On Twitter itself, the head of France’s Twitter office tweeted his own resignation. Most people, when they quit, turn in their letter, pack their stuff in their desk and slink out the back door, but not Mr Viel! His quitting is of public importance.
Or is it? Twitter has already more than halved it’s staff in the first week of Musk’s ownership. Musk’s demand that his employees opt into a “hardcore work environment” and not work from home caused a mass exodus. If there are no free avocado sandwiches at Twitter anymore, why work there? Most commenters seem to think Musk has too many employees. My question is a bit different — why does Twitter have offices in France to begin with? France’s twitter office had 50 people, it is said. It would seem to be an easy trick to consolidate Twitter in a non-California state like, say, Idaho, Montana or Wyoming where an ethos of libertarianism prevails.
Why is this important? Well, if this guy was in charge of Twitter censorship in France, then getting rid of him could enlarge the zone of free speech by allowing multipolar, non-globalist voices to be heard … a bit louder. In short, it will help the political right: Le Pen’s party. Getting rid of people who felt entitled to push their own ideology and control what other people say and can read is a definite step in the right direction, in my wee opinion.
Having the story of the French head of Twitter quitting in front of Twitter readers (who would normally not give a rip about some guy quitting his job), has the unintended benefit of bringing to consciousness the reality of censorship by the oppressive political Left. This one story, then, has nudged the Overton window ever slightly to the right. Even stories which approach a topic from an unexpected angle, such as this one, make people think more deeply and widely about the underlying issue which has nothing to do with this guy, and everything to do with what Twitter’s presence in France really means.
Mr. Viel could have stated that he’s quitting Twitter because of Musk; but no, he resigned saying he accomplished his mission, whatever that could be. Interestingly, in English, when someone says “Mission Accomplished” it’s often a reference to George Bush Jr.’s 2003 speech which was given in front of a banner with these words. In that speech he implied the war was over when it was surely not. In other words, “Mission Accomplished” means the opposite … it means “Mission Unaccomplished.”
Musk is figuring out that a skeleton staff of competent, hard working programmers can keep Twitter up and running just fine — he’s exposing the fluff, laziness and graft of the political Left. Too bad this didn’t happen months BEFORE the election, but whatever. It’s finally here.
Now, I’d like to say something GOOD about Twitter in France. It was Twitter which led the protest over the advertising campaign by Balenciaga which used darling little children in bondage motifs. Yes, that’s what grandma would buy her grandkids to play with, right? A bondage Teddy. In case the little one gets bored with the teddy bear, there are other fun things to play with displayed right there on the table! I see little manacles …
I rather doubt — but could be wrong — that the ad agency that came up with these ridiculous images thought deeply about what they were doing which is exploiting/abusing/sexualizing children. Most of these high fashion sorts love to shock for the sake of shocking. They’ve tried every weird thing out there to get your attention. Now, they’re just running out of material. Their creative juices are dry. Thus, kids.
Both Twitter and Balenciaga are based out of France. Twitter took Balenciaga on and WON. These gross ads have been pulled and are not visible today. Yesterday, Balenciaga even turned off comments on it’s Instagram page (where this was originally posted) and apologized for the drama they caused.
“We are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot,” it clarified. “We stand for children safety and well-being.”
Sure you do.
The moral of the story is this: If given enough freedom, Twitter users can be a force for good in French culture on this platform. Lets hope that Twitter remains free enough to do the good it has the potential to do.