Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

My Own Little Harvey

In the first year of my career, my promising but flailing startup was acquired wholesale, and I sold my car, packed my meager collection of shitty pressboard furniture and a very confused dog into a U-haul, and trekked across the country to report to work for my first corporate masters. 3DO was, in 1996, coming to grips with the fact that no one wanted to spend $700 bucks for a game console that didn’t have any games, and they were in the process of desperately trying to grab onto an Internet pivot as they swirled their way down the drain. We were part of that pivot.

I was pretty oblivious. Kept my head down, focused on my work. Young kid, unproven, working too hard. Still, I noticed that one of our executives, at the time, seemed to be kind of a real shit. I mean, I rarely had any reason to be around that guy, and only really was even in his orbit in company functions: Friday beer o’clocks, company retreats, holiday parties. You know, company functions with alcohol. And even in my extremely limited observations of the guy, it seemed like he was always finding a new way to be a creep to women. Like the time he told a young, fresh out of school animator that she’d look better naked in his hotel room. At a Christmas Party. In front of several other people.

Most of whom looked unsurprised.

Now, my social skills at the time were roughly on par with Laslo from Real Genius. Still, claxons were going off in my head. I asked around a bit, including women, and they just shrugged. He’s like that a lot. He’s a creep. We warn new girls about him on their first week. I had no idea whether or not his schtick went beyond over-the-line flirting to out-and-out harassment or assault, but I knew that a lot of my female coworkers were made uncomfortable about it, and didn’t want to talk about it.

HR knew. But 3DO needed the guy. 3DO was so supremely terrible at making video games that we were making about as much money suing companies for pretty much idiotic bullshit reasons this guy invented. And he was part of senior management. So nothing happened. I eventually left the company: I got a chance to follow my dream and work for Origin, and that seemed a lot more appealing than being part of the dance band on the Titanic.

3DO would, in fact, succumb to the inevitable and collapse a few years later. On it’s way to the grave, though, two women sued 3DO for sexual harassment and discrimination. Every game studio of a significant size has an ex-employees mailing list, meant primarily for feasting on schadenfreude, and 3DO was no exception. According to that list, the two women were both assistants to ‘that guy’. And no one on the mailing list was surprised.

In the wake of Weinstein, a lot of well-meaning idiots have been basically blaming anyone in the orbit of Weinstein for not DOING something. This ire is mostly aimed at his biggest directors like Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, as well as people who ‘should have known’, like Hillary Clinton, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc. And all of them clearly felt like they could have done more. Much like I did. But here’s the thing: if you don’t have a victim willing to come forward – and offer some form of collaboration, you’re basically throwing accusations based on rumors at an individual and a company with deep legal pockets.

The best you can do is to try to call attention to it and hope the press asks ‘what is that all about’. Which everyone thinks is not nearly enough but, let’s remember, it was enough to take down Cosby.

So a victim needs to come forward, but for decades most didn’t. Why? Lots of reasons but most of them can be summed up easily: power differential. At 3DO, the targets I heard about getting attention were young & fresh out of school. Getting your first games industry job is hard. Getting fired for being a troublemaker is not uncommon. Also, if it’s your first job, there’s an assumption that “This is just how things are out in the real world.”

On top of that, there’s the feelings common with sexual harassment and assault of shame & fear. They take time to absorb. By the time a woman realizes that perhaps she SHOULD speak up, doing so means reliving the trauma. Demanding that women do so is deeply unfair to the women.

There’s also the factor that making such allegations can hurt your team or your game/movie/whatever. You can hate your boss but love your team and have poured your heart and soul into a project, and not want it derailed. There’s a very real chance that the Weinstein Company will be driven out of business by this shitshow. That’s a lot of people out of jobs because of one asshole.

I should note that Weinstein abused the heck out of this instinct, telling would-be accusers that going public would hurt their friends & their movie.

There’s also the factor that lodging accusations at a company likely means getting into an expensive legal fight with someone with near unlimited resources and connections. A girl right off the LA bus likely has close to no ability to meaningfully take on that fight, especially if the company decides to help.

And here’s the most important reason: the odds are likely it goes nowhere. The New Yorker article about Weinstein describes how Ambra Gutierrez did everything correct – went to the cops, took part in a sting, got pretty much an admission on tape. And the DA spiked the case.

Ultimately, the case didn’t get traction until the accusations came out en masse, with dozens of accusations coming out at once. Which took the diligence of the press, gathering all the leads together so it could no longer be considered just a ‘he said she said’ case. And even then, Weinstein was connected enough that NBC was pressured to kill the story.

So yeah, it’s unreasonable to ask victims to burden themselves with getting stepped on by Goliath if they’re unlucky enough to suffer an assault. And it’s also unreasonable to ask anyone who hears anything on the rumor mill to suddenly charge into the breach. Does anyone have responsibility?

Beyond Weinstein himself, of course, who should have been 150% less rape-y than he was.

Well, of course. Read back to what I said above about 3DO. HR knew. They fucking knew. I have no doubt at all that 3DO’s upper management knew as well. Weinstein’s board more than knew – they enabled his behavior, legally protecting his ass and being prepared to swallow the cost of paying off abused starlets as just a cost of doing business. Them firing him now is a case of way too little, way too late.

A victim of abuse at work should feel like they can go to HR, and know that accusations against a predator will be taken seriously. Will be acted upon. If necessary, will be elevated to the company leadership. If this doesn’t happen, if the machinery of a corporation decides to close ranks and protect it’s abusers, there’s precious little that a woman can do.

So if you want to demand that we do better, start by demanding better from the people whose jobs should have been to hold Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Roger Ailes and the myriad of other creeps responsible for their actions, rather than providing them cover.

Milo Finally Get Everything He Deserves

It’s been a long time since I posted – frankly, I’ve been a little busy lately. That being said, you know that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to engage in a little Schadenfreude at the Godfather of Gamergate’s world collapsing.

In many ways, Milo was the epitome of the nonsense anti-PC “you should be able to say anything” mentality that assholes on the internet use to be abusive, racist, sexist asses. He is, effectively, a living 8chan thread, and it is somewhat satisfying to see even conservatives react in horror when Milo’s world view is exposed to sunlight, even if doing so highlighted the fact that ‘the line’ is not racism, sexism, anti-semitism, blatant dishonest journalism or just being a giant asshole for the sake of being one. Nope, ‘the line’ is suggesting that men preying on children is somehow healthy for the children. Well, at least there’s ONE belief that everyone on the right and left can agree on, and that is that this is fucking skeevy as shit.

I, for one, am glad that Bill Maher invited Milo onto his show, even if I don’t think Maher deserves as much credit as Maher thinks he does. Yes, Maher showed his true colors by giving flaccid agreement to Milo’s blatant, appalling fearmongering on the subject of transphobia (fun fact: pretty much every ‘fact’ Milo stated in that interview was tortured like a Jack Bauer prisoner in hour 23). But it also resulted in Larry Wilmore dismantling Milo like a tinkertoy, which is the sort of thing that happens to a not-very-smart person when he tries to tell a much smarter person that he’s stupid. And to think, I really thought that schadenfreude sandwich would be the highlight of my three day weekend.

Not so! You see, CPAC (a conservative hatefest wankathon) had recently named him their Keynote Speaker. They did so because he’s a bastion of free speech who has a tendency to leave a trail of anger and disgust everywhere it goes, whether its claiming victory for inciting antifas to protest him so violently that his speech was cancelled, or whether it’s his own followers shooting protesters on weak claims of self-defense. It’s also worth noting that CPAC isn’t nearly as free speech as they claim – Chris Christie was not invited in 2013 because he hugged the Kenyan President, and the Log Cabin Republicans have been trying to get a speech at CPAC forever – apparently, gays can only speak at CPAC if they’re willing to be the court jester.

Still, as hypocritical as I might find CPAC (oh, and I do), there’s definitely a bunch of Republicans out there who take it, and the cause of conservatism, very seriously. Among those is apparently a group called the Reagan Battalion, a group of right-wing activists who actually seem to be intent on holding conservatives to account. They started linking to videos, more than a year old, that involved Milo proudly advocating men ‘helping’ young gay boys below the age of consent. These weren’t new: Anti-Gamergate advocates had been trying to call attention to Milo’s worst statements for years. However, quite frankly, Milo fed on this criticism. It took him climbing, Icarus-like, out of twitter and closer to the mainstream for him to fall, and it took some friendly fire from conservatives to finally push him.

Beyond this, Laurie Penny’s article on the subject is most excellent. As is Ross Douthat’s from a conservative perspective. But the far more important article is this article arguing that Milo was just playing off the Tucker Max outrage marketing playbook, and that we should all stop falling for it. Advice that I will endeavor to take to heart.

You know, after enjoying the schadenfreude just a bit more.

GamerGate Godfather Gets Banned From Twitter – Finally

Last night, Twitter finally got serious and banned the Godfather of the Gamergate Manchildren, the Liberace of Alt-Right Demagoguery from their service.  Sadly, after two years of him cheerleading targeted abuse on individuals, Twitter took action only because his target this time is famous, which made his exploits well-known.

But let’s back up.  There’s two sides of #GamerGate.  There’s the underinformed side who believes that GamerGate actually has something to do with Ethics in Games Journalism.  These people are typically naïve about how the industry works or even what ethics in journalism actually means, but if this is where GamerGate actually ended, they would have been ignored and moved on.

The problem is that there’s the other side of GamerGate, and that is the culture warriors who started GamerGate as a new front in the culture war against, you know, progress being made.  In particular, these were the people who used GamerGate to heap abuse on known, strong-voiced women in game development such as Zoe, Anita, Randi and Brianna, as well as attempted to shut down anything that would be considered progressive commentary about the games industry.  The actions of these dipshits did serious damage to the games industry and its relationship with the fans.  The actions of these dipshits is why no serious member of the Games industry treats GamerGate with anything short of utterdisdain or disgust.

Milo Yiannopoulos has long been the leading voice of this festering stew of misogyny and hate.

Milo doesn’t give two shits about games, and neither does the people he leads.  Two weeks before he claimed the baton and jumped to the front of the Parade of Misogynistic Basement Dwellers, he actually described gamers as being ‘wierdos in yellowing underpants’.  He only has two things that are actually important to him:

  • Bashing feminists.
  • Defending being an antisocial fuckweasel on the Internet as ‘free speech’.

That’s why the ‘alt-right’ defenders of freedom keep expanding their fight to dumb causes, particularly causes that are perceived as ‘social justice warriors’ attempting to expand the influence of feminism to all corners of the galaxy.  This spicy stew of misogynistic and reactionary game fans, mens rights activists and  white supremacists have been a ready-made army for Milo’s cause, and that cause is that they should feel free to load Leslie Jones’ mailbox with truly offensively racist shit, and that if Twitter attempts to address this problem, they are abridging their free speech.

This is an absurd argument that you’d either have to be an idiot or a full-blown shitbag to believe.  In truth, the first amendment does not apply to private companies.  You are free to say what you want, but you can’t be compelled to publish other people’s sick and twisted shit, and a company like Twitter is free to create and foster the atmosphere online that they want for their online culture.

Three other thoughts:

  • My Twitter feed is full of obnoxious gamergate and other alt-right shitheads trying to cherrypick examples of people who were NOT banned and compare them to that of Milo’s lesser crimes. Other than the fact that they typically pick minor namecalling to compare to rank sexism, it also ignores the fact that Milo has a record of Twitter malfeasance that extends more than two years in the past.  In January, Twitter shot a warning shot over his bow by removing his verification status, which hurt his fee-fees so much that he raised a stink about it in the White House briefing room.  He clearly ignored the point that Twitter was seeing this as a last chance for him.
  • There are other idiots that claim that Milo was banned for being ‘gay’ or being a ‘conservative’. This is bullshit – Twitter is still full of gays, conservatives and conservative gays who use Twitter without fear every day.  More to the point, what Milo keeps trying to argue is that racist and sexist puerile bullshit is the equivalent to ‘conservative’ thought.  True conservatives should be appalled and disgusted by this attempt to hijack their political belief system with this sewage.
  • It is depressing that it took an assault on a major Hollywood star to force Twitter to finally take action. Milo and his channer sewage farmers have been engaging in this sort of pathetic bullshit for years now, and it only became unacceptable once Leslie Jones put it on the front page of CNN.

Meanwhile, Milo’s fanbase has responded with the only way they know how to – harassment.

Twenty Years, Twenty Lessons

Mark Rosewater gave a great talk this year regarding design lessons he’s learned as a designer (currently lead designer) on Magic over 20 years.  This talk is so good that it should be used on day one of most Design 101 courses.

Incidentally, much of this talk comes from the best lessons from his column, “Making Magic”.  This blog is probably the best long-running game design blog in the industry, and if you like and understand Magic, you should be reading it.

Milo Vanilli

Speaking of Ethics in Games Journalism, it turns out that Milo Yiannopoulos (of the blue checkmark scandalessentially farms out most of his articles to unpaid ‘interns’ who appear to be largely made up of 8chan posters.

Yiannopoulos confirmed in an interview with BuzzFeed News that he has “about 44” interns — “a mix of paid and unpaid” — writing and conducting research for him. But he denied that other people write stories for him start to finish….

Yiannopoulos told BuzzFeed News that all uses of the n-word in PROJECT MILO were ironic. “A lot of these guys are young 4chan guys,” he said, referring to his interns. “They use it in the sense that message boards use it … It was the n-word with an -a, not with an -er — they were quoting hip-hop lyrics.”

As one can tell from the screenshot of his slack channel, it proudly contains channels like ‘Trump’, ‘Shitposting’ and ‘Blackcock’.

“I know they don’t mean it in a racist way,” he continued. “It wasn’t like I had to police racism out of my Slack.”

This is amusing because just this week, Milo posted what can only be described as a dog whistle to the white supremacy/MRA laden ‘alt-right’ movement.  Which to be honest, is way more fucking terrible than the first story. And also, tells you everything you know about the relationship between GamerGate and this cancer-ridden part of the Internet.


About that VR Talk

Last week, I talked about an interesting talk at GDC about Women, Harassment and VR.  Some commenters had some choice sentiments about the nature of this experiment.  Elizabeth Sampat had some choice words on the subject:

None of this is consensual: anyone who thinks that harassment isn’t affecting if you know it’s coming obviously has never been harassed before. Women don’t have some magical “sensitivity gene” that makes them more succeptible to harassment than anyone else, and the fact that you know you’re about to be harassed doesn’t make it any less powerful or any more okay. Harassing an unsuspecting woman and calling it an experiment is like holding up a bank, getting away with the money and then calling it performance art. The harm has been done, the boundaries have been violated, and no one has given consent.

None of this is news:  VR stands for VIRTUAL REALITY. There’s a game about tightrope-walking storeys above the ground, and video of people playing this game and of their abject fear already exists. It’s easy to extrapolate from all of these similar experiments in the medium that VR harassment would create the same autonomic responses as real-world harassment! A man is being applauded for discovering that women don’t like their personal space invaded, being shown phallic objects, or having their bodies touched without consent. How is that novel? How is that news?

None of this is brave: What a cowardly thing, to put yourself in the shoes of the abuser. How I would have loved a talk about how Harris designed a VR prototype in which you were a woman getting harassed on a San Francisco sidewalk or NYC subway. How brave and powerful it would have been to create an opt-in experience where people in positions of power could finally learn what it was like to feel small and afraid. What an innovative experiment that could have been! That’s a talk I would have liked to see. How boring and predictable it is to replicate centuries-old power structures, use an unwitting woman as your bait, and gather applause and acclaim. How sad it is to see from the company that made Papa y Yo.

I did not comment on this aspect of the test because, frankly, I don’t have enough information about his experiment – the Polygon article says that she was ‘unsuspecting’, but not having been to the talk, I’ve no idea HOW unsuspecting.  Did she sign a consent form?  Did she have a rough idea of what was going on?  I simply don’t know, and I haven’t found anyplace that discusses those possibilities.

Even if consent were given, history is full of social experiments that were incredibly useful to understanding human nature, and yet highly unethical and likely would earn utter condemnation if run today.  The Stanford Prison Experiment  and the Milgrim Obedience Experiments are both fundamentally important and useful studies, even if horrific in retrospect.  So while I do think this little experiment was probably prone to many of the complaints Elizabeth and other critics raised up, I do think the questions are vitally important to the science of Virtual Reality, and that researchers would be well-advised to find better ways to study this field, and figure out ways to educate the games industry about what I suspect would be their horrifying conclusions.

Nintendo Fires GamerGate Target for Bullshit Reasons

In the realm of corporate cowardice, very little compares to the utter cowardice that is firing a female employee because she is the target of an orchestrated hate campaign from reactionary assholes.  But that is exactly what Nintendo America has done.  The always excellent Jesse Singal gives the rundown.

For those seeking more background, check out this Kotaku article.

Multiplayer VR Experiences Need to Worry About Harassment Right Fucking Now

While I was at E3, Polygon published an article about a new, horrifying problem that to be honest, so far I haven’t even considered in my analysis of why VR has a bumpy road ahead, and that is that harassment in VR is likely to be way, way worse than in normal games.  A game dev at GDC demonstrated the problem on an unprepared participant, and made things clear that harassment is a lot more brutal when people are reaching towards your crotch directly.  Said the dev:

“It is intense, it is visceral [and] it triggers your fight or flight response,” he warned, his tone becoming more grave.

