Twitter is not doing well. In the past 17 months, it has lost 50 percent of its market value. As a company, it doesn’t make money, having lost $380 million on $2.5 billion in revenue. It botched a terrible deal to broadcast Thursday Night Football for the flagging NFL–to which the league may now unceremoniously apply the ax.
But the biggest reason Twitter is losing relevance is that they’ve become the ultimate “safe space” on the Internet for evil, while minimizing voices for good. I used to think Twitter was good because it allowed people in freedom-deprived countries to communicate through anonymous channels. But no longer.
Twitter just bestowed its “verified” blue checkmark to @Ikhwanweb, which is the official handle of the Muslim Brotherhood. So they can tweet stuff like this:
Hamas: Balfour Declaration a Stab in the Back; Liberation and Self-Determination Only Redress https://t.co/9dHno4EPwe
— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) November 4, 2016
with the same online gravitas of the New York Times or the Washington Post.
Critics have rightly pointed out that @Ikhwanweb has been used by the Muslim Brotherhood to promote violence, including publishing a 2015 call for violent jihad and “martyrdom,” and spreads anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and anti-Western hatred online.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a global Islamic revivalist organization that seeks to take political power in order to promote its ideology, which calls for the establishment of Islamic law and ultimately promotes violent jihad against all those who oppose it, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
The Brotherhood has historically helped to spawn numerous terrorist organizations including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and even Al Qaeda, and Brotherhood members in the United States have been convicted of providing material support for terrorism.
Twitter has no problem with millions of Russian tweet-bot accounts, fake news generators, and the fact that over 2 million of President-elect Donald Trump’s followers are fake accounts. Yet they purge conservatives along with “alt-right” voices.
Conservative actor James Woods, who had 480,000 followers, quit the site on November 18 over what he called “censorship.” And it is censorship. Either Twitter is serious about having real people on its service, or it’s not. But it seems the company has lost its way–preferring to cherry-pick some accounts to purge because of the content of their tweets rather than tracking down the remaining 90,000 accounts controlled by ISIS. (To their credit, they did delete 125,000 ISIS-connected accounts in February.)
As useful as Twitter is to make a short point, a cutting remark, or share online content to a large audience, if the company can’t get its censorship, uneven application of the “trust” rules, and epidemic of fake accounts under control, it is almost certainly headed for the grave.