“a precedent of subjectivity”? What about “a responsibility of subjectivity”?
Aristotle said, “equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally.” That is a powerful statement on the difference between objectivity and subjectivity, also demonstrated as a difference between fairness and justice. It looks as though Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone are trying to make Twitter a place that treats people fairly, behaving objectively, while completely ignoring the reality that requires a sense of justice and subjectivity. Twitter must be subjective if it wants to be a positive force in the world. Objectivity says, “everyone should have a voice!” Subjectivity says, “We aren’t creating a place for Nazis and misogynists to hurt other people.” Is there a line to be drawn? Of course. Twitter has already drawn a line with its anemic but clear and enforced “terms of service”, so we know it’s already not completely objective.
So how about we admit that we can’t be objective, that we must be subjective, and we move that line?
There is no rule nor law requiring Twitter to be objective. Fairness is objective, but justice is subjective. In an objective ecosystem, every person would be treated the same. Imagine a world where every human was fed 1600 calories and only 1600 calories of food a day. A 6'9" man would wither…a 4'9" woman would become obese. But it would be fair to give everyone the same amount, right? It would be fair, but it would not be just. Justice is subjective, providing for individuals based on their needs, not based blindly on some arbitrary definition of equality.
It’s fair to give everyone, including Nazis and misogynists, a platform to abuse people because of their race and gender. But it is not just. It is not the world I want to live in, the lens through which I want to see my world.
Twitter, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. (Gandhi) Choose justice over fairness. Stop being afraid of subjectivity, and embrace it, for the good. Silence the hate, and amplify the love.
Unless that’s not the kind of world you want. In which case, keep things just as they are.