This is crucially important, but the only people I’ve seen the article treat this as a serious, grave issue are MMO experts, including Second Life chronicler James Wagner Au and Scott Jennings.  Au is more skeptical, whereas Scott’s point of view mirrors mine – it’s definitely a solvable problem.  The question is whether or not developers will decide to solve this problem before launching their products.

This didn’t stop some incredibly naive and short-sighted commentary.

Nope, not kidding, and it’s not pearl clutching.  It’s time to get to work. This has the problem to be catastrophic for VR – at least for VR that involves connected experiences with strangers.  Here’s the thing – games earn reputations, and so do platforms.  And they earn that reputation right when they launch, usually, when stories of harassment break on the web.  If this isn’t solved before the ‘technology is out’, it could result stunting the growth of VR for years.

To put it in stark terms, if you’re a mom, are you buying yourself or your daughter a VR unit after Time runs a ‘Rape in Cyberspace’ type story and Fox starts villifying it?

I’ve written before about how important that it was that Ultima Online changed the culture of the game by aggressively moving to ban assholes.  This change directly is tied to the doubling of our subscription base.  However, we were never able to change the perception of the market that was formed on day one that the game was a cesspool.  If we didn’t have that baggage, we would have grown much, much faster.  On SWTOR, we built the infrastructure, tools and call centers at launch – it cost us millions of dollars – but as such, our online reputation was never nearly as negative as UO’s (WoW followed a similar path).

All this led to another exchange that was equally face-palming.

This is a lot of ignorance about League of Legend’s challenges with harassment from someone who purports to be a producer for one of the most significant LOL fan sites.  She seemed to think I was implying that League of Legends was not profitable before they started addressing harassment, and her other tweets imply that harassment has not had a significant impact on their bottom line.  The former point is misconstruing my point, and the latter is directly counteracted by evidence from the numerous discussion points from Riot Games themselves.


The simple fact is that Riot Games has invested millions of dollars combating toxicity and harassment in their space.  They have done multiple GDC speeches on their work (seriously, this talk is awesome, watch it), both describing the damage that harassment has done to the game, as well as how they’ve invented new technology, based on machine learning, in order to better police their work.  Jeffrey Lin’s conclusion is very similar to the theory of Broken Windows – i.e. that their inability to address harassment fast enough resulted in the perception that harassment was the norm.  Wired has covered these efforts multiple times.  The investment into fighting harassment is real, its expensive, and in the case of League of Legends, it’s actually working!   

But here’s what’s immediately relevant: despite the fact that League of Legends has clear data that shows that their world is far less toxic than it used to be based on their efforts, they cannot overcome the reputation they’ve already earned from their earliest days.  There’s much less toxicity than their used to be, but you now have an inherent bias as a player – you expect to see toxicity, so when you see it now — even though it’s much rarer than it used to be — it confirms that bias, and developers are given very little appreciation for the massive cost and work that’s gone into fighting the problem.  This leads to, for example, a community that  is 90% male.

THIS is why it’s important that VR starts thinking and worrying about this problem now.  If they wait until after people have a few rape-y encounters before they start taking this issue seriously, the damage will take far longer to undo.

I’m Still Skeptical about VR

The interesting thing about GDC was the fact that interest in VR is everywhere.  Monday and Tuesday had a VR summit, and lines were so long they have to use overflow rooms, and ultimately rearrange the conference to make room for it.  It reminded me a lot of GDC in 1996-1997, when the MMO talks and roundtables were being packed, despite the fact that no one knew anything about the field (the pre-EQ, pre-AC days where even I was considered an expert).

Back then, I had the benefit of being the subject matter in the thick of things – hell, the sheer lack of MMO designers at the time made me a world-class expert on the field.  Now, I’m just a cranky old man observer.  Still, I have a lot of hesitation – not so much about whether VR will conquer the world, but also about WHEN that might happen.  The issues are myriad, but only a couple do I see mentioned frequently:

  1. The vomiting issue.  The struggle is real and is well-known.  People have been telling me that it’s an urgent issue to solve for two years now, and I don’t know if anyone’s closer to it.  Most people that I’ve talked to say that this can be reduced by simply having games that have no movement in them.  Yay, Deer Hunter!
  2. The social virality issue.  The games with peripherals that do the best are highly social games that demo well at parties – think Rock Band or the Wii.  Both were compelling experiences that made observers immediately want to rush home and buy their own.  VR, on the other hand, makes you look like an idiot to observers.
  3. The cost issue & market consolidation.  Right now, we have 3-4 major players, vying to be the major player.  And getting into the space is expensive – matching or exceeding the cost of a modern console, but with vastly less utility.  This choice will end up causing market paralysis -players are going to wait until one emerges as a clear leader.
  4. The Harassment issue.  I’ll probably write about this issue in a seperate post, but this will be a much worse problem for connected VR games than it ever was for MMOs and LoL.  This isn’t going to be a huge issue in single-player and shared-space VR issues for a while tough.
  5. The Setup Issue.  Millions of people have hardware peripherals they’ve played once, and then put on the shelf and never touched again.  That even extends to things like 3D television, which requires the incredible simple setup of… finding the glasses.  3D requires even more setup for a simple session – putting on a lunky piece of hardware, positioning yourself in a place you won’t trip over the coffee table, etc.

