Online Moderation is not Censorship

Democracy is not about saying whatever you want whenever you want, without facing consequences:

‘this notion we have about radical free speech — this distinctly American framework, that anyone can say anything, more or less, short of screaming “fire” in a theater or making a “true threat” — does not have to apply to online spaces. Instead, companies like Twitter can make new standards, new frameworks, according to their corporate values and the needs of their users. (Twitter, a longtime holdout here, has recently escalated its attempts to make sure that “differences of opinion do not cross the line into harassment.”)’

– On Twitter’s ban of internet troll Charles Johnson, via The Washington Post

9 thoughts on “Online Moderation is not Censorship

  1. Brian Goulet​ Your comments don’t make sense. What you say comes across as gibberish in both your comments and I wanted to give you an opportunity to try to explain your meaning and give you the benefit of the doubt. You seem to be simply reacting against the idea of censorship even though in this case you are championing hate speech.

    This is a story about a racist and homophobic man who used Twitter exclusively to harass and threaten minority people. As with behaviour offline, where what you say and do has consequences, this man’s online behaviour has finally caught up with him. We don’t allow people to shout a stream of abuse in the middle of a busy street, much less give them a megaphone to carry out vilification; the Internet should be no different. You’re in the wrong place to defend the abusive behaviour of White men. Goodbye.


  2. Democracy is a form of government (supposedly) owned by the people. So you were unknowingly correct. You dare put “radical” before the most sacred right given to us by the founders of this great Nation? What is it about the words “free” and “speech” you weaklings don’t understand? It is about having an opinion and not fearing persecution because of it. Yelling “fire” and making a “true threat” are not opinions or beliefs. I hope you can be honest enough with yourself to admit you made gross mischaracterization here.

    Twitter is a business. Profits come first, especially when it’s been operating at a loss for most of it’s life. If words posted on the site has a negative impact on advertiser’s opinion of Twitter, Twitter has every right to censure whatever the hell they want. Don’t make a capitalist decision out to be a victory for the tender little people online.


  3. You’re trolling a couple of my posts Odious Brodious so I’ll briefly summarise what I’ve said elsewhere: I write about the sociology of science often as well as gender inequality. Your uninformed opinion does not actually engage with the material I post about, and sadly, you presume the entire world is your version of White male America. You are misinformed on free speech, so I hope you can commit to reading better sources on these and the other topics you’re trying to derail on my other posts. I wish you well.


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