Twitter is at war with the very idea of America. As evidence, one need only look at the social media giant’s latest innocent victim, Mike Harlow.
On Friday, Harlow received a stupefying email with the simple subject, “Your Twitter account has been suspended.” By way of an (inadequate) explanation, the email unceremoniously read, “Specifically, for: Violating our rules against evading permanent suspension.” That might sound reasonable, except that this was the first notice Harlow had ever received from Twitter and he was clueless as to what behavior the company was referencing. “I never HAD a permanent suspension!” He wrote. “I never broke any terms of service.” Harlow had never taken any action that could possibly be construed as “evading permanent suspension,” especially considering the fact that such a suspension was non-existent in the first place.
All this was rather infuriating and confusing, but while Harlow was searching for answers Twitter decided to get specific with its accusation by sending him an “update” explaining that he’d been caught “managing multiple Twitter accounts for abusive purposes.” That may indeed be a violation of Twitter’s rules, except for one minor detail: it wasn’t true. Harlow had been operating a single Twitter account (@mikeytheharlow) for years. He hadn’t changed phones, or created multiple accounts, or done anything to warrant such a charge. Nor had he engaged in online abuse.
Naturally, Harlow appealed. If the company’s previous accusations smelled a bit fishy, Twitter’s response to Harlow’s appeal was downright putrid. “Your account has been suspended and will not be restored because it was found to be violating the Twitter Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter Rules against participating in targeted abuse.” His sin? Defending someone who’d been the victim of abuse on Twitter. Yes, you read that correctly. When a leftist outrage mob attacked Megyn Kelly months earlier for posting pictures of her children, Harlow had come to her defense by admonishing those harassing her and sarcastically comparing the situation to a Monty Python skit: “Omg she loves her children?!?! Burn the witch!!!!” For that tweet, Mike Harlow has been permanently banned.
Except that’s not why Mike Harlow was banned. No one — not even an incompetent Twitter employee — reads that tweet and sees any form of abuse, especially not targeted abuse, unless of course the person doing the reading is dishonest. If the goal isn’t to enforce Twitter’s rules as objectively and fairly as possible, but instead to leverage their nebulous and malleable language in order to purge the platform of its most effective ideological enemies, then the reason for Harlow’s ban becomes crystal clear.
Twitter is at war. They’re at war with the very idea of America — the idea that individuals should be free to think, speak, write, and associate with each other voluntarily without permission from anyone. To the blind fanatics of the authoritarian left, this concept is sacrilege. As a result, Twitter views your mobile phone as the frontline in a grueling crusade, and sniping at emerging voices from the other side as its hallowed duty.
Like many large tech companies, Twitter was forged in a crucible of champagne socialism. Out of San Francisco’s elitist and hypocritically anti-capitalist milieu, in recent years a more virulent and openly insurgent dogma rooted in radical leftist authoritarianism has solidified. As a product of this culture, Twitter is infected to its core with an anti-Enlightenment cancer hell-bent on destroying Western civilization and all the concomitant progress that makes a company like Twitter possible in the first place. A major tenet of this new imperialistic religion is the outright rejection of individualism and return to a primitive tribalism in which the individual is irrelevant — despised, even — except to the extent that he can be used as a tool for the tribe. Rational discourse, recognition of any objective truth, and even nonviolence as a standard have been replaced by group allegiance, strictly enforced.
Some refer to this radical leftism as “cultural Marxism,” which is technically inaccurate but metaphorically spot-on. Instead of stoking the fires of class warfare in an attempt to topple liberal democracies like their Soviet comrades, these “cultural Marxists” pit tribe against tribe with the same goal. We’ve seen this play out in the public arena time and time again. What constitutes racism? Whatever a person of color says constitutes racism, unless that person of color is Candace Owens. Have an opinion about abortion? Shut up; only women can have opinions about abortion, unless you’re Ann Coulter. Concerned about the anti-scientific zeal with which transgender activists are gleefully abusing children and attempting to gaslight an entire culture into believing it’s the compassionate thing to do? Only members of the LGBTQ community can speak to that, unless you’re Mike Harlow.
Harlow’s real sin is that he’s effective opposition to Twitter’s seditious goals. His ban was less about the size of his following and more about his rapid growth and biting verve in communicating his ideas — the wrong ideas (by Twitter’s standards). Twitter censors have come to realize that it’s easier to kill potential influencers when they’re in the nascent stages (Harlow had 3,600 followers), rather than wait until they’ve amassed an audience of millions. Millions of angry followers could lead to bad press, but smaller accounts can be bullied and excommunicated without so much fuss. That’s what makes identifying potential dissenters and banning them early so crucial to Twitter activists.
