Wednesday, June 1, 2016

If you ask for censorship, don't bitch when it hits your buddies

The Twitter sphere is witnessing a spat described by Yahoo as Twitter has abruptly suspended several parody accounts that mocked a number of Russian officials, including a popular profile dedicated to impersonating President Vladimir Putin.

The blogster didn't want to go near the subject because so many high powered folks, including the president of a small country, numerous media literati, and the gamut of "natsec" talkers have expressed disappointment, grief, and rage.

Some of the best information on the spat can be found in this Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty article.

While several accounts were frozen, some of which came back later, it is the @DarthPutinKGB account that gets most of the sympathy and the backing. A small detail not mentioned anywhere except on RFE/RL is this: But the man who says he runs two of the frozen accounts in question, aside from @DarthPutinKGB, told RFE/RL in an online chat that he believes the Russian Foreign Ministry may have been behind the Twitter suspensions.

The gentleman ran at least two of the frozen accounts.

By the reverse standards of the "natsec" sub category of "Putin haters", that would qualify as a troll.

And trolls are one of the preferred topics of the babble about a largely non-existent information war. Of course, if you believe that the information war is real and fought viciously, then you should - in theory - be able to acknowledge that "Putin" or "the Russians" cannot win it. But that would run against the simple narrative.

So, let's leave the info war aside.

What was so great about DarthPutin?

It had about 50 000 followers. Which is many more than some of the smartest people on Twitter.

The quality of the parody?

That's largely in the eye of the beholder, of course. But, in the bespectacled eyes of the blogster, recycled Soviet jokes do not make for all that much parody. Putin showing up at customs and answering the question "Occupation?" with no, just vacation, is at least as old as the blogster.

If you feel the need for a Russian parody account, pick one from the courtesy collection provided by The Guardian in this article from early May.

The blogster hopes that the helpful editors at The Guardian will turn this into a series listing the best parody accounts for other heads of state. I would love a best-of list for Mr. Obama, because there are so many, it is difficult to choose one. Or Ms. Merkel.

We don't need one for Mr. Cameron. The real thing is hilarious enough.

It would be ever so nice if suspending accounts like this would spark a discussion about censorship in general.

Other than that, if you create a parody account on Twitter without being able to comply with the easiest part of the terms and conditions, i.e. without being able to label it as a parody, maybe you shouldn't be on Twitter?

Also, if and when the Twitter account of the blogster gets suspended for no good reason, can we ask a head of state or "the media" who so valiantly defend the Derth to put in a good word?

No comments:

Post a Comment