back to article Nitwit has fit over twit hit: Troll takes timeless termination terribly

Twitter this week permanently banned a high-profile self-proclaimed troll, marking a possible sea-change in how the social network tackles its worst users. Baffling web celeb Milo Yiannopoulos was previously temporarily suspended from the service and earlier this year had his "verified" status revoked. Then after Yiannopoulos …

Silver badge

'Names will never hurt me' -- are you serious?

This playground retort is supposed to mean something? 'Assault and battery' -- the 'assault' is the language and behaviour of someone, and 'battery' is the physical attack. We have had a concept of 'attack' being words and behaviour for centuries. Racism and other hate is manifested mostly through language, and it is language that destroys people. Abusive language IS abuse. You can brainwash a person into thinking they are trash, that they ought die. The US Army has a huge resilience program to help strengthen soldiers to withstand verbal as well as physical torture. The stuff that goes into the brain can destroy the mind. It's not name-calling, it's a specific attack using what humans have evolved to do best: language, and it is why it is effective. I can only assume you have never been on the receiving end of bullying or verbal hate. Anyone who has could never be so flippant.

10
4

@AC -

I suspect that if not on the same actual page, we are at least working from a similar book.

However....

I suspect part of what make this twonk so powerful is that he's been previously suspended and reinstated, de-verified (even asked a question at a White House press conference about that) and IIRC he was more than happy to row in and stir the poison in GamerGate.

This was always going to go public - his position as Tech Editor for Brietbart meant that this was never going to go quietly. Do we have to give him the oxygen of publicity going forward - no.

Will others rise to fill his place - probably. But if Twitter didn't act now, and act with some backbone then it was probable that they would have lost even more in terms of others walking away - and that affects their profitability.

Should Twitter do something to stamp out more of this..... Well Now! That is a loaded question and probably one that will run and run for eons. Questions about proportionality etc.

As to the sticks and stones - perhaps on this occasion it was only words. But in the aforementioned Gamergate, it did escalate beyond words - some of the targets of such abuse were targets of SWATTING - the delights of US policing arriving on a doorstep following a fake 911 call.

That's not to say that he had anything to do with it - but I've struggled to find any records of it being condemned.

Long and the short - I believe people have a right to go about their daily lives and business without being abused - and if someone engages in abuse so as to deprive another of that right then they should face sanction.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

@hollerithtevo

I've been on the receiving end of numerous nicknames from my youth however none of them ever stuck because I didn't entertain the notion, the more anyone responds to this sort of behaviour the more it happens. Stop racism by ignoring the racist, trust me it works,

@Cynicle Observer

I agree, they should be banned without any publicity, that's the point.

0
0

"Stop racism by ignoring the racist, trust me it works,"

So I see someone in my organisation systematically ignoring job applications from people whose skin colour he doesn't like, and everyone looking the other way will stop this happening?

3
0
Silver badge
Coat

Youth today. Tut. An enterprising streaker would take a selfie stick and live-stream periscope it.

FTFY

/pun

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Still don't get it.

I have a Twitter account but don't use it much.

However as far as I can see a Twitter account is just a bit bucket. It isn't like this forum where a post is visible to all. If you don't retweet a message then it is gone forever.

So to see individual abusive tweets you either have to be already following the tweeter, or following the victim who then retweets the abuse. Or posts the tweet on some other medium for all to see.

Otherwise you are just a voice in an empty room - much like my twitter account.

I am assuming that if you need a twitter account for your business then you can also have someone filter out the crap - or just have a SPAM filter?

If abusive tweets just disappeared with no publicity or reaction then the incentive to make them would surely go away.

Bottom line - don't retweet abuse or tweet that you are getting it. Just report it.

0
0
Ru'

Re: Still don't get it.

Bottom line - don't worry about abuse or tweet that you are getting it. Just get on with your life, or if you like you can leave twitter.

FTFY.

