Twitter has been trying to take action (or at least trying to be seen to take action) against hate speech and other offensive postings. Analysts have generally seen Twitters actions as possibly positive, but questionable.
Many of the accounts recently taken down have been from the right of the political spectrum.
Now US President Donald Trump has stated that Twitter's action constitute discriminatory actions against the Republican Party and related social groups, and has called for an investigation.
So far there is no indication that Trump plans a boycott of Twitter ...
Though I don't like Trump, I think that he still has a right to his digital communications, as hateful as they may be. I think that this is a dangerous path for information security professionals to tread in. In fact, I'd be partial towards a declaration by (ISC)2 that all of it's certified professionals are to be a-political in their commentary, particularly if the (ISC)2's logos are presented.
@Lamont29 - as nice as it would be for ICS2 to make that policy it would be like the U.S. Fed GOV passing law on how we should be neighborly in our personal lives. Shouldn't happen.
We are of the highest caliber of professionals and we should perform in that manner. We shouldn't need ICS2 to become a nanny state on how we conduct our professions. Yes, they need and do protect the quality, image and integrity of the certifications that they support, but they shouldn't be about how we conduct ourselves with our clients.
I heard this recently and fully agree with it: Twitter is to gin up your identity to others, Instagram is to show others your identity and Facebook is to sell your identity to others.
If Twitter is unjustly targeting accounts that prescribed to a particular political perspective that doesn't align with theirs shame on them. The public backlash and outcry should shame them into better behavior.
This note is to help forum members not in the USA, and those too young to have studied Civics and Government in high school, who may not be aware of nuances in the current Twitter controversy.
1. The U.S. Constitution defines, authorizes, and in some cases restricts the authorities and powers of the U.S. national government, which we call the Federal government. In part, it defines the relationship between the Federal and the several State governments.
2. The first ten amendments to the Constitution, called the Bill of Rights, limit certain powers of the government. As originally written and ratified, the limits in the Bill of Rights applied only to the Federal government. Legal interpretations in a number of court decisions since then have extended those limits to State and local governments, too.
3. The limits and restrictions in the Bill of Rights do not directly affect actions by individuals or by private businesses. However, duly enacted laws and regulations based on law may properly apply similar rights and limits on individuals and private businesses.
4. Rights, authorities, and limits in relationships between businesses and their customers, suppliers, and business partners are described for the most part in contracts and governed by contract law. For computer-based services, o include Internet services, the contract is the Terms of Service (ToS) statement, generally accepted without signature by users when we knowingly and intentionally use the services or software.
Now, to address the current Twitter controversy.
A. The freedom of speech provision of the 1st Amendment does not apply per se to Twitter, FaceBook, Google, New York Times, etc.(#2 &3 above).
B. Depending on the details in the Twitter ToS, Twitter may be in violation of their own ToS contractual obligations if they limit participation in their service improperly (#4 above).
C. The current Twitter controversy is not simply an artifact of Twitter trying to keep discussion civil, as implied by the post that began this thread. (Although Twitter appears to be claiming that is the situation.) There appears to be evidence that discussions are being limited by Twitter based on a definite bias against one end of the political spectrum. The social concept of fairness and public access is in question here.
D. Even if Twitter is intentionally restricting participation based on political bias (not yet positively proven), it is not clear whether such a restriction might be illegal, based on both public access laws and regulations, or violations of legal contractual relationships. Getting to the bottom of those questions is going to be very messy in the interpretation and application of laws, governmental regulations, and contract law.
At the bottom of all of this mess is how the general public tries to approach public discourse with a sense of fairness (whatever that means), and how Twitter, as with other publication services, fits into the idea of "public" discourse.
Finally, if we have any U.S lawyers in this forum (IANAL) please chime in as you see fit.
I see the corundum for Twitter in general but also feel they have leaned a bit too far on one side than the other. Though I have no hard evidence it does appear at this time Twitter is acting more heavily on the right than the left. On the other hand Twitter is also more associated with the current administration than the left and is likely affecting the amount or lack of amount of active accounts on the service.
Stopped relying on Twitter during the last Presidential campaign in 2015. It became all too noticeable that the service had been taken over by political zealots on both sides, thus became irrelevant to me as a way of sharing security information, so I stopped using it in general.
I really don't care about your political leanings outside of polite conversation and will continue to point out that no one cares till they disagree. Let's keep the political discussion out of InfoSec and be better for it. Otherwise we risk becoming the next Twitter.
- Brent Eads (BEads)
I agree with you TOTALLY!
Really, in my mind, there's nothing further to say on this because you've said it all!
I'd be partial towards a declaration by (ISC)2 that all of it's certified professionals are to be a-political in their commentary, particularly if the (ISC)2's logos are presented.
Limiting freedom of speech is a tremendously slippery slope. If it were not for the current extremes in government, I suspect such a though would not have arisen. The Community Guidelines do include "DONT ... controversial political statements" and "DO ... adhere to the community's goals".
As long as the discussion keeps a stong tie to one or more of the domains, I have no objections to current real-world examples creeping in as conversation starters or to illustrate an infosec point. After all, our job is to secure the real world, not some fanciful world without politics.
One fault in the guidelines is that "community goals" is not defined. It might be better to instead say "Do:... adhere to the community's mission" so that the requirement clearly ties back to the first paragraph. @isc2jade, since you are the author of Community Guidelines , would you be interested in considering this minor alteration?
Limiting freedom of speech is a tremendously slippery slope. If it were not for the current extremes in government, I suspect such a though would not have arisen.
I just wanted to chime in to say that the current political situation in the US is not extreme. Or perhaps a better way to phrase it, they're no more extreme than they've always been. If you read Mark Twain regarding Congress' behavior in the 19th century, it's just as applicable (and funny) today as it was then. In the early days of the US, a sitting Vice President (Aaron Burr) killed the former Treasury Secretary (Alexander Hamilton) in a duel. Could you imagine Mike Pence going and killing Timothy Geithner today? Then there was of course the McCarthy era and other notable periods of imbecility on display. But a lot of it is also political theater. They jump in front of cameras - or on Twitter - to make outrageous accusations, but off-camera go out drinking with their so-called enemies and make deals to enrich each other.
In short they've always been like this. The only difference is we now have Twitter and others shoving it in our faces 24/7.