In recent days the editor of Breitbart Tech, Yiannopoulos, mysteriously had his Twitter account unverified, which touched of a wave of outrage over social media.
As reported by Breitbart, Yiannopoulos was informed by email that his account status had been changed due to “recent violations of Twitter rules.” The blue tick mark next to his account name had been removed, and what’s more, there was no explanation of what “rules” he had violated.
But Yiannopoulos had an idea why. In a newly “unverified” tweet, he said, “I have a feeling that Twitter is gearing up to purge conservatives. Unverifying me is the first step toward a permanent ban.”
He could be right.
For those who don’t know, verified Twitter accounts are most often awarded to well-known personalities and figures to help defend against impersonation. You can distinguish them from other Twitter accounts by the small blue checkmark given to those accounts in the top right corner of a user’s profile.
Yiannopoulos’ public profile has risen dramatically since September 2014; he was verified in mid-2015 and has since become the subject of scores of parody and fan accounts. Also, he is listed on the Drudge Report as one of site creator Matt Drudge’s favorite writers. And finally, he has become one of libertarian and conservative media’s rising stars.
Breitbart noted further:
His unverification appears to be the first time a major media personality has been stripped of a blue badge by Twitter. The company refuses to be drawn on why it had taken the popular journalist and commentator’s verified status away.
Could it be that Yiannopoulos uses Twitter to slay liberal, politically correct giants? Of course it is, according to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who only recently was appointed to his post and just as recently claimed that his social media platform “stands for freedom of expression” and “speaking truth to power.”
But Yiannopoulos sees it differently. “This is a clear message to anyone who believes in free speech: we’re not wanted on Twitter. Time to start planning for the future,” he tweeted Jan. 9, after his un-verification.
He may be right, of course. Other conservative and libertarian opinions have been either stifled or challenged by Twitter PC cops – and yet, what kind of people endure on the social media platform as “verified?”
They include, via Breitbart:
Bill Cosby: Once believed, Dr. Cosby (he has a Ph.D.) has experience a dramatic fall from grace after being accused of sexually abusing more than 50 women since the 1960s. In addition, he is now facing one charge of aggravated and indecent assault, having been arrested on Dec. 30. He’s also faced a backlash after attempting to sue his accusers and alleged victims as a retaliatory measure.
Oscar Pistorius: You may recall that the para-Olympian “Blade Runner,” so nicknamed as a reference to his amputated legs, was found guilty of murder after shooting and killing his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, 2013. But hey, at least he still has the blue checkmark.
Graham Linehan: Like many cowards, this writer/director for comedies such as “Father Ted” and “The IT Crowd” makes a habit of intimidating and bullying political opponents on Twitter, even mocking a disabled GamerGate supporter’s appearance, and calling on mobs to attack opponents – all in obvious violation of Twitter’s rules against abusive behavior.
Lena Dunham: A hero to feminists everywhere, Dunham, in her book, “Not that Kind of Girl,” admitted to sexually abusing her sister. She wrote: “As she grew, I took to bribing her for her time and affection […] Three pieces of candy if I could kiss her on the lips for five seconds. Whatever she wanted on TV if she would just relax on me. Basically anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying, ” she wrote, adding: “One day, as I sat in our driveway in Long Island playing with blocks and buckets, my curiosity got the best of me. Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn’t resist and when I saw what was inside I shrieked…”
Unbelievably, Dunham denied she was sexually abusing her sister and blamed the uproar on “right wing” detractors: “The right wing news story that I molested my little sister isn’t just LOL- it’s really f**king upsetting and disgusting,” she tweeted.
Convicted rapist Mike Tyson; admitted molester of minors, actor Stephen Collins; serial thug Suge Knight; and British prankster (who once videoed himself farting on people’s groceries) Sam Pepper are among others who have remained “verified.”