Throwing Shade

at

Last night.

Meanwhile…

This morning.

Via New York Post:

An end to “shadow banning” seems the only possible explanation for multiple right-wingers reporting a massive uptick in Twitter followers since Elon Musk bought Twitter on Monday.

If lower-level Twitter workers hadn’t taken fingers off the algorithms in anticipation of the new regime, why would Donald Trump Jr. see a gain of 87,296 new followers Tuesday, plus 119,022 more the next, after weeks of averaging roughly 7,000 per day?

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) picked up more than 205,000 followers in two days, per Social Blade analytics. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, 141,000; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), 112,000. Joe Rogan (who’s not even a righty, just an iconoclast the left obsesses about) gained nearly 135,000,

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) urged Musk to investigate not only shadowbanning, but also “who was responsible for deliberately suppressing the New York Post’s now-vindicated reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and business dealings.”

The old guard still running Twitter, meanwhile, says it seems to be largely a result of people deleting and then re-creating their accounts. Right.

Sure looks like a total vindication of Musk’s move to buy Twitter to protect free speech — and reason to suspect similar secret bias operates everywhere else in Big Tech.

It’s high time to crack open Big Tech’s black boxes which suppress conservatives (Editorial, New York Post)

Meanwhile…

Meanwhile…

Fight!

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44 thoughts on “Throwing Shade

    1. Kin

      He is not too popular anyway with Jonny Depp
      Seems captain Jack sparrow might be calling him as a witness over his dating with gold digger Amber heard
      Seems poor Jonny Depp was not just a jolly Jack tar but had his reputation tarred by the herd as a swashbuckling wife beater
      He finally might see justice

  1. Junkface

    All of the underhanded tactics of the Establishment Left in silencing a diversity of opinion are going to be exposed. It’s going to look very ugly and anti democracy/free speech. There will also be a lot of court cases.

      1. Your auld wan

        Get up out of that. You don’t approve comments if they’re too critical of your varied conspiracy stances on this hellsite.

    1. Nigel

      I don’t think it’s going to be as ugly as what it looks like when the far right think they get to say what they want and everyone else has to shut up. We already know what the far right like to saty and we already know they react to criticism or disagreement as rhough it’s the same as silencing. Unmoderated social media just means more and more crap drowning out everything else.

      See how you unquestioningly accept the framing that only right wing voices and opinions get silenced on social media as if it were factual? An honest survey of content moderation would show something a lot different. But hey, maybe Musk will let the Nazis back on which will be GREAT for democracy

    2. Ian - oG

      ”Establishment Left” is an oxymoron Junkface.

      ”Establishment attempting to use social issues to woo younger voters” is more like it.

  2. paul

    I’d be curious if there will be any meaningful change that can be felt by users in the short and medium term. I mean, Twitter presumably have a board of Directors that have certain powers, rights and responsibilities that filter downwards and laws the pertain to the operation of the company that must be followed.

    We can all check in in a years time to see what’s happened and if it’s less of a cesspit. Hopefully Musk doesn’t call anyone else a pedophile when publically spurned in the meantime.

    1. Nigel

      As far as I can make out, being horrible to trans people is now so crucial to democracy and freedom of speech that western civilisation will fall if we don’t all join in right now, which is why Musk is buying twitter with more money than Joe Biden is putting in to fixing climate change.

  3. Gavin

    Unreal how bent out of shape people are getting, if you don’t like someone, block them, what do these people do in real life follow people around they don’t agree with arguing with them in the hope they will change their mind.

    1. Micko

      What might work is a two tiered approach to twitter.

      Verified accounts that can say pretty much what they want and unverified accounts that are subject to some moderation (to stop abuse, threats all that stuff). Similar to the Blue Tick they have now.

      And you can upgrade your unverified account at any time by providing proof of ID.

      Just like in real life, people who’s identities are known might choose their words very carefully as not to cause libel or upset, but still be allowed to get their point across without the concern of being alienated for “wrong think”.

      1. paul

        I’d be okay with some version of this. Obviously the ID part would need to be airtight and a nightmare to manage internationally but I think it’s doable.

