The Meghan Murphy situation proves that Twitter is not a free speech zone
In an unsurprising court decision, Twitter prevailed in another lawsuit from a permanently banned user. Meghan Murphy, an articulate and prominent feminist advocate, lost her account for violating “misgendering” policy which has changed what they deem to be “hate speech.”
Murphy opposes the compelled speech which would force her to refer to what she calls “trans-identified males” using their self identified pronouns.
The question of whether or not “hate” is in the eye of the beholder or the mind of the speaker is part of the current debate. Murphy’s position has sought to identify biological facts about the differences between genders and the danger of pretending those differences don’t exist.
An act of speech is now considered by many to be an act of violence. Of course this undermines the meaning and seriousness of “violence,” but that’s not something we’d expect Twitter to resolve.
The court decided that Twitter has the right to provide or refuse service at their own discretion, but Newton proved that all action has an equal and opposite reaction.
While science usually prevails, it can get a bit more complicated when mobs take control of facts. Of course the mob can’t erase facts simply by virtue of mass disapproval but they can prevent science from guiding society for a rather lengthy time.
Right now it is a social fact that, despite employing the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum, Twitter will make choices based on which group of people causes them more fear. And it is a legal fact that they have the right to make that choice.
While some people might have believed George W. Bush when he declared he was “The Decider” most people file a lawsuit hoping to gain that evermore elusive challenge of finding an impartial judge.
Unfortunately, the civil court process doesn’t always give people an open venue to state their case and just getting to trial can be part of the challenge. If you do get to trial it may be more about words and technicalities than the actual events of the grievance. The legal system isn’t really a substitute for civil conversation.
Perhaps the conversation is best held in the public square with proficient moderators.
While Twitter’s right to choose who they allow on their website legally remains within their discretion, they lost the right to call themselves a venue for free speech. Advocates for free speech never prove their mettle until they are willing to protect speech they loathe.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey was most effectively grilled about his uneven application of community standards by YouTube content producer Tim Pool on The Joe Rogan Experience.
The court decision, shutting down Meghan Murphy’s lawsuit against Twitter for breach of contract, did not determine whether or not Murphy was guilty of hate speech. It only determined that Twitter was permitted to ban her from their website.
While some may try to paint the decision as validation that Murphy must be forced to engage in compelled speech, that issue is yet to be resolved. It’s just a matter of what platform that debate takes place.
Not only does the debate continue, the debate must be heard.
UPDATE: On December 6th, a Twitter user reported to The Post Millennial that two of Michaels’ tweets had violated the Twitter Terms of Service. Michaels then locked his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Twitter to verify if disciplinary action had been taken against Michaels since his harassment of Andy Ngo was reported on, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The Post Millennial has learned that a Twitter account that has been engaged in targeted harassment of TPM Editor-at-large Andy Ngo appears to belong to none other than a Twitter employee.
Max Michaels, who goes under the Twitter handle Manchild, is an Operations Infrastructure Analytics Engineer at the Twitter Command Center. According to his Linkedin, he has worked at Twitter for over 7 years.
Michaels’ abusive behaviour towards Ngo began in June of 2019 after Ngo was bloodied while reporting from an Antifa riot in Portland. Beneath a tweet calling for information which might lead to the arrest of those involved, Michaels wrote: “It’s almost like there are repercussions for being a piece of shit.”
Under another tweet by Ngo, Michaels replies “you should just get fat again and hangout on reddit acting sad. I liked fat, sad Andy better.”
Michaels also replied to journalist Peter Hasson, who was reporting on Ngo’s brain bleed as a result of his beating at the riot, calling the hemorrhage a “lifelong, pre-existing condition from garbage Andy.”
Michaels was featured in a 2016 Vice article describing the important functions of the Command Center. In the piece, Michaels is quoted as saying he and his team are responsible for “keeping the lights on at Twitter.”
A recent job posting for the Twitter Command Center suggests staff have a great deal of insight and control over the intricate details of Twitter’s technical infrastructure, calling into question what impact potential biases in the staff might have over users’ personal information and security on the platform.
Ngo was recently suspended from Twitter for tweeting a truthful claim that “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.” Ngo was forced to delete the verifiably truthful claim in order to regain access to his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Michaels for comment but has not heard back by the time of publication. He did, however, confirm on Twitter that he still works in Operations for Twitter.
Targeted harassment is explicitly against Twitter’s Terms of Service. A Twitter spokesperson said, “Abuse and harassment have no place on Twitter. We take enforcement action against any content that is violative of our rules, regardless of the account involved.”
On “Trans Day of Remembrance” this year, numerous politicians and celebrities used the occasion to virtue signal on social media. They repeated the claim-turned-mantra from LBGT activist groups that there is an “epidemic” of trans homicides motivated by transphobia and racism in the U.S.
Chelsea Clinton, doing what the Clintons do best, weighed in vapidly on Nov. 20: “Since 2013, more than 150 trans people have been murdered in the U.S., the majority Black transgender women. On #TDoR2019, we remember and honor the lives lost, hold their loved ones in our hearts and must commit to doing all we can to end this epidemic of violence and hate.”
Though the sentiment is valid, the claim she repeats is not. There is no “epidemic” of violent homicides against trans people in the U.S. How do I know? From data released by the Human Rights Campaign and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I responded to Ms. Clinton: “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.”
Five days later, I was informed by Twitter that I had violated its policy against “hateful conduct.” For stating a verifiable empirical claim, Twitter determined that I “promote violence against, threaten or harass other people” based on protected characteristics. I was given the option of deleting the tweet and facing a timed suspension, or appealing the decision while remaining indefinitely locked out of the platform. I chose the latter option.
