Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 7am

Twitter purges: Beware the F-word ... and the R-word?

Censorship is defined as the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etcetera. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to somebody’s security. 

The practice was already long established even before Socrates was sentenced to drink a cup of hemlock in 399 BC, and the practice is alive and well online in the 21st century.  Fortunately for those of us who live in Mexico, our access to the worldwide internet is not subject to the strict governmental controls as is the case in totalitarian regimes such as China, Iran, North Korea or Cuba.

In fact, the main censorship that can be seen in Mexico is an increasing amount of self-censorship that some social networks are imposing on their users.  The practice, which is also known as “shadowbanning,” keeps some users from seeing some posts online while allowing others.

Twitter is thought to be actively purging their corner of cyberspace of usages of the F-word, the N-word, the B-word as well as the S-word, T-word, the A-word, and the R-word.  If you are not following what all those words are you are not alone.  In an effort to retard the use of unacceptable words … Oh-oh.  I just used the R-word and could have been suspended because it seems that Twitter has decided that the R-word “retard” has no place in civil discourse. Calling somebody a retard and sometimes even using the word in context could get your account blocked for 12 hours.  Notable here is the fact that Twitter does not close the accounts of those who violate its unpublished rules for politically-correct speech; its policy is to punish silently and keep users tweeting while controlling what can be said and seen.

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