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To: kidl who wrote (2471)3/19/2023 7:20:48 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
2 Recommendations   of 3135
 
Musk bought himself a $45 billion soapbox.

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From: kidl3/20/2023 6:25:04 AM
1 Recommendation   of 3135
 
Musk's dislike of the media is well known but this goes way beyond dislike. It actually sets him on a warpath with the very people who provide him with free advertising for Tesla.

Elon Musk Sets Automatic Poop Emoji Response On Twitter For Press Enquires (ndtv.com)

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From: Glenn Petersen3/20/2023 3:40:59 PM
   of 3135
 
Antisemitic tweets soared on Twitter after Musk took over, study finds

Analysis by Cristiano Lima with research by David DiMolfetta
The Washington Post
March 20, 2023 at 9:02 a.m. EDT

In the months after Elon Musk’s takeover, antisemitic posts on Twitter skyrocketed, according to a report shared first with The Technology 202, which offers a new detailed look into the growing prevalence of hate speech on the site.

The study, which used machine-learning tools to identify likely antisemitic tweets, found that the average weekly number of such posts “more than doubled after Musk’s acquisition” — a trend that has held in the months after Musk took over.

The analysis found an average of over 6,200 posts per week appearing to contain antisemitic language between June 1 and Oct. 27, the day Musk completed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. But that figure rose to over 12,700 through early February — a 105 percent increase.

The report — conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a nonpartisan think tank, and CASM Technology, a start-up that researches disinformation and hate speech online — also found a “surge” in the number of new accounts created immediately after Musk took over that posted at least some antisemitic content.

Researchers wrote that it represented a three-fold increase in the rate of “hateful account creation.” But critically, the researchers behind the study said the uptick in hateful content extended well beyond that initial wave of new accounts.

“We’re seeing a sustained volume of antisemitic hate speech on the platform following the takeover,” said Jacob Davey, who leads research and policy on the far-right and hate movements at ISD.

The study marks one of the most extensive efforts to date to quantify how Musk’s drastic makeover of the company has impacted the prevalence of hate speech on the platform.

According to the report, researchers trained a machine-learning tool to spot tweets that “plausibly” matched at least one interpretation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. The organization lists making “dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews” and “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews” as examples of antisemitic remarks.

Researchers then manually reviewed a smaller subset of the posts to compare it with their algorithmic sorting tool, finding that it matched with 76 percent accuracy.

“There are inherent challenges in training language models on as nuanced a topic as antisemitism,” the researchers wrote.

Even with the caveats, researchers say the findings paint a clear picture: Antisemitic tweets have become far more prevalent under Musk.

“We’re pretty confident that this is the most sophisticated attempt to map antisemitism on Twitter in the pre- and post-Musk era,” said Tim Squirrell, ISD’s head of communications.

Twitter replied to a request for comment with an email containing a poop emoji. Musk tweeted Sunday that Twitter’s press email will automatically respond in that manner.

Musk has denied claims that hate speech has risen on Twitter under his leadership.

After a December report by advocacy groups found that hate speech was appearing on the site more often on average after his acquisition, Musk tweeted a graph that he said showed “hate speech impressions” were on the “decline” — without providing additional data to substantiate the claim. He suggested that one spike in engagement was due to a small number of accounts.

Musk has also claimed that Twitter will limit the circulation of “hate tweets” so that they are “max deboosted,” part of a policy he described as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”

But according to the new findings, any impact from those changes appears marginal, with researchers identifying “only a very small decrease in the average levels of engagement” with antisemitic content and stating that it did not amount to an “appreciable change.”

Milo Comerford, who leads policy and research on counter-extremism for ISD, said the slight drop in engagement with antisemitic posts could be explained by the surge in overall volume.

“When you have a substantially higher volume of content that is propagating particular narratives, you can't expect all of that content to continue to have the same level of engagement,” he said.

Researchers and Democratic lawmakers have expressed concern that it could be significantly harder to track the prevalence and reach of hate speech on Twitter under Musk, given his plans to charge outside groups a significant amount to access data about the platform.

<snip>

Antisemitic tweets soared on Twitter after Musk took over, study finds - The Washington Post

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From: Ron3/20/2023 7:03:33 PM
   of 3135
 
Twitter slashes ad rates in effort to get new advertisers...
boingboing.net

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From: ralfph3/21/2023 12:01:23 PM
1 Recommendation   of 3135
 
National security threat? msn.com and a dumpster fire article. news.yahoo.com

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To: ralfph who wrote (2478)3/21/2023 12:22:39 PM
From: kidl
   of 3135
 
Musk is walking too fine a line and pissing off too many people.

China isn't the only government capable of bringing down "irritants".

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To: ralfph who wrote (2478)3/21/2023 7:26:37 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
2 Recommendations   of 3135
 
The original Bloomberg article:

Elon Musk's global empire has made him a burning problem for Washington

Between Twitter, Starlink, SpaceX and Tesla, the CEO’s clout — and unilateral decision making — has made him a big headache for Biden

Saleha Mohsin, Daniel Flatley and Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg
21 March, 2023, 07:05 pm
Last modified: 21 March, 2023, 07:26 pm

Argentina was headed toward its thrilling victory over France at the World Cup in Qatar, and Elon Musk, the Tesla Inc. CEO and Twitter owner, stood in the stands, laughing and holding a wine glass. A woman approached and asked for a selfie. He obliged and smiled. She briefly spoke to him and departed, according to a short video clip of the encounter posted on TikTok.

Musk didn't appear to recognise the woman or say anything to her. But back in Washington, after her snapshot with the billionaire circulated online, Biden administration officials grew uneasy.

She was Nailya Asker-Zade, a Russian state-controlled TV personality who is regarded by President Vladimir Putin's opponents as one of his top propagandists. And she had just blithely gained access to a man who — among other pursuits — leads one of the US government's most important contractors, rocket company SpaceX, and has held a federal security clearance.

There's no indication that anything about Musk's December encounter with Asker-Zade was improper. But it illustrates, from the point of view of US officials, the trouble with Musk. Since buying Twitter Inc. in October for $44 billion, Musk now controls five companies sprawling across the transportation, aerospace, health, telecommunications and social-media sectors. All of them intersect with government to varying degrees, giving the billionaire unmatched global clout.

Tesla's electric vehicles underpin President Joe Biden's climate agenda. SpaceX keeps NASA's ambitions for manned exploration of space aloft, and its Starlink network — likely the largest privately owned fleet of satellites in the world — offers a vital communication lifeline to Ukrainian forces fighting Russian invaders.

But it's at Twitter where Musk — the self-styled "chief twit" of the platform — causes Biden's team the most heartburn.

Since taking over the company, Musk has gutted its staff and all but abandoned any semblance of content moderation, allowing disinformation to flourish — sometimes on his own account, with its nearly 132 million followers. He's also increasingly allied himself with Republicans who claim they've been censored by Big Tech and Democrats, and has openly endorsed Biden's opponents.

His unorthodox management has introduced a fresh layer of volatility to a free-speech venue that is at once a human rights lifeline for those living under authoritarian regimes, like Iran, and an unwitting booster of baseless conspiracy theories that have sparked violence, like in the US. The Federal Trade Commission has interviewed at least two former Twitter employees and plans to depose Musk himself in an investigation of the platform's compliance with a 2011 agreement to protect user privacy.

"A shameful case of weaponization of a government agency for political purposes and suppression of the truth!" Musk posted March 7 on Twitter.

Within the Biden administration, some top officials fear that between his business empire, his vast wealth and his political alliances, Musk, 51, is close to untouchable. He appears to unilaterally decide, for instance, how Ukraine can use the Starlink service — a presidential-like power atypical for a US defense contractor. And they worry that because of Tesla's growing footprint in China and Musk's dependence on financing from the Middle East for his Twitter deal, he may be vulnerable to foreign manipulation.

One US official described Tesla as a Chinese company with an American subsidiary. The company's factory in Shanghai accounted for more than half of its global production last year. Biden himself has said that the entrepreneur's foreign ties are "worthy of being looked at."

