Now that Trump is out of office, many have been half expecting that mainstream media and Silicon Valley’s hyper-active ‘fact-check’ brigades might calm down, have a few wheat grass smoothies and bask in their momentous victory. Unfortunately, this new class of self-styled thought police are just getting warmed up. Jack’s got a plan.
Before we discuss Twitter’s latest dystopian add-on feature, let’s first establish a few important terms of reference as to the role which Big Tech has ascended to. The bottom line is that Twitter was caught directly meddling in the 2020 US Election and the mainstream press have worked hard to obfuscate this fact. When the Hunter Biden laptop scandal materialized prior to the November election, Twitter took the unilateral partisan decision to shutdown any information on the story, and even went so far as to shutdown the account of the New York Post who originally broke the story, and even suspended the White House Press Secretary’s account for retweeting it, as well as other high-profile staffers. Emboldened by Twitter’s bombast, Democrat leaders, mainstream media and even ‘the Big Guy’ Joe Biden himself – all clung to one singular narrative claiming the Hunter Biden story was somehow untrue, baseless misinformation planted by The Russians!™ to undermine candidate Biden. Not only were they all wrong, but we later learned that partisans at FBI had in fact been quietly sitting on Hunter Biden’s laptop since autumn 2019, effectively keeping it on ice so as not to hurt Biden’s Presidential run. After the election, Twitter, along with Facebook and YouTube, then took what appeared to be coordinated action to pursue any users who dared to challenge the 2020 election result, in some cases prohibiting terms like “voter fraud” and “election fraud” on their platforms. This wave of censorship and fact-checking came into effect even before many of the court challenges. Regardless, the new ad hoc corporate ‘truth committees’ appeared omnipotent in their anointed role as information gatekeepers of the new digital public square. If that wasn’t enough, after Twitter and Facebook’s political purge, Big Tech cartel members and Democrat activists then conspired in the take-down an emerging competitor, Parler, taking the social media completely offline, and pressuring its vendors to abandon their service commitments with the new social media firm.
While this approached may have worked for them in the short-term, and indeed helped to achieve the election results they wanted, it won’t erase that fact Big Tech is guilty of the very crime which Democrats and media mavens spend 5 years trying to convince the world of when they floated the evidence-free conspiracy theory that the Russians ‘meddled’ and colluded with the Trump campaign in order to install The Donald in the White House in 2016.
Now, creative technocrats at Twitter appear to have devised a tangential escape route (and Section 230 workaround) from their own obvious culpability in election meddling and political censorship. It’s called “Birdwatch,” a new feature designed to supposedly combat the supposed omnipresent threat of ‘misinformation’ on their platform – by allowing users to add so-called ‘fact-check’ notes to peoples’ tweets. It’s supposed to allow ‘regular users’ (how are going to determine who is a ‘regular user’ is another question) called ‘Birdwatchers’ who will be allowed add to fact-check notes and provide ‘informative context’ for tweets.
Wait a minute. Call me old fashioned, but don’t Tweets already have a forum for discussion, context and debate? Isn’t that what the comment section below each Tweet is for? I used to think so.