We have traveled a long and tortuous road from the ‘Sanity Clause’ to ‘Catch-22’ to Elon Musk’s De Facto Town Square of World Freedom
Graphic: Twitterville: The Town Square of World Freedom. Graphic by James Porteous
UPDATE: 19 April 2022
The day after posting this item to various anti-social platforms I can offer wonderful, first-hand proof of how this process works.
Below you will see the number of times Twitterville: Home of Lord Algorithm and Mayor Elon Musk was ‘viewed’ since it was posted.
On the right are the stats for views on Twitter and on the right, the times it was seen on this blog.
Now one might have expected that a humourous item posted to Twitter about the move on the part of Elon Musk to become Mayor of Twitterville might be of interest to more than 23 people.
And it might have been. Had more than 23 people actually seen it!
But that is exactly how Lord Algorithm works! I can see the post, and I might therefore assume that everyone who has access to the hashtags can see it, but that is not the case.
In truth, Lord Algorithm decided that there was something offensive or untoward or questionable about Twitterville: Home of Lord Algorithm and Mayor Elon Musk and ‘allowed’ it to be ‘published’ but also determined that only 23 residents of Twitterville would see it..
Is that censorship? Of course. Is it random? No. It is a serious concern? In this case, probably not. Whether or not everyone has the opportunity to read a satircal post about the richest man in the world is not a life and death situation.
But you can see first-hand how it works. What if the topic of this post did concern a life or death situation? Take a pick of any of the dozen political or social interests you follow on and off social media? How many of those might Lord Algorithm consider to be ‘problematic.’?
18 April 2022 | James Porteous | Clipper Media News
The De Facto Public Town Square
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.Elon Musk – Twitter
It one were to show a timeline leading to the birth of The Town Square of World Freedom it might begin with The Marx Brothers doing their ‘Sanity Clause’ routine and then moving along to Yossarian fighting Catch-22 in the novel of the same name and ending with a photo of Elon Musk, De Fact Mayor of Twitterville, standing in The Town Square of World Freedom lecturing the world about freedom and free speech and, you know, being the best you can be.
Such a map could very-well be banned in Twitterville of course. The terms of service and all that.
Still, despite what you might have heard on the Twitterville Grapevine, the Good Lord Algorithm can indeed serve as force for Good.
The Sanity Clause – A Night at the Opera
One need look no further than the most recent concoction -#standforukraine – to know this is true.
Never in the history of human warfare has a Call to Arms been embraced with such zeal and gusto.
Indeed, had an Alien (from other planet, not another country) disembarked on Planet Earth on 24 February 2022 they might have concluded they were witnessing a joyous worldwide New Year Celebration!
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,’ he observed.
‘It’s the best there is,’ Doc Daneeka agreed.
Yossarian saw it clearly in all its spinning reasonableness.Joseph Heller – Catch 22
And yet, Lord Algorithm has not even begun to scratch the surface.
Imagine the public outpouring if Microsoft or Tesla were to announce they were building massive #standforukraine factories in Twitterville?
Or perchance The Powers that Be were to declare that #standforukraine needed funding from State Department or USAID or Boeing?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lord Algorithm was born [need quotation to verify] on [date unknown] [needs to be verified] in a Petrie dish [needs to be verified] in Silicone Valley [needs to be verified], then known as ‘the Breast Implant Capital of the World.’ [needs to be verified]. He was rumored to have been ‘fathered’ by Al Gore [needs to be verified] although Algorithm claims to have been only the second Immaculate Conception known to mankind [needs to be verified]. Lord Algorithm has threatened litigation [needs to be verified] against Facebook and Mark Elliot Zuckerberg [needs to be verified] hoping to recoup lost royalty payments. [needs to be verified]
Note: Enough with the bloody [needs to be verified]. Of course, I know it needs to be verified. I may have been born yesterday but I stayed up all night (Spike Lee) [needs to be verified].
Why the breaking news would be featured on every Twitterville feed around the world.
And yet, while Twitterville supports #standforukraine today, dare we even ponder what might happen were Lord Algorithm to be jostled from his slumber at dawn, still drunk with power after ingesting one too many algorithmic pints?
In truth, Lord Algorithm has the power to banish the followers of the Cult of Lord Algorithm -and their hashtags- into the cornfield, never to be seen again.
And there #standforukraine would perish, lost in the same trash bin of history as #IStandWithPalestine or #HelpSyrianRefugees or #IHaveQuestionsAboutCovid.
Yet, the beauty of the disappeared is that no one – not even the beloved Mayor of Twitterville – would even need to acknowledge that there had been a global change of heart.
Indeed no one -not a single person in the human world- might even know that #standforukraine had ever existed, let alone been banished.
Such is the power of the Mayor of Twitterville and his faithful servant, Lord Algorithm.
All of that notwithstanding, our quest to reach The Town Square of World Freedom shall terminate today -and perhaps for evermore!- with a video from Brian Berletic, who has kindly offered to share his views on The Mayor’s desire to save humanity from itself.
Mr Berletic himself has been banned from Twitterville for expressing views that did not abide by Twitterville’s Terms of Service and of course he might soon be banned from YouTube for failing to abide by Google’s Terms of Service.
And this post might be moved to the Twittterville Dustbin if the Mighty Lord Algorithm were to become aware of its existence.
But I think we are safe for now.
James Porteous | Clipper Media News
Elon Musk Buying Twitter: Why It’s a Bigger Battle Than You Think
Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter and reduce “content moderation policies” is much more complex and possibly dangerous than it appears.
Twitter and other US-based social media corporations aren’t just bad corporations with equally bad policies – they are an integral part of US state censorship, information warfare, and – most importantly – establishing dominance in the information space of other nations around the globe.
This power will not be given up without a serious fight.
BONUS! Who’s on First?