Thought Catalog Guy Pretty Sure Muting Him On Twitter Is First Amendment Violation
Over in our Wonket Sekrit Chatcave, a debate is raging as to whether or not this dumbass article on Thought Catalog is satire or unvarnished dumbass or some combination thereof? We’re not sure, but let’s get to mocking this guy who thinks (?) free speech is threatened by muting someone on Twitter.
Yes, you might think that free speech is only a thing the government owes you, not privately owned social networking sites, but that is because you are not a Thought Catalog Constitutional Scholar and you do not like Jennifer Lawrence movies.
Pre-mute days, Twitter was like the Hunger Games. You follow the folks you wanted to follow, and if they got annoying, you unfollowed them. Limitations forced users to work within the infrastructure of Twitter — if you wanted more followers, you were brief and witty. If you were unfollowed it was probably because of a rant, or you overshared, or you tweeted about a sandwich. It was that cut-throat.
Man, “cut-throat” is EXACTLY what we’ve been looking for in our random online personal interactions! Who doesn’t love the thrill of being called a gaping cuntface or a whore! Wouldn’t want to be able to mute that budding Voltaire out of your mentions, now would you? Also, if you’re muting, you hate freedom and the Arab Spring could never have happened.
But just imagine what would have happened if those Egyptians protesting during the Arab Spring had been muted; they wouldn’t have been able to share vital information that the State Department praised them for doing. Or how about the protests over the Iranian presidential election in 2009? Twitter was the only way many were able to communicate because of restricted mobile service, but now, what’s going to stop us from just muting those silly protesters dying for democracy?
Much as it pains us to say it, had every last budding American comic, every person who uses Twitter to follow the same companies they like on Facebook, every person who just likes to tweet at Beyonce in the vain hope she’ll tweet back, had every one of those people muted the Arab Spring tweets, the Arab Spring would likely have still happened. Turns out that having rando Americans read the tweets of other Americans tweeting about what they feel about non-Americans using Twitter to organize themselves is not actually what tips movements into revolutions. Weird, huh?
We’ll close with our inevitable and shopworn explanation of free speech. Dude, we do not owe you free speech. Twitter does not owe you free speech. The lady at Starbucks does not owe you free speech. The internet does not owe you free speech. Only the government — and here, I’m presuming you’re an American, even — owes you the courtesy of unfettered speech. If Twitter tomorrow creates a button that allows us to mute only unfunny Thought Catalog guys and no one else, that will still not be a free speech issue. Jesus, people. This is not that hard to understand, and you shouldn’t need a blog that specializes in mocking and dick jokes to explain the First Amendment over and over again. Get it together.