The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. – Benjamin Franklin
Progressivism, liberalism, or whatever you want to call it has become an ideology of power. So long as liberals hold it, principles don’t matter. – Jonah Goldberg in ‘Liberal Fascism’
This week’s winning essay is The Noisy Room’s #FreeStacy – Another Conservative Dissident Is Banned And Put In The Twitter Gulag. It’s her examination of recent revelations about how Twitter is censoring and even deleting accounts in an attempt to silence political views they disagree with, especially on the Right. Here’s a slice:
This weekend, I was shocked and saddened to learn that Stacy McCain of The Other McCain has been permanently banned by Twitter. Yes, my friends… another conservative dissident has been banished to the Twitter gulag. #FreeStacy is now trending, but Twitter won’t even display results for it. Their new Trust & Safety Council is the Twitter Ministry of Truth at work. Censorship y’all. By the way, Twitter elevated anti-GamerGate leader Anita Sarkeesian to its “Trust and Safety Council,” which put a big ole target on Stacy’s account I’m sure.
He had no warning, nothing. McCain just assumed it had to do with one of the leading “social justice warriors” who have been at war with #GamerGate since August of 2014 and thus with him. But Twitter won’t even tell him why he was shuttered over there. He switched to his backup Twitter account, @SexTroubleBook, and then it was banned as well yesterday. Someone really has it in for him. Not cool.
Here’s Stacy on the #GamerGate saga:
As I have said for years: Being notorious is not the same as being famous, but it’s better than being anonymous.
That is to say, I don’t often complain about being hated or misunderstood. It comes with the territory. I started out in the news business as a $4.50-an-hour staff writer for a tiny weekly newspaper in Austell, Georgia. Most people have no idea what I did before I got involved in political journalism as an assistant national editor for The Washington Times in 1997, or even have any idea of the work I did there. The vast majority of people who read my blog or follow my Twitter feed have no knowledge of or interest in my personal “backstory.” It’s not about me. I am not the story. I am the guy telling the story, or I am the guy making jokes about the story. I understand that. But I think some people in the New Media era lose sight of this reality.
Politics is like football. It’s a team sport. Until I was in my mid-30s, I was a very partisan Democrat. Bill Clinton (who I voted for in 1992) cured me of my Democrat loyalty. During the 1990s, I began a rather deep autodidactic study of politics, history, economics, philosophy, etc. My politics are conservative, my economics are Austrian, my faith is Christian. It’s that simple — and certain people HATE me for it. But those people hate everybody who is not a Democrat. Fine. I understand that kind of hate, having once been a Democrat myself, but Democrats think of their personal hatred as “social justice.” And so I understand them better than they understand me.
However, it’s not about me. . . .
One of Stacy’s biggest haters is Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs infamy. That makes me adore McCain that much more. Just sayin’. And for the record, my politics are exactly the same as Stacy’s so, along with a whole bunch of other conservatives, my life cycle on social media is probably limited. With the practice of Shadowbanning having been confirmed at Twitter, the conservative blogosphere is bracing for censorship:
According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favoured Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines.
Our source was backed up by a senior editor at a major digital publisher, who told Breitbart that Twitter told him it deliberately whitelists and blacklists users. He added that he was afraid of the site’s power, noting that his tweets could disappear from users’ timelines if he got on the wrong side of the company.
Shadowbanning, sometimes known as “Stealth Banning” or “Hell Banning,” is commonly used by online community managers to block content posted by spammers. Instead of banning a user directly (which would alert the spammer to their status, prompting them to create a new account), their content is merely hidden from public view.
For site owners, the ideal shadowban is when a user never realizes he’s been shadowbanned.
However, Twitter isn’t merely targeting spammers. For weeks, users have been reporting that tweets from populist conservatives, members of the alternative right, cultural libertarians, and other anti-PC dissidents have disappeared from their timelines.
