It should become a Christmas tradition for Elon Musk to suspend the Twitter accounts of little journalist nerds and justify it by choosing at random any one of the excuses they like to use when championing censorship of critics and political opponents. Doxxing! Misinformation! Hateful content!
The rules on censoring Twitter speech were completely random, inconsistent, and fake before. I don’t see why it should be any different now. Besides, it was fun seeing the self-obsessed pro-censorship dummies behave this week as if they had become political prisoners after Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, muted their accounts for tweeting links to material live-tracking his private jet.
Suddenly, reporters at CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and all the rest were scrambling to redefine what it meant to “doxx” someone. Until Thursday, when all of this happened, everyone understood doxxing to mean the publication of a private person’s contact information, like his home address, phone number, or account log-ins. I’d certainly assume that posting a live, minute-by-minute trace of a private person’s location falls under that umbrella.
But Axios’s Sara Fischer went on CNN Friday to amend that definition with a little extra. She said it was only doxxing if there was also “the intent of targeting someone.” Uh, no. That was never the necessary criterion.
Back in 2020 when Twitter first censored the New York Post’s exclusive Hunter Biden laptop story, it did so with the excuse that the reporting included Biden’s email address, which was obviously inadvertent on the Post’s part. The address showed up in an image that was included in the reporting to back up its authenticity. The media were perfectly fine with that ruse. “Intent of targeting” is something Fischer made up just now.
When they weren’t reinventing the definition of “doxxing,” these same “journalists” were bemoaning the supposed lack of “transparency” with which the suspensions were initiated. It’s laughable. Musk has been exceedingly transparent as to why he suspended the dweebs. It’s because he’s screwing with them.
He has of course also used the doxxing excuse, but who actually believes that Musk fears for his safety by having his jet plane’s whereabouts disclosed? Unless he plans on flying it over Ukraine, he should be just fine.
No, he’s screwing with them because journalists have long believed Twitter was their domain. They believed it was the place where the rules were what they made them and to hell with anyone who didn’t like it. And it was! But now it’s not. Now it belongs to Musk. And this is his way of saying to hell with them.
They’re such drama queens. Their accounts were suspended for 24 hours because they thought it was cute to poke and prod Twitter’s new owner, whom they openly despise on the platform he owns. When others were being outright banned for sharing scientific research related to Covid and for linking to information from longtime, trusted publications — or for even identifying men as men! — these same people said nothing. They permitted it. They encouraged it.
Censorship of anything that isn’t expressly illegal or potentially threatening has always been inconsistent, arbitrary, and purely at the discretion of the people doing the censoring. It worked out for a long time in the favor of New York and Washington-based journalists. Now that’s over, and the only thing that would make it clearer is if Musk just said, “I did it because I felt like it.”
That reason would be just as good as any one that came before.