(National Sentinel)Â FirstÂ Amendment: An executive at Twitter, the free-speech social media platform, says that standing up for everyone’s right to speak freely and say what they want is “no longer possible.”
Speaking to British politicians, Sinead McSweeney, Twitterâ€™s European vice president for public policy and communications, said it is â€œno longer possible to stand up for all speech” just five years after a different company executive described Twitter as theÂ â€œfree speech wing of the free speech party.â€
â€œI look back over last five-and-a-half years, and the answers I would have given to some of these questions five years ago were very different,â€ McSweeney said,Â accordingÂ to Business Insider.
â€œTwitter was in a place where it believed the most effective antidote to bad speech was good speech. It was very much a John Stuart Mill-style philosophy. Weâ€™ve realized the world we live in has changed,” he added.
Tony Wang, then-general manager of Twitterâ€™s operations in the U.K., gave a completely different account when describing the company in 2012.
â€œGenerally, we remain neutral as to the content because our general council and CEO like to say that we are the free speech wing of the free speech party,â€ he told The Guardian.
But McSweeney’s comments seem more in line with actual Twitter policy these days.
On MondayÂ TwitterÂ announcedÂ it would crack down even harder onÂ â€œhateful conduct and abusive behaviorâ€ through a restructuring of policy to cover a wider range of content.
â€œSpecific threats of violenceÂ or wishing for serious physical harm, death, or disease to an individual or group of people,â€ for example, is and has been a violation of Twitter policies, but â€œnew changes include more types of related content,â€ like â€œcontent thatÂ glorifies violence or the perpetrators of a violent act.â€
Also, accounts that Twitter censors have decided are associated withÂ organizations that use or promote violence will be included in the crackdown.
The company made stipulationsÂ for military and government entities, as well as â€œgroups that are currently engaging in (or have engaged in) peaceful resolution,” which some believe was giving a pass to President Donald J. Trump.
Experts note that as private companies, social media giants are free to design their own policies.
â€œTwitter and Facebook are at the center of the controversies around fake news and hate speech, where their biases and even some hypocrisy are on display,â€ Richard Bennett,Â one of the original creators of the Wi-Fi system and founder of High Tech Forum, said.
â€œBut itâ€™s much better to allow these companies to create their own policies than to saddle them with government mandates.Â But that doesnâ€™t mean we canâ€™t laugh at them for demanding freedom for themselves while denying it to others.â€
Advertising disclaimer: Click here
What areÂ your thoughts?