Anyone on social media who has been paying attention knows that Twitter has a major problem with bias against conservatives and free thinkers. The latest conservative Twitter casualty is Sky News host, Weekly Times opinion columnist, and beloved Twitter personality, Rita Panahi.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Tim Pool famously schooled Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey and Head of Trust and Safety, Vijaya Gadde on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Podcast. Pool pointed out numerous instances of unjust Twitter censorship, from the banning of Meghan Murphy (for calling out the now-exposed Jessica Yaniv) to the #learntocode debacle where users were suspended en masse for tweeting a harmless meme at woke journalists.
Since then, things have only gotten worse.
Panahi has been put on a 12 hour suspension with a warning that if she violates Twitter’s terms of service again, she may face a permanent ban.
Her infraction? A 2017 tweet in which she clapped back at Women’s March co-chair and front woman Linda Sarsour.
Panahi has called out Sarsour on multiple occasions, refusing to let Sarsour get away with statements about how western wars, and not Islamic terrorists, are responsible for ISIS. She would not let this stand, and called out progressives for allowing their “…movement to be hijacked by Sarsour.”
How did it get to be a Twitter crime to hold a well-known activist’s feet to the fire by interrogating her views and positions? She documented Sarsour’s anti-Semitic rants, and demanded that her advocates take notice.
The Post Millennial reached out to Panahi who told us that “Twitter remains a hopelessly biased and inconsistent platform. They allow the most deranged hate to remain on their site including threats of violence from leftists but will ban or suspend conservatives for innocuous tweets that supposedly breach their rules.”
How is a post from two and a half years ago, in which she points out lies made in an abusive email, a breach of Twitter’s rules? How many tweets that question Sarsour are going to fall into the category of “things that get journalists banned from Twitter?”
Panahi rightly asked if Sarsour was ill-informed when the activist tweeted out that Saudi Arabia treats women better than in the U.S. Saudi Arabia— where women only recently got the right to drive and guardianship laws are still in effect. Saudi Arabian women are actively fighting big tech companies to remove a tracking app from app stores that men use specifically to track the women who are under their guardianship. It doesn’t matter how many laws are in place for maternity leave if a woman is not allowed to leave the house.
This is the kind of work that needs to be done, and Panahi is doing it. It’s an honest and forthright critique of Linda Sarsour, her anti-western and anti-Semitic antics, and it’s necessary. Leaders of influential social movements need to have their ideas examined. The job of journalists is not to let things slide simply because it’s difficult to ask questions, it is, of course, the opposite.
A Commentary Magazine investigation by Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel revealed that Sarsour and her Women’s March were deeply anti-Semitic. This, in and of itself, should have been enough to vindicate Panahi preemptively.
While conservatives often get booted for minor infractions or wrongspeak, left-wing personalities like Reza Aslan can incite violence against conservative children with impunity.
People like Yaniv and Aslan can claim anyone is a bigot and get them banned. Meanwhile, gender critical feminists are kicked off the platform for merely asking to have a discussion on whether or not biological sex exists. The need for ideological parity online is real.
Twitter has made itself a worldwide center of media, yet it still does not have established or clear standards as to what speech violates its terms of service.
While Panahi’s suspension is temporary, it appears that Twitter’s ideological bias will go on and on. The upside is that new social media platforms are springing up, and many of them show promise.
For those who appreciate ideological diversity: let’s try not to lose touch with one another as we migrate from the censorious ones to the new, free platforms.