12 June 2019 – A Twitter Lie, and PZ is Worried About Content Control?

One of the things that keeps us reading PZ Myers is his brazenness. His only real principle is power: he wants his progressive allies to have it all and his political enemies to have none. There are no objective standards in PZ’s world, no principles that apply equally to both the right and left side of the political spectrum. If he likes you, you can do pretty much anything. If he doesn’t, you’re screwed.

Today, PZ blogged about content control in the comments section at Patheos and linked it to a incident two years ago where bloggers purportedly “jumped ship…concerned that the religious conservatives who owned the network were meddling with the content.”

This is the same PZ Myers, mind you, who actively meddles with the content of the comments on Pharyngula. He has deleted entire comments of ours for asking him uncomfortable questions and he actively bans users who point out the shortcomings of his arguments.

We used to live in Texas and they have a word for this: cajones.

PZ’s are gigantic.

PZ Myers Lie:

“The problem here is that Twitter insists on implementing the cheapest, most superficial, most easily gamed methods to sniff out bad actors on their medium, meaning that the dishonest thrive and the forthright are silenced.”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/12/everything-wrong-with-twitter-in-one-story/

Facts:

PZ is referencing a story here about David Neiwert being banned from Twitter for supposedly posting the cover of his book as his profile picture. That’s Neiwert’s conclusion anyway, Twitter didn’t specifically tell him what rule he’d broken or why.

So if Neiwert isn’t certain why his account was suspended, then how can PZ have already diagnosed the problem?

We searched in vain for any sort of evidence to back up the claim that Twitter implements “the cheapest, most superficial, most easily gamed methods to sniff out bad actors,” but came up empty. PZ doesn’t cite any sources for this claim, or for the claim that “the dishonest thrive and the forthright are silenced.” He apparently expects his readers to take his word for it.

Additionally, it’s not clear that Twitter’s goal is to “sniff out bad actors,” whatever that phrase means. Twitter recently updated its rules to make them easier to understand, and says that process is ongoing. That doesn’t look either cheap or superficial to us, and it makes a clear statement to people who may attempt to use the service in a way that is not intended. In our view that’s enough to rule PZ’s assertion a lie.

Analysis:

We think Neiwert might be trying to take advantage of the Streisand effect here to sell some more books, but we could be wrong. PZ is happy to oblige in any event, and get a little Twitter bashing in along the way. Again, it doesn’t matter if Twitter is in the process of doing exactly what PZ wants them to do and silencing not only white supremacists but a good chuck of the right wing as well. He won’t be satisfied until all voices, starting somewhere to the right of Joe Biden, are silenced.

Think about this in the context of our introduction to this post – PZ complaining about the possibility of content control on another site – a site owned by people he describes as ‘religious conservatives.’ He doesn’t care that content is being banned, he just wants the ‘right’ people to do the banning.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related posts and 5 posts on other stuff.

Since 30 May 19: 14 science-related posts, 46 non-science posts.

23% of PZ’s posts on a “science blog” have been about science. 

Note: Most of PZ’s posts on science since 30 May have been dedicated to a spider data gathering initiative he’s running. There have been precious few posts on anything else having to do with science. When the spider data gathering is complete, we’ll take a look at the numbers and parse out how much other science content he provides.

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 19 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.