EDITORIAL: #Deleteuber and Free Discourse

On February 13, the man behind the now-famous #DeleteUber Twitter movement, Dan O’Sullivan, was contacted by Merion West columnist Hans Riess requesting a comment for an article slated to come out on Friday. Mr. Riess’ article will focus on the 200,000 Uber accounts that were deleted in response to the #DeleteUber movement. Mr. O’Sullivan did not respond to the columnist’s question but attempted to make a mockery of his name, facial hair and choice of clothing.

 

Although we respect any online personality’s right to express himself, we found his response, and those of his nearly 50,000 Twitter followers, to be disquieting. Instead of engaging in a debate of ideas, Mr. O’Sullivan and his follower-base chose to belittle a person whose viewpoint challenged their own. Although a popular method on both sides of the American political divide, this phenomenon of shutting down opposing opinions has recently seen a resurgence in the younger generation, and many, including us, fear that it is becoming an increasingly acceptable alternative to civil discourse.

Mr. O’Sullivan garnered his fame through his anonymous Twitter handle @Bro_Pair, through which he frequently tweets derogatory statements regarding Ivanka Trump, Geraldo Rivera, Piers Morgan’s son, and most recently, young mathematician and our columnist Mr. Riess.

 

 

The prolific Twitter user appeared to take insult to Mr. Riess’ libertarian leanings, referring to him and the publication as “fascist.” Soon after, Mr. O’Sullivan proceeded to tweet and re-tweet a number of posts denigrating the Merion West columnist, receiving ample support from some of his followers.

 

 

We would like to clarify that Merion West is non-partisan. Our contributors’ ideological leanings range from progressive to conservative. We maintain that it is in the interest of the country that each person has the right to articulate his own viewpoints and to be exposed to opposing ones. Although this may be an increasingly unpopular idea for some, we remain resolutely committed to the free discourse of ideas.

If Mr. O’Sullivan would like to provide a comment to share in the upcoming article, please email editor@merionwest.com.

Articles authored or co-authored by Staff Editors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *