On March 21, 2006, someone decided to send something called a tweet. A rather banal message, it included the following five words: “just setting up my twttr.” The person responsible for the tweet was Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter.
In the almost 16 years since the Tweet was sent, the microblogging site has gone from a once hospitable place—where people were free to share ideas—to a rather inhospitable one.
In November, Dorsey handed in his resignation letter, and for good reason. Twitter has become a censorship machine—a place where dissenting views and heterodox opinions are shot down. In many ways, Twitter’s censorship now resembles communist China’s.
As someone who lived in China up until very recently, I have firsthand experience of censorship. Now, before I am accused of being hyperbolic, let me state the following: what I am discussing here is an approach toward censorship, and the ways in which those who stray from the prescribed narrative find themselves punished—swiftly and severely.