Twitter ≠ reality


Vijaya Gadde is the “Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Lead at Twitter”. Her replies are to Indian right-wingers on Twitter demanding to know why Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey saw fit to be photographed holding a poster with the words “Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy” on it.

Her copy-pasted apology, while clarifying that the picture wasn’t “relective” of Twitter’s views, certainly seems to reflect the all-important difference between reality and social media platforms: everyone’s participation is better for business, Mark and Jack believe, including that of the the idiots and the barbarians. Otherwise, there’s no need @vijaya would have to apologise to a bunch of trolls engaging in whataboutery and intent on misunderstanding the phrase on the poster.

From the positions of reason, civility and constitutionality, nobody should have to apologise for standing by the message “Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy”. Or even have to clarify that “smash” isn’t a call to violence, that “Brahmanical” is very specific to the Indian context, that “patriarchy” is not a synonym for “man-hater”. Shouldn’t have to respond to idiots.

We saw exactly the same thing happen with Facebook in September, when its sole right-wing fact-checker – The Weekly Standard – objected to a partially wrong story by a liberal outlet – Think Progress – and had it blocked from being viewed on the platform. Think Progress got mad, wrote an angry oped and its supporters slathered the left media space with more. The Weekly Standard held its ground (reasonably so, the Think Progress article’s headline was evidently wrong). But Facebook just sat there, smug in its belief that it was doing good.