So what made Mike Harlow’s account pop-up on Twitter’s threat radar? As an emerging voice in the gay community and a prominent member of the #WalkAway movement (he voted for Bernie in 2016), Harlow used the platform to poke holes in the sacred transgender propaganda worshipped by Twitter nomenklatura. Far from a “transphobe,” Harlow simply sees through the social “justice” smoke screen and advocates for a more rational approach. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people want to be treated the same as everyone else,” he wrote in one tweet. “Radical alphabet people want to be treated differently. That is the key distinction. And that is why sane LGBT individuals take such exception to the latter category.”
Agree with him or not, to Twitter even entertaining the idea that radical trans-activists might be wrong — about anything — is heresy. And Harlow was a habitual heretic. “Good news: There is NOT an epidemic of trans people being murdered,” he explained in another recent tweet. “5 out of every 100k Americans are the victims of homicide. 1.1 out of every 100k trans people are the victims of homicide. About 20–25 trans people killed each year. 51 Americans are struck by lightning each year.” That may be good news for people who are concerned about an epidemic of violence against the trans community, but it’s not good news for the radical spin-doctors at Twitter, who desperately need its community to believe the approved narrative. These are people who have no qualms about hurting innocent users in the name of a cause they believe to be just. Ergo, it was time to ban Mike Harlow by any means necessary, plausibility be damned.
Harlow is just the latest victim in a long string of Twitter’s thinly veiled ideological purges that include everyone from radical feminist Megan Murphy to conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos (the mainstream media will falsely report that he was banned for “racist abuse”). And while Boomers may view a Twitter ban as a mild inconvenience, Millennials know all too well that future employers often outsource their own moral assessment by deferring to the judgment of social media giants. In HR departments around the country, “he’s banned from Twitter” is code for, “that’s a hard pass.” Good luck, kid; the corporate activists have marked you for life.
So how were so many Americans — myself included — convinced to willingly assist such an effective cultural manipulation machine in its quest to dismantle our society and undermine Enlightenment values? Twitter literally has the power to sway elections. Easily. Surreptitiously. And it’s controlled by people who seem to think Orwell’s 1984 is an instruction manual for a globalist police state. How did we let this happen? Why did we give our enemy time, attention, and even money with which to destroy us? The answer is tragic in its simplicity: they lied. They lied to us all, and we stupidly bought it.
When Harlow first joined Twitter in 2009, he was — like all of us — assured that it was an open platform with a few simple rules that would be enforced impartially. At its inception, Twitter’s entire Terms of Service was a scant 568 words prohibiting the obvious: impersonating someone else, doxxing, “specific threats of violence against others,” copyright infringement, unlawful use, “serial accounts for disruptive or abusive purposes,” name squatting, malware/phishing, spam, and pornography. The terms were largely uncontroversial, objective, and in accordance with the cultural expectations of its predominately Western population.
Even as Twitter grew and expanded its Terms of Service into an unmanageable monstrosity that includes a 1,240-word “hateful conduct policy” with ambiguous rules against “expressing hate,” Jack Dorsey (Twitter’s co-founder and CEO) swore to Congress (under oath) that “Twitter is used as a global town square, where people from around the world come together in an open and free exchange of ideas. We must be a trusted and healthy place that supports free and open discussion.” Sounds rather benign and pro-free speech, doesn’t it? And just to be sure that he’d quelled any lingering doubts about Twitter’s role in the culture war, Dorsey added, “Let me be clear about one important and foundational fact: Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules. We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially.” In other words, he fed us all one hell of a whopper.
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Had Dorsey been honest with users right from the company’s birth, he’d have told us that Twitter cares about free speech and free expression only so long as it serves the agenda of the most radical of elements of an increasingly rabid social “justice” mob. He’d have warned us that ideological dissidents would be unceremoniously booted to pave the way for cultural narrative manipulation that even China could envy. And we’d have told him to go pound sand. We wouldn’t have given him years of creative energy and power over our followers and reputations. We’d have chosen another floundering platform to patronize, and Twitter would never have achieved critical mass to become a dominant mainstream player with so much authority over what we read, think, and say. We’d have left “tweeting” to the birds.
Thirteen years later, America isn’t just on the brink of a civil war; we’re in the midst of one already. It may seem hyperbolic to suggest this, but consider that war rarely begins by dropping bombs and sending in the Marines. Nor are its battlefronts limited to lines on a General’s map. War — and civil war in particular — is complex. When insurgent elements seek to overthrow a government, multiple campaigns are waged simultaneously, and not all of them directly involve bloodshed. Political warfare is used in an attempt to leverage the apparatus of the bureaucracy to effect a “soft” coup. Information warfare is waged when news agencies selectively report stories and inject political and ideological bias into coverage, all the while professing to be objective “journalists.” Economic warfare tactics involve politicizing normally apolitical free market activity. These include de-platforming and ostracizing ideological opponents in the business community so as to both control the public discussion and starve would-be nonconformists.
So take a good look at Mike Harlow and the countless other political dissidents wrongfully banned from Twitter over the past few years and ask yourself: might America’s next civil war have already begun? And if it has, which side is @Jack is on?