If I stood up on a stage in front of thousands of people, I would not be surprised if I got heckled by one or two. If I want to avoid heckling, I would avoid the stage completely. Victim culture....

3
3
Silver badge

Re: Still don't get it.

Perhaps if twitter enabled you to create your own filter? That way you'd never see any of the words that offend you.

I will admit I have no idea how twitter works so not sure if this is a workable idea or not.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Still don't get it.

'Victim culture' -- if you want to avoid heckling, avoid the stage. So let's extend that. If you want to avoid being taunted for, say, a disability, don't ride on public transport. If you don't want to be abused for being gay, don't do anything that could be seem and ridiculed as 'gay' behaviour, ie stay in the closet. If you don't want to be catcalled, ladies, just stay indoors.

2
2
Ru'

Re: Still don't get it.

"So let's extend that..."

Everything can be extended to infinity, and end up with the nazis. Unless twitter now is being treated as something necessary for life I do not think the comparison fits. Obviously I would think this, but I believe my comparison of a stage is better; twitter is there to show off, to gain some followers, influence etc.

The world is not fair, it never has been. There's no point pretending it is, or that we can make it that way. Sometimes people need to be told to toughen up, like it or not.

Abuse on twitter can be so easily solved by not using it. It's text on a screen, which can be turned off permanently.

1
0
404
Silver badge

Re: Still don't get it.

You can also mute and block people who bother you, it's not like you have to sit there and take abuse from anyone.

I, however, have been blocked by Trump. I'm ok with that.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Not a single comment on the political censorship issue?

Not even one?

2
15
Ru'
Facepalm

Re: Not a single comment on the political censorship issue?

There were lots, but they got censored...

4
2
Facepalm

Re: Not a single comment on the political censorship issue?

This wasn't political censorship, it was abusive fuckwit censorship. Applied by a private company, and only to their own messaging system.

Most people don't have a problem that.

23
0

Re: Not a single comment on the political censorship issue?

Here's one.

I don't subscribe to the idea that censorship is always wrong, and I certainly don't subscribe to this fucked up notion that free speech means zero consequences and that I should be able to use someone else's medium to say whatever I like.

19
0
FAIL

Re: Not a single comment on the political censorship issue?

@AC and Political Censorship.

Here you go - the reason there was no comment is because there was no political censorship.

Twitter is not part of the state apparatus - the author covered this.

But if it helps..... Imagine you're in a nightclub and you get loud and obnoxious and either threaten to glass or encourage others to glass another customer.

The Bouncers kick you out - possibly with a good size eleven to the arse but hopefully you get one of the ones who is as good at talking people down as he is a taking them down.

No censorship - the business entity has exercised its right to protect its other customers.

That's what happened. No Censorship. Move along. End of.

XKCD nailed it!

13
0
Silver badge

Right-wing news website

Actually, that would seem to be the problem right there. Not specifically its existence, but that given the vast diversity of challenging and thought-provioking information available online, people choose instead to gather around sites that exist simply to confirm their prejudices - whether they be right wing, left wing, religiously fundamental or otherwise created to exclude the possibility of doubt or debate.

The Twitter issue doesn't really bother me: it seems to have a kind of US college fraternity culture and I can't see what purpose it serves apart from the affirmation of group membership. However, I am disturbed by the fact that we live in an age of unparalleled access to information of all kinds and yet political debate is perhaps the least informed it has been since 1642. And also that the suppression and poisoning of online sources of information that is increasingly practised by governments is not so much an imposition on the people as a form of collusion with them.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: Right-wing news website

I think the debate is as uninformed as it always has been, only where once it was conducted in private now we get to see it in public.

But, supposing you're right, could one be related to the other? Could people be seek out group affirmation because they are crumbling under the multiplicity of information? (Or maybe they're seeking out group affirmation because of economic insecurity?)

