Friday, 29 July 2016

Does Milo Deserve To Be Banned?

If the details cited herein are true, then this is a damning indictment of both Twitter and Milo Yiannopoulos. Although Milo has previously been excellent at making the appropriate criticisms elsewhere concerning freedom of speech on university campuses, the content of third wave feminism and the corrosive nature of political correctness - all of which I agree with, I yet disagree that his Twitter ban was an infringement of free speech (because property rights). Twitter is private property and they are within their rights to ban him, despite their own apparent absence of integrity.

I am withholding judgement on Milo for now only because I haven't fact-checked the specific claims against him. If they are true, then not only is Twitter within their rights to ban him, but I daresay he would deserve to be banned (though I have no care for Leslie Jones).

On the broader question of online harassment, I do think people who make death threats online and those who engage in slander and libel should face censure, but it should be of the private, civil-society sort (e.g. ISP banning) rather than State enforced. Some years ago, even I was subject to a death threat by an anonymous commenter who soon disappeared after I challenged him to carry his threat out in person. Beyond that, people who actually plot murder and other violent crimes online should be considered as acting as part of a criminal conspiracy and therefore subject to arrest and being brought before a court.

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