Given how little Twitter's done to boot white nationalists off its platform, it seems these partisans of pastiness don't bother CEO Jack Dorsey very much at all. But many Twitter users definitely have a problem with it, and have been demanding to know why their cries for bans and moderation have been left unanswered. But a Twitter whistleblower claims to know exactly why: The site would have to ban too many American politicians.
Twitter has used its algorithms to get rid of ISIS and less brand-focused Islamist propaganda, to great success, so a lot of people both outside and within the company have wondered why it hasn't unleashed such an algorithm on white supremacy. The reason, this source claims, is that Islamic terrorists and white supremacists have one major difference: Only one of them has their talking points retweeted by GOP members. Talking to Motherboard this week, the Twitter tattler claimed that they were told the reason the site couldn't just algorithm away white nationalist chatter is that too many prominent Republicans would get swept away with them.
You might ask what the problem with that is. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and tweets racist conspiracy theories like a duck, shouldn't it get banned like the white-hood-wearing duck that it is? But the reason isn't mere political favor-currying; it's Twitter's big obsession with the combo of free speech and popularity. According to the source, most of society (read: the West) has no problem with a little (or a lot of) innocent collateral damage when dealing with Islamic terrorists, but the site is simply too afraid that accidentally booting politicians would cause a lot of clapback from ... well ... we guess all those white supremacists they're not too keen on banning?
Of course, Twitter immediately denied that they're giving political asylum to fascists. But this explanation is in sync with the ways white nationalists are different from Islamists on social media. Not only do they rely heavily on irony to spread falsehoods while retaining enough plausible deniability to start crying 1st Amendment at the drop of a hat, but they're also (sadly) a lot more popular than Islamists (a bar so low you could plant an IED on top of it). And Twitter is loath to ban both the popular and the powerful from their website. So it seems that as long as one particular white supremacist retweeter is both the most popular and most powerful man on Twitter, we'll continue to be knee-deep in Nazis.
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