First, Congratulations to My Colleagues
After a record-setting traffic month in April here at PJ Media, my colleagues had their most prolific day ever on Tuesday, cranking out more posts than we probably did in a week back when I started. I think I linked to them all. I hope I linked to them all. OH GOD, I PROBABLY DIDN’T LINK TO THEM ALL.
Congratulations to them all for continuing to bring you perspectives on the news that you certainly won’t find in any mainstream media outlets.
And as always, thanks to all of you who keep reading!
No doubt I will be accused of overreacting by some, but I’ve been watching this play out for years.
At times it seems as if Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey are engaged in some sort of personal, perverse billionaire fun and trying to see which one can make his platform more heavy-handed when it comes to the freedom of expression of its users.
Dorsey gets my vote every time, and not just because I use Twitter far more than Facebook. Twitter is forever trying new ways to police speech in the name of “safety,” which is laughable. Dorsey and Co. use the safety angle to position themselves as the arbiters of what words mean and whether they should be classified as “hate speech.” That, in these increasingly wuss-filled times, gets to be the slipperiest of slopes in a hurry, leading to all sorts of unfairness.
More on that in a moment.
Let’s get to today’s twist, which I saw on our sister site Twitchy:
Twitter is continually rolling out new features that absolutely no one asked for, and on Tuesday, Twitter Support announced a limited roll-out on its iOS app of a new experiment: Twitter will apparently scan your tweet for language that could be harmful and put up a prompt to see if you really mean to send it in the heat of the moment.
When things get heated, you may say things you don't mean. To let you rethink a reply, we’re running a limited experiment on iOS with a prompt that gives you the option to revise your reply before it’s published if it uses language that could be harmful.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 5, 2020
The creep factor here cannot be overstated. This is a social media platform monitoring some text, then judging your thoughts and feelings, THEN suggesting you might just want to go in another direction mister or missy.
Yes, this is only an iOS test at the moment but, trust me, if it’s a lousy, oppressive idea Twitter will stick with it and roll it out to everyone.
It’s easy to see how quickly Twitter could abuse this. Should you go ahead with a thought they suggested you not, they might just decide to suspend you for that.
The angry speech will be classified as hate speech and off we go.
The real problem is that Twitter never applies the hate speech rules equally to liberals and conservatives. Conservatives are routinely suspended for relatively benign things while liberals threaten all sorts of violence on conservatives and are left alone.
This may not seem important to a lot of people but those of us in conservative media still need social media for a variety of things. Facebook and Twitter are still large drivers of traffic and that’s a fact of life that’s not going to change any time soon.
It’s important to keep on top of what they’re up to and constantly shed light on the more uncomfortable stuff.
The louder we are, the harder we are to get rid of.
A Note From America
I was out for a bike ride early yesterday near the University of Arizona. Two bicycle cops rolled up next to me at a long red light. None of us were wearing masks and we were only a couple of feet apart. Nice conversation. No weirdness. Quite the contrast with other cities where cops are busting people for social distance violations. Always glad I moved back to Arizona.
Sadly, I also discovered that the place where I buy my bikes and get them worked on was a victim of the shutdown. Closed for good.
Something Not About the Plague
This is a fun account on Twitter for sports fans.
The gallery behind Seve Ballesteros looks like the ensemble cast of the greatest comedy movie of the 70s. pic.twitter.com/Bi6TIRnmRM
— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) May 6, 2020
From the Mothership and Beyond
Chinese Government Lays Off Entire Propaganda Team As American Media Doing Their Job For Themhttps://t.co/JpEOAhf2sj
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) May 4, 2020
The Kruiser Kabana
Street art pic.twitter.com/fCqm20Rbky
— Street Art Magic (@streetartmagic) May 5, 2020
I was in a music mood.
You can eat tacos on Seis de Mayo too because there are no rules anymore. It’s fine.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear every Tuesday and Friday.