Twitter Muting: A positive case of silencing of political opinion by a journalist ?

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right, and journalists play a very important role in protecting and upholding this right.

The dividing lines between journalism and propaganda are drawn along balance, bias, impartiality and attention to reporting facts. In media projection this is important as journalists are generally recognized to be credible authoritative sources.

As discussed in a previous blog post, the Twitter muting function provides a subtle mechanism for introducing bias to the platform which can transform it from one reflecting all opinion equally to one of propaganda through the introduction of bias.

In the spirit of free debate, this abstract – which is a keen follower of certain members of the press – saw the following tweet and felt compelled to respond:


Note: The redacted portion was a private UKIP member : No ‘Trolling’ attack took place or was involved.

So far as the abstract can tell, this is fair comment, in line with current public statements made by Mr. Farage and UKIP, and is an accurate reflection of the political situation of UKIP. That contradicts the claims of abandonment of libertarianism for populism made by the journalist.

This was also the only communication this abstract had with @DPJHodges at that point, and the only received communication also.

The abstract later observed the following tweet:


And replied:


The abstract discovered that the mute had been applied since the last and only successful reply.

Some background is required to understand the cat reference, from where the ‘No Dogs’ part of the quote perhaps sourced.

The journalist here is a very well respected, and indeed this abstract continues to enjoy and respect his work. Some background here.

The back story to how this journalist lost his eye whilst standing up to to racists in 1992 demonstrates he is of solid and honourable character of which is in no doubt.

However, looking at how @DPJHodges describes itself at this time of writing:


This invites the question as to who really made the decision to mute: Was it a personal or a corporate decision ? The views expressed by @DPJHodges are not stated as being his own, so there is doubt as to whether this @DPJHodges is a really a corporate Telegraph account masquerading as the reporters independent account.

This abstract can only conclude from these events and given the content of the successful communication, that there a form of political censorship has been exercised by either the corporate entity the journalist works for, or the journalist himself.

The decision to mute is respected, but the abstract is now aware that Twitter timeline contents are biased. In particular the content carried on @DPJHodges timeline must be viewed through a more carefully focused lens.

This abstract leaves the reader to form their own opinion.



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