(That photo of now former Twitter Senior Vice President of Global Content Kay Matadi may not make sense now, but read on. It will. )
President Donald Trump’s not scoring the right points on his call for the removal of Section 230, and that’s because he lost the 2020 Presidential Election to Joe Biden. But Trump is completely correct in stating that Section 230 should be removed – and I say replaced with legal language that closes a loophole violated a lot by, among others, Twitter.
First, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 says “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”. From that place, one would think an organization like Twitter would not only allow users to state their ideas in a civil way, but more important, maintain an equal application of its own rules.
But Twitter selectively applies its rules. It lets Trump get away with a level of verbal harassment I never once tried on Twitter. Yet, my @Zennie62 account was suspended last January and for, as Twitter Support put it: “multiple or severe violations of our platform manipulation rules”. Yet, Twitter, contrary to its own statements about how it treats its users, never once – not once – provided a shred of evidence that I did anything that was platform manipulation.
What they did was act after I made a video that was critical of President Trump’s declaration of war on Iran, just as his daughter Ivanka was going to speak at CES Las Vegas. This is what I said:
But with that, I went to the speech:
And gave her a glowing review:
It was shortly after that vlog was tweeted and retweeted that my account was suspended – about two hours. But Twitter Support did not provide that as the reason – they gave no reason, and stalled for two weeks before answering my question as to why the action was done!
Twitter basically made up a story to fit the action.
For example, Twitter, in using that reasoning of platform manipulation, implied that I had fake accounts. Wait. If you go to Google and type “twitter multiple accounts” – they show you how to set up more than one account, then advocate that you do it. So, their application of their own rules reminds me of the worst racist behavior, where a white legal system has a law on the books that it does not apply for white people, but does all the time to black people. See? That’s what Twitter does.
Trump thinks that Section 230 enables political discrimination against conservatives on various platforms, but he’d have scored much better points if he were sensitive to racial discrimination in tech.
Section 230 should be altered to say “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. And each provider or user of an interactive computer service should be treated by another information content provider without bias, politically, racially, or by sexual orientation, in the application of terms of service rules.”
The revision of Section 230 in that way would force Twitter to remove its selectively-applied suspensions, else face a giant set of class action lawsuits. It would put all organizations on notice that they can’t play favorites with users who are supposed to be on the same “playing field” of rules. Twitter has a giant mess of contradictory rules that a simple legal change like what I am advocating for in Section 230 would cause to happen. And in my case, even though I was one of the people at the Twitter launch party at Mighty in San Francisco, from the start, the organization’s treatment of me has been less than my white counterparts.
I asked for, repeatedly, a verified account. Look, everyone knows who I am as Zennie62, so I should have had one long ago. Never once in the over 12 years of asking, have my requests ever been responded to, except once by a very nice black executive at CES 2019, Kay Matadi (the man in the photo with me), who told me they had temporarily stopped the program. Then, that same black executive who was in charge of global content mysteriously left the firm, later that year.
It was after his departure that Twitter established the weird, catch all, let’s violate some users with it, rule called “platform manipulation”. Then, they rolled that crap-ola out on me, even as Trump Trolls were really getting away with platform murder. But, I guess that was OK, since Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was invited to visit Trump at The White House April 23, 2019, right?
Look, President Biden and Vice President Harris can put a stop to this crap. Section 230 needs to be reformed, and ASAP. I welcome comments from others who have been treated, violated, by Twitter and other organizations. Email me at [email protected] I will print suitable entries as separate posts.
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