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Is It Time Conservatives Ditched Twitter for Good?

In leaving Twitter, conservatives are voluntarily removing themselves from one of the largest platforms in the virtual public square and with it the opportunity to win the hearts and minds of those on the other side of the political aisle.

The recent spate of high profile Twitter suspensions, most notably the Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, has once again added fuel to the fire of the debate about the company’s aggressive censorship of its users, particularly among supporters of former President Donald Trump. Yet as alternative platforms continue to emerge, is it a wise idea for conservatives to leave the platform altogether?

Despite being a hotbed of censorship and wokery, there is a strong case for why those on the right should not fully extricate themselves from Twitter just yet. In leaving Twitter, conservatives are voluntarily removing themselves from one of the largest platforms in the virtual public square and with it the opportunity to win the hearts and minds of those on the other side of the political aisle. 

However, Twitter’s significance as a platform is born out by the fact that many conservatives want to see it lose its protection under Section 230, otherwise known as the Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity for social media companies with respect to third-party content. 

Trump himself, who had 88 million followers at the time of his suspension, placed so much importance on his account that he is still fighting the bans through the courts, even as he prepares to launch his own platform, Truth, on President’s Day. (Oral arguments in Trump v. Twitter will begin on February 23rd in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.)

One of the biggest problems facing the likes of Gettr and Parler is that they risk becoming right-wing echo chambers. As the conservative podcaster and writer Matt Walsh recently noted, “Part of the fun of Twitter is that lots of people who disagree with me will inevitably see what I post. What’s the point if everyone agrees?”

This is not to say that freedom-minded individuals should not be embracing the alternative platforms and technologies that are constantly in development. Major influencers, including podcaster Joe Rogan and Fox News host Tucker Carlson have joined Gettr in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Parler has reportedly raised $20 million and claims to have 16 million active users. 

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When faced with uncertainty, the best course of action is to spread your bets. Twitter may well be on the decline under its new CEO Parag Argawal, yet it is still a multi-billion dollar company of cultural and political significance on a global scale. Boasting 330 million active users, the platform is used by global leaders and Hollywood all the way through to small businesses and ordinary people. Having been around for nearly 16 years, the website also offers a seamless user experience that is constantly being developed and improved and that many newer companies struggle to compete with.

Conservatives must treat Twitter with rightful suspicion and should they gain back control of Congress this year, the prospect of regulation must be on the table. Yet as long as the majority are free to use the platform, conservatives should continue to embrace the opportunity to spread the message of freedom and personal responsibility through as many mediums as possible. 

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