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Twitter's problem isn't quite the same as Reddit's. It's because the site is incredibly inconsistent with its moderation.

If you run a community, you need consistency. Members need to know where the boundaries are in regards to how you can act and what is/isn't acceptable.

Twitter doesn't really do this well. If you agree with the staff political stances, you can basically get away with anything. If you're popular enough (or a large company), you can often get away with things that would get a less popular user banned.

For example, contrast what happens when a left wing user breaks the rules and attacks people and what happens when a right wing one does it. It seems like the former will get punished a lot less harshly for the same offence.

Twitter needs to stop this, and enforce the rules for everyone in every situation.

If you ask us to compare between two examples, you are required to provide two actual examples instead of having us just imagine a scenario that fits your claim.

Perhaps I can assist: Shaun King calls Jason Whitlock a "coon". He keeps his verified check and account. If that isn't personal, racial abuse and harassment, I'm not sure what is.

EDIT: Not being tremendously familiar with this spat, it took me a while to figure out what Milo got banned for. Best I can figure out, it was for calling a Ghostbusters actress "barely literate". Since that's a bit of a weak-tea insult, I imagine the real offense was not stopping (how?) his army of followers from tweeting other vile things at the woman. Is that our standard? Should we hold peaceful BLM leaders responsible for tweets from their followers promoting cop-killing?

What happened with Milo is less about him attacking Leslie Jones, and more about his _followers_ attacking Leslie Jones. Milo knows full well that if he identifies someone for his heckling, he'll have thousands of trolls and their sockpuppets do the heavy lifting for him.

I personally don't think people should be accountable for their followers behavior, but let's suppose it is so.

Then, should we ban people such as Shanley, Randi Harper and their likes when they "unleash" their followers on some guy?

And this is actually different. While Milo did not explicitly call for the attacks, Shanley and Randi routinely do call for a target to be abused, for their companies to be harassed until the target is terminated, etc.

I don't support any side, I'm just trying to show that the first comment regarding consistency is indeed accurate, Twitter has none.

>I don't support any side, I'm just trying to show that the first comment regarding consistency is indeed accurate, Twitter has none.

No argument here. Twitter's inconsistent, if not outright apathetic about abuse no matter where it comes from. It's been pointed out there's no shortage of harassment and abuse from people on the left on Twitter. Maybe not at the rate and volume of the "alt-right" types, but it doesn't matter. Twitter needs to clean house.

The thing is they're not really apathetic. They seem to pick a target once in a while and go overboard with the retaliation. And it seems to be just out of the blue for no specific reason other than the mood of the day.

>Then, should we ban people such as Shanley, Randi Harper and their likes when they "unleash" their followers on some guy?

Absolutely. If the goal for Twitter is to be a place free from this sort of abuse, then anyone using a position of prominence to call for harassment and abuse should not be allowed to do so.

I don't actually know who these people are/that they've done what you're saying, but if it's true, then I don't think it's a hard question at all.

And Leslie has told her followers to attack people before too

(looking for the tweet)

Hopefully Twitter told her that isn't acceptable. I'm pretty Milo has been asked to cool it before.

Milo was temporary banned, at least three times, and had his verification revoked. You can't say he wasn't warned.

That's absolutely tame compared to the level of abusive content from right leaning accounts on the site. A mean spirited name calling like the example cherry picked has nothing on the hordes of alt-right leaning death threats and personalized abuse laid against progressive figures on the site.

Should we hold peaceful BLM leaders responsible for tweets from their followers promoting cop-killing?

Actually, I do think we should hold "peaceful" BLM leaders morally (not legally) responsible for tweets from their followers. How can a movement of justice accept the silence or ineffectiveness of BLM leaders with regards to inculcating a non-vile culture and calling out hate speech? Isn't tolerating that sort of thing from a movement's followers for the sake of internal politics and membership basically the same thing as tolerating a number of bad cops for the sake of "thin blue line" solidarity and internal police politics? It's not viable without becoming hypocritical. The only difference is in direct connection and legal consequence, not in the overall morality.