My appeal was rejected.
Twitter’s decision to force me to accept a false reality in order to use its platform is chilling to those who value truth above dogma, as uncomfortable as the truth may be. The dogma of our day is the trans ideology—an authoritarian worldview replete with science and evidence denial. Among many things, it claims that sex is a construct and that trans people are being hunted down across America
So far this year, there were 22 homicides in the U.S. where trans or gender non-conforming people were victims. That number has held relatively steady since the HRC, America’s largest LGBT lobbying group, started releasing annual reports four years ago. According to the HRC, there were 26 homicides in 2018, 29 in 2017, 23 in 2016 and 21 in 2015. The HRC provides the most comprehensive data set for trans homicides in the country. The FBI does not release numbers of trans people who are killed.
Though every homicide is a tragedy and victims are due justice, lying about the scale is politically exploitative and reckless. It prevents the public from accessing real problems honestly in order to advocate for real solutions. Worst of all, it harms the very people who need protection.
The average homicide rate of cis males in the U.S. is around seven per 100,000 from 2015–2018, according to FBI figures. The rate for cis females during this timeframe is 1.9. The rate for trans homicides since the HRC began tracking in 2015? About 1.7. (This rate was calculated based on the 2016 UCLA Williams Institute estimate of there being about 1.7m trans adults in the U.S.)
For a developed country, the U.S. has high homicide rates. That is undisputed. But if the rates of cis men being killed isn’t spoken about as an “epidemic,” then neither should the rates for trans homicides, which is significantly lower compared to the cis population.
And while much attention is focused on the victims being mostly black trans women, no attention is given to the fact that the majority of known homicide suspects and convicts are also black. This intra-racial violence is consistent with other homicides in the U.S.
Additionally, there is no evidence to support the narrative that trans people are being killed because they are trans. The overwhelming majority of trans homicides involve victims being killed in the course of high-risk behaviours like street prostitution and drug dealing. Cis women and cis men involved in these activities face similar risks.
While it may feel good to earn praise by hiding uncomfortable truths, those who ultimately suffer in this instance are trans people themselves. They are told to fear people around them, that they could be killed at any moment and are helpless in the face of omnipresent hatred. This is not compassion or empowerment.
I’m now back on Twitter, but only because I was forced to accept that on this platform, a journalist will be punished for telling the truth.
Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order that restricted the influx of immigrants and refugees from some Muslim-majority countries, Justin Trudeau tweeted the following:
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”
Trump’s policy was slammed by many as a “Muslim-ban,” mostly based upon statements he had made during the election campaign calling for a ban.
However, the policy itself ended up still allowing immigration and refugee settlement from the majority of the world’s Muslim-majority nations, and also included bans on countries like Venezuela and North Korea.
Of course, Justin Trudeau still didn’t miss his virtue-signalling moment, and his resulting tweet led to a large influx of illegal border crossers to Canada.
At the time, some might have claimed that it was just an emotional reaction by Trudeau, that he was legitimately upset by Trump’s remarks and the restrictive policy on immigration from certain countries into the U.S.
Yet, let’s just consider the contrast in Trudeau’s response to a policy passed by the United States (our close ally and a nation where the rule of law prevails), and Trudeau’s response to China’s actual Muslim concentration camps.
As revealed by the China Cables, there is now no way to deny that China is engaging in the mass oppression of Muslim people in Xinjiang province:
“The China Cables, obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, include a classified list of guidelines, personally approved by the region’s top security chief, that effectively serves as a manual for operating the camps now holding hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities. The leak also features previously undisclosed intelligence briefings that reveal, in the government’s own words, how Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention.”
So, China is holding innocent Canadian Citizens hostage, has repeatedly threatened Canada, is oppressing the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong, and is now arbitrarily arresting innocent Muslims, taking them away from their families, abusing them, indoctrinating them, and committing crimes on a horrendous scale.
Where’s Trudeau’s tweet about all this?
Where’s his tear-filled press conference?
Where’s the strong action by the Canadian government to distance ourselves from China, ban Huawei, and stop infiltration by the Communist State into the politics of our nation?
Instead, Trudeau and much of Canada’s pathetic political class are silent.
It’s gutless and hypocritical, and it makes Trudeau’s tweet following Trump’s so-called ‘Muslim ban’ seem like a complete joke.
China is in the midst of a real Muslim ban, punishing millions of people and trying to eradicate their faith.
If Trudeau and the Canadian elites aren’t willing to decouple our nation from China even under these circumstances, then our values and our national strength may already be gone.
A British daycare has faced criticism after it introduced a vegan-only menu for the enrolled children, according to the Daily Mail.
The daycare, named Jigsaw Day Nurseries, is intending to create an entirely plant-based diet by January of next year. The daycare in question has over 250 children, and they will be serving children who are aged between 0 and 4.
As soon as the daycare introduced these changes, parents began to complain, saying that the daycare introduced these changes without consulting them first.
There was also a significant amount of online criticism, with some respondents suggesting that the daycare is imposing a lifestyle change on other people’s children.
The owner of the daycare has rejected the parent’s claims, telling the Daily Mail that she feels “passionately” about the “sustainable path” she has chosen.
“Our sole focus has been on making a significant and impactful change for the good of our children’s environmental futures whilst ring-fencing this with robust nutritional planning which meets all the recommended early years guidelines.”