So the Bully is now locked out of Twitter. After encouraging his supporters to riot to the Capitol, Twitter announced that Trump is inciting violence and is violating Twitter’s rules. So they removed/suspended Trump’s account and even deleted his tweets on POTUS account.
I don’t think Twitter did an unsual thing. Twitter has some rules and everybody is forced to obey those rules while on their network. However, what’s dangerous and should be mentioned is Twitter’s power to decide who can say what.
Twitter is a centralized network with authority over all accounts. So whether you stay or are welcome to Twitter is in hands of Twitter moderators/admins/owners.
While I’m not sad that the Bully, and many other people are facing the consequences of using a centralized social network giving too much power to it, I’m very sad that many people are still using it and many are ignoring the fact that one day the same thing would/may happen to them.
Many are thanking Twitter for doing what it did but it’s just not right. An online social network is just a gathering place without people being forced to be physically there. So rules should be applicable there too. People should have freedom of expression on digital/online social networks too.
However, there are concerns about safety and many other things. For example, what should we do about hate speech or verbal violence etc.?
Well, that’s a problem of centralized networks like Twitter and Facebook. In a centralized network, rules can violate each other. For example, hate speech is protected by free speech but many don’t want to have that in their network. In a centralized social network, it’s whether free speech (and possibly hate speech) or there’s not that at all. There’s no partial free speech, we either have freedom of speech or we don’t have it.
Of course freedom also has its limits. There’s a line, you’re either inside that line or outside of that, there’s nowhere in between.
While social networks like Twitter are not a place for absolute free speech, a decentralized network, such as ActivityPub (the protocol behind Mastodon and other networks on Fediverse), fixed that problem. In a decentralized network, everybody can host its own instance and/or join an instance where the person fits.
The owner of the instance or the moderator sets the rules. So nobody will be blocked out of the network. Those who don’t want that person or instance, can simply block the instance and stop the connection.
I’m not opposed to what Twitter did. I would expect the same (being blocked/banned) if he published same tweets (or toots as we call it in Mastodon) on my instance of mastodon. But I’m opposed to him being banned or locked out of a social network and being silenced.