I don’t miss Twitter much. I quit the social media platform last year, disgusted with its blatant partisan censorship, its censoring of Donald Trump, and the odd way it flagrantly maintained a double standard in which misleading or questionable progressive tweets were opinions, but misleading or questionable conservative tweets were lies, mandating the tweet-monger’s banishment.
I also had been warning lawyers in my ethics seminars to eschew Twitter at all costs, since, I said with my tongue only slightly piercing my cheek, using it lowered the average lawyer’s IQ by between 15 to 25 points. (I estimated this on the evidence of poor former Harvard Law icon Larry Tribe, whose conspiracy theory tweets and ethics rules beaches on the platform raise the rebuttable presumption that he has entered the Biden Zone…not that this obvious decline has stopped the Washington Post and New York Times from publishing his increasingly over-heated and badly-reasoned op-eds.)
I decided that I should take my own advice and leave Twitter. Besides, my involvement with Twitter in the end consisted solely of issuing links to Ethics Alarms posts, which elicited virtually no traffic or retweets at all. (Except for you, Opal!)
The double standard, meanwhile, has continued. Democratic officials and media types have kept their tweeting privileges, though they have trafficked in outright mendacity. Heck, calling the Jan. 6 riot an “insurrection” is a lie; tweeting that Trump’s complaints about a “stolen” election are “baseless” is a lie; tweeting that GOP bills increasing election security are “voter suppression” and “racist” is a lie. Yet these are repeated, and allowed, on Twitter every day.
Well, to Hell with Twitter. I can still track down important tweets that relate to a post.
YouTube, meanwhile, is a different beast. The only way not to support YouTube is not to use YouTube, and I have to use it constantly. That platform, however, is as determined to punish non-conforming opinions and speech as Twitter is. It is allied with those who want to enforce ideological conformity and to quash dissent.
Now YouTube has suspended Dan Bongino’s channel for a week because he said that masks were “useless” in a video. Bongino, who took over Rush Limbaugh’s slot on talk radio and who is a frequent contributor on Fox News, is a bit too Red Meat Right for me, but suspending him because he calls masks useless is an indefensible act of partisan censorship. Sure, “useless” is hyperbole: “virtually useless” or “usually useless” would have been more accurate. Some context would have been helpful, like “most masks” are useless, or “masks are useless outdoors.” But since the CDC waited until last week to finally admit that cloth masks —like the one Joe Biden always wears—don’t work very well (as in “are practically useless”), Bongino’s overly simplistic statement seems hardly ban-worthy. This is especially true since the sainted Dr. Fauci, among his myriad flop-flops and deliberate obfuscations over the past two years, once told the public that masks weren’t necessary
Except, of course, that Bongino is a conservative, and different rules apply. YouTube is a tool of the Democrats and the government in power, and to them shutting down any dissenting voices, especially those with large megaphones, is part of the strategy to “save democracy.”
To his great credit, Bongino is no weenie, and told YouTube he will continue “to question the mask fascists.” He tweeted to YouTube, “We knew it was just a matter of time before the tyrannical, free-speech hating, bullshit, big tech shithole you work for, would try to silence us”—well, he could have been nicer about it—and that he would continue to “post content questioning why masks have been totally ineffective in stopping this pandemic.”
Well, not totally ineffective…