Twitter is paralysed by Trump’s tweeting


It seems a lifetime ago now that Twitter billed itself, back in 2012, as the “free speech wing of the free speech party”, a characterisation that both the company, and arguably the internet as a whole, has well outgrown.

Things were simpler for Twitter back then. Now, its reality is one where it apparently can’t please anyone. While its team in San Francisco debated internally (we assume) what to do about Trump’s retweeting, the head of the US communications regulator was in Washington accusing it (and other big networks) of unevenly and unfairly censoring conservative voices online.

The firm’s chief executive Jack Dorsey, who from time-to-time weighs in on controversial matters to dampen the hysteria, has so far been silent on Mr Trump’s retweeting of Britain first.

Renowned tech commentator John Gruber described Twitter’s statement as “weasel-ese” – another sign of a company paralysed; unprepared to handle the tidal wave it would face were it to take action against the President’s Twitter activity.

Twitter’s inconsistent treatment of hate speech surely makes you consider if rather than acting in in the public’s interests, it’s far more concerned about its own.