How Twitter really works

God's in his heaven. All's right with the world.  And Jesse Kelly is back on Twitter.

Kelly's permanent banning from Twitter elicited an outcry not just from conservative Twitter-users, but also from two U.S. senators (one sitting, one ready to sit).  Kelly got to experience the Wildean joy of, at last, being talked about.

But just as criticism of Twitter's capricious suspension policy was reaching a fever pitch, the company relented.  Kelly's account was reinstated.  No explanation given.

If Twitter thought the sudden reversal would placate the right, it was wrong.  Incoming senator Josh Hawley is asking Congress to investigate Twitter over its claim to being a "forum for a true diversity of political discourse."  The House Energy and Commerce Committee is now looking into whether Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lied during his congressional testimony last September when he said Twitter doesn't ban based on ideology.

Spoiler alert: Jack lied.  We all know that Jack lied.  Congresspeople, in their gaping ignorance of the most rudimentary technology, know that Jack lied to their faces.  In their usual ineffectualness, lawmakers did nothing about it.

This is how Silicon Valley is designed to work.  Techies and geeks and transhumanists have their own enclave in the Santa Clara Valley where they attempt to progress human society by creating glitchy, brightly colored computer programs we let our souls get sucked into in exchange for a cheap distraction.

Twitter is the worst of the mislabeled "social" networks.  It incentivizes facile discourse and contextless smearing.  Following Kelly's ban, conservative pundit Glenn Reynolds quit the platform, calling it "the crystal meth of social media – addictive and destructive, yet simultaneously unsatisfying."

Any Twitter-user honest with himself knows that Reynolds was speaking the truth.  Twitter causes nothing but immiseration.  Only a small band of neurotic political junkies really care about a platform that limits users to ADD-fitted diatribes.  And the president, who is a sui generis user and, most improbably, leveraged Twitter to win the highest office in the land.

Trump was a fluke.  Reynolds had the correct approach: he preserved his sanity by simply dropping out.  Some may call it capitulation, waving the white flag.  I find it the least masochistic of moves in an unnecessary battle.  Twitter should be left to the incestuous cabal of journalists who get their rocks off thought-policing unsuspecting users.

This shouldn't be read as a call for the right to retreat from the digitized public square.  Unlike more Washington-friendly conservatives, I don't pooh-pooh the culture war.  If the past three years have taught us anything, it's that politics is affected most by cultural pugilists who refuse to back down on social-centric issues.  Two words elucidate the point clearly: Trump, immigration.

But trying to get Twitter or its flippant leader to respect conservatives is like trying to turn Planned Parenthood into an Edmund Burke book club.  Twitter will always regard non-liberals with disdain.  Anyone right of center who remains in Dorsey's fiefdom is subject to his arbitrary fiats.

Kelly may be glad to have his account back.  But given Twitter's reluctance to actually explain its censorship policy, there's a chance he won't be long for the site.  He and like-minded conservatives will run afoul the site again because the boundaries aren't clear.  Nobody but Twitter knows where the landmines are located on its own field.  Misgendering gets you banned; calling Jews "termites" does not.

Avoiding Twitter doesn't mean surrendering to social media's general anti-conservative bias.  Adjusting for scale isn't hard.  Twitter is nowhere in the same league as Facebook and Google.  Entire industries live and die by the whims of flip-flop- and frayed jeans-wearing Facebook coders.

The Facebook-Google duopoly on news publishing is something to be opposed on the simple principle that Mark Zuckerberg shouldn't be the next William Randolph Hearst.  Twitter, on the other hand, is just a forum for virtue-signaling and mob suppression of views outside the liberal orthodoxy.

If conservatives want to remain on the site and fight it out with the overlords, they're free to.  I think they're wasting their sanity.  There are much better alternatives: go for a walk; play with your kids; pick up a dumbbell.  And delete the damn blue bird icon off your phone's home screen.

God's in his heaven. All's right with the world.  And Jesse Kelly is back on Twitter.

Kelly's permanent banning from Twitter elicited an outcry not just from conservative Twitter-users, but also from two U.S. senators (one sitting, one ready to sit).  Kelly got to experience the Wildean joy of, at last, being talked about.

But just as criticism of Twitter's capricious suspension policy was reaching a fever pitch, the company relented.  Kelly's account was reinstated.  No explanation given.

If Twitter thought the sudden reversal would placate the right, it was wrong.  Incoming senator Josh Hawley is asking Congress to investigate Twitter over its claim to being a "forum for a true diversity of political discourse."  The House Energy and Commerce Committee is now looking into whether Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lied during his congressional testimony last September when he said Twitter doesn't ban based on ideology.

Spoiler alert: Jack lied.  We all know that Jack lied.  Congresspeople, in their gaping ignorance of the most rudimentary technology, know that Jack lied to their faces.  In their usual ineffectualness, lawmakers did nothing about it.

This is how Silicon Valley is designed to work.  Techies and geeks and transhumanists have their own enclave in the Santa Clara Valley where they attempt to progress human society by creating glitchy, brightly colored computer programs we let our souls get sucked into in exchange for a cheap distraction.

Twitter is the worst of the mislabeled "social" networks.  It incentivizes facile discourse and contextless smearing.  Following Kelly's ban, conservative pundit Glenn Reynolds quit the platform, calling it "the crystal meth of social media – addictive and destructive, yet simultaneously unsatisfying."

Any Twitter-user honest with himself knows that Reynolds was speaking the truth.  Twitter causes nothing but immiseration.  Only a small band of neurotic political junkies really care about a platform that limits users to ADD-fitted diatribes.  And the president, who is a sui generis user and, most improbably, leveraged Twitter to win the highest office in the land.

Trump was a fluke.  Reynolds had the correct approach: he preserved his sanity by simply dropping out.  Some may call it capitulation, waving the white flag.  I find it the least masochistic of moves in an unnecessary battle.  Twitter should be left to the incestuous cabal of journalists who get their rocks off thought-policing unsuspecting users.

This shouldn't be read as a call for the right to retreat from the digitized public square.  Unlike more Washington-friendly conservatives, I don't pooh-pooh the culture war.  If the past three years have taught us anything, it's that politics is affected most by cultural pugilists who refuse to back down on social-centric issues.  Two words elucidate the point clearly: Trump, immigration.

But trying to get Twitter or its flippant leader to respect conservatives is like trying to turn Planned Parenthood into an Edmund Burke book club.  Twitter will always regard non-liberals with disdain.  Anyone right of center who remains in Dorsey's fiefdom is subject to his arbitrary fiats.

Kelly may be glad to have his account back.  But given Twitter's reluctance to actually explain its censorship policy, there's a chance he won't be long for the site.  He and like-minded conservatives will run afoul the site again because the boundaries aren't clear.  Nobody but Twitter knows where the landmines are located on its own field.  Misgendering gets you banned; calling Jews "termites" does not.

Avoiding Twitter doesn't mean surrendering to social media's general anti-conservative bias.  Adjusting for scale isn't hard.  Twitter is nowhere in the same league as Facebook and Google.  Entire industries live and die by the whims of flip-flop- and frayed jeans-wearing Facebook coders.

The Facebook-Google duopoly on news publishing is something to be opposed on the simple principle that Mark Zuckerberg shouldn't be the next William Randolph Hearst.  Twitter, on the other hand, is just a forum for virtue-signaling and mob suppression of views outside the liberal orthodoxy.

If conservatives want to remain on the site and fight it out with the overlords, they're free to.  I think they're wasting their sanity.  There are much better alternatives: go for a walk; play with your kids; pick up a dumbbell.  And delete the damn blue bird icon off your phone's home screen.