Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"Ohhhh, myyyyy!"

Saw this Twitter screen grab on Gab. George Takei apparently put up an informal poll, but he didn't like the results, so he took the poll down:

While the image is good for a chuckle, it does make one wonder just how overrun with leftism Twitter really is. Above, we have seeming evidence that righties do indeed have a voice in what is increasingly considered a liberal stronghold. Takei's poll was the perfect opportunity for ballot-box-stuffing, but liberal voters didn't take advantage of it.

I have moments when I regret leaving Twitter, given how vitriolic Gab can be. Like it or not, racism and bigotry (and wild-eyed conspiracy theories) are indeed front and center on Gab, whereas on Twitter, such attitudes tend to get buried under a wave of white noise just because Twitter is such a big tent. I followed a diverse range of people on Twitter, and I had a diverse range of followers from all over the ideological spectrum. Gab, by contrast, still feels univocal. Far from being a happy cacophony, it's a place where terms like "nigger" and "faggot" get thrown around with abandon, and while I appreciate and respect Gab's basic premise—that it refuses to repress free expression—it's disappointing to see what comes crawling out of the shadows when so much freedom is given. A liberal can look at Gab and see a confirmation of leftie stereotypes about righties. I personally don't like hearing the knee-jerk-reflexive association between conservatism and bigotry, but heedless folks on Gab obviously don't care about what I like or dislike, and they just as obviously don't care about whether their behavior tarnishes their cause.

This isn't to say that Gab is nothing but a haven of bigotry, paranoia, and other noxious attitudes, but none of the corrosion is hidden. I wasn't exaggerating when I said the bad stuff was "front and center": all you have to do is click on Gab's "Popular" tab to see—as I'm seeing right now—the term "Kikes," a pic of a white woman holding up a red bottle that has a swastika on it, and a "Happy James Earl Ray Appreciation Day!" post (he's the guy who killed MLK). I suppose you could shrug and say, "That's the price you pay when you support free speech," and I'd have to agree. I wouldn't want to repress any of this. If anything, I think it's fine to let the garbage people out themselves to the world. But let me exercise my own right to free speech to pronounce myself disappointed that such garbage people, at least on Gab, seem to be much more than a tiny-but-vocal minority.

That said, I think George Takei has his head up his own ass.

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