Why @Twitter has failed us…

Twitter is a dangerous place for the faint of heart. Gang thuggery can devastate a delicate sensibility and even damage professional reputations beyond repair. Sarcastic allegations of misbehavior border on defamation and baseless charges of criminal behavior can be defamation per se. Whether such acts can be disputed, ignored or litigated depends on their severity and degree of malicious intent. The civil courts of late are demonstrating their impatience with irresponsible behavior of the most egregious kind. I personally have been victorious in this arena, while others less inclined, or for various reasons unable or unwilling to fight back, have fared less favorably. Anonymity,  the foundation Twitter’s business model and appeal, supports the more venal in our midst, as it has supported those cowards who would snipe from dark corners since the advent of the written word. Before the the written word, malicious whisperers claimed their victims in a different but equally poisonous fashion. 

Yet as difficult as it was in the early days of my    experience with the gang assaults, I now find Twitter’s latest jihad against those who don’t tow the political line more dangerous by far. I took my case to court, I won the SLAPP judgment (admittedly against lawyers who lose on such a regular basis, losing might as well be a mantra), and justice was served. How would one fight the good fight, however, against Twitter’s latest gambit? Deciding that thousands of their clients’ opinions are not to Twitter’s political taste, they banged their corporate noggins together and virtually silenced those voices by terminating the “offending” accounts permanently. 

No explanation. No appeal. No discussion. 
Big Brother has spoken. Eat it and goodbye. 

One teensy weensy problem implicit in this decision, however, may metastasize into a cancer that will eat Twitter alive. You see, Twitter and other huge corporate social media “portals” basically enjoy immunity from litigation for republishing defamatory comments made by their users. The argument is quite simple. In order to preserve the hallowed American right of free speech, having to “vet” every sentiment expressed by every user, from the POTUS down to the “pajama boy” hurling grenades from his mommy’s rumpus room, would place an undue burden on these “outlets of free expression.” Twitter, FaceBook, etc. in turn are then obligated by law to remain objective providers of free speech and not purveyors of news. News providers are explicitly NOT protected in this way. News organizations are expected to be objective and apolitical in their news reportage, yet ironically granted the luxury of editorial opinion, where expressly identified as such (editorial pages, commentary pieces). Now the Rachel Maddows of this arena, for example,  while good for a chuckle, clearly disappoint by these standards to an alarming degree. They are actually bitter entertainers masquerading as journalists, and are recognized as such by all but their most ardent and slavish acolytes. Germane to this discussion are actual purveyors of journalistic “fact,” as responsible as they can reasonably be. If they mess up or fail in their due diligence, they often end their careers in disgrace (Dan Rather comes to mind as a biased embarrassment even Hollywood couldn’t resuscitate).

So here is where Twitter’s recent digital “Kristallnacht” against thousands of its users becomes alarming to those of us who still believe in free speech and crippling to Twitter as a portal impervious to actionable litigation. If they are using algorithms to ferret out those with whom their corporate goons disagree politically, are they now still an objective portal, not involved in the news and issues and OPINIONS of the current political zeitgeist? Indeed are those algorithms, in this case against conservative political thinkers labeled as”alt right,” (the easier to round them up into political boxcars) not the same effective mechanisms as editorial pages in objective media outlets (guffaw) such as the New York Times?

I’m not a lawyer, but a lawyer I respect has agreed it is probably a matter of time before a class action is filed against Twitter for its decision to abdicate objectivity regarding its clients’ right to free speech. Clearly the corporate honchos at Twittter don’t care much for Voltaire’s famous dictum about defending to the death another’s right to say that with which one may disagree. So be it.

Arrogance runs rampant at these liberal corporate websites. They think they can do whatever they want and no one will ever stand up to them. After all they have all the power, don’t they? 

Sure they do. Just ask Gawker…

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Published by

James Woods

Filmmaker (actor primarily) and film lover. Socially conscious man, eternally curious...

10 thoughts on “Why @Twitter has failed us…”

  1. You hit the nail on the head! As certain elements demand ‘free speech’, yet sequester views they do not agree with, chaos will ensue. Yes, Twitter is a private entity and can regulate as they see fit. However, Twitter users also have the ability to block and/or mute speech they find offensive. It is the malicious malcontents that use the forum to harass that make it a cesspool. It is one thing to have an honest discussion where differences are brought up and points are made in a civilized manner, but when someone uses the forum to malign and cause harm, it needs to stop. When Twitter bans users because of their political views, they fail to realize that they are not stopping their adversaries, they are only giving them fuel for a future turn-about of circumstances.
    God bless you, Mr. Woods. Thank you for bringing your wisdom and wit into a world in dire need of both.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. James,

    I just wanted to thank you for the hard work and due diligence that you put into this thing. I sorely have missed you informative and amusing Tweets since you left Twitter but now that I have found this perhaps I can get back a little of that magiic. Let me qualify this a little I am 37 year old man that is a 911 dispatcher on middle shift for the city of Indianapolis. I see and hear everyday the failures of elected officials and I made a choice to become as informed as I could to make the best decisions possible for my future. Between your Tweets and you links to articles I felt like I was more “in the know” and in better position to make the best choice for my city, state, and country. God Bless you James. I hope you had a Merry Christmas have a happy new year.

    Sincerely,

    Jeffrey Burgess

    P.S.

    I freaking loved Diggstown. By far one of my favorite flicks. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Even though I hate Twitter censorship, I stay to try and reach people. Because every time a voice from the Right leaves, we’re giving the Left what they want, which is to silence us. You have been a powerful voice for the Right, a voice we could use during the next four years of Trump’s battle with our corrupt establishment. I wish you would come back to Twitter and continue to speak out. Continue to fight back. I enjoyed your article, please keep those coming as well.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I agree with you James. However, you are letting the few nutjobs get you down. Twitter is a left-wing platform, and they protect their own. Not everyone gets us, and a lot of your Hollywood cohorts either hide their true feelings or are isolated in ivory towers. In my opinion, Marxism is the cause that incites the youth, est. 1917. As a young man, I thought the ideals could ring true to platform humanity. As a middle-aged man, not so much, after seeing the world of course. Trump won because a lot of people feel the same way you do, and there are no jobs. Be happy and healthy! Don’t let the “popular kids” put you down. By the way, I respect you more now than I did when you acted. I grew up seeing you on television, but you seem to be really attached to the American spirit. Godspeed!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Well-said, James! Hopefully you’ll post frequently on this new blog of yours. Your nearly half a million Twitter followers will soon follow your blog. Patriots on Twitter can and will send tweets with links to your blog. You’ll then have a voice on Twitter without tweeting directly and their speech police can’t touch you. So glad you set up this new blog to share your thoughts! God bless! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a marvelous New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well-said, James! Hopefully you’ll post frequently on this new blog of yours. Your nearly half a million Twitter followers will soon follow your blog. Patriots on Twitter can and will send tweets with links to your blog. You’ll then have a voice on Twitter without tweeting directly and their speech police can’t touch you. So glad you set up this new blog to share your thoughts! God bless! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a marvelous New Year!

    P.S. – Am reposting my original comments because I found a typo in my email address after posting the first time and wanted to correct that email address.

    Liked by 4 people

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