This troubling news [about shadow banning] comes shortly after Twitter leadership announced an Orwellian “Trust and Safety Council,” which is stacked with leftist anti-speech activists. Instead of groups like the Electronic Freedom Foundation or the Cato Institute, the council invited Feminist Frequency and the Dangerous Speech Project. The latter organizations lead the growing movement to silence politically incorrect thought on campuses and online.
Stacy McCain ticks off militant feminists. Good for him. Someone’s gotta do it. For being politically incorrect, he is being banished from social media. So much for free speech, huh? This just massively cries out for some entrepreneurial programmer to set up a social media outlet for conservatives where they can free range without fear of persecution. That is until the Internet Nazis come calling.
I’m not ashamed to say I love reading McCain’s posts and I personally adore the guy. I have for a long time. I guess I should tell him that some time. He’s gifted and no one should be silenced anywhere like this. Shame, shame, shame on Twitter! I am trying really hard not to let loose with some really colorful language here.
McCain is a real reporter, unlike many in the mainstream media. He does it for the sheer love of it and to get at the truth. For that, he is vilified and hated. Personally, I consider that a badge of honor. I will never be half the journalist Stacy McCain is. I’m okay with that, but what I am not okay with is silencing him. Trying to take him out socially so-to-speak.
More at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with The First Year of President Bernie Sanders, submitted by The Noisy Room.
I put the chances of Bernie Sanders becoming president on a par with me pitching a no hitter in the World Series… as a member of the Chicago Cubs (Sorry, Dave).
But Knish gives us a pretty good look at what actually happens when socialism takes over and as always with the Sultan, it’s well written and worth your attention.
Here are this week’s full results. Only the Independent Sentinel was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by the 2/3 vote mandatory penalty:
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes! – The Noisy Room – #FreeStacy – Another Conservative Dissident Is Banned And Put In The Twitter Gulag
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Stately McDaniel Manor – The Freddie Gray Case, Update 33.3: The Circus Is In Town!
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – VA Right! – When Did Ted Cruz Become an Anti-Republican Anti-Establishment ‘Outsider’? March 23, 2015!
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – 44 In Cuba
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Fausta’s Blog – Francis and Trump: Two old guys get into an argument, and a 1,000 yr old wall disappears
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Bookworm Room – Bond, Jamesina Bond — national security in the Social Justice Warriors’ brave new world
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Joshuapundit – Who’s The Real Christian?
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Right Planet – Bringing Down the System — Fighting Racism and Oppression with Racism and Oppression
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Glittering Eye – Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Wall
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Razor – Peak Bernie?
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Puma By Design – GOP Establishment Jump on Rubio Bandwagon to Stop Trump.
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Nice Deb – NorKs, Nukes, Iran, and ICBMs
- *First place with 3 2/3 votes! – Sultan Knish – The First Year of President Bernie Sanders submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Caroline Glick – The Lie of Pro-Palestinian Activism submitted by Puma By Design
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – The Bahnsen Viewpoint – Now I Am Being Serious, Deadly Serious: Stopping The Trump Disgrace submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – NY Post – Troops betrayed as Army dumps hundreds of heroic war dogs submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – City Journal – Stat Crimes Matter submitted by Stately McDaniel Manor
- Fourth place with 1 vote – Dennis Prager – Male Sexual Nature and the Left’s Culture of Denial submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Rod Dreher/American Conservative – Trump: Fishtown’s Champion Against Belmont submitted by Fausta’s Blog
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – PBS Newshour – How Will Iran Choose Its Next Supreme Leader? submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Gary Kasparov – Kissinger, Putin, and Reputation Laundering submitted by The Right Planet
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Real Clear Politics – Video: Ed Rollins – Trump Energizing Voters Who Haven’t Voted; Would Take Clinton & Sanders Apart In General submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Melissa Kite/The Spectator – I wouldn’t want to be a girl in the age of Tinder submitted by The Watcher
See you next week!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.