Just at the time when the titans of Silicon Valley are under scrutiny for the targeted practice of silencing those voices with whom they take issue, Twitter comes out with more proof of a clear cut bias in its standards and practices. This time, instead of the work of taking down opinions from the right, what we see is something of a protection racket towards trouble seen on the opposite side of the spectrum.
That this latest move involves protecting some pretty disturbing behavior only underscores the level of partisan standards in these companies.
This past week a swirling scandal developed around co-founder of The Lincoln Project, John Weaver, concerning his history of grooming young men for sexual purposes. Weaver allegedly would use social media to lure his targets and frequently he would use promises of professional favors in exchange for those favors of a sexual nature. It becomes a very revealing detail about The Lincoln Project, and the character of its membership.
The amusement arrives in that this is an outfit that loudly rails against others they deem to be lacking in character and morals. Vocal member Steve Schmidt frequently lashes out at opponents in this fashion. He recently targeted the booking company Vrbo when they did not properly cower to demands leveled by The Lincoln Project. ‘’Smarten up. Act ethically. Act in the interest of the public good.’’
These are the lectures from the same group that overlooked Weaver’s behavior at the same time. This was much like last year when it was revealed the same man had filed to work as a lobbyist for the Russians as TLP waged a lengthy campaign demonizing Trump’s supposed ties to the same country. After initial individuals stepped forward about Weaver, a growing tide of claims led to Weaver releasing a statement admitting to his actions.
“To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you. The truth is that I'm gay. And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”
When the story became more valid The Lincoln Project removed any references to Weaver from their site without announcement, a sign that ties were getting severed behind the scenes. But in the following days something interesting followed the media curiosity. Twitter appears to be running interference on behalf of the anti-Trump/Pro-Biden ‘’Republican’’ PAC.
Those curious to see if the outfit has made any announcements about the move, or to delve back into past tweets to see if there are any incriminating posts that had been made are running into roadblocks. Basic searches involving The Lincoln Project account were not delivering any returns. Even simply searching the account by its handle -- @ProjectLincoln -- would not deliver the site as a return.
At a time when the major tech companies are undertaking a clearly coordinated effort to stifle conservative interests and coddle those on the left, this becomes a vastly more revealing decision by Twitter. That the site is showing a preference towards an anti-Trump account becomes rather obvious. That they are doing so to protect them and hide details involving troubling behavior makes this move by Twitter all the more disturbing.
When they had been pressed on the issue Twitter was not exactly forthcoming. The explanation from the company via a spokesman was that this curious inability to seek out account details was ‘’a bug that has been fixed." This detail fails to come off as satisfactory, considering the glitch was extremely site specific, and extremely coincidental to when that site was enduring some severely negative press. Additionally, a search on the site Shadowban.eu, a tool used to find out if any type of controls may be placed on an account, shows there is in fact a site search ban in place.
By Sunday afternoon this curious non-functionality was changed, but there was not much in the way of a sensible explanation from Twitter. This was not an issue with the search engine function of the platform; it was a clear move to do what they could to keep the interests of a favorable outlet protected from information getting out.
Big Tech is clearly maintaining its position of controlling messaging as it sees fit with targeted standards. This involves both silencing those on the right, as well as protecting those on the left, or those they see as allies. Taking a moral stance is not such a priority.