Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Twitter has odd ideas about freedom of speech

Apparently, mocking President Vladimir Putin (a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler - there I said it) is akin to hate speech. How else can one explain the fact that Twitter suspended indefinitely the account @DarthPutinKGB. In the past they suspended an account that was mocking the Kremlin run media outlet Sputnik (@SputnikInt) on the spurious excuse that the name was too similar and could confuse people. Actually, it could, as the tweets put out by the official Sputnik are so preposterous.

The mockery was resumed under a new handle, @Sputnik_Not with a strap line: We're Not Tellin' The Untold. Twitter might decide to ban this one as well but they cannot pretend that it is too much like the official account.

Now they have decided to suspend @DarthPutinKGB though there has been no explanation even along the lines of it being just like the real account, whatever that might be. The whole thing has been put into perspective by Brian Whitmore on the Morning Vertical, RFE/RL. A sad state of affairs.

UPDATE: Apparently it's back:

But just in case it disappears again, here is the hashtag to use: #NoTwitterGulagForDarthPutinKGB

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