This is not to say that I think that all VR games are bad – I’m quite fond of several experiences, especially puzzly games like SuperHyperCube that don’t try to be realistic.  But I do think there’s going to be a lot more resistance to these experiences leaving the realm of early adopters to become truly mass market.  Trying to guess which one will win is a fun exercise – if I had to guess, I’d bet on Sony’s Playstation VR.

  1. They have gravity from all the PS4’s that already are out there in living rooms.
  2. The fact that they are in living rooms means they are more likely to make a good living room social experience that can go viral.
  3. They have experience making kid-proof hardware, and are priced competitively for the field.

Note that none of this has much to do with the games or the hardware itself.  That being said, the single most significant thing that the VR companies can do is find an experience that sells as much hardware as Soul Caliber did in the 90s.

But then again, I’m probably being a cranky old man.  But at any rate, I’m much more entranced with HoloLens and Magic Leap.  So maybe I’m just looking slightly further down the road to Augmented Reality, and putting my undue enthusiasm there.

Milo’s Pathetic Two Month Tantrum Reaches the White House

Milo Yiannopoulous, the pitifully preening thin-skinned neurotic meerkat that has self-styled himself as the Liberace of the Alt Right Movement Dedicated to Preserving the Right for Pathetic Manchildren To Be Abusive Shitheads in between bouts of acting as the Pied Piper of the #GamerGate movement, managed to worm his way into the White House Briefing Room today, where he managed to ask a question.

We live in perilous times.  The economy is being buffeted by Asia, ISIS is still dangerous, and both political parties are in chaos due to unlikely primary challenges.  So what does Milo want to talk about?  Apparently, he is still butthurt about losing his blue checkmark due to his self-admitted, utterly despicable habit of being generally a terrible person to anyone who dares to recognize his awesome brilliance.

Anyway, he just happened to wander into the White House Briefing Room, where he asked a question about how him losing his checkmark showed how conservative free speech rights are UNDER ATTACK!  The clip is amusing partially because the White House Spokesperson clearly thinks its about the stupidest question that’s been asked of him in his tenure herding these cats.

There are, of course, a few observations to make here.

  1. If you ask the leader of the federal government to Orwellianly stop a private company from policing their userbase to their likelihood, then your small government/libertarian credentials are about as authentic as a super secret circle that tells you to drink your Ovaltine.
  2. If you can still post on Twitter, you still have plenty of free speech.  The fact that Milo’s patented brand of abuse of the Twitter platform (and, frankly, of the concept of ethics in journalism entirely) has only cost him this vanity adornment and not gotten him removed from the platform so far is, frankly, a testament to both Twitter’s leniency – or stupidity, if you ask me.
  3. Complaining you lack free speech after having managed to sneak into one of the most exclusive media invites in America, and being able to ask the spokes of the opposition party – when you work for a media outlet who despises this president and virtually everything he stands for – is pretty much the height of being so self-absorbedly out of touch with how your so-called issues conflict with actual reality, it’s a wonder you haven’t taken over a Bird Sanctuary somewhere.

This sort of shit has been flowing fast and fierce from those who have tried to turn Online Abuse into a cause for cultural revolution.  A year after the CEO of Twitter noted that they suck at  dealing with abusive shitheads, Twitter has since gotten more aggressive about banning abusive trolls and obnoxious shithead Neonazis, with said trolls and shitheads insisting that this was about the silencing of the conservative worldview, despite the fact that millions of conservatives can and still post on Twitter.  It turns out the common thread is being a troll or shithead, particularly one that engages in doxing, dogpiling or direct threats.  In short, Twitter is following the most basic rule of community management: people who cost them more money or eyeballs than they grant them are, frankly, bad for business, and Twitter is under no obligation to support the fetid swamp feces that they claim is discourse.

But do go ahead and sue Twitter, Milo.  Because I could sorely use the material.

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