Yiannopoulos discussed the current business turmoil at Twitter and how, instead of trying to right the ship, the social platform is trying to flex its political muscle with moves that will marginalize right-wing voices. More disturbingly, he said, is the more financially stable Facebook and its coordination with government censorship:
It’s not just Facebook we’re talking about. They own WhatsApp and they own Instagram. And WhatsApp and Instagram are two of the companies that are winning the short messaging war–that are winning the war for Millennial attention and for Millennial users. Twitter lost that war. Twitter only really appeals to media people: people like you and people like me. We want to kind of keep in touch with our peers. And then some of our fans who are, like, really really keen might sign up for a Twitter account just to see our witty sayings or whatever clever lines we toss off on the way to the train station in the morning. But primarily, Twitter has lost that war. Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp–these are the networks that have billions of users. These are the networks that are getting young users, and Facebook owns two of those three.
The other thing to bear in mind is that Facebook so far has a really really bad track record when it comes to free speech. And not just a bad track record censoring different political opinions like Twitter does. Facebook’s moves are even more sinister, in a way. Facebook has teamed up with governments to censor certain political opinions that the incumbent party doesn’t like. In Germany, for instance, Facebook has teamed up with Angela Merkel to censor reasonable, respectable, mainstream concern about mass Muslim immigration–or just about mass immigration in general–and has started removing this stuff and classifying it as “hate speech.” It is effectively slandering its own users saying that their perfectly reasonable points of view constitute “hate speech” and that they’re not going to be allowed on Facebook, and Facebook has promised the German government that this stuff will be removed within 24 hours. That is outright Orwellian. That is outright terrifying.
Yiannopoulos also discussed the protesters at his Tuesday appearance at Rutgers University, whose outbursts interrupted a speech on diversity in points of view. The offended students smeared fake blood on themselves and chanted “Black Lives Matter.”
MARLOW: All these people who want to shut you down–who don’t want to hear you, who want to disrupt, who want to start doing essentially performance art when you show up–what is their psyche, do you believe? What are they thinking that they think this is an appropriate and convincing response?
YIANNOPOULOS: I don’t think they are thinking. They’re both stupid and ill-educated. If they were a bit better educated, they would understand about theStreisand Effect and they would understand that protesting someone on campus just gives them a bigger platform, more attention, and more people listening to what they have to say.
Anybody trying to censor or cover up or have removed any kind of information or any sort of juicy factoid or photograph or person–this doesn’t work in the Internet era. It doesn’t work anymore. It worked in the ’60s when Alinsky was writing his Rules for Radicals because you were able to successfully pull the wool over people’s eyes by just not talking about things. But when we have Twitter and sort of hyper-connected–particularly hyper-connected college campuses, because, of course, news travels so fast–it just doesn’t work. So you can’t silence somebody by drawing more attention to them and protesting. It’s just plainly dumb.
And in the Internet era, when that spectacle becomes an Internet sensation–hundreds of thousands of people on YouTube have watched these guys protesting me and discussed how ridiculous they are–the only function of that protest is to draw more attention to me. So, in a way, I’m grateful to them. I would have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for this level of marketing. So I’m very happy with that.
MARLOW: You are correct that they’re not thinking. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I think you’re right. They can’t be thinking, ’cause if you think about–this got picked up on the Drudge Report. And the headline wasn’t “Milo speaks at Rutgers.” The headline was “Feminists and Black Lives Matters doused in blood protest conservative speaker.” So then, you get hundreds of thousands of more clicks on the story and then they all click on it and they’re watching video of you talk, they’re seeing your message. And you even get the moral high ground because they’re trying to disrupt you. You’ve become the victim. It’s so amazing that they’re incapable of doing that math.
MILO: It’s just the thing, like–anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I have a bit of a potty mouth. And I can be a little bit cheap and a little bit low-rent sometimes. And I’m the contrarian. I’m the one taking the counter-intuitive dissident perspectives. You have to really go some to give me the moral high ground. The left is giving this potty-mouthed satirist the moral high ground. I mean, are they nuts? I think that, strategically speaking, they are dumb." -- Ezra Dulis