At odds with US policy, Musk has proposed both a Russia-friendly plan to end the war in Ukraine and a reunification scheme for Taiwan and China that was publicly applauded by the Beijing government.

"I don't think there is another American more dependent upon the largess of the Communist Party than Elon Musk," Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who chairs the Intelligence Committee, said in an interview in New York in October.

Asked for comment on the Biden administration's concerns about him, Musk said in an email: "I believe in the Constitution. Do they?" Several US officials interviewed for this story asked not to be identified because discussions of Musk's influence — and how it might be constrained — have been private.

Growing empire

Musk and his companies have endured some scrutiny from federal agencies — he continues to clash with the Securities and Exchange Commission over his tweeting, for example, and the Justice Department, SEC and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have subjected the company's automated-driving claims to greater scrutiny.

The approach has been akin to Whac-a-Mole, with regulators reacting to missteps and violations by Musk's companies after they happen.

"I really try to make this a matter of calling balls and strikes," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with Bloomberg editors and reporters March 13. "When they do the right thing, we're gonna lift that up, and when they don't — or when there's a problem as a regulator — we will be there to make sure that, that people are taken care of."

But Buttigieg, one of the most unflappable politicians in the Biden administration, spoke haltingly when asked more directly about Musk, including whether his views of the entrepeneur have changed.

"I really try to separate the …" He paused for more than 10 seconds. "Things people pay a lot of attention to, from the things I need to pay the most attention to."

The Transportation Department's job isn't to trust the companies it regulates, he added. "It's to oversee them when it comes to compliance and then to try to partner with them when we can get something good done together."

Some administration officials have speculated that the government may someday need to break up Musk's empire as it did John D. Rockefeller's more than a century ago. But US courts have for decades mostly frowned on trust-busting.

Instead, some in the administration have weighed whether to subject his Twitter purchase to review by a secretive interagency panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, that can block corporate transactions involving foreigners over national security concerns.

At least three foreign entities helped to finance Musk's Twitter deal: Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, founder and chief executive of the crypto exchange Binance; and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund. The prospect that those investors gained access to Twitter user data has caused anxiety across the US government's national security apparatus and intelligence community, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Any such move would carry political risk for Biden. Musk has forged close ties with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose California district is home to SpaceX operations. The billionaire spent time with McCarthy at a Wyoming resort last year and personally delivered birthday greetings at the lawmaker's office in January.

"There's no walking back the fact that a handful of super-rich guys have a lot of influence in the American economy," said Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, who has advocated for a CFIUS review. "That's no reason to shy away from using the tools of government to make sure there's no undue foreign influence on US politics."

But the Treasury Department has ruled out a review on legal grounds, according to people familiar with the matter.

Washington heavyweight

Even before buying Twitter, Musk enjoyed outsized influence in Washington.

SpaceX is a giant of US government contracting, with nearly $3 billion in federal work in 2022. Musk and lobbyists for the company diligently worked Congress for years to build lawmaker support, and SpaceX sued the Air Force for the right to compete with a longstanding joint venture of defense giants Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

US spending on SpaceX

Musk's venture has grown into a top-100 contractor


Musk has long since departed from normal CEO behaviour, mostly in comical ways. He briefly smoked pot on a live-streamed podcast, annoying some Tesla investors and SpaceX employees. He tweeted that he had lined up financing to take the carmaker private at $420 per share — a marijuana joke that earned him an SEC investigation, a slap-on-the-wrist fine (for him) of $20 million and a shareholder lawsuit.

In the last few months, his extracurricular behaviour began to more seriously alarm US officials and Biden's political allies.

Musk has said he "reluctantly" voted for Biden in 2020, but his public political persona has steadily veered rightward since the president took office. In June, Musk tweeted in reply to another Twitter user that he was leaning toward supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president in 2024. Days before the November elections, he urged his millions of Twitter followers to vote for Republicans.

In November, he threw his support firmly behind DeSantis, suggesting the conservative governor — who has flown migrants from Texas to Massachusetts as a political stunt while cracking down on the teaching of sexuality and racism in grade schools — is "sensible and centrist."

