The Twitter Public Policy team criticized Uganda for blocking access to social media sites ahead of the country’s Jan. 14 election. This criticism is interesting coming from Twitter considering their recent large-scale purge of U.S. users, including President Donald Trump himself less than one week ago.
Tucker Carlson called out Twitter’s hypocrisy, as they brazenly de-platformed conservatives, then reminds Uganda that censorship is bad in the video below.
Even in the midst of this disaster, there have been flashes of comedy—and we’re grateful for every one of them. We got one Tuesday— it was a statement from a group called the Global Public Policy team at Twitter.
Now, you may have thought Twitter was just a social media company run by some bearded, ethereal pothead in downtown San Francisco, but not anymore. While you were sleeping, Twitter got bigger than you ever imagined it could. Twitter is now an independent nation-state with its own National Security Council, an inner agency constellation of foreign policy experts whose job it is to manage the world’s affairs.
So Twitter’s global Public Policy team is really the company’s own NSC. They weighed in Tuesday, as security councils do, on the upcoming elections in Uganda. Here’s what they said about those elections:
Now, marinate in that for a bit. Twitter is reminding the Ugandan people that censorship is immoral.
‘Sorry, Ugandans, you’re not allowed to silence other people’s Twitter accounts, especially in the run-up to an election. You just can’t do that. Now, we recognize you don’t have a Bill of Rights or a centuries-old tradition of self-government out there in Uganda, so you might not have known this, as we do here. But to restate: Censoring voters’ social media accounts is hugely harmful. Online censorship violates ‘basic human rights.’ In fact, it’s an attack on democracy itself. Got that, Ugandans? Now we understand you’re a primitive, developing nation, so we’ll give you a pass this time, but don’t forget it. Censorship—bad! #OpenInternet’
We actually had to check and make sure Twitter’s statement was real— it is. Twitter actually sent that, which only proves that the tech monopolies are even worse than we thought.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has held office since 1986, apologized for the inconvenience caused by the ban stating:
“If you want to take sides against the (ruling party), then that group will not operate in Uganda,” he said in a national address.
“We cannot tolerate this arrogance of anybody coming to decide for us who is good and who is bad.”
United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Peter Nagy Jr. tweeted his concerns, stating: We are concerned by reports that the Government of Uganda has ordered Internet service providers to block social media platforms, messaging apps, and select content in the run-up to general elections on Jan 14. Such restrictions undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We are concerned by reports that the Government of Uganda has ordered Internet service providers to block social media platforms, messaging apps, and select content in the run up to general elections on Jan 14. Such restrictions undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms.
— Bureau of African Affairs (@AsstSecStateAF) January 12, 2021
After removing the President of the United States from their platform and permanently banning many of his top supporters, in a move that would make Joseph Stalin blush, the hypocritical social media platform blasted the Ugandan president, saying they “strongly condemn internet shutdowns,” explaining, “they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.”
Twitter arrogantly admitted to interfering in the Ugandan election in a tweet, where they acknowledge suspending a number of accounts who they accused of “targeting the election in Uganda.”
Access to information and freedom of expression, including the public conversation on Twitter, is never more important than during democratic processes, particularly elections.#UgandaDecides2021 #KeepItOn https://t.co/Q2SJfsFUiD
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) January 12, 2021
It’s bad enough they are attempting to control the narrative in the United States, but is this the role of Twitter now—to determine who can and cannot have a voice leading up to elections in foreign countries?
Social media users responded to Twitter’s comments, calling them out for their hypocrisy.
Many social media users were outraged by Twitter’s comments, noting that the company — which recently permanently suspended President Trump’s account — had muzzled The New York Post during the 2020 race over its reporting on Hunter Biden.
Jude Byamukama, a lawyer in Uganda, called out Twitter’s hypocrisy here in America after shutting down the New York Post for publishing an article revealing the content of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Sadly, you gave autocratic regimes a pass with your own behaviour. Do you recall shutting down the @nypost ? You have done enormous damage to the notion of open internet and lost moral authority to criticise regimes that are simply following your bad example.
— Jude Byamukama (@Jbyam1) January 12, 2021
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway destroyed Twitter with one brilliant tweet exposing the horrible hypocrites: You banned the sharing of accurate journalism that was negative for your preferred candidate during the 2020 election, an egregious tampering with freedom of expression and the public conversation in the midst of an important democratic process.
You banned the sharing of accurate journalism that was negative for your preferred candidate during the 2020 election, an egregious tampering with freedom of expression and the public conversation in the midst of an important democratic process.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) January 12, 2021
— @krisse81 on #parler and #gab, #nietmijnregering (@Krisse81) January 12, 2021