FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

#FreeStacy: Twitter Meets the Sarkeesian Method and the Streisand Effect

by

I suppose I should be enjoying a bit of a schadenfreude moment: About two years ago, I was banned from commenting on Robert Stacy McCain’s blog, The Other McCain, for offending one of his gatekeepers. Now Stacy’s been banned from Twitter, apparently for offending one of its gatekeepers, professional offendee Anita Sarkeesian. But no feelings of poetic justice here. Because I’m above such petty sentiments, see?

McCain is not small beans in the twittersphere: Prior to his account suspension he had amassed more than 90,000 followers, many of whom hung on his every word. Agree with his opinions or not (I usually don’t — his career has been an exercise in continual rotation between race-baiting, gay-bashing and tormenting feminists like Anita Sarkeesian), he’s an engaging and entertaining guy.

Twitter’s business model often seems sketchy to outside observers, but there’s no doubt that it relies on one thing above all: Keeping big chunks of its 650 million users active and engaged with other users.

When the accounts of popular, prolific users with lots of followers suddenly and inexplicably disappear, eyebrows go up. And McCain is not alone. Since the Twitter’s introduction of a “Trust and Safety Council” with Sarkeesian as a member, other right-wing tweeters have have had their accounts suspended (Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos), their “verified identity” credentials pulled (actor and anti-Sarkeesian #Gamergate thought leader Adam Baldwin), and so on. Twitter’s algorithms have also seemingly been rigged to mute the spread of the news, including suppressing listing of #FreeStacy in Twitter’s “hashtag” popularity rankings.

OK, I’m a libertarian. I understand and agree with the private property argument here. Twitter provides the service. Twitter owns the servers. Twitter gets to set the rules, and anyone who doesn’t like them can go find (or build) a microblogging service with rules they DO like.

No contest. Twitter gets to be stupid if Twitter wants to be stupid. But that doesn’t mean we can’t notice that Twitter is being stupid and act accordingly. This kind of behavior could, and should, make Twitter the new MySpace, an Internet ghost town mostly remembered through mockery, in short order.

The Sarkeesian Method — Sarkeesian declares offense, Sarkeesian demands the offenders be suppressed, Sarkeesian collects a paycheck for publicly denouncing those who offended her — tends to lead to the Streisand Effect. That is, Sarkeesian and her enablers get bad publicity instead of good publicity.

Like I said, not good business for Twitter.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
The Fordist Academic
Frank Scott
Weapons of Mass Distraction Get More Destructive
Missy Comley Beattie
Big Dick Diplomacy
Michael Doliner
Democracy, Real Life Acting and the Movies
Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown tells indigenous protesters in Bonn, ‘Let’s put you in the ground’
Winslow Myers
The Madness of Deterrence
Cesar Chelala
A Kiss is Not a Kiss: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
Jimmy Centeno
Garcia Meets Guayasamin: A De-Colonial Experience
Stephen Martin
When Boot Becomes Bot: Surplus Population and The Human Face.
Martin Billheimer
Homer’s Iliad, la primera nota roja
Louis Proyect
Once There Were Strong Men
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
David Yearsley
Academics Take Flight
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail