Twitter nonsense


A major positive element of the confrontation between US President Donald Trump and the social media platforms, specifically Twitter, is that it has forced officials of social media companies to speak, to respond, and to face the storm.

This is a good thing in the sense that it has exposed the nature of their thinking and political orientations because of the long-standing immunity for officials of these companies, who flaunted the dictum of “freedom of expression.”

Truly, this is nothing but nonsense and naivety, as was evident, for example, from some of the tweets of Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, who said in one of his tweets: “There is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this.” Here, he means Twitter’s confrontation with Trump.

Dorsey added that his company is not an arbiter of truth. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions,” he said.

Here, the question is: Did Twitter carry this out with all the content it provides, as it boasted, for example, 500 million tweets per day in 2019? Had it ever obliged the tweeters, for example, not to hold accountable for states or societies, under the pretext of their disagreement with a political position, and just as its CEO now demands not to hold his employees accountable?

Did his company say they had discussed the issue, in a way that it was not offending people or groups? It tells us now that this is there as part of Twitter’s terms and conditions, but I want to ask when was it implemented?

Is there any reasoning in Twitter’s questioning of President Trump’s tweet, and at the same time ignore, for example, the tweets of American politicians who were accusing Trump of committing crimes with regard to Russia’s interference in elections, for which no evidence was found in Mueller’s investigations?

Is it reasonable for Twitter to alert Trump by pointing out that there is no credibility in his tweet but at the same time, not making any such comments about similar comments on the part of the Iranian leader, his foreign minister, or Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu when they manipulate history and geography?

Is it reasonable to allow horizons for liars, who have millions of followers, to tweet, incite, and lie, under a pseudonym, then Twitter justifying this, saying that they are checking facts? Is it reasonable to have Houthis and their followers tweet similar lies?

Is there not any mechanism to verify facts before allowing them to tweet? Does Twitter not have reporters and an editorial team, just as media organizations, for checking, verifying, and taking responsibility?

Did Twitter decide to play the role of media organizations? If this is the case, then it is good, and hence the publications laws that applies to media organizations must also apply to social media companies.

This is the battle between Trump and the media, specifically Twitter, as was well summarized by Republican Senator Marco Rubio when he said that the social media platforms take on the role of the “publisher” when referring to tweets that describe that it “needs to review the facts,” and that “the law still protects social media companies, like Twitter, because it is considered as forums, not as a publishing house.”

Therefore, Rubio says: “If the social media companies decide to exercise an editorial role similar to that of a publisher, it should not be protected from accountability, and must be treated as publishers under the law.”