        Employers would need to put up a firmer face on what they expect from their employees on social media though. Most (or all) hospitals in Ireland have social media policies now so employees who are identifiable have to moderate their behaviour. Even saying ‘my opinions are my own’ etc isn’t enough if an employee misrepresents their employers ethos or breaks the law.

        Worthy of discussion surely.

      2. Nigel

        I’m not sure this would fix anything that wouldn’t be more effectively achieved by clearly established community standards enforced fairly and consistently, with avenues for appeal and an eye for malicious reporting.

        1. paul

          if something like it were introduced, Twitter itself would probably only see minor changes. People less likely to act the maggot when it’s their face and name attached to the comments but where Twitter intersects with the real world, that would see a much larger effect. With cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking for example you’d have a clear chain of evidence leading back to the perpetrator allowing for easy recognition and punishment.

          My mind comes back to the horrible abuse footballers receive, seemingly, all the time. Tie it back to the real person in the ‘meatspace’ and the problem is much easier to deal with. Even groups like the FA in England would actually have to do something when presented with clear names of those responsible. Ideally, the thought of the shame of such crimes being made public would stop them before they happen.

        2. Micko

          Unfortunately “clearly established community standards” are subject to constant change at whomever’s whim. There are plenty of examples of things that were once untrue and practically banned on social media that are now taken as fact or at least plausible.

          Looking at you – Lab Leak theory / Vaccine efficacy etc ;-)

          Again, if you want an unverified account then you are subject to these rules. Say something racist, inflammatory or illegal to someone – you’re banned. I think people would be fine with that. Less trolls is good for everyone.

          But if you’re a verified account holder, you have to stand over what you say and be held accountable, both legally and in the public eye.

          Which is perhaps a price people would be willing to pay if they feel that what they are saying is the truth and needs to be said.

          But sure this is only an idea – I’m sure Musk has a better plan…

          1. Nigel

            ‘are subject to constant change at whomever’s whim.’

            Yes, you see in my humble opinion that is what they are doing wrong – not being clear and consistent.

            I also think you’re underestimating the number of people happy to stand over the most appalling rubbish, especially if there’s money in it.

            I can pretty much guarantee Musk does not have a better plan.

  4. scottser

    free speech in all its filthy glory – nobody brought to account for the things they say and everybody allowed to take offence at being criticised.
    as if twitter wasn’t enough of a cess pit.
    ‘you have the right to free speech, as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it’.
    https://youtu.be/XlqSSWXbcOw

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Hey la hey la, my stalker’s back.

      Still following me around like a pigeon looking for crumbs, poor Gaslighty.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Still complaining about Twitter removing your vile tweet then. What a sad, sad existence. Spend some time on Broadsheet, then onto Politics.ie to complain about Broadsheet, then onto twitter to spew more bile – and having a Broadsheet poster (two even) in your byline. Sad, sad life.

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          Hey la hey la, my stalker’s back.

          Still following me around like a pigeon looking for crumbs, poor Gaslighty.

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            Hey la hey la, my stalker’s back.

            Still following me around like a pigeon looking for crumbs, poor Gaslighty.

          2. GiggidyGoo

            So sad that you’ve now to copy and paste your own comment – not surprised your thought process has given in. Sad, sad, existence.

          1. GiggidyGoo

            Ah, look It’s my personal stalker, Ian – oG
            ROFL etc.

            ps there’s a ‘follow’ button on twitter. I don’t use twitter, but the invitation is there.

            Nice to see Her Vileness has a fan.

          2. Ian - oG

            Hahahaha, trust me giggly, nobody follows you around here or in the real world, unless its to be sure you have actually left the premises.

            ps. look at you being able to work a twitter machine, reminds of the time my dog learned how to open the kitchen door.

            Bless.

  5. stephen moran

    There is a very good piece in Foreign Policy about this issue which basically says that Musk’s room for manoeuvre and some of the hyperbole about “freedom of speech” may be very wide of the mark i.e. that Twitter is already widely censored (by countries (you’ll be surprised by the top offender) and there is nothing he can do about that) plus also the new legislation passed by the EU which will serious crimp his wings to change things without incurring massive fines – I’m going to cut and paste the relevant bits here as its behind a killjoy firewall.

