WSJ Op-Ed Urges Changes to Twitter Content Moderation

WSJ Op-Ed Urges Changes to Twitter Content Moderation

NEW YORK — The Wall Street Journal published today an op-ed by two conservative intellectuals providing a road map to alter Twitter moderation, including customized filters for “porn, racial slurs and spam.”

The editorial, titled “How Elon Musk Can Liberate Twitter,” was penned for the Rupert Murdoch-owned financial newspaper by entrepreneur and writer Vivek Ramaswamy and Yale law professor Jeb Rubenfeld.

Ramaswamy and Rubenfeld kick off their editorial by asserting that even though prospective Twitter buyer Elon Musk may want Twitter to “adhere to free speech principles,” that is “easier said than done” because “porn, racial slurs and spam are all protected under the First Amendment, but few users want to see them.”

The first step to solving moderation conundrums, Ramaswamy and Rubenfeld state, “is to recognize that different free-speech principles apply in different contexts, and there are three key different kinds of forums: public forums, limited public forums and private property.”

Twitter, the authors argue, isn’t a public forum, “most obviously because it isn’t run by the government (even though its censorship is sometimes at official behest).”

The authors argue that Twitter needs to be understood in a grey-area category between public and private, which they call a “limited public forum” and define as “places generally open to the public where speech can be subjected to reasonable regulation.”

“One kind of restriction, however, is forbidden: viewpoint discrimination,” they claim, and “that’s how Mr. Musk should think of Twitter.”

Ramaswamy and Rubenfeld use the concept of “viewpoint discrimination” to carve out a distinction between content they think should not be subject to moderation, and other content that is somehow inherently not “a viewpoint.”

Stopping Twitter from “[smuggling] viewpoint discrimination into supposedly neutral content-moderation categories — primarily misinformation, incitement and hate speech,” Ramswamy and Rubenfeld tell Wall Street Journal readers, “should be Mr. Musk’s first priority.”

Among “viewpoint” categories Ramswamy and Rubenfeld believe should be protected are “conservative opinions about transgenderism,” “conservative views on COVID,” former President Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet, claims that the Democrats stole the presidency in 2020 and “the truthful Hunter Biden laptop story.”

The 'Opt-In Button'

The authors also insist that “bans on ‘hate speech’ would have to end,” and also that racist and sexist speech should be tolerated because it “expresses an opinion, however odious, and banning opinions is the essence of viewpoint discrimination.”

Racial slurs, however, can be curtailed by having Musk “change the paradigm for content moderation,” they argue, and allowing users to “decide for themselves” by offering “simple opt-in buttons.”

“Mr. Musk,” they write, “could keep in place all of Twitter’s offensive-speech protocols, but give every user the ability to opt in or out of them. If a user doesn’t want to see hate speech, there’s no reason he should have to. The same goes for constitutionally protected sexually explicit material.”

A more ambitious option, they continue, “would be to harness artificial intelligence and develop an individualized filtering mode. Each user would decide for himself whether to remove certain posts, and an AI algorithm would learn from his choices, creating a personalized filter. If Michael flags racial epithets or Laura deletes certain images, Twitter’s algorithms would be trained not to show them such epithets in future.”

In conclusion, they urge Musk to “conceive Twitter as a limited public forum, stop censoring viewpoints, and promote user choice over centralized content moderation.”

Ramaswamy is the author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam” and “Nation of Victims: Identity Politics, the Death of Merit, and the Path Back to Excellence."

Rubenfeld, an influential mentor who aided several prominent judicial careers by placing students in high-profile clerkships, was suspended from Yale Law School in 2020 for two years after after a Title IX investigation into sexual harassment claims from multiple former students.

A 2021 Wall Street Journal op-ed by both writers urged politicians to “Save the Constitution From Big Tech” and alleged that “American democracy is under siege from Silicon Valley’s political plutocracy.”

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

University Committee Meets to Decide Fate of Wisconsin Professor Who Posted on OnlyFans

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse held a hearing to decide the fate of a veteran University of Wisconsin professor, who was removed from his post as chancellor last year due to unremorsefully creating and appearing in adult content.

Malaysian Government Says X Removed Adult Content at Their Request

Malaysia’s Deputy Communications Minister Teo Nie Ching told Parliament that the country’s Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had worked with X to remove pornographic content from the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Australian Court Upholds Local Censorship Powers of eSafety Commissioner Inman Grant

The ongoing fight between X owner Elon Musk and Australia’s top online censor, unelected eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, over her office’s power to ban specific content in the country and abroad, has moved into murky territory with both sides claiming partial victories.

NCOSE CEO Repeats Factually Inaccurate Statements About Pornhub Moderation at Ted Cruz Event

NCOSE CEO Dawn Hawkins repeated factually inaccurate claims about Pornhub’s content moderation on Tuesday during a Capitol Hill press conference co-organized by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Democratic Senator Tina Smith Proposes Comstock Act Repeal for Abortion, Health Content

Democratic U.S. Senator for Minnesota Tina Smith announced on Thursday plans to introduce legislation to repeal language in the Comstock Act — the infamous law that was the cornerstone of U.S. censorship of all sexual material from the 1870s until the 1970s — concerning distribution of material related to abortion and sexual health.

Pineapple Support Taps Demora Avarice as Brand Ambassador

Pineapple Support has named content creator Demora Avarice as its latest brand ambassador.

ChickPass Launches Affiliate Program 'ChickPass Cash'

ChickPass has debuted its new ChickPass Cash affiliate program, in partnership with Too Much Media.

Elevated X Adds BlueCheck AVS Support to Web Management Software

Elevated X has added support for BlueCheck.me for age verification services (AVS) to its website management software.

Texas Pastor Who Declared 'Spiritual War' Against Porn Resigns Over Molestation Allegation

Texas evangelical pastor Robert Morris, who in 2022 vowed to wage “spiritual war” against material he considered pornographic, resigned this week as senior pastor of the megachurch he founded, after the church’s board of elders reviewed allegations that he had molested a parishioner starting in 1982, when she was 12.

AEBN Publishes Popular Searches by Country for April, May

AEBN has released the popular searches from its straight and gay theaters in more than three dozen countries during April and May.

Show More