Twitter as an ideological battleground

Though this reaches kind of far into the childish and petty – which I try to avoid both participating in and even acknowledging – I think it is worth pointing out what is happening, for anyone like me who didn’t know anything about it. From admittedly liberal news sight PoliticusUSA.com comes this article, first pointed out to me at The Secular Jurist (emphasis mine):

More dirty tricks by a desperate minority: The 2012 election taught conservatives that they are the minority, even on social media like Twitter and Facebook. While the Tea Party has started their own version of Facebook (tick tock — waiting for them to be sued for stealing the layout), their solution on Twitter has been to silence speech they don’t agree with by spam blocking en masse to get progressives suspended. Last weekend they got over a dozen accounts suspended.

“#TGDNexposed” was trending on Twitter after progressives uncovered the coordinated assault. Zach Green, Founder of UniteBlue.com, explained to Politicus how conservatives are trying to silence the speech of progressives using the hashtag #TGDN, “A group of conservatives organized under the hashtag #TGDN has been targeting progressive accounts with the intention of getting them suspended. They report progressive accounts as Spam, which is particularly effective against smaller accounts with few followers. We’re helping the Left find and follow one another so they are protected.”

Into this assault stepped #UniteBlue. Mr. Green described #UniteBlue in an interview with Politicus as “a watering hole for progressives to connect on Twitter. Our sole purpose is to connect the Left with the understanding we’re stronger together.” Unite Blue functions on Twitter as a list to protect progressive accounts from being suspended via conservative “spam blocks” by getting them more followers.

I, for one, am about to totally go and de-friend everyone not listed as “Liberal” on my Facebook account. That’ll show ’em.

Spam blocking in order to silence progressives is just another tactic of a minority trying to hijack the dialogue. Remember the death panel town halls of 2010? If they can’t win with messaging, they will resort to dirty tricks executed with the necessary belligerence of the minority.

Zach broke it down for Politicus readers, “The 2012 election showed progressives simply outnumber conservatives now. Republicans saw that, and their solution is to silence the Left. Make voting harder. Gerrymander districts. Rig the Electoral College. Spam-block and suspend accounts. UniteBlue will work to connect the Left on Twitter because we’re stronger together.”

Though the inclusion of ‘spam-block and suspend accounts’ in that list of truly despicable and troubling fringe-conservative plots is enough to give you a migraine from the cognitive dissonance it invokes, it is a fundamentally dishonest attempt by the right to silence what the don’t want to hear. Hopefully this story won’t get too much play – I’d rather liberals not be seen losing their shit over anything anyone does on Twitter – but it does seem unavoidable to conclude that the only thing more petty than making a big deal about this is the original act itself. Getting people blocked on Twitter? Come on people. It does give you a pretty good idea of where the average, man-on-the-street conservative extremist’s head is.

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