In October, Musk tweeted a plan to end the war in Ukraine that would entail Kyiv permanently surrendering Crimea, the peninsula that Russia illegally annexed in 2014, abandoning its ambition to join NATO, and agreeing to UN-supervised elections in areas Russia occupies to determine whether Moscow would keep control of the territories.

US intelligence officials were aghast. The proposal was applauded by Putin's allies while helping to popularize the idea that Ukraine should make concessions to Russia to end the war and that the US and its allies should curb support for Kyiv's military. That sentiment has taken hold among some Republican lawmakers, complicating efforts by Biden and GOP leaders such as Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to maintain robust US military support for Ukraine's war effort.

DeSantis issued a statement March 13 saying that Ukraine's defense is not a "vital" US interest and describing the war as a "territorial dispute."

Musk has threatened (by tweet) to cut off Ukraine's free access to the Starlink network, which US officials regard as a key advantage for Kyiv, allowing the country's military leaders to maintain command-and-control of its forces without depending on more vulnerable radio and phone systems.

The billionaire backed off after outcry from Ukrainian leaders and their allies, but has continued to complain about the cost of the service and said last month that Kyiv won't be allowed to use Starlink to target drone attacks on Russian forces. That's drawn rebukes overseas and at home.

"I certainly hope we put pressure on Musk to join with the family of civilized nations in opposing Putin and doing everything we can to defeat him," Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said in an interview.

Vital to Biden

To the extent that Musk is a problem for the Biden administration, it's one of interdependence. His ventures' ambitions align with key elements of the president's agenda, including increasing the share of electric vehicles on the road. This has created an uneasy marriage of convenience at times, one that has become more fractious as Musk begins to mix his inspiring rhetoric about the future of humanity with bare-knuckle politics.

White House officials met Jan. 27 with Musk and other Tesla leaders at the company's Washington office, where they discussed how the carmaker could help the Biden administration achieve its climate goals — including by opening its network of charging stations to vehicles made by competitors.

"They have a big footprint," Mitch Landrieu, a senior adviser to Biden, told reporters.

What followed illustrates the puzzle Musk poses to the president and his team.

Biden calls himself the most pro-labor president in US history, and has seldom mentioned Tesla or Musk while promoting electric vehicles because of their hostility toward unions. But on Feb. 15, after Musk announced he would open parts of Tesla's charger network to competitors, Biden responded with a complimentary tweet that name-checked the billionaire's Twitter handle.

A day later, dozens of employees at a Tesla plant in Buffalo filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging they were fired for trying to organize a union. Tesla said the terminations were part of a routine performance-review process.

Elon Musk's global empire has made him a burning problem for Washington | undefined (tbsnews.net)

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (2480)3/21/2023 7:56:07 PM
From: kidl
   of 3135
 
Musk is not a Biden / US problem. He has elevated himself to being a global problem. His effort to become THE global influencer is pissing off a lot of people / governments for various and very different reasons.

I don't give him much time until he becomes another very rich and VERY quiet tycoon.

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From: ralfph3/21/2023 8:29:41 PM
1 Recommendation   of 3135
 
Twitter - where trolls and hate walk hand in hand bbc.com

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From: Thomas M.3/23/2023 9:38:02 AM
3 Recommendations   of 3135
 
Capsule Summaries of all Twitter Files Threads

For those who haven't been following, a compilation of one-paragraph summaries of all the Twitter Files threads by every reporter. With links and notes on key revelations

Matt Taibbi

racket.news

In order, the Twitter Files threads:
  1. Twitter Files Part 1: December 2, 2022, by @mtaibbi

    TWITTER AND THE HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP STORY

    Recounting the internal drama at Twitter surrounding the decision to block access to a New York Post exposé on Hunter Biden in October, 2020.

    Key revelations: Twitter blocked the story on the basis of its “hacked materials” policy, but executives internally knew the decision was problematic. “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?” is how comms official Brandon Borrman put it. Also: when a Twitter contractor polls members of Congress about the decision, they hear Democratic members want more moderation, not less, and “the First Amendment isn’t absolute.”

