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18 Aug, 2020 23:13

Twitter declares war on satire, suspending parody persona Titania McGrath & others. Did they hit too close to home?

Twitter declares war on satire, suspending parody persona Titania McGrath & others. Did they hit too close to home?

Twitter has seemingly gone on a rampage against anti-“woke” satirists, locking the account of social justice warrior caricature Titania McGrath and suspending several others for reasons that remain unclear.

Several satire accounts, mostly British, ridiculing society's obsession with political correctness, found themselves locked out of Twitter or suspended entirely on Monday, with no explanation other than vague accusations of “platform manipulation and dissemination of spam.”

Also on rt.com Twitter ‘accidentally’ suspends satirical site Babylon Bee after it mocked Kamala Harris and USPS conspiracies

Sir Lefty Farr-Wright QC, Jarvis Dupont, Liberal Larry, Guy Verhoftwat, and Tolerance Police all found themselves kicked off the platform within hours of each other. 

While it’s unclear if all were given the same reason for their exile, Farr-Right took to Twitter alternative Parler to express his disappointment – in character, of course – and reveal he’d been baselessly accused of spamming and platform manipulation. 

Ratio Watch and conservative-leaning news satire powerhouse the Babylon Bee were also briefly suspended, then reinstated. The Bee especially has been targeted by liberal thought-police jealous that its popularity sometimes exceedsreal news” published by their own outlets. The satire site is often skewered by fact-checkers for supposedly publishing fake news, with the likes of Snopes implying conservatives lack the brainpower to distinguish between humor and fact.

Meanwhile, Titania McGrath, the woke caricature written by Spiked columnist Andrew Doyle, was locked out of “her” account after a biting send-up of critical theory in which she argued doctors were “bullying and dehumanizing” sick people – i.e. “those who do not conform to their perceptions of ‘wellness’” – and thus medical science should be banned as an oppressive, cisnormative, patriarchal construct.

‘Health’ and ‘wellness’ are mere taxonomies of privilege, inculcated by the hegemonic and oppressive discourses of ‘medical science,’” McGrath wrote in the offending tweet. She called for not only closing all hospitals and medical institutions, but re-educating children to “embrace and celebrate illness rather than seeking a ‘cure,’” eerily mimicking the language of wokeness.

A possible clue with regard to the purge appeared in the apologetic note the Bee received after its account was restored. “We have systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk, and yours was flagged as spam by mistake,” Twitter wrote.

Twitter and other social media platforms have been taking an increasingly heavy-handed approach to censorship with the US election looming less than three months away, removing any content that veers too far right or left of the establishment line. 

Popular conservative Twitter personalities like Katie Hopkins have found themselves deplatformed for “hate speech” over language that never raised the platform’s ire in the past, while commentators affiliated with ‘state-run media’ (that is, media in countries not friendly enough with Washington) have seen their tweets further shadow banned and slapped with a virtual scarlet letter.

Also on rt.com Twitter labels RT & Sputnik but NOT BBC, NPR & VOA as it launches blitz on state media staff & govt officials

However, it’s not clear how Twitter would go about detecting and removing a particular kind of satire in bulk, given that artificial intelligence is famously bereft of a sense of humor. Then again, so, it seems, are many of the people who the offending accounts were famed for mocking.

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