Twitter Not Busting the First Admendment
I haven’t seen the new Ghostbusters film. I thought the original was just okay, and I’m not sure how adding Kristin Wiig to the mix makes it any better.
But even if the movie is truly awful (and it’s scoring a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it probably isn’t) there is no excuse for the kind of abuse co-star Leslie Jones has been enduring on Twitter recently. I won’t dignify any of the tweets by repeating them here, because they are cruel and racist in an unfathomable manner.
In response, Twitter has permanently banned writer Milo Yiannopoulos from using the platform. It is sort of a lifetime achievement award. Yiannopoulos has a history of trolling objects of his scorn. Apparently, Twitter has had enough. And predictably, Yiannopoulos sees in Twitter’s actions political correctness run amuck and the end of “free speech.”
It is neither. First off, let’s hope Yiannopoulos is not invoking the First Amendment here. Because it doesn’t apply. The First Amendment applies to “state action.” And Twitter, a private company, is not the state. It is free to set up codes of conduct and enforce them as it sees fit. And whether it makes good decisions or bad decisions in executing the policy, it doesn’t violate anyone’s constitutional rights.
And if you want to rail against “political correctness” this is probably not where you want to plant your flag. A number of the tweets compared her to an ape and used the n word. It’s not “politically correct” for Twitter to crack down on that type of behavior. It’s just correct.