Ok. So this is bonkers.

People will look at Twitter's actions against @CassandraRules and @LLinWood as crossing the threshold into policing opinions entirely.

It's what everyone feared would one day come.
In this thread I plan to lay out a rough sketch of how we got here. How Twitter went from Point A to B, down a road of censorship hell.

(I'm gonna pace myself but plan to do this whole thing by today. Hopefully. Just give me some room.)
May 2008. One of the earliest examples of attempting to get Twitter to censor was Ariel Waldman. She had some sort of stalker problem. In response? Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey were very HANDS OFF.

"GOOD LUCK!" said Jack. https://archive.is/hCjKh 
"Twitter is a communication utility, not a mediator of content." -- Twitter co-founder @biz , circa 2008. https://archive.is/CYWRN#selection-1935.0-1937.1
Fast forward to March 2012. "Generally, we remain neutral as to the content because our general council and CEO like to say that we are the free speech wing of the free speech party." -- Tony Wang, General Manager of Twitter UK. https://archive.is/cXp7m#selection-1045.0-1048.0
By the end of April 2012, @ChrisLoesch would be one of the first in a free speech controversy.

A coordinated campaign of Leftists abused the block and report spam feature to get his account suspended.
Fast forward to April 2014. We reach the age where Feminists began claiming Twitter is TOXIC. One infamous claim was the platform gave someone PTSD. https://archive.is/rn91K 
May 2014. We get the first taste of a proper bout of censorship after Twitter takes down a pro-Ukranian account on behalf of RUSSIA. https://archive.is/0SZhW 
By the end of 2014/start of 2015, we get a raw idea of the social media playing field.

On one front? The Feminists. Make demands. https://archive.is/pQmvn 

On the other? ISIS. Causing their own ruckus. https://archive.is/zSJ7B 
^ This is important. Because Twitter was at a crucial point in its development as a company where ABUSE was intertwined more closer with PROFIT POTENTIAL.

In the company's eyes it was becoming clear they needed to do SOMETHING. https://archive.is/ab0uU 
"We're going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them." -- said Twitter's then CEO Dick Costolo. https://archive.is/ab0uU#selection-5253.0-5256.0
This timeline seems to be going by FAST at the moment, but that's because these are just the building blocks of what was to come for Twitter as a platform.
March 2015. "Twitter 'troll' filter eliminates threats and abusive language without having to block individual users"

THIS is the first time any sort of "Algorithm" got involved on this platform, in earnest.
And I consider this the heart of the dilemma. Essentially Twitter was trying to solve the problem of mankind being flawed. That collectively our society is capable of ugliness.

Even back then, people began to recognize that. https://people.com/celebrity/iggy-azalea-quits-twitter-after-cellulite-criticism-everyone-deserves-peace/
... it was just brought to my attention that Twitter censored President Trump's tweets again today. All the more reason to continue with this thread.
By April 2015 the "Culture War" on social media began ramping up. As highlighted by @LibertarianBlue , "Block Bots" were becoming more frequently used.

Allowed the more sensitive people on Twitter to block en masse. https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2015/04/10/how-authoritarian-activists-are-censoring-twitter/
^^ as a result of this renewed interest in "cleaning up" social media, PORN came under fire from advertisers. They pulled out ad campaigns from Twitter solely because their ads showed up on adult-content profile pages. https://archive.is/eQAIK 
"Brand safety in digital media has been a hot topic for some time now. The industry bodies and tech providers have made some great progress in tackling the issue, however the risk of ads appearing next to inappropriate content"-- Adriana Matyaskova of DigitasLBi.
It was around the same time that edgelords like Andrew WEEV Auernheimer started pushing Twitter's buttons. He tried to make promoted tweets surrounding white supremacist slogans, and the media had an aneurysm over it. https://archive.is/cDlF8#selection-2489.0-2492.0

Twitter banned it.
End of May 2015: Chuck C. Johnson made a tweet about "taking out" DeRay Mckesson. "Twitter emailed Johnson to say that his account had been suspended for violating Twitter rules “around participating in targeted abuse” and that it “will not be restored.”" https://archive.is/doOFz#selection-917.0-917.216
^ Pretty cut-and-dry, right? WRONG.

