the public at large, and what that means for the understanding of free speech property rights. When the guaranteed right of free expression is broadcast through a private company with thousands of employees which chooses to make its services available to the public free of charge, it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming any right to expression whatsoever through that platform. In reality, you are entitled solely to the free expression you yourself can express with your own capacities and resources. Everything else is by the good graces of others.