    1a. Twitter Files Supplemental, December 6, 2022, by @mtaibbi

    THE “EXITING” OF TWITTER DEPUTY GENERAL COUNSEL JIM BAKER

    A second round of Twitter Files releases was delayed, as new addition Bari Weiss discovers former FBI General Counsel and Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker was reviewing the first batches of Twitter Files documents, whose delivery to reporters had slowed.

  2. Twitter Files Part 2, by @BariWeiss, December 8, 2022

    TWITTER’S SECRET BLACKLISTS

    Bari Weiss gives a long-awaited answer to the question, “Was Twitter shadow-banning people?” It did, only the company calls it “visibility filtering.” Twitter also had a separate, higher council called SIP-PES that decided cases for high-visibility, controversial accounts.

    Key revelations: Twitter had a huge toolbox for controlling the visibility of any user, including a “Search Blacklist” (for Dan Bongino), a “Trends Blacklist” for Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and a “Do Not Amplify” setting for conservative activist Charlie Kirk. Weiss quotes a Twitter employee: “Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool.” With help from @abigailshrier, @shellenbergermd, @nelliebowles, and @isaacgrafstein.



  • Twitter Files, Part 3, by @mtaibbi, December 9, 2022

    THE REMOVAL OF DONALD TRUMP, October 2020 - January 6th, 2021

    First in a three-part series looking at how Twitter came to the decision to suspend Donald Trump. The idea behind the series is to show how all of Twitter’s “visibility filtering” tools were on display and deployed after January 6th, 2021. Key Revelations: Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth not only met regularly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, but with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Also, Twitter was aggressively applying “visibility filtering” tools to Trump well before the election.



  • Twitter Files Part 4, by @ShellenbergerMD, December 10, 2022

    THE REMOVAL OF DONALD TRUMP, January 7th, 2021

    This thread by Michael Shellenberger looks at the key day after the J6 riots and before Trump would ultimately be banned from Twitter on January 8th, showing how Twitter internally reconfigured its rules to make a Trump ban fit their policies.

    Key revelations: at least one Twitter employee worried about a “slippery slope” in which “an online platform CEO with a global presence… can gatekeep speech for the entire world,” only to be shot down. Also, chief censor Roth argues for a ban on congressman Matt Gaetz even though it “doesn’t quite fit anywhere (duh),” and Twitter changed its “public interest policy” to clear a path for Trump’s removal.

  • Twitter Files Part 5, by @BariWeiss, December 11, 2022

    THE REMOVAL OF DONALD TRUMP, January 8th, 2021

    As angry as many inside Twitter were with Donald Trump after the January 6th Capitol riots, staffers struggled to suspend his account, saying things like, “I think we’d have a hard time saying this is incitement.” As documented by Weiss, they found a way to pull the trigger anyway.

    Key revelations: there were dissenters in the company (“Maybe because I am from China,” said one employee, “I deeply understand how censorship can destroy the public conversation”), but are overruled by senior executives like Vijaya Gadde and Roth, who noted many on Twitter’s staff were citing the “Banality of Evil,” and comparing those who favored sticking to a strict legalistic interpretation of Twitter’s rules — i.e. keep Trump, who had “no violation” — to “Nazis following orders.”



  • Twitter Files Part 6, by @mtaibbi, December 16, 2022

    TWITTER, THE FBI SUBSIDIARY

    Twitter’s contact with the FBI was “constant and pervasive,” as FBI personnel, mainly in the San Francisco field office, regularly sent lists of “reports” to Twitter, often about Americans with low follower counts making joke tweets. Tweeters on both the left and the right were affected.

    Key revelations: A senior Twitter executive reports, “FBI was adamant no impediments to sharing” classified information exist. Twitter also agreed to “bounce” content on the recommendations of a wide array of governmental and quasi-governmental actors, from the FBI to the Homeland Security agency CISA to Stanford’s Election Integrity Project to state governments. The company one day received so many moderation requests from the FBI, an executive congratulated staffers at the end for completing the “monumental undertaking.”



