Monday, 13 November 2017
The Ballad of Reading Twitter from Gaol
It’s a cold and lonely place, Twitter jail. Here in Worldwide Scrubs, the prisoner of conscience scrawls five bar gates on the walls with his own blood, counting the days, the weeks, to his release. Okay, it’s just the one week but for what? I responded to a race-baiter by calling him a soppy cunt... and then I did it again. But hey, he is a soppy cunt; you know, one of those Lee Jasper types, who believes that blacks can’t be racist and whites can’t help it.
Not a famous person, I should clarify - I know that dropping the C-bomb on the blue-tick brigade is an instant slap on the wrist – no, this was just an ordinary Joe. But Twitter determined that I broke their rules on ‘hateful conduct’. By which rule “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Well, I did none of those things and neither was it purely gratuitous; the man was being a cunt about it and I told him so. If Twitter has an objection to the use of a particular word why don’t they just prevent you from using it at all? It may not be everybody’s go-to profanity but have you heard what is considered acceptable in wider public discourse today? Especially among the young... who are, we are constantly told, the future. Chaucer would be rubbish at Twitter.
But of course, banning words is the start of a slippery slope, so Twitter doesn’t do that; it bans people instead. Like the precious university children no-platforming speakers with whom they think they might disagree, social media has a poor record on freedom of expression. It’s fine to bray “Tory scum” and wish death on whoever is beyond the pale today, but call out the hypocrisy of their selective Voltairisms and banished you must be. First they came for the truth-sayers, etc.
Here rots Battsby, wan and pale,
All alone in Twitter Jail.
So, here I am, victim of my own proclivity for wading in when I see blatant cuntery on my timeline. Is this spell on the naughty step going to change my ways? Not a lot; maybe I will avoid ‘picturising’ quite so many idiots, maybe I will lay off the ‘C’ word. (See, I’m already doing it.) But more likely, as many before have done, I will scale back my prolific tweeting a tad, disillusioned by the restrictions placed on my opinions and stick to posting pictures of kittens. Watch this space...
(In the meantime, my parody account, @Untie4len is active and flogging this blog!)