It was revealed that not only BLM activist Deray Mckesson was a personal friend of Dorsey https://archive.is/aBYjj , but ALSO Dick Costolo personally ordered the permanent deplatforming against Johnson. https://archive.is/QquXd#selection-2117.0-2120.0
^This is one of the earliest cracks of Twitter's impartiality as an overall system. And it's due to Black Lives Matter activism.

The same can be said when Twitter's Del Harvey took sides with Anita Sarkessian and Zoe Quinn against GamerGate.

In common? Politics and agendas.
Burden of proof is on me to show Twitter as a company became open to bending their own rules in favor of friends of employees.

December 2015. "Twitter’s Double Standards: Celebrity’s Buddy’s Account Restored After Telling Gamergaters to Kill Themselves" https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2015/12/03/twitters-double-standards-celebritys-buddys-account-restored-after-telling-gamergaters-to-kill-themselves/
Thanks to someone who knew Twitter's Del Harvey, a Leigh Alexander got sprung from Twitter jail http://www.reaxxion.com/6446/how-randi-harper-uses-her-ties-to-twitter-executive-del-harvey-to-silence-other-women

“I think to some extent I deliberately antagonized [people on Twitter]," Leigh went on to confess years later. https://archive.md/dqmWV#selection-165.93-165.149
Twitter was still figuring itself out by December 2015. They let a BANK claim COPYRIGHT on someone's tweets. https://archive.is/Pl9mJ 

So even before the Trump era BEGAN, Twitter dabbled in silencing journalism.
Just to re-iterate. THIS ^^^^ so far was all BEFORE anything related to Donald Trump entered the Big Tech bias equation.

By February 2016, however, that came to be a thing. From here on out. https://archive.is/ji0Nx 
(Also in February 2016) How Twitter destroyed TRUST:
-- Introducing a Trust & Safety council (i.e. outside political influences) https://archive.is/0Bzn8 
-- Pushing for MORE algorithms (a ubiquitous means of control over the user base) https://archive.is/RXyee 
It's this new distrust in the system that created concerns over Twitter SHADOWBANNING.

All the way back in early 2016. https://archive.is/Ae9VU 

... which Twitter DENIED two years later https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2018/Setting-the-record-straight-on-shadow-banning.html

... but made it OFFICIAL by 2020. https://archive.is/LkDzi 
And so. People began disappearing from Twitter for no reason. Remember Robert Stacy McCain? Gone baby gone. https://archive.is/oRSl5 
(When Twitter DID explain themselves.... they ended up looking like fools.)

April 2016: Twitter Defends Azealia Banks https://archive.is/7psEO 
May 2016: Rapper Azealia Banks Suspended from Twitter https://archive.is/Vooqs 
The PROBLEM with social media algorithms started to rear it's ugly head by June 2016. Someone was SUSPENDED and then RESTORED on Twitter.... SEVEN. TIMES. https://archive.is/uJ26s 

Seven times. By that point you stop caring about the rules, I reckon.
What's WORSE about Twitter starting to add all these rules is what they DONT DELETE.

Death threats towards Republicans https://archive.is/g2qwV 
BLM GLORIFYING VIOLENCE given police deaths in that 2016 summer. https://archive.is/URTiJ  https://archive.is/JhZxC  https://archive.is/1W6R5 
Twitter banned Milo Yiannpoulos b/c of an angry mob in favor of defending Leslie Jones. https://archive.is/hjzut 

It made deplatforming mainstream.

HOW can anyone take it seriously when other journalists WANT to beat people to DEATH? Unpunished? https://archive.is/RUWj8 
(also @jack Dorsey got involved in the Leslie Jones case. Setting a precedent of expectations from the general public, in regards to him, in terms of getting involved with ANY OTHER MAJOR INCIDENT then on out.

But Dorsey didn't think about that at the time. B/c he's naive.)
To be clear, though, it made an impact. https://archive.is/gQA9o 

"At the same time, Dorsey insisted that Twitter is not censoring speech “We are not, and never will be, a platform that shows people only part of what’s happening.” However, he said, “Abuse is not civil discourse.”"
SO EVEN before Donald J. Trump is elected, Twitter is an amalgamation of crap. https://archive.is/QRUvq 

(^ good article! check the screenshots for highlights. that show Twitter had no clue what they were doing.

