Jump Off Twitter And Into Parler For Tomorrow’s Free Speech Friday
Twitter continues to escalate its censorship and slanting of all things conservative. Earlier this week, Twitter affixed a warning to a tweet from President Trump announcing that “there will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., if I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!” Twitter Safety saw this tweet as a threat of harm against an identifiable group, even though the “identifiable group” consisted of vandals and Trump spoke of enforcing the law.
The same day, Twitter also permanently suspended “Carpe Donktum” supposedly because of repeated copyright violations. Carpe Donktum regularly posts pro-Trump memes that also take aim at corporate media.
His most recent dust up with Twitter followed Trump retweeting a meme Carpe Donktum created to parody CNN’s reporting. The memo portrayed the fake news network showing a truncated video of two young friends to create the impression that a racist white toddler was chasing a terrified black peer.
These incidents came on the heels of Google threatening to ban The Federalist from Google ad revenue based on offensive comments to articles left by third parties. The specter of a left-leaning big tech company deplatforming a conservative outlet in an election year prompted outrage from Republican politicians and raised the urgency for lawmakers to narrow the immunity granted social media platforms in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
There is a consensus in conservative circles that Google, Twitter, and Facebook hold a bias against the right and as a result silence (or quiet) conservative voices. The right, however, disagrees on the solution. Amending Section 230 is one option, but exerting market forces is another, and a more, conservative solution.
But will it work? Or is Twitter too big to flay? There’s only one way to find out: exert those market forces.
Some conservatives began this process long ago, moving to competitor Parler. The last few weeks of Twitter outrage have led many more to announce new Parler accounts. However, until Parler obtains a critical mass of people engaging on the platform, it cannot compete with Twitter.
Twitter executives know this, which is likely why they feel no pause in escalating their battle with Trump and other conservatives. Conservatives must also recognize, however, that a mass exodus, especially in an election year, will damage the cause more than it will harm Twitter’s bottom line because preaching to the choir won’t win the presidency, keep the Senate, or retake the House.
But just as the “Blue Flu” and “work slowdowns” convey concerns while inflicting pain, Twitter can be taught that its targeting of conservatives has consequences if conservatives walk away—not forever, but for one day.
So, let’s make Friday, June 26, 2020, a #FreeSpeechFriday. Go silent on Twitter and join the growing group of conservatives on Parler. And let @Jack and your followers know you are doing so.
Pin a tweet today announcing your plans and providing your Parler handle. Then, when Friday comes, log in to Parler and engage there. The impact may be minor, or, if enough folks ditch Twitter for the day, the higher-ups might just take note and tone down their double standard.
If they don’t, conservatives may just decide to split their time between Parler and Twitter—something entirely doable if we aren’t wasting our time contemplating that one word to change in a movie or book title. Fewer tweets and fewer engagements add up, and for Twitter the sum will translate into reduced revenue streams.
If Twitter ultimately proves impervious to market forces, we will then know that the regulations governing social media giants need to be changed. Until tomorrow, then, when I’ll see you on Parler at ProfMJCleveland.
Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame.
The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.