The fight for narrative supremacy is on Twitter

Anticipating the restoration of equal (enough) rights of access to the public square

90
8

When I was kicked off Twitter there was no firm reason, no rule broken, and no infringing content identified. I had around 250k followers, which was (if I remember correctly) tripling each year, so by now I would have around 1.5 million followers. That is real clout and influence, and makes corrupt entities you interact with think twice about whether they want the bad PR fallout of having their wrongs exposed. Deplatforming gives free reign to criminals and conmen, since they naturally target those who hold them to account, and wish such voices to be silenced by any means. It should be a last resort that results from proven abuse after due process.

Elon Musk (who for all I know is an avatar or actor in a mask) has announced via Twitter that those who were deplatformed are going to be readmitted next week. Totalitarian control depends on the repression of dissent and the appearance of a false consensus, which this act reverses. The crimes of Twitter itself (child pornography, human trafficking, election rigging, social engineering, genocide facilitation) should provide plenty of reasons for reinvigorated commitment to free speech. That said, this may just be a provocation to trigger the enemy’s last line of defence, which is a shutdown of the Internet — which in turn launches the counter-attack via Starlink.

In this video I muse about the impact of this change on myself, the liberal intelligentsia, as well as our wider policies on social media. The divergence in treatment of traditional common carriage or utility services versus new digital platforms deserves close scrutiny. I am personally minded towards making regulation moot via decentralised systems which return power to the users, rather than creating a new burdensome and corrupt bureaucracy to protect our “speech privileges” at enormous cost. Taking back Twitter and winning the narrative supremacy fight is one battle, but it isn’t the whole war.

Future of Communications is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Homeless sleeping rough outside John Lewis, Oxford Street, London in 2022