Friday, 22 July 2016


Twitter recently deleted the account of Milo Yiannoupolous (the on-line electronic Morrissey of our age). The social media company probably believes it is re-enacting the "wise" policy of the Roman king, Tarquin the Proud, who, when asked for advice by his son on how best to control the querulous city of Gabii, merely went to his garden and silently cut down the tallest poppies.

The reality of Twitter’s action, however, is probably closer to Hercules’s earlier attempts to kill the Hydra. Famously, whenever one head was lopped off that monster, two grew in its place. Hercules finally got on top of the problem with the help of his nephew Iolaus, who came up with the bright idea of cauterising each and every stump with a burning torch, but this part of the analogy is inapplicable to Twitter.

Well-intended cartoon
Yes, they can ban people – or "permanently suspend" them, to use the Newspeak jargon – but the more they ban, the more they will have to ban. Extending the analogy of cauterisation to the entire Twitter community would translate into an unworkable reign of terror, as you would end up banning not just Milo but anybody expressing sympathy with him and anybody mocking any badly conceived film. Basically Twitter would crash and burn and be quickly pushed aside by other platforms – as what it does has never actually been rocket science anyway.

Twitter is a de facto verbal sewer, full of bile, snark, and other excretions of the cranial sphincter, which is also the reason why it is so popular and full of colourful vermin. This is the "winning" business model, although, apparently, it is still having a problem monetizing it. Milo, for all his faults, surfed its reeking waves of effluence with comparative taste and style (and only the occasional reference to sucking Black dick). His main "sin" was instead his popularity and the way he helped the site to grow.

Milo can easily be replaced, as there are countless other "Twitter critters" ready to move into the gap and exploit the same passions, prejudices, and postjudices as Milo. Also, nothing has really changed: Twitter continues to rely on being the interstice between various celebs, a disrespectful populace, and various autistic or semi-autistic sub-groups, organised along the dividing lines of Western society and who voluntarily do most of the Twitterverse’s unpaid labour.

Richard Spencer at Cleveland.
Twitter may pluck the occasional feather, but it dare not kill its golden goose, especially as it has still to lay its first golden egg. So, goodbye, Milo. Let’s see if Twitter-castration slows down your mercurial and heliogalabian career – although whether it does or not is a purely academic question for most of us in the real Alt-Right.

Also, I can’t help thinking there is a silver lining in this for the Alt-Right. Our main problem has always been the fact that we are a "virtual" movement, existing online and powered by our NEETs and autistes from their proverbial dank basements. The last few days in Cleveland, however, has shown us "stalking the Earth" in broad daylight, controlling the open spaces and going IRL in a very public and potent sense.

There is, of course, a strong synergy between IRL and online, and the two can serve as multipliers, but online has always been the Alt-Right’s overly cosy home. It is therefore good to be reminded that the internet is not an entirely "safe space."

Banning Milo and others associated with our polyversely potent movement in such a crudely partisan way, helpfully reminds us that, while we love being online, it is the wider world that must be our ultimate "safe space." If we secure that by going IRL and "mind melding" with the normie hive mind, then it is the people running Twitter who could end up experiencing their own "permanent suspensions."


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