I think we can tolerate vileness as a culture and society, but we should not welcome it -- especially if it starts to abrogate what participants would consent to. We can't tolerate hate speech that incites to violence, period. We should not laud internet vileness as some kind of magical problem-solving "pure" expression, which is what we seem to be doing now. There is an important difference between a freedom and a virtue. Movements of social justice need to be teaching virtue. Otherwise, history shows us that such things will tend to devolve into demagoguery and mob behavior.

I think Milo was banned because he was retweeting fake epithet laced hate speech tweets that were made to look like they came from Leslie Jones:


Except Milo has been suspended before. Multiple times. Confusion towards his suspension has only considered this single incident in a vacuum.

Yeah, a criminal law analogy of Milo's circumstance would be being sent to prison for a probation violation.

Milo Yiannopoulos vs Ben Dreyfuss.


(And this is from a socialist)

They are probably talking about Milo Yiannopoulos being permanently banned from twitter.

Every "permaban" like this is an opportunity to get a famous person on a distributed Twitter competitor like GNU Social (especially if the ban actually lasts). If you work on one you may want to contact him. People whose presence is objectionable to Twitter are the natural early adopters for distributed social networks.

Except GNU has a Code of Conduct talking about considerate and respectful.

Whatever you think of COCs, they might be hard to take seriously if it's "be considerate or respectful, unless you have both a large following and were kicked off Twitter for what largely amounts to abusive and hate-speech like behavior, then we'll actively court you to come to our network!"

A bit old now, but this is a perfect example:


Left is a tweet by Leslie Jones, right is one by Kassie Dillon. The former is 'left wing', the latter is 'right wing'.

Only the latter got suspended.

Twitter's other problem is that they cannot be consistent in their moderation, because when they ban someone threatening violence against celebrities in the name of, say, feminism the campaign to reinstate them comes from people in the tech industry and press that they can't ignore.

Then they have to become like most large companies and be willing to take criticism from the press. I mean, it's not like Twitter's immune to it already. They're getting hammered from every angle over their platform and its attitudes towards harasment and trolls and moderation.

Which brings me to a point about commmunity management I'd like to make:

Don't even get into this field if you want people to always like you. Or if you're obsessed with your 'reputation'.

Running a community site means making difficult decisions. It means losing friends over the community's rules and principles. It means you will get a very bad reputation from at least some part of society as a bully or dictator.

This is what a community manager is perceived as by a banned member:


Unfortunately, it seems Twitter (and a lot of such companies nowadays) seem more interested in keeping their friends in the media than they do running a decent community.

> If you run a community, you need consistency.

I agree with this. Reddit as a community is a little like Los Angeles is a city. It's really a community of communities. Some are incredibly well run, others are not.

That is its strength for broad appeal - there's the concept of bazaars and warrens that Reddit hits squarely on the head. I'm not sure how you can have one thing without the other.

> Twitter's problem isn't quite the same as Reddit's. It's because the site is incredibly inconsistent with its moderation.

If Twitter gets consistent with moderation, any profits that they could ever have will go puff! It takes real people to do consistent moderation.

They would also lose a large number of users. It wouldn't look good when the stockholders get a presentation saying that the user base shrunk, because the moderators kicked out a significant part of the users. Consistent moderation means kicking out anyone exhibiting that behaviour you just punish one person for.

And that's why a lot of social networks originally ended up in this mess. That's why there is so much controversy and so many personal attacks and flame wars.

Because at the end of the day, numbers mattered to them more than a decent community. It's kind of like why the media is so polarised and broken now. Because getting your readers to flame you and each other to a crisp gets page views and ad clicks. It's easy to sell junk that preconfirms your followers personal biases.