Twitter had no idea what they even WERE.)
In the lead-up to the 2016 election: Twitter as a COMPANY dealing with all this stuff was one thing.

But how they LOOKED, was another.

And they were increasingly becoming *politically* involved.
From here on out, President Trump won the 2016 election.

The main takeaway from this Twitter thread I hope you got so far: the PERCEPTION of Twitter's actions, visible to you, is a separate thing from whatever their INTENTS might've been.
November 15th 2016: "Twitter says it's cracking down on hate speech" https://archive.is/x78wf 


This HUGE shift in terms of Big Tech social media policy is DIRECTLY because of Trump's election.
Martin Shkreli? GONE. https://archive.is/FRIjc 
Sargon of Akkad? ADIOS. https://archive.is/QsuWY 

From here on out: the social media censorship vibe increasingly comes off as familiar to you and I.
Like Steve Jobs presented his iPhone, @jack rolled out new "abuse tools" (censorship) for Twitter. that'd be one of his HUGEST mistakes for the platform long-term. https://archive.is/Ag8SV  https://archive.is/qAsIk 

Such a concept SHOULD NOT be married to the platform itself.
For it's NOW in mid-2017 Twitter starts to resemble what we know it as today.

with temp. suspensions and marking profiles as "sensitive" https://archive.is/BRI58  https://archive.is/Pqke9 
By 2017 we get the Twitter where parody is DEAD and you can get suspended for EMOJIS https://archive.is/NtKpw  https://archive.is/wAqrI 
Even though "NAZI" is a catch-all that Far Left applies to even @benshapiro , @jack Dorsey decided to crack down on "NAZI" people. https://archive.is/jEeE6 

And catch-all TERMS need catch-all RULES to satisfy them. And Twitter decided to entertain that. https://archive.is/A51GH 
^^ AND by the by, if Twitter was serious about these rules whatsoever they would've cut off the SOURCE of that "problem."

But nah to this very day you can follow the guy that started off all this.
By October 2017 the Russia HYSTERIA sweeping Washington hits Twitter, making things at least more spicy.

"Twitter bans Russia Today and Sputnik from advertising on its service" https://archive.is/ts84E 
And, humor me here, imagine seeing these next two stories ALONE in a vacuum:
-- Roger Stone Banned From Twitter After Threatening CNN Anchors https://archive.is/lZjiY 
-- Disgruntled Twitter Employee Temporarily Deletes President Trump’s Personal Account https://archive.is/d6WsI 
You'd assume Twitter as a company LEANED anti-Trump. You'd look at the behaviors and reasoning therein that led these people to take the actions they did, and conclude: this is a company that hates the President of the United States.
And I consider November 2017 the point of NO RETURN. For THIS is when Twitter decided to DE-VERIFY people. Because the MOB of the general public decided "HEY, CHECKMARKS = ENDORSEMENTS"

And Twitter said: "YES. Ok. You win, mob. We agree." https://archive.is/hUs31 
By the end of 2017, censorship "waves" became normalized. To the point where it was hard for the general public to really notice. https://archive.is/Ucpz5  https://archive.is/Ul3WH 

BROUGHT TO YOU by the same company priding itself as a "FREE SPEECH PLATFORM."

SO I don't even need to mention 2018 and onward to make the point about Twitter censorship being a "death by a thousand cuts."

Each story I mentioned so far in this thread ALONE seems like nothing, but together they make the story.
By 2018 is when people began asking for the President of the United States to be banned. https://archive.is/vmmVo 

Such a subversion of authority and power must not be underestimated. But in society's blindness they openly began embracing such a thing.
In our collective consciousness banning the US President was no longer out of the question seeing as how comedy itself was openly on Twitter's chopping block. https://archive.is/IB5qC 
Thank god for @Project_Veritas:
-- Twitter Engineer Admits to Banning Accounts that Express Interest in God, Guns, and America
-- Project Veritas Video Shows Former Twitter Employees Discussing ‘Shadow Banning’ Users https://archive.is/VvGk6 
By early 2018 Twitter had normalized the censorship of political discourse. They began intervening within debates between the media and the general public/political sphere. https://archive.is/O0xip 
What else are people supposed to think as they ban Tommy Robinson but Twitter leaves ALONE the people harassing @PamelaGeller 's daughters?!? https://archive.is/0qh6V  https://archive.is/6FcpQ 

It's the point where @jack becomes the oppressor and creates an unjust world.
Rule of thumb with Twitter being: the more rules they have? The CLOSER and CLOSER the definition of "FRINGE" becomes to what essentially is what we perceive as the normal middler ground. Comedy. https://archive.is/hRjRb  https://archive.is/wAxyC 
It doesn't come as a surprise that even TWITTER had this kind of existential crisis. https://archive.is/HUxay 

Something that they INFLICTED on the general public, is something @jack inadvertently inflicted on company staff.

(especially when it comes to political radicalization!)
(HIGHLIGHTS from the above article attached here as screenshots)

“Let the tweets flow,” said Alex Macgillivray, Twitter’s first general counsel, who later served as deputy CTO in the Obama administration.
AND. And. We can solely put the blame for a lot of this on @jack 's doorstep. https://www.fastcompany.com/40549979/when-jack-dorseys-fight-against-twitter-trolls-got-personal

"Report: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Personally Chooses Accounts to Be Banned" https://archive.is/ekwxK 
“Honestly, for a guy who is splitting his time as the CEO of two big companies [Twitter and Square, Dorsey’s payments company], the idea that he’s weighing in on individual accounts . . . Jack got far too deep in the weeds,” says a former employee familiar with these issues.
BUT LO and BEHOLD, the nonsensical bans continued.
"‘Draw Mohammed’ Winner Bosch Fawstin Suspended on Twitter" https://archive.is/WuPze 

“I was born and raised a Muslim in the Bronx (New York). I have Muslim parents. We went to a mosque relatively rarely, but we were Muslims”
May 2018: "Twitter Makes Tweaks to Punish ‘Troll-Like Behavior’" https://archive.is/wkv5f 

June 2018: "Twitter Reveals New Plan to Fight ‘Malicious Automation’" https://archive.is/bxiAV 
Mid-2018 Twitter is on defense:

"Twitter appears to have fixed “shadow ban” of prominent Republicans like the RNC chair and Trump Jr.’s spokesman" https://archive.is/sXOIm 

"Twitter Denies Shadowbanning, Says Suppression of Rep. Matt Gaetz Is an ‘Error’" https://archive.is/VI79N 
^it's the first time people WOKE UP to Twitter being AGAINST the right-wing

Twitter Admits: Your Posts Will Be Hidden if the Right Accounts Block You https://archive.is/2qBzR 


The very same people @jack recruited as "experts" to decide Twitter policy

Are the very same people with an anti-Trump agenda.

It's how BAD became WORSE. https://archive.is/1doOw 
Where Sarah Jeong was ALLOWED to go free, in terms of braking Twitter rules? @RealCandaceO was punished. https://archive.is/EC8WK 
TWITTER is at the mercy of their employee mob at this point (Aug. 2018) https://archive.is/gXKKG 

PURGING accounts on such a basis https://archive.is/0uJDD 

Think of the snake that eats itself and you have https://twitter.com 
Aug./Sept. 2018 @jack Dorsey CONFIRMED peoples fears about Twitter:

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: Company Bias ‘Left-Leaning’ but Enforcement Is Fair https://archive.is/OgIUw 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Confirms ‘Algorithms Unfairly
Filtered Out 600,000 Accounts’ https://archive.is/s2LzN 
Twitter added MISGENDERING rules and flat out went against what part of the general public believes. https://archive.is/aa5RC 

Because THE JURY is still out on this... for anyone who AIN'T Twitter anyway.

That didn't stop them from banning Meghan Murphy https://archive.is/pqSA5 
Given the punishment severity doled out to right-wing Twitter accounts, it seemed appropriate to expect equal treatment given to the Left.

In the case of Covington Catholic hoax? THAT sort of thing was slow to happen. https://archive.is/tYLoz  https://archive.is/kEdBf 

(if at all)
Twitter began adding strangely specific policies for particular "OFFENSES" that can be caused.

In one infamous case, it involves tweeting a particular phrase about programming at "mainstream media" journalists (the leftist blogger caste). https://archive.is/IshrC 
I feel confident in saying that by early 2019, a fuller extent of the Big Tech censorship problems was becoming clear. In the eyes of the public, anyway.

That dilemma being having to balance MANY different *international* laws all onto just ONE company. https://archive.is/BqE1U 
People still cite the @joerogan @Timcast @jack @vijaya interview, months and months later.

