I have a Twitter account that I occasionally use for business. The other day I found out that ex-Kotaku and newly hired Bloomberg News journalist Jason Schreier has blocked me on Twitter.
I have no idea why he blocked me. My best guess is that I disagreed with one of his comments regarding the video game industry and it rustled his jimmies. I did nothing to warrant him blocking me. I conduct myself with professionalism at all times. He could have responded to my tweet or ignored my tweet but instead, he chose the route of the coward and blocked me.
I understand that Jason is a very important person. He even has his own Blue Check Mark which signifies he’s been verified by Twitter. If you have the right politics and flatter the right people, you may just get one yourself someday!
From my research on this and as directly reported by Larch over at Suitably Bored, Mr. Schreier is notorious for having a fragile ego and has blocked many others on Twitter for no reason. Larch explains:
Not to mention that Jason is one of the video game journalists with the most fragile of egos in the industry. Who blocks anyone on social media over the slightest of disagreement. You don’t get a nickname like “Blockbot Schreier” over nothing. It’s a well-known thing he blocks literally everyone who objects to him. Even if you do happen to be a friend of someone who interacted with him on social media you will also find yourself blocked that’s how far his fragility stretches
Jason is also a raging hypocrite. As In his farewell letter to Kotaku, courtesy again of Larch at Suitably Bored, he stated the following:
As a journalist, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that your work is beyond reproach, but the truth is that comments, corrections, and feedback are what make us all better. I’ve had so many great interactions with Kotaku readers over the years, whether it was in our comments section (back when it worked), on Twitter or email…
Pretty words, if only there were true. The real Jason is not interested in feedback, comments or corrections that challenges his worldview. If he was, he would not be blocking people on Twitter faster than an auctioneer with bladder urgency.
Many people on Twitter who were sympathetic to the GamerGate movement and challenged the corrupt journalists and SJWs were also summarily blocked and even pre-blocked from a list that was circulating around.
When you block people who challenge you and disagree with you, you end up creating a Fool’s Paradise and a self-perpetuating echo chamber of group-think where an orthodoxy is established, enforced, and everyone ends up agreeing with you. New ideas brought in by tweets that that the blocker disagrees with never make it into the conversion.
Being exposed to only your side of the story ends up enabling confirmation bias as only people who are likely to agree with you are still allowed to view your Twitter feed.
Another negative side-effect of refusing to consider other’s opinions, is that it makes you intellectually weak and the reasoning part of your brain atrophies; then you become more apt take the easy way out and end up ignoring, blocking or censoring people. When you have no tolerance for viewpoint diversity you are engaging in intellectual bigotry.
Honest people with strong convictions are not afraid to debate those that they disagree with.
As Professor Jonathan Haight has pointed out many times, John Mill had high praise for viewpoint diversity:
“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
Unlike most video game journalists who’s background primary background consists of English Literature and gender studies courses, serious journalists know that there is always two sides to every story. Readers are better informed if the journalist understands that every issue has more then one perspective — not just the one that they happen to agree with.
Now that Jason Schreier is in the big leagues with Bloomberg News, I hope he will man up and stop this childish practice of blocking people who disagree with him. He may actually learn something in the process.
If you or anyone else has been blocked by Jason Schreier or other members of the video game press, you are welcome to post here and tell your story.