Twitter’s abuse problem is legendary, but the site has, after years of complaints and a failed bid to sell itself, finally started cleaning up its act. New tools are being put in place to mute people, conversations, hashtags and words you don’t want to see, for example, and the site’s abuse team has started dealing with the jerks that can infest the service. And some of those jerks aren’t happy that suddenly the rules apply to them.
The alt-right, of course, is the preferred online nomenclature for white supremacists. Generally they’ve found a home on Twitter, where they target minorities and people who support them, especially Black women, with racist abuse. Apparently Twitter has finally had enough, because multiple outlets are reporting that multiple prominent alt-right accounts are being suspended. One of them, Richard Spencer, complained that he was being unfairly discriminated against:
“It’s corporate Stalinism, in the sense that there is a great purge going on, and they’re purging people on the basis of their views. I and a number of other people who just got banned were not even trolling. I was using Twitter just like I always used Twitter: to give people some updates and maybe comment on a news story here and there.”
Spencer, for the record, advocates for the founding of a separate nation of white people without the rights and freedoms of the Constitution. So his complaints about his freedom should be considered in that context, as well as the fact that he owns his own publishing company and magazine.
The main question now is how far Twitter is willing to go and how effective its tools are. After all, many harassment campaigns and Twitter misbehavior are done anonymously, so while booting these accounts is a start, it’s only the beginning. Still, after years of complaints, it’s good to see Twitter is finally listening to its users.
(via USA Today)