    So when it comes to Twitter’s future in the United States, loosened content moderation and Trump’s return may be enough for the company’s U.S. detractors to claim victory.
    The rest of the world is a different story. That’s because for years now, states, not social media companies, have been taking the lead on deciding who gets to speak online. This approach makes social platforms not so much a public square as a school playground, where the government can act as supervisor, disciplinarian, and chief bully all at the same time.
    Surprisingly, it wasn’t a closed authoritarian country that topped the list of governments requesting that content be removed from the platform. Japan led the world in legal demands regarding Twitter content in the first half of 2021, the most recent period for which the company has published data. According to Twitter’s transparency report, the Japanese requests—43 percent of the global total—stemmed from concerns over “laws regarding narcotics and drug control, obscenity, or financial-related crimes.”
    More typical culprits appear when moving down the list. Russia, Turkey, and India, along with South Korea, round out the top five and contributed 95 percent of all legal demands in the reporting period.
    While China sidesteps the issue entirely by blocking major social media channels (a policy that doesn’t stop its Twitter-happy diplomats), Turkey and India have taken a more hands-on approach.
    Since 2020, Turkey has ordered social media companies with more than 1 million daily users to appoint a local representative and form a local entity that can be issued fines for noncompliance with government orders. That desire for control goes hand in hand with a wider media crackdown which has seen Turkey become one of the biggest jailers of journalists in the world.
    India has also followed a similar route, recently instituting rules requiring major social media companies to open local offices and appoint local representatives to oversee compliance with its new regulations—and be held criminally liable for any breaches. Twitter has also faced pressure from the Indian government to remove accounts supporting farmer protests last year and was one of several companies asked to remove accounts criticizing the national response to the country’s COVID-19 epidemic.
    Turkey and India are not outliers in their attempts to govern social media content. In 2021, at least 24 countries put new laws or rules in place to control how companies operate in that space, according to data from the latest Freedom On The Net report from Freedom House.
    It’s not just countries with shaky democratic ideals that are keen to police online speech either. EU regulators, long a thorn in the side of Silicon Valley, unveiled new plans over the weekend that would limit how users are targeted with ads, as well as force tech firms to clamp down on illegal content or potentially face billions in fines.
    The new rules would also include a “crisis mechanism” that would allow the bloc to tightly control how social media companies operate during a health or security emergency.
    The wide reach of the EU regulations, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), was criticized by Jacob Mchangama in a recent Foreign Policy piece where he warned that the new rules could cause “serious collateral damage to online free speech in Europe.”
    “It will most likely result in a shrinking space for online expression, as social media companies are incentivized to delete massive amounts of perfectly legal content,” Mchangama writes.
    If Musk is in fact set on improving free speech on his new website, the tide of global regulation is against him. Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, told the Financial Times that Musk will be subject to the same terms as any other company: “Elon, there are rules. You are welcome but these are our rules. It’s not your rules which will apply here,” he said.
    Further reading:
    •Freedom House’s Freedom On The Net report, which covers the global drive to regulate big tech.

    1. Nigel

      None of that matters. For all these libertarian-style freedom of speech advocates, it begins and ends with being politically incorrect and being able to lie with impunity that’s it. Nothing else. Disagreement is censorship, banning people for threats and abuse is Establishment Left wokery.

      1. stephen moran

        the self delusional knownothingist fantasies of the shouty bloke from down the pub with his new global paradigm (which is always happening on Monday week) will always get their 30 second soundbite on Fox or here ahead of the old fashioned world of reality and observable facts as that’s just boring and doesn’t sell any copy.

  6. Duncan Wheeler

    Musk buying Twit can only be a good thing. i have never twitted though was disturbed by the blatent bias shown over the past 5 years or so. The ‘village square’ is now open to one and all. Rejoice.

  7. Hughie Luas

    You just know he’ll spend the next week taking the mickey out of Twitter execs and staff and then pay the penalty fee and walk away from the deal.

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