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Rules changes at Twitter

Twitter literally changed its own rules, hour by hour, the day after Trump’s speech on January 6. The next step was rule by fiat.

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In Part Two of the Twitter Files sub-sequence, The Suspension of Donald Trump, Michael Shellenberger discusses Twitter’s rules change. Twitter had to change its rules to excuse (it could never justify) suspending or banning the Donald Trump account. When they did that, Twitter management compromised Twitter’s value as a historical archive. Only Elon Musk’s reinstatement of the Trump account and other accounts has repaired this fault. Furthermore, when rules can change on the fly, justice is no longer an issue of rules, but one of personalities. This is the real meaning of the legal phrase “arbitrary and capricious.” That one fact made Twitter the “crime scene” Elon Musk called it yesterday.

How the rules changed

In 2018, doubtless in response to the Trump Derangement Syndrome that plagued Twitter even then, the Twitter Policy Team dropped this thread:

This offended some of Twitters most “Trump deranged” accountholders, one of whom articulated one of the earliest Cancel Culture rationales. Almost five years later, someone has observed, correctly, that Twitter changed for the worse after the Trump suspension.

Bear this thread in mind when digesting Michael Shellenberger’s thread, which we can call The Twitter Files, Part Four. This began to drop at 3:28 p.m. PST.

Reaction and analysis

As Mr. Shellenberger was posting the thread, outraged users weighed in immediately. One said of the “junior member” who warned of the implications, “Give that man a promotion!”


Many other users seconded that recommendation. Another observed that at least one person understood the meaning of the United States Constitution.

This attorney for the Center for American Liberty left several tweets in outraged reaction at various points in the thread. He closed with this:

To be sure, a few users held forth that Trump incited the Jaunary 6 “riots,” he was a dangerous man, etc., etc. But most did not.

This thread, even more than the earlier one, shows that Twitter deliberately changed its own rules. We see here an organization changing rules hour by hour. Matt Taibbi hinted two days ago that the final result was a discarding of rules – and rule by executive fiat.

To those who insist that “it’s a private company”: first, that’s not true. Twitter became a State actor, and we know who gave Twitter its marching orders. Second, any platform ruling by fiat is no less tyrannical than is a civil authoritarian. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson: a chief moderator whose character is thus marked by every act that might define a tyrant, does not deserve the business or custom of free users.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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Donald R. Laster, Jr

Or to put it another way – standard “Left” behavior used when the “Left” doesn’t like to be exposed to things they don’t like.


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