Weeks After Blasting Twitter For 'Strangling Free Expression' GETTR Bans The Term 'Groyper' In Effort To Stop White Nationalist Spam
from the content-moderation-speed-run dept
It’s always fun to watch each new entrant into the social media market that rushes in claiming that it is the “true” supporter of “free speech” learn about the necessity of some level of content moderation. We watched it happen with Parler, the site set up by Trump benefactor Rebekah Mercer. And now we’re watching it happen with former Trump spokesperson Jason Miller — who is so supportive of “free speech” that he once sued a news org for reporting on something he didn’t want public (he lost badly and was told to pay legal fees). GETTR has already had some fun learning that content moderation is necessary (and not a necessary “evil” — just necessary). But now it’s gone up a level.
Of course, it was just a month ago that Miller was running his mouth, attacking Twitter and claiming that Jack Dorsey was “strangling free expression” at Twitter and “censoring opinions he doesn’t like.”
So it seems noteworthy that just a few weeks later, it’s Miller who is… doing the same thing. Specifically, GETTR banned Nick Fuentes, a pathetic wannabe neo-Nazi, who seems to spend all of his time just trying to troll people into being mad about what a sad little white nationalist he is. GETTR claimed that Fuentes violated its terms of service which, um, is the same thing that Twitter does when it bans people because that’s how it works.
But then GETTR went even further — including much further than anything I’ve seen Twitter ever do. It started banning a word associated with Fuentes and his followers: “groyper.” It’s not worth getting into the history of groyper, but suffice it to say, it started as an alternative to the old alt-right co-opting of the Pepe the frog cartoon, and then just became a truly pathetic chant that Fuentes’ followers chant as a sort of talisman to make sure they ward off anyone with more than a dozen brain cells. Anyway, Fuentes’ little band of misfit children started filling up GETTR with “groyper spam” to protest the ban of Fuentes, and so Miller and GETTR just… decide to ban the word “groyper” from the site entirely. As the Daily Beast discovered, it’s just not allowed at all.
Say what you want about Twitter “strangling free expression” but I don’t recall the company ever blocking your ability to post a single word in an effort to stop a bunch of sad edgelord teenagers from overflowing the site with protest spam. And, of course, as anyone with more than a little bit of experience in the content moderation space knows, doing simple word filter bans is not just silly, but also totally ineffective, as Arizona’s dumber-than-you-can-believe State Senator Wendy Rogers highlighted with the addition of a few “o’s”:
The key point here is that every website needs some level of content moderation or it becomes a total and complete cesspool that is basically unusable. Every website realizes that eventually. The idea that GETTR is any more “supportive of free speech” is nonsense. It just has a different set of rules that it will enforce somewhat arbitrarily, and it will make mistakes just as Twitter, Facebook, and other sites make mistakes. Of course, as a marketing tool, GETTR will continue to lie and claim that it is somehow uniquely more supportive of free speech, when that’s all a bunch of nonsense.