Pattonville’s Thoughts

March 1, 2023

Senior James Ingolia said he thinks what Twitter did was “absurd” but wasn’t too surprised.

“If people aren’t breaking any rules that have already been set in place, I feel they shouldn’t take action against those individuals,” he said.

Regarding Ingolia’s thoughts about whether Twitter should deem what is misinformation or not, he said, “I think with the amalgamation of information we have now, it’s too difficult to say what is and isn’t misinformation. There are a lot of cases in which information was thought to be factual up until recent discoveries that have proven them to be false.”

I feel like this is just gonna make people more questionable [of the media]. They want us to believe the news but I feel like people are gonna question the news even more now since they’re censoring stuff that they don’t agree with.

— Quinntes Rider

Sophomore Quinntes Rider thinks Twitter’s censorship will cause more damage than good.

Rider said that “everyone should be able to speak openly [about] what they want” and that ideas need to be discussed rather than shut down in order for a healthy society.

“It’s like a relationship; if you guys have a disagreement, and if you don’t talk about it, then it’s not gonna be fixed. So yeah, people gotta talk about it,” Rider said.

Sociology teacher Shaun Patrick described the collusion between Twitter and the FBI as a “breach of trust” between the people and intelligence agencies.

“They should have no say in what is being said unless it is inciting some type of violence or something like that… with the history of the FBI there’s just too much there to allow for that to happen,” he said.

Patrick said he feels Twitter really “damaged their own credibility” as he felt that they “made a call and really stepped in it, which to me is incredibly short-sighted.”

He said that when it pertains to free speech in general, “it’s important to shine a light on the bad stuff” happening rather than shunning it off from public view, and that society would better be able to overcome it that way.

Patrick added that he feels what we need “more than anything is a true place where you can have free speech; where you can have unfettered discussions.” He continued, saying that while we’re “not good at it at the moment, I think we get better as we go forward.”

“The FBI has more of a political agenda which is preserving the status quo, so whatever kind of benefits them I think is kind of what they want,” he said. 

This wouldn’t be the first time the FBI has gone after ordinary individuals for speech they didn’t like. Perhaps the clearest example of this would be a project the FBI conducted for years dubbed Cointelpro, which was meant to infiltrate and discredit many opinions that did not align with the status quo.

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