It is extremely disingenuous of you to avoid disclosing in your comment that you are heavily involved in "gaming journalism" and its direction, as that is directly related to the points you attempt to raise and would offer readers a clear understanding of which angle you're approaching from.

Not to mention the false equivalences that others have already pointed out. Par for the course I suppose. "Ethics!"


Yes, I'm involved in gaming journalism and have some interest in the drama going on surrounding controversies like GamerGate, Brexit, various political elections, etc. Does this affect anything? Maybe, but I wouldn't say that makes it disingenuous.

I've seen people smear others with accusations of crimes to try and get them fired. I've seen people sic their followers on those they don't like. There have been various obvious threats left up that should have been removed in a decently moderated community.

And these issues come from all sides. They're not acceptable on either side, but from my experience, a conservative will seemingly get the rules enforced on them more harshly.

I wouldn't say those comparisons are false equivalences. I'm not comparing someone calling someone else a scumbag with a terrorist threat. Someone who claims they want to physically attack people should be banned much more quickly than someone who merely calls a few names.

But that's not happening at Twitter.

> Huh?

Nothing was more predictable than the feigned incredulousness, as if you haven't been harping on these exact talking points for months on this site while rationalizing GamerGate [1] and trying to convince us we've been deceived and it's not what we think.

Some gems from that query:

> So you believe what the media tells you about GamerGate? Because there's pretty clear evidence that regardless of your side in this debate, there was a decent chance you'd be trolled, bullied or doxed because of it.

> [GamerGate is] basically a revolt against what some see as a broken media, political correctness being forced on a community that didn't want it and favouritism among the gaming press.

There's no changing you, obviously, but for the sake of the "ethics" you're always talking about, your past efforts should certainly be disclosed when you hijack a top-level comment to make the unsupported claims you're making.

1. https://hn.algolia.com/?query=cm30%20gamergate&sort=byDate&p...

He's not wrong. And the claims of Twitter's political bias ARE supported above (and pretty easy to find too if you're willing to).

>Twitter's problem isn't quite the same as Reddit's. It's because the site is incredibly inconsistent with its moderation.

That is the same. Both are absolutely terrible at consistency. They both have very clear and obvious "protected" groups who can violate the rules with impunity.

True. Some like Shit Reddit Says can get away with open brigading against other subreddits they don't like. There are cases where a post has a few hundred votes, gets linked there and ends up with a score in the minus hundreds range.

And a few other subs seem like doxxing people they disagree with, usually with the depressing common assumption that there's 'no bad actions, only targets'.

The whole notion of "brigading" and "doxxing" that reddit has is just plan stupid. The whole site is build on linking stuff to other places on the internet, but suddenly, when you link to the site itself there's a problem? "Doxxing" is an issue, but reddit is overly sensitive where it's impossible to link publicly accessible data that the people in question put up for everyone to see. I've been banned for linking a facebook profile that had the same username as the account on reddit - stuff that takes one second to google.

Well, as far as brigading goes, the violation is actually doing it, not linking to the wrong sub. However, the rules aren't enforced evenly. Some subs have been threatened with shutdowns for allowing any links, even np links. Some subs openly allow links and disallow np links, with no retaliation.

Doxxing is a similar issue. However, were you banned by a mod or shadowbanned by an admin? Because mods can mod their sub as they want. Consistency goes out the window, which is good and bad. If you were shadowbanned though, that's a whole different story.

The very concept of "brigading" doesn't make sense, as it more than ofter actually punishes someone for actually using the site's features. I've been banned for following a link to reddit posted on 4chan and voting - apparently there was a raid and the admins acted like I was a part of it. Totally unprofessional and doesn't stop actual, organized raids done via IRC.

As for doxxing - both, actually. I had to create at least 5 different reddit accounts in the span of less than two years, always getting banned for petty stuff like stating someone's real name when it was actually used on twitter. Reddit is a waste of time and it's not because of cat memes, it's because of the attitudes of admins who doesn't give a shit about quality or their userbase.

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