Comment Of The Day: Unethical Quote Of The Week: Former Head Of Twitter’s Office of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth

In this Comment of the Day, made yesterday by veteran EA commenter Glenn Logan, he alerts us to an arguably even scarier statement at the Twitter censorship hearings yesterday, pointing to Jonathan Turley’s horrified (the professor is always horrified in a restrained fashion, unlike me) reaction to both the statement and the Democratic approval of it. The entire day of testimony justifies the appearance of Geena above, and she was only warning about a single man gradually turning into a giant fly. We are watching our nation mutating into a repressive, totalitarian society that restrains and punishes independent thought.

How many of your friends would vote for the likes of  Rep. Melanie Ann Stansbury (D., NM), whose response to the creepy statement Glenn writes about was “Exactly”? Or with former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal’s statement that he pledged to regulate the platform’s content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation” and would  “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard”?

For all his weirdness, hypocrisy and Trumpish trolling, Elon Musk performed one of the most important acts in defense of democracy and America’s future in recent memory.

Here is Glenn’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Former Head Of Twitter’s Office of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth.”


Jack wrote: Roth literally said that Twitter believed you have to destroy free speech in order to save it—and he didn’t even realize how Orwellian that is.

Indeed, but what really freaks me out (and only slightly hyperbolically) was the testimony of his fellow Twit, former Twitter executive Anika Coliler Navaroli at a House Oversight Committee hearing yesterday, which is analyzed by Jonathan Turley on his blog:

Navaroli said in response to a question from a Democratic member:

“Instead of asking just free speech versus safety to say free speech for whom and public safety for whom. So whose free expression are we protecting at the expense of whose safety and whose safety are we willing to allow to go the winds so that people can speak freely.”

This is quite possibly the most damning statement about censorship I can recall. As Turley goes on to explain, it is a “standard” that is so amorphous and subjective as to render it meaningless — really just a completely arbitrary judgment call based on how the Twitter censors “feel” about a particular tweet, who wrote it and to whom it was directed.

This is truly Orwellian — it is basically a rejection of freedom of speech root, branch and tree. And of course, the Democrats, by all appearances and their own statements, affirmed this as a desirable and even proper use of the censorship power — basically deciding who gets to be heard according not just to what they say, but who is speaking where and to whom.

Turley goes on to lament the eternally improvident dictum by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Schenk v. United States about fire in a crowded theater. Holmes’ construction has proven to be perhaps the most abused and characterized lines of text in American history, rivaled only by Matthew 5:39.

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