  • Twitter Files Part 7, by @ShellenbergerMD, December 19, 2022

    THE FBI AND HUNTER BIDEN’S LAPTOP

    The Twitter Files story increases its focus on the company’s relationship to federal law enforcement and intelligence, and shows intense communication between the FBI and Twitter just before the release of the Post’s Hunter Biden story.

    Key Revelations: San Francisco agent Elvis Chan “sends 10 documents to Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth, through Teleporter, a one-way communications channel from the FBI to Twitter,” the evening before the release of the Post story. Also, Baker in an email explains Twitter was compensated for “processing requests” by the FBI, saying “I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!”



  • Twitter Files Part 8, by @lhfang, December 20, 2022

    HOW TWITTER QUIETLY AIDED THE PENTAGON’S COVERT ONLINE PSYOP CAMPAIGN

    Lee Fang takes a fascinating detour, looking at how Twitter for years approved and supported Pentagon-backed covert operations. Noting the company explicitly testified to Congress that it didn’t allow such behavior, the platform nonetheless was a clear partner in state-backed programs involving fake accounts.

    Key revelations: after the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) sent over a list of 52 Arab-language accounts “we use to amplify certain messages,” Twitter agreed to “whitelist” them. Ultimately the program would be outed in the Washington Post in 2022 — two years after Twitter and other platforms stopped assisting — but contrary to what came out in those reports, Twitter knew about and/or assisted in these programs for at least three years, from 2017-2020.

    Lee wrote a companion piece for the Intercept here:

  • Twitter Files Part 9, by @mtaibbi, December 24th, 2022

    TWITTER AND “OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES”

    The Christmas Eve thread (I should have waited a few days to publish!) further details how the channels of communication between the federal government and Twitter operated, and reveals that Twitter directly or indirectly received lists of flagged content from “Other Government Agencies,” i.e. the CIA.

    Key revelations: CIA officials attended at least one conference with Twitter in the summer of 2020, and companies like Twitter and Facebook received “OGA briefings,” at their regular “industry” meetings held in conjunction with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The FBI and the “Foreign Influence Task Force” met regularly “not just with Twitter, but with Yahoo!, Twitch, Cloudfare, LinkedIn, even Wikimedia.”



  • Twitter Files Part 10, by @DavidZweig, December 28, 2022

    HOW TWITTER RIGGED THE COVID DEBATE

    David Zweig drills down into how Twitter throttled down information about COVID that was true but perhaps inconvenient for public officials, “discrediting doctors and other experts who disagreed.”

    Key Revelations: Zweig found memos from Twitter personnel who’d liaised with Biden administration officials who were “very angry” that Twitter had not deplatformed more accounts. White House officials for instance wanted attention on reporter Alex Berenson. Zweig also found “countless” instances of Twitter banning or labeling “misleading” accounts that were true or merely controversial. A Rhode Island physician named Andrew Bostom, for instance, was suspended for, among other things, referring to the results of a peer-reviewed study on mRNA vaccines.



  • and

  • Twitter Files Parts 11 and 12, by @ mtaibbi, January 3, 2023

    HOW TWITTER LET THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IN

    and

    TWITTER AND THE FBI “BELLY BUTTON”

    These two threads focus respectively on the second half of 2017, and a period stretching roughly from summer of 2020 through the present. The first describes how Twitter fell under pressure from Congress and the media to produce “material” showing a conspiracy of Russian accounts on their platform, and the second shows how Twitter tried to resist fulfilling moderation requests for the State Department, but ultimately agreed to let State and other agencies send requests through the FBI, which agent Chan calls “the belly button of the USG.” Revelations: at the close of 2017, Twitter makes a key internal decision. Outwardly, the company would claim independence and promise that content would only be removed at “our sole discretion.” The internal guidance says, in writing, that Twitter will remove accounts “identified by the U.S. intelligence community” as “identified by the U.S.. intelligence community as a state-sponsored entity conducting cyber-operations.”

    The second thread shows how Twitter took in requests from everyone — Treasury, HHS, NSA, FBI, DHS, etc. — and also received personal requests from politicians like Democratic congressman Adam Schiff, who asked to have journalist Paul Sperry suspended.



