Former child actor and Internet social activist Wil Wheaton decided to leave Twitter. The reason? Because Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey refused to ban Info Wars host Alex Jones, someone Wheaton didn’t like.
I’ve got to admit, I enjoy the comedy stylings of Alex Jones, although not directly from the man himself. I like him best when his foolishness is pointed out by others and then ridiculed for it. I was sad to see Jones get kicked off YouTube because it made it harder for people to mock him.
If YouTube allows someone as repulsive as Boogie2988 to remain on their platform, it stands to reason they’ll allow anyone to remain. Or so I thought.
A day that will go down in Twitter infamy
Wil Wheaton left Twitter on August 17, 2018. Twitter could continue doing what it wanted to do, it just couldn’t do it with Wheaton still on board.
I didn’t know this, but there’s a fake version of Twitter called Mastodon. Instead of using a centralized server like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other similar services transfer information, it uses smaller decentralized networks and computers to do it. Much like you can send email to people who are not using the same email server as you, Mastodon messages can be read by other Mastodon members.
Wil Wheaton joined Mastodon to fill the massive void created by not having Twitter in his life anymore.
Mastodon has a large trans user base. Many of the trans users on Mastodon didn’t like Wheaton and have even claimed to feel unsafe by his mere presence on the service. The reason? Because back in the days of Gamergate, Wheaton endorsed GGAutoBlocker, the Twitter blocklist created by Randi Harper. She created a block list based not on the actions of people, but because of who people followed.
Randi Harper is a terrible human being
I was listed on the GGAutoBlocker. I harassed or attacked no one. How did I end up on the list? Because for a time I followed Milo Yiannopoulos, a one-time leader in the Gamergate community. I followed him not because I agreed with him (I didn’t), but because I was interested in the stupid things he said and did. For as long as I can remember, I’ve appreciated listening to the voices of people I didn’t agree with. I’ve found it helps me better define what I believe in and even more importantly, what I do not believe in.
As it turns out, not only was Randi Harper adding people to her blocklist she deemed to be pro-Gamergate (I was not), she was also adding known trans women because she personally didn’t like trans women. Or something. I don’t really know the specifics and I’m too lazy to go to Ask Jeeves and find out.
It all came to a head for Wil Wheaton when he blocked a trans woman for pulling a prank on him that involved the old “deez nuts” joke. This person then rallied other trans people and as a group demanded Mastodon remove Wheaton. Unlike Twitter’s response to Wil Wheaton’s demand to remove Alex Jones from the platform, Mastodon was more than happy to comply with the demand to remove Wheaton.
Wil Wheaton is no longer on the decentralized platform.
So there you have it. Wil Wheaton finds himself without Twitter and fake Twitter. It’s a sad tale. People like Wheaton rely on Twitter as a mechanism to share their virtue. I actually feel bad for him. What good is it to want to punch Nazis if you can’t broadcast that fact on social media? I guess he’ll just have to start actually punching people he decides are Nazis and let people find out about it from police reports and TMZ.