Maybe because it made the censorship problems seem more real, from the company side? Better than text, anyway.
It was one of the first (and really only) times that @jack was confronted with direct problems the platform was having.

And he even ADMITTED to the potential for biased account actioning. https://archive.is/UeSJb 

(Note: this wasn't the first time either) https://twitter.com/dailydigger19/status/1301664019296800768
The REAL damage from @jack 's @joerogan interview is that: people got their hopes up for the platform to REALLY change and turn things around re: censorship.

Those people ended up disappointed as more frivolous prominent suspensions occurred soon after. https://archive.is/hCZL8 
Take for example when Twitter went after this pro-life movie's account. https://archive.is/f16kc 


People get mad having their time wasted, they feel alienated, and it reinforces people's belief that Big Tech is an ideologically biased censor.
By April/May 2019 Twitter was:
-- choosing who was allowed to campaign for public office https://archive.is/aSsc8 
-- choosing which politicians were "untouchable" and beyond critiquing https://archive.is/hcDDb 
Let me double down on that second one here.

Twitter began choosing which politicians were "untouchable" and beyond critiquing. https://archive.is/5PsRa 

This isn't normal but we let many such cases of this slip by and be quietly silenced.
Remember when @JamesOKeefeIII had a tweet removed during that Pinterest exposé? So, naming names to expose Big Tech (and that's ALL that happened there) is BAD. https://archive.is/4NPdN 

And yet: Shaun King's brand of "journalism" is fine in Twitter's eyes. https://nypost.com/2020/08/26/twitter-ok-with-shaun-kings-threat-to-dox-kenosha-cops/
The intent of this thread was to walk you through Twitter's fall to rock bottom. By July 2019, Twitter believed:
-- ANTIFA was fine 👍 https://archive.is/CqCmN  https://archive.is/1xTZ1 

-- Angel Moms and Lindsay Shepherd were BAD 👎 https://archive.is/Hdti5  https://archive.is/RY95T 
I originally elected to end the thread with that last tweet there ^.

But over the past few days, at least three total strangers who never followed my account before have expressed their interest in this subject.

So I guess I can keep going. Somehow.
We should add some more background to how modern Twitter looks.

"U.S. adult Twitter users are younger and more likely to be Democrats than the general public. Most users rarely tweet, but the most prolific 10% create 80% of tweets from adult U.S. users" https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2019/04/24/sizing-up-twitter-users/
"Prolific political tweeters make up just 6% of all Twitter users but generate 20% of all tweets and 73% of tweets mentioning national politics" https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2019/10/23/national-politics-on-twitter-small-share-of-u-s-adults-produce-majority-of-tweets/

Let me lay it out for you.

It creates the *perceptions* about Twitter as a platform, that the company looks at in order to make decisions.

They see that and assume "OH, doing X and Y is what the majority of people MUST want!"
The key to Big Tech bias is these companies have their attentions drawn to things, at the behest of whoever has the loudest megaphone to complain. https://archive.is/EpvZi 

(Note: This is a YOUTUBE story but it very much applies to Twitter all the same.)
Think about it. Do you think Twitter on its own would've given a HOOT about a parody account? No. But people complained. https://archive.is/f27Iv 
AND on the other end, Twitter was forced to fight back against political disinformation campaigns BECAUSE foreign entities see how SENSITIVE the USA/Western world is, when it comes to complainers. https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/20/twitter-discloses-another-10000-accounts-suspended-for-fomenting-political-discord-globally/
^ I'm likely oversimplifying it. But it's the only way to make you understand the social media climate that was created up through 2019, that led the Twitter censorship to arrive on the doorstep of POLITICIANS. https://archive.is/movKr 
SO that leads us to the inevitable. Twitter censoring President Trump. It's something that people like Kamala Harris began demanding. https://archive.is/2Pp0O 

(ALSO worth noting that a high-up at Twitter is a former Harris confidante! https://archive.is/zPk05 )
BUT censoring the President is no small challenge. There's special legalese involved surrounding his account. Like the fact that Trump can't block people. https://archive.is/mMcOR 

So the next best strategy was to slowly chip away at Donald. Via copyright. https://archive.is/XkjoL 
You can follow @dailydigger19.
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