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Build Your Own Twitter, They Said

When “Build Your Own Twitter” Became “You Can’t Have Your Own Twitter”

When I first started this website, I focused on Twitter as a way to spread articles on it. Despite many of those early articles being terrible, the great patriots I met on that platform were largely supportive and helped me along. Plus, Twitter is an excellent platform for the sharing of ideas. But, from the very beginning, the specter of social media censorship hung over every post, every interaction. Many other conservatives experienced similar threats of censorship and discrimination, but when they, or I, voiced concerns, the response from the left and libertarian right was “build your own Twitter.”

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And that was a fair response. While “build your own Twitter” might sound dismissive, it is, I think, a fair point. Twitter’s a private company and use of it is voluntary. If we disagree with its actions, as most conservatives do, then we should just use a competitor. That is how the free market is supposed to work.

And work it did, Adam Smith’s invisible hand went into action and created a Twitter competitor. Responding to libertarians and leftists saying “build your own Twitter,” John Matze did just that. He built Parler, a social media site that functions similarly to Twitter but does not censor users for anything other than threats of violence or sharing pornography. It was a pro-free speech platform, rather than being anti-freedom, like most of the Big Tech platforms. Because of that, it became popular with refugees from the authoritarian Twitter platform.

But then, when social media censorship came to a head after the Reichstag Fire of 2021, suddenly the left reversed course and eradicated the infrastructure that allowed Parler to succeed.

Colluding in a cartel-like manner, Google, Apple, and Amazon worked to crush Twitter’s competitor. That gang of Silicon Valley oligarchs did its best to remove the one company with the temerity to challenge Big Tech’s domination of American society.

build your own twitter, they said

Companies deciding not to associate or provide services to another company is fine and fair, if done legally. Apple has no legal obligation to allow downloads of Parler, nor does Amazon have a responsibility to provide server space to it. Morally, I believe discrimination on the basis of political beliefs is wrong, but that doesn’t mean companies have to work with other companies.

But companies are not allowed to collude, which it appears that the Big Tech companies did. To protect their dominance of the social media space, they worked together to eradicate Parler after saying for years to “just build your own Twitter.”

Yet worse, they also worked together to prevent Parler from coming back online. According to John Matze, they pressured other companies to not work with Parler. They told other server services to not work with it and convinced service providers for everything from payments to legal advice to flee it, making it difficult for the site to recover.

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That is illegal. It is cartel-like behavior, which has not been allowed in America since the Gilded Age.

Americans need to wake up to the threat posed by Big Tech, especially Google. We need to boycott it and every other leftist company that stands against freedom of expression.

If we don’t, then we might not be able to express our opinions publicly ever again because we will be banished from the internet, the public square.

Note that I said the internet is the public square, not any specific company. Twitter might seem like a public utility, but it is not. Ditto that for Facebook. They are areas where people converse in the online public square, but not the public square itself.

That means that conservatives and policymakers must not get distracted trying to force Twitter or Facebook to allow conservative views to be shared on their platforms. That would be a waste of time because it addresses the wrong problem. Social media censorship is bad, but the real problem is ensuring that access to the public square of the internet is not controlled purely by a few oligarchs.

While we don’t have a right to use Twitter, we do have a right to share our opinions, both online and in person. And that is what is so dangerous about Big Tech’s concerted attack on Parler. In behaving like a cartel, they worked together to deny free speech rights to half of the country. That cannot go unpunished, nor can it be allowed to continue. Every American should desperately want Parler to come back online. Without it, free speech in America might be dead.

They said “build your own Twitter,” so a few brave conservatives did so. Big Tech hadn’t anticipated that, imagining its monopoly on online conversation would continue forever. So, when the unimaginable happened and a brave start-up challenged Big Tech’s dominance, a cartel of trillion-dollar companies colluded to crush it. That is heinous and un-American.

What allows our capitalist economy to work is competition. What Big Tech did was anti-competitive. That’s a horrifying attack on free speech, capitalism, and American values. It must not be allowed to continue.

It’s okay to say “build your own Twitter.” That shouldn’t be something we conservatives should have to do, but if we do then fine. What’s unacceptable is kicking people off one platform and then preventing them from accessing or building another.

By: Gen Z Conservative

6 COMMENTS

  1. Conservatives had a decade plus of routing liberals on social media. It wasn’t a fair fight because liberals hamstring themselves since they can’t body shame you or question your sexual orientation or suggest you are weak. They insult you by calling you rich, successful and good looking because that is what they despise and it just doesn’t work.

    They have to censor and ban us. They need their safe space where the flames from the right can’t melt their frozen crystalline lattice.

  2. And this is the point we (libertarians, conservatives, et. al. who aren’t leftist) no longer can simply say “build your own.”

    Admittedly, I’m still seeing too many conservatives and libertarians making this argument. It’s incorrect because 1) these companies aren’t private anymore, if they ever were. Michael Rectenwald (look him up, he’s a former leftist turned libertarian) has done quite a bit of research outlining companies like Twitter, Google, and Facebook as very much being funded by tax dollars and in bed with the military industrial complex. Ergo, their actions can very easily be argued as unconstitutional.

    The second point was, of course, already addressed in the article – building your own isn’t enough. Amazon, Twitter, and Parler’s security provider certainly seemed to coordinate its downfall. It’s not cheap nor easy to host things; servers are big, expensive, and thus require a lot of space and cooling. So now, it’s expected to rent/buy ALL NEW infrastructure “completely” away from everything else.

    This brings me to my last point: since we (non-leftists) are being forced to break away like this, why aren’t we pushing for secession, micro-nations, etc.? I mean, we may as well at this point. We are culturally divided beyond repair, half of us don’t trust elections anymore, there are growing movements on the right to quit spending money for the next four years (and try to only support locally owned entities), etc. Add all of that with practically dividing up the “Internet” and there’s an easy argument that there needs to be a break of some sort. The U.S. is dying already, it’s irreversible. This is the fate of all empires. We need to be smart and start thinking ahead. The left sure did, and look how effective they’ve been in bringing down the world’s mightiest empire. All in about 50 years…

  3. The phone companies are private, too, but everyone would be deeply offended if they listened in on our calls and cut the line if we said something they didn’t like. Anyone who uses the “private company” argument for internet censorship is ignoring how our primary means of communicating with each other have changed with the growth of internet usage.

    • It wouldn’t be morally right, just as censorship isn’t. And I agree, but for now the social media companies aren’t regulated as utilities. they would have to be for us to treat them like it.

      • If they’re legally a form of official government communication (thereby preventing President Trump from blocking anyone) then they’ve lost some degree of privatization. The tax dollars invested in these companies ethically make them property of all U.S. citizens. The written law may not state that, but they’re simply unjust, immoral, and therefore null (lefty reasoning). Any further suppression of our human rights is tantamount to literal murder. Jack Dorsey is evidently a serial killer (I’m enjoying this lefty logic) and anyone defending him is aiding and abetting him by providing material support.

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