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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/7/19

Meditations On Twitter's Silencing Of Daniel McAdams

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Daniel McAdams, the Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, was banned from Twitter last week. Officially, it was because he used the word "retarded" to describe the odious establishment propagandist Sean Hannity after noting the hilarious fact that the Fox News host had been wearing a CIA lapel pin while "challenging the deep state". Unofficially, it was because McAdams has been operating for years at the apex of one of the most effective antiwar movements in the United States.

An article from Liberty Conservative News about McAdams' encounter with the business end of the Twitter censorship hammer reports that the outspoken foreign policy critic received a notification that his account "has been suspended and will not be restored because it was found to be violating Twitter's Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter Rules against hateful conduct."

"It is against our rules to promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease," the notification reads. "Additionally, if we determine that the primary purpose of an account is to incite harm towards others on the basis of these categories, that account may be suspended without prior warning."

Now, unless Sean Hannity does in fact have some literal mental handicap we don't know about, it's not accurate to say that he was attacked or threatened on that or any other basis; rather, he was merely insulted with a common pejorative that is not widely considered to be politically correct. It is also certainly not accurate to say that the primary purpose of McAdams' now-defunct Twitter account was to incite harm toward others based on the aforementioned categories. Indeed, the article notes, the word "retarded" is used constantly on Twitter by users all around the world who never suffer any consequences for it; a quick Twitter search easily confirms that the word is used as an insult multiple times per minute. The reasons given for McAdams' suspension can therefore be regarded as bogus.

wow. Guess they didn't like his foreign policy views?https://t.co/1NdOxK1AjQ

- Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) September 4, 2019

In reality, McAdams was suspended because there are people on Twitter who, either due to profession or obsession, make it their business to report any effective opponent of western imperialism at every opportunity to Twitter admins, many of whom apparently have a clear pro-establishment bias of their own. It's happened to me on more than one occasion, and we may be sure that it happened to Daniel McAdams last week as well.

Which is annoying. It's annoying to know that at some point I'll probably slip up and say something imperfectly in an increasingly restrictive speech environment which gets me permanently banned from that platform. I like Twitter. I'm good at it. I've recently concluded that it's pretty much useless for dialogue, but it is a great way for one person to get unauthorized ideas seen millions of times per month by people who might not feel like reading an entire article. I'll be very put off when the banhammer finds my pretty face.

But you know what's even more annoying? What's even more annoying is that we live in a society where insulting a murderous war propagandist like Sean Hannity gets you silenced and marginalized, but being a murderous war propagandist like Sean Hannity does not. Being a murderous war propagandist like Sean Hannity gets you rewarded with fame and fortune at every turn.


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I'd like us to reverse this, please.

I'd like to live in a society where promoting mass military slaughter is the thing that gets someone de-platformed and shunned, not using a rude word to insult someone who promotes mass military slaughter.

A society where a US president killing mountains of people around the world attracts more media attention than his rude tweets.

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Caitlin Johnstone is a brave journalist, political junkie, relentless feminist, champion of the 99 percent. And a powerful counter-propaganda tactician. Rogue journalist, poet, illustrator, utopia prepper, and proudly 100 percent reader-funded through Patreon (more...)
 

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