Yesterday I wrote about the absurdity that was hack Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos asking White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about his stupid Twitter verification complaint. As I previously noted, there are precisely zero grounds for the government to get involved in a dispute of this nature with a private corporation.
I classify Twitter’s action as bad customer service and as private speech I don’t like because of my conservative views. Those views include the following: private companies (which are individuals organized to do things as efficiently and safely as possible) have a right to free speech and free association. Corporations are people! They don’t lose those rights because they get too big or because someone thinks they look like public entities if you squint. It’s okay for corporations to sell products, or engage in speech, that people hate. People and corporations don’t owe you anything: not a free lunch, not a free platform. You’re responsible for reading the contracts you sign, physically or digitally. Whether or not you support anti-discrimination laws governing private entities, they can’t be reconciled completely with free speech and free association rights. Or, put in law-professor-speech, anti-discrimination values and free speech values are in tension.
So anyone who believes the Obama administration or Congress can somehow coerce the Twitter staff into restoring Milo’s checkmark or Robert Stacy McCain’s account is fooling themselves.
Judging from the comments from Milo’s YouTube video, his fans don’t quite seem to grasp this issue, responding with accusations of mass censorship and remarks about how the government should be able to regulate Twitter’s policies because it’s sort-of-kind-of-not-really a public entity because they want it to be one.
Here’s noted conspiracy theorist/ambush “journalist” Mark Dice:
This commenter wants Milo to try suing Twitter. As an aside, I recall another racist troll trying something similar. Wonder how that’s working?
Here’s someone who likened forcing Twitter to adopt new Terms of Service to regulating electricity. Because our educational system is terrible.
This nut links the controversy to ISIS:
And Bararara Bororor here cites some unnamed court case(s) from some unknown court(s) to assert that social networks are public spaces that can be regulated or something:
This commenter wants to know where Josh Earnest and Obama were when homophobic bakers and florists were being forced to not discriminate against LGBT customers. Funny thing is, all those cases involved statewide antidiscrimination laws (e.g. Oregon and Washington) since sexual orientation is not protected by federal civil rights legislation.
And some thoughts from the “I don’t like government intervention but…” crowd:
At any rate, the bottom line is no, the government can’t help you with your Twitter sadz.