Fascism And The #FreeMilo Campaign
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Politics and Activism

Fascism And The #FreeMilo Campaign

Twitter has made itself into a complete joke.

Fascism And The #FreeMilo Campaign
Star Tribune

If you've bothered to take a look at Twitter's trending hashtags in the last week, you've likely discovered how anti-conservative/anti-Republican many Twitter users are.

While a few hashtags revealed a sympathetic tone for the conservative cause, the vast majority of them ridiculed the opinions of the nation's right wing or libertarian contingent.

The events taking place inside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland held the attention of most of the major news outlets of the country, but the action just outside the arena kept most tweeters on Twitter. One occurrence in particular sparked a veritable Twitter war.

Enter Milo Yiannopoulos, tech editor for Breitbart News and a gay conservative who wholeheartedly supports Trump. Over the last several years, Milo has been a main actor in introducing a new, more aggressive brand of conservatism, also called the "alt-right." On Wednesday, Milo had planned a "Gays For Trump" party to take place outside the arena housing the RNC. Minutes before this party kicked off, however, Twitter leveled a permanent ban on his account that had hundreds of thousands of followers.

Following the ban, many Twitter users celebrated the triumph over "haters." Milo fans on Twitter, however, began to voice their disapproval of this act with the hashtag #FreeMilo, which quickly became the No. 1 trend worldwide.

Now, the particulars of exactly why and how this ban came into being are circulating all across the world of internet journalism. The long and short of it is this: Milo's conservative views made too many big shots uncomfortable.

On his Twitter account, Milo had posted a link to a review in which he wrote about Leslie Jones' and others' performance in the new "Ghostbusters" film. His criticisms of her in that review and a few tweets from him spurred some of his followers to tweet her with their own criticism, some of them quite scathing. Jones, saying that free speech did not extend to offensive tweets, then began to demand that Twitter help combat Milo, even though he was not the one asking anyone to attack her.

What stings the most isn't the fact that Twitter actually agreed to put a ban on Milo's account. After all, Twitter is a private corporation and is able, rightfully so, to make its own terms of use, which users must follow. I'm not saying I agree with some of these terms, but Twitter has a right to them nonetheless. For the record, I also don't agree with all of Milo's ideas in general or what his followers were tweeting to Leslie Jones specifically, but that fact is also irrelevant.

What makes this whole situation so frustrating isn't the actual act of Milo being banned. Instead, it's the fact that the left, who uproariously celebrated this ban, is completely missing the irony.

You see, Twitter doesn't apply its terms of use to the Black Lives Matter accounts that were literally calling for physical violence against cops, even to the point of calling for the murder of all cops. Twitter doesn't apply its terms of use to people who harassed Caitlyn Jenner when she mentioned that coming out as transgender was far easier than coming out as Republican. Leslie Jones' own Twitter account is filled with racist tweets about white people, and she has personally called for her followers to harass other Twitter users, which is what Milo allegedly did. What we have here is a case of an openly progressive, liberal corporation only closing the accounts of those that espouse a dissenting opinion.

The people who supported this ban while ceaselessly hunting for fascism in the conservative ideology need look no further than the mirror to find it.

The identifying characteristic of fascism is not allowing disagreement to an ideology. And this is what so many people on the left want. They want "hate speech" (read: intolerance or disagreement with an opinion or idea) to be, in effect, illegal. Not only is "hate" a very subjective concept, much of the hateful speech to which they refer is not hateful at all.

Fascist policy supports putting a gag on people who dare to express a dissenting viewpoint to the one the government, and society at large, holds. And Twitter just demonstrated what that looks like.

So, regardless of whether or not you agree with what Milo and his followers had to say, no one can deny the double standard here. Milo's account gets banned for being incendiary, but countless other accounts that incite actual violence get to stay because Twitter, and the mainstream in general, happens to support their cause.

Welcome to America in 2016.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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