New Twitter free speech policy explained
What to expect from the Muskrats
©2018 Daniel Oberhaus, used under a Creative Commons license
Under our recent change in management, Twitter is now a free speech zone. Gone is the leftist cancel culture that kept Twitter stuck at a paltry 400 million users and, more importantly, made people, including many of our new owner’s closest friends, feel unfree and censored. Our new standards allow practically any content that is not actually illegal (and some that is!).
However, as we explained to our advertisers, “free” does not mean a “free for all.” We are committed to a space where users can have what they want without being forced to have what they don’t want, and without us having to play censor or speech policeman.
Since capitalism is the ultimate freedom, this will involve paid options for people who prefer a more curated social media experience.
Twitter Blue, the service that was originally about premium content, will now be about premium access — that is, users will pay to have content that they might find obnoxious filtered out of what we call their “windshield.”
Users can use a dashboard to create parameters determining what kind of accounts they will and won’t see on Twitter. These are based on a number of factors, one of which is politics — in fact, for conservatives, the service will be known as Twitter Red. Other factors will include “maturity” of content, religious beliefs, race, etc.
Also, at the premium level of service, users can not only control who they see, but also who can see and interact with them. It’s our feeling that the conflict and contentiousness people attribute to “hate speech” can be avoided — without doing harm to the maximum free speech environment that we all agree is vital — by letting premium users simply avoid contact with accounts that would upset them — not on a case-by-case basis, as they do now by blocking and muting (a stressful and tiresome process, especially to the very popular high-volume accounts we expect will use this service) but preemptively.
We are already beta-testing this feature with a number of prominent politicians and journalists. They tell us they love being able to talk collegially with one another, without having to experience what one New York Times journalist described to us as “every little nobody saying rude things to me and a bunch of other nobodies going ‘lol’ and ‘drag her.’” We are encouraged by this positive response and believe nearly all users with the high spending power that advertisers crave will choose this service.
Critics may object that this leaves users who can’t afford the Twitter Blue and Red service — which will be most of them, as the fees for this service will be quite high — unprotected from contentious and even offensive speech, particularly since we will, as mentioned, allow pretty much anyone to say anything to, or about, these non-premium users in what we’re calling the Twitter Netherworld.
We would say to these critics that to object to these tiers of service is to object to America itself, which was based and built on a similar premise; that those with less money will just naturally take the hardest knocks and, in so doing, develop the mental toughness and competitive spirit that makes for a stronger and more virtuous society.
Besides, many non-paying users will find opportunities in the Netherworld to build friendships, follower bases, and coalitions and, through opportunity programs we’re now developing such as Twitter Brigade Training, may eventually earn enough to rise into the Twitter aristocracy.
We have heard the concerns of advertisers about the effect of some of more “extreme” accounts on Netherworld users — that it may drive them out of the user base, decreasing our value proposition — and come up with a solution. Since we’re all about free speech, extreme users will be allowed on the platform, but they will be required to use filters designed by us that will make their beliefs and statements less frightening and off-putting to the non-premium users who cannot avoid them.
For example, we have worked with our new owner’s good friend Kanye West on a filter that makes accounts some might consider “anti-Semitic” less hurtful. An algorithm causes the account holder, whatever they type into the box, to refer to him- or herself a Jew — as Ye does — which will effectively change what at first may seem like so-called hate speech into a sort of charming self-abnegation. Similarly, accounts that come off as racist against African-Americans will be given Black avatars, a method we’ve already been testing with such major accounts as @RealCandaceO.
Think of it — a totally free-speech Twitter platform! Already we’re seeing our numbers grow as users from Gab, TruthSocial, Hitlernet, DeathToJews (to be known on Twitter as DeathToJewsLikeMe), and other platforms flock to us.
There will be a few bumps along the way, but we say to our advertisers, investors, and potential premium users: Listen, if it all goes south, we’re not the ones who’ll get hurt. Forward!