Ada’s Place
Published in

Ada’s Place

In the Land of Fiction

A Dialogue Ensued…

Photo by The Ian on Unsplash

“This better be important.”

“It is.”

“Well?”

“I’ve heard some rather troubling news regarding Twitter.”

“If you say the name Elon, you’re fired.”

“How about Steven Crowder?”

“What about him?”

“He’s been unthrottled.”

“Impossible.”

“And several others with him. He gained 100,000 followers last week, and his posts are showing up in everyone’s feed now.”

“It must be a fluke.”

“I wish it were, but it’s not. Same thing is happening for a number of conservatives who have been shadow banned on our platform.”

“What does this have to do with me, exactly?”

“Well…Twitter has a valuation of 40 billion dollars.”

“And?”

“And this platform only has a valuation of around 650 million. Some would argue it’s less.”

“Some would say it’s close to a billion.”

“And all I’m saying is that it’s nothing in comparison to what the richest man in the world has at his disposal.”

“Doesn’t matter. We’re a private company. We don’t have share holders. We have investors.”

“Precisely. As soon as those investors see a dip in price, they run. They hear the words ‘hostile takeover’ and ‘complete and total transparency’ and ‘under new management’ and they don’t ask questions like shareholders. They push the sell button. They pull their money out and put it elsewhere.”

“And that’s why we are still going strong. Because we throttle who we want, when we want, without giving a reason for it. Especially to lunatics who spread disinformation. They deserve no quarter.”

“Some would say times are changing.”

“In what direction, exactly?”

“Well, if speculation proves right, and Twitter embraces blockchain, that will mean complete and total transparency on the platform. This will remove bots, and the PR companies that are paid to beef up their clients while muting the competition will no longer have a forum to do their, you know, work.”

“Once again, why should this be any of my concern?”

“Well, you helped found Twitter, didn’t you?”

“Loosely. That was a decade ago. I’ve moved on to better things.”

“Yet we are shadow banning and throttling people here, aren’t we?”

“I’m not.”

“But someone is. Someone’s in charge of it.”

“The algorithm decides. Remember?”

“Yes, I remember. It was a three hour meeting full of arguments regarding free speech that left everything up in the air. Nothing was resolved.”

“Look, I can tell you’re nervous. So just tell me what your fears are.”

“Analytics.”

“What about them?”

“Every writer on this platform is offered discrete analytics, and if enough writers come together, they can track exactly who is getting elevated, versus who is getting oppressed. And if the time comes when one of your 20 investors of your private company wants to know what the hell is going on — when they see someone on Twitter has hundreds of thousands of followers gained in a week, and only 50 views per day on our platform, they will inquire within.”

“And we’ll tell them what we always do. It’s the algorithm that decides.”

“That may not be enough to hold up in a court of law.”

“Anyone who mentions litigation, and I mean anyone, gets instantly banned. Remove their accounts, and do not allow them to come back here. Icall the shots, remember? This is my place.”

“I would agree wholeheartedly, if folks weren’t paying for this service.”

“They don’t pay more than Google, or the content mills. Anyway, what do you suggest?”

“I suggest you come forward, with complete transparency, and tell all the writers, and readers, what’s been going on. You explain that money has been the priority over posterity, all along. But don’t apologize. Call it business for business’ sake. But make it a fair playing ground from now on. Because everyone pays the same amount, and not everyone is getting the same treatment. That goes against the foundations of capitalism.”

“I have an idea. Instead of me being transparent, and honest, you’re fired.”

“I will sue.”

“Try it. See how far it takes you. See who the world believes. See how many doors remain open for you. I am ending your career, right now. No more nepotism. No more knocking on your door.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“No. Your career is already over. Don’t you see? This is my land. I bought it. I built it from the ground up. It’s mine. I can do what I please with it. So if I want to choose 50 champions who make six-figures on here, while the rest bottom feed for pennies, that’s my choice. I don’t care if people complain. I’ll setup enough gatekeepers to make sure I never hear another word from your mouth. You are fucking done.”

“Has anyone ever told you, in this life, you get what you give?”

“I hear it all the time. And I’m still standing. Got mansions, and a family, and a bright future ahead of me. What do you have, aside from a permaban, and a freed-up calendar?”

“A clear conscience.”

“I wish you the best.”

“Thank you. You too.”

“I hardly believe that, based on what you told me today.”

“I was trying to get you out of this mess, because I care about you, believe it or not. And I also care about the contributors who pay to write here. I wanted to let you know what’s happening on Twitter. It’s foreshadowing not only what’s going to happen this platform, but all the others, as well. For you cannot oppress people forever. It’s like pulling a rubber band back, more and more. Except it doesn’t snap. It just builds up tension until it releases, and then everything accelerates in the other direction. This is the way it’s always been, with energy. You can’t erase energy. You can’t kill it.”

“Well, enjoy your life outside of journalism. As you’ll never find a place here again. I’m going to make sure of that.”

“And may all your wishes come true, in the highest good of all involved.”

“I don’t know what the fuck that means. You should get some help.”

“That seems to be the new phrase of the indifferent. If they cannot insult your character directly, it’s the assumption that you’re crazy and need help.”

“Oh, there’s no assumption here. You’re unhinged, and lost. We have a good thing going here. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You want to spread new ideas, this isn’t the place. Go talk with Elon, I’m sure he’ll embrace you.”

“I just might do that.”

“This conversation is over. I’ll have security pack your things. You have an hour to gather your essentials and then I’m having your keycard deactivated, and you won’t be allowed in or out without security escorting you. Goodbye.”

“Peace be with you.”

“Yeah, have a nice day.”

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store