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Right-wing news website

I was involved in a discussion the other day around the juxta-position of many UK youths complaining that their elders had sold them out and ruined their lives etc. (/whinge/whine) when most of them who seem to be complaining didn't get off their arse and *actually* vote.

They *expected* everyone to vote remain, popular opinion and divided polls aside.

Now, quite a few of these youths (and apparently people of more aged appearance) now seem to be taking solace in AR (aka Pokemon) in a kind of mass ostrich-like 'head in the sand' behavior*.

*At least that was the general consensus of what we were seeing happen at any rate. People aren't happy, feel disempowered in some way = stick head in sand and bleet about it online.

Just an opinion piece of course, no facts were harmed in the composition of this post.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Right-wing news website

" was involved in a discussion the other day around the juxta-position of many UK youths complaining that their elders had sold them out and ruined their lives etc. (/whinge/whine) when most of them who seem to be complaining didn't get off their arse and *actually* vote."

Except that's anecdotal bullshit, because youth turnout was 64%, in the same ballpark as all working-age groups. Which may actually go a little further in explaining why they're so pissed off with the result - they actually voted for once and it didn't go their way. Combined with the general theme of the Remain campaign being 'if we leave, the world will literally end by 3pm on Friday', that kinda left a lot of under-30s feeling very upset.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Right-wing news website

Actually, while I generally agree regarding the echo-chamber effect of the web (which has only really become this way since social media became a thing and started channeling us into small cliques who agree with each other all the time and filtering out anyone who might offer a different opinion), I think that the US right is in a much worse condition than most other examples, because it started this earlier. Hence this kind of deranged racism masquerading as free speech and the orange monstrosity that just became their nominee.

2
0

He seems to be a bit of a bell-end.

Sadly there's no shortage of people like him.

8
1
Mushroom

Freedom of speech angle

No one seems to have picked up on the "Freedom of speech" angle;

My thought on it is that it always seems to be brought up as a "defence" by people trying to abuse or attack others verbally or online, for whatever means.

They all seem to dumb to realise that freedom of speech is exactly the same as freedom of action:-

There is nothing actively stopping _anyone_ from snatching a phone or handbag, walking up to someone and punching them etc.

The reason normal, sensible people do not do such things is because they know it is wrong and they know there will be unpleasant consequences.

No difference whatsoever with "Freedom of Speech" - you _can_ say whatever you want, but you should be prepared to suffer the consequences if you harm others or break laws in the process.

4
1

Re: Freedom of speech angle

And likewise, if I am the landlord of a pub and you exercise your freedom of speech to abuse my other patrons, I am absolutely within my rights to kick you out on your ass and bar you from coming back.

12
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Freedom of speech angle

And that unfortunately is where the Freedom of Speech / Right To Hate advocates want to take us all; into a world of hate and abuse. I hate you, you hate me, we all end up hating each other. Job done.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Freedom of speech angle

"They all seem to dumb to realise that freedom of speech is exactly the same as freedom of action"

Um, no, it isn't.

You don't have 'freedom of action', because many actions - like the ones you cite - are illegal and will result in the state arresting you.

You do have 'freedom of speech' (in the US), because the state will not arrest you for saying things.

That's the difference.

It also has absolutely nothing to do with this case, since Twitter is nothing to do with the state. Though the usual idiots who bring up 'freedom of speech' whenever they're complaining about not being allowed to spout racist or misogynist filth wherever they like generally fail to recognize that too.

1
1
Silver badge
Windows

Re: Freedom of speech angle

@AC:

"And that unfortunately is where the Freedom of Speech / Right To Hate ..."

And if all us bodies on the ground are fighting each other ..... who comes out ahead.......

/just leaves that thought in plain sight.

0
0
Silver badge

'His disproportionate influence died the moment "Account suspended" appeared.'

Not entirely. It seems to have got him a 2-page article on el Reg. Perhaps the better option would have been to have ignored the whole incident.