  • Twitter Files Part #13, by @ AlexBerenson, January 9, 2023

    HOW TWITTER COVERED UP COVID TRUTHS

    New addition Alex Berenson details how Twitter throttled down or erased true information about COVID-19, with the help of a former Pfizer lobbyist, Scott Gottlieb.

    Key Revelations: Twitter senior political liaison Todd O’Boyle feared that onetime acting FDA commission Brett Giroir’s correct observations about the effectiveness of natural immunity were “corrosive” and might “go viral,” and put a misleading label on the tweet. Gottlieb also pressured Twitter to remove Berenson himself.



  • Twitter Files Part #14, by @ mtaibbi, January 12th, 2023

    THE RUSSIAGATE LIES

    One: The Fake Tale of Russian Bots and the #ReleaseTheMemo Hashtag

    Internal communications at Twitter show that Russian bots were not in fact hyping the classified memo of Republican congressman Devin Nunes in January of 2018.

    Key Revelations: Three key Democrats — Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Blumenthal, and former House Intel Committee chief Adam Schiff — cited a think tank called Hamilton 68 in denouncing a memo by Nunes as aided by “Russian influence operations.” Yet all three were told by Twitter executives there were no Russians in the picture. Said former Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth, “I just reviewed the accounts that posted the first 50 tweets with #releasethememo and… none of them show any signs of affiliation to Russia.”

    Twitter Files Supplemental, by @ mtaibbi, January 13th, 2023

    MORE ADAM SCHIFF BANS, AND “DEAMPLIFICATION.

    A brief thread of 10 tweets showing that the former head of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, sent repeated requests for bans of people critical of their office.

    Key Revelation: Schiff and the DNC both not only asked for the takedown of an obvious satire by “Peter Douche,” but requested takedowns of accounts that were critical of the Steele dossier and outed the name of the supposed “whistleblower” in the Ukrainegate case, Eric Ciaramella. Schiff staffers said that while they “appreciate greatly” efforts by Twitter to deamplify certain accounts, they worried such effort s “could… impede the ability of law enforcement to search Twitter.”

  • Twitter Files #15 by @mtaibbi, January 27, 2023

    MOVE OVER, JAYSON BLAIR: TWITTER FILES EXPOSE NEXT GREAT MEDIA FRAUD Internal communication about Hamilton 68, a project by the Alliance for Securing Democracy purporting to track 600 account “linked” to “Russian influence activities.” Reporters used Hamilton 68 as the basis for countless news stories, from CNN’s “ Russian bots are using #WalkAway to try to wound Dems in midterms” to “ After Florida School Shooting, Russia’s Bot Army Pounced.”

    Key Revelation: Twitter’s Yoel Roth was suspicious of Hamilton 68’s methodology and reverse-engineered their list, which he quickly discovered to be bogus, full not of Russians but “legitimate right-leaning accounts” who were being implicitly called Russian assets. “Virtually any conclusion drawn from [the dashboard],” Roth wrote, “will take conversations in conservative circles on Twitter and accuse them of being Russian.” Roth urged Twitter to “call this out on the bullshit it is,” but Twitter higher-ups worried about the political consequences, choosing instead to play a “longer game.” Neither the actors involved, nor any of the media outlets who ran Hamilton-based stories intitally commented, though the ASD later replied, prompting a back-and- forth (and forth) with this site.

  • Twitter Files #16, by @mtaibbi, February 18, 2023

    COMIC INTERLUDE: A MEDIA EXPERIMENT

    Mainstream outlets finally cover the Twitter Files with excitement, after House testimony elicited a claim that Donald Trump complained, unsuccessfully, to Twitter about a tweet by Chrissy Teigen (who in turn complained that she didn’t “ know how to go on” after her tweet about Trump being a “pussy ass bitch” was read to congress). Irritated that this became the big censorship story after releasing thousands of takedown requests from government agencies involving people all over the world, I decided to do an experiment.

