There’s nothing new about the right wing using unsavory methods to silence voices that doesn’t share what passes for their views. We saw the epitome of it during the 2012 election and it’s been going on for a long time in social media.
There’s a long history of the right wing gaming social media rather like the way they like to game elections. In their pathetic attempt to show just how popular their ideas are, they organized in efforts to silence other voices – be it content from liberal websites or members of the social media community. We saw it with a right wing bury squad on Digg known as the Digg Patriots. The latest assault on freedom of speech comes in the form of tgdn list members on Twitter. And surprise, guess who likes to tweet with the TGDN hashtag, but the Attorney General of Texas?
Let’s start with a brief history. According to its creator, Todd Kincannon, the original purpose of tgdn was to protect twitter accounts owned by conservatives against alleged organized spam blocking by liberals. Upon establishing their network, they decided to do the very thing they accuse liberals of doing.
As far as I can see, Todd Kincannon initiated organized spam blocking of vulnerable liberals in late December.
And some tgdn members who were very happy to oblige the order.
The tgdn’s favorite targets seem to be people who subscribe to views on the second amendment saner than those expressed by Wayne Lapierre. It’s as if the constitution begins and ends with their interpretation of the second Amendment, which is to the right of such notable liberals as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Though as we can see, any liberal, especially with small follower counts is fair game.
Getting back to the Attorney-General whose job description includes upholding and defending the Constitution.
Greg Abbott is not seen to be a “member” of the tgdn. He doesn’t follow Kincannon (though Kincannon does follow him.) The last time he used the tgdn hash tag was on January 31.
He also seems to be well liked by the tgdn thought police, if we go the number of tgdn friends that Abbot and Kincannon have in common.
According to twiangulate, http://twiangulate.com/search/ Abbot and Kincannon have 346 mutuals (people they follow and follow them back) in common. Over 100 of them either have tgdn in their user name, or in their twitter bio.
Maybe the Attorney-General of Texas doesn’t know what the hashtag he used stands for or perhaps he is unaware of the tgdn’s primary function – to mass spam block liberals with the objective of getting Liberals banned from twitter. If that’s the case, Texas has even bigger problems.
Zach Green established #Uniteblue in the name of bringing Liberals together, but also to counter the tgdn’s thought police in their efforts to get twitter users with liberal content and small followings banned. Sarah Jones wrote an excellent post on Green and #UniteBlue. If you haven’t read it already, please do.
Unlike tgdn, #UniteBlue has not and does not advocate organized spam blocking of any sort. They rightfully advice to ignore trolls from the other side and blocking (though not spam blocking) the more obnoxious ones.
The difference between the two groups is #Uniteblue and its members understand the difference between standing together to defend free speech, and seeking to destroy it.