3
0

Kieren generates yet another article turning the once great Register into an outpost of the Guardian.

4
15
Silver badge

So reporting the ban of an abusive guy is like the Guardian?

How do you think El Reg should have reported this story? They seem to have got their facts right. Is reporting that this chap's fan-base poured abusive comments about an actress into the Twittersphere someone liberal shit? That reporting the ban of this chap is somehow Left insane bias?

Would your version be 'freedom fighter for the right of real Americans silenced and censored by self-proclaimed thought police of the feminzai left?' Just curious.

4
0

Re: So reporting the ban of an abusive guy is like the Guardian?

I don't know that they should have bothered reporting it as it isn't tech related beyond being on Twitter, though this is a comment piece not a report so reflects the author's opinion as opposed to just facts.

Someone was suspended by Twitter. So what? Happens daily. And as far as I can tell there were no innocents in this. On one side there seems to be a right wing attention whore and on the other a semi literate comedian prone to racist outbursts who seems to have been upset by a film review. Both seem happy to stir the crowd when it suits them.

And ultimately to the wider world it's meaningless.

But I still see an article reflecting a particular viewpoint that not so long ago would have come nowhere near this site but looks right on target for Comment is Free.

2
0
Silver badge

Healthy following?

Perhaps you meant "large following".

4
0

"web celeb Milo Yiannopoulos"

Sorry, never heard of him

3
1
Anonymous Coward

applies to speech too but..

The price of freedom is the requirement that you accept the consequences of your actions.

That some vile troll like @nero hides behind his sexuality, blames perceived political bias and espouses some sense of entitlement to access a privately owned forum just speaks of how little right he has to be a public mouthpiece.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

What did he say that broke the rules?

I have been looking everywhere and I can't find the offending tweets. If you are going to write a story like this, at least share the details, otherwise there's nothing to learn from this.

0
1

meh

she was taunting many people for many hours with just as bad language because they didn't like the movie.

look at the whole timeline over very long period to see it.

she played the victim card, @jack personally talked to her, now whiny milo gets to play victim.

meh...

since you linked to verge

http://www.theverge.com/2016/7/20/12237222/twitter-milo-yiannopoulos-ban-harassment-leslie-jones-transparency

Yiannopoulos’ tweets were deleted when the account was pulled, and Twitter didn’t provide examples of the targeted abuse or harassment he was banned over. His Ghostbusters review, while negative, didn’t single out Jones, and he wasn’t directly responsible for the more egregious messages she got. So was he suspended over a specific tweet, like the screenshots? Did Twitter decide his gloating was encouraging her harassers? After years of complaints over generally trollish behavior, did Twitter just decide enough was enough?

Consequently, we can’t tell if Yiannopoulos finally crossed a clear line, or if Twitter is only paying attention because the abuse hit a celebrity like Leslie Jones. We can’t examine or dismiss Yiannopoulos’ long-standing claim that he’s been targeted for his conservative views. We can’t know what kind of harassment reports Twitter will take seriously when people besides Jones submit them.

********

Obviously, a Twitter ban is orders of magnitude less serious than a criminal conviction, whatever the pro-Yiannopoulos #FreeMilo hashtag implies. But it’s not nothing. Just as we shouldn’t tell harassment victims to “just log off” the internet, we shouldn’t pretend that being kicked off a platform with millions of users doesn’t cut you off from some part of modern public life, and Twitter should be careful with the power it’s got.

*****************

like I said....meh

bunch of whiners get to play victim cared

3
2

Re: meh

should say victim card not victim cared in last sentence. missed the mistake, sorry.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

If it was me

Instead of Kieren, it would have a one line article. Mind you it would have had to have had two words censored.

It is relevant, as he *claims* to be a tech editor.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Did I miss something?

Was is the movie review that got him banned?

0
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Sorry wrong forum

I thought this was El Reg, not Twatter, not sure how I got here. I'll be heading back to El Reg now...

0
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018