    Key Revelations: We released a list of 354 names Maine Senate Angus King wanted taken down for reasons like “Rand Paul visit excitement,” “followed by [former Republican opponent Eric] Brakey,” and my personal favorite, “mentions immigration.” For balance we also released a letter from a Republican official at the State Department, Mark Lenzi, who tells Twitter about 14 real Americans “you may want to look into and delete.” Surely, if the main objection to the Twitter Files is that they’re “one-sided,” someone will cover a Republican doing the bad thing? But no, more crickets. With help from @Techno_Fog

  • Twitter Files #17: by @mtaibbi, March 2, 2023

    NEW KNOWLEDGE, THE GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT CENTER, AND STATE-SPONSORED BLACKLISTS

    A review of the activities of the Global Engagement Center, or GEC, what one source called “an incubator for the domestic disinformation complex.”

    Key Revelations: A GEC-funded think tank, the DFRLab, sent Twitter a list of 40,000 names of people suspected of supporting “Hindu nationalism” that somehow had scads of ordinary Americans with handles like @mad_murican and @TrumpitC on the list; GEC sent Twitter a list of 5500 “Chinese accounts” that among other things had three CNN contributors on it (“Not exactly Anderson’s besties, but CNN assets if you will,” commented Twitter’s Patrick Conlon), GEC sent another list of 499 accounts deemed Iranian disinformation, using criteria like: used Signal and Telegram to communicate and used hashtags like #IraniansDebateWithBiden. Other GEC reports deemed various actors part of foreign propaganda “ecosystems” for offenses like following more than one Chinese diplomat, retweeting an Iranian-created “FREE PALESTINE” meme, and for retweeting material that was “anti-Macron in nature.”

  • Twitter Files #18: by @mtaibbi, March 9, 2023

    Statement to Congress

    THE CENSORSHIP-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

    On the day Mike Shellenberger and I testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government, I released this thread on the theme of Michael’s inspired title for his statement, “The Censorship-Industrial Complex.”

    Key Revelations: The thread focused on Stanford University, the Election Integrity Partnership, and the state funding of a slew of think-tanks, NGOs, and for-profit firms connected to the “anti-disinformation” movement. One of those, New Knowledge, was caught faking a Russian influence campaign in an Alabama Senate race, pushing on reporters the false idea that Republican Roy Moore was being followed by a slate of Russian bots. “There have been other instances in which domestic actors created fake accounts,” Twitter’s Yoel Roth wrote. “Some are fairly prominent in progressive circles.” Just before the thread went live, @NAffects discovered a string of emails about the Virality Project that succeeded EIP, one of which talked about striking down “true stories of vaccine side effects.” With additional help from @ShellenbergerMD, @Techno_Fog, @bergerbell, @SchmidtSue1, @tw6384, @ AaronJMate, and @ MikeBenzCyber

  • Twitter Files #19: by @mtaibbi, March 17, 2023

    The Great Covid-19 Lie Machine

    Stanford, the Virality Project, and the Censorship of “True Stories”

    Following up on the finding by Andrew Lowenthal (@NAffacts) from the week before, TF 19 recounts how Stanford worked with four think-tanks (several the recipients of state awards) and multiple government agencies to create a cross-platform JIRA ticketing system for seven major Internet platforms, including Twitter, Facebook/Instagram, Google/YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, and Medium.

    Key revelations: Multiple instances of the Virality Project recommending action against true stories deemed “standard misinformation on your platform,” from “celebrity deaths after vaccine” to a story about a school in Central New York that closed after teachers reported post-vaccine side effects. VP continually desrbed opposition to Vaccine Passports as anti-vaccine behavior and would describe as disinformation “events” things like a news story that ‘increased distrust in Fauci’s expert guidance.” A report by Graphika forwarded to Twitter explained that “seeding doubt and uncertainty in authoritative voices” like Facui’s “leads to a society that finds it too challenging to identify what’s true or false.” Therefore, people need to be shielded from difficult truths. With additional help from @ShellenbergerMD, @Techno_Fog, @bergerbell, @SchmidtSue1, @tw6384, @ AaronJMate, and @ MikeBenzCyber

  • Tom

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