Twitter as a Hellscape: Insights into a Dark Side of the Technicolor Paradigm after Musk Rounced on Twitter
Musk then offered to buy Twitter outright at a significant premium, threatened a hostile takeover and signed a “seller-friendly” deal to buy the company that involved waiving due diligence.
Musk attempts to remake the platform in his image, and as a result internal documents from prior leadership have been released. The billionaire has previously said he wants to do away with permanent user bans and Twitter has recently begun to restore the accounts of thousands of users, including some incendiary figures. But Musk has also said he doesn’t want Twitter to “become a free-for-all hellscape” and plans to moderate content in a way that appears largely consistent with Twitter’s prior policies.
Musk could singlehandedly upend the media and political scene, remake public discourse online and disrupt the conservative-leaning sphere of social media properties that emerged largely in response to grievances about bannings and restrictions on mainstream services.
The acquisition also promises to extend Musk’s influence. The billionaire already owns, oversees or has significant stakes in companies developing cars, rockets, robots and satellite internet, as well as more experimental ventures such as brain implants. Now he controls a social media platform that shapes how hundreds of millions of people communicate and get their news.
The fake accounts that are particularly active in the replies to Musk’s tweets, and other large followings on the platform, are pledged to be defeated or die trying.
Twitter and the Republic of Congo: The Case for a Better Realization of the Voter’s Right and the Constitutional Powers of Social Media
Delaware Chancery Court chancellor Kathaleen St. Judge McCormick gave the parties until 5 p.m. on Oct. 28 to close the deal or face a rescheduled trial.
The issue of how and why Twitter — like other major platforms — limits the reach of certain content has been long been a hot button issue on Capitol Hill and among some prominent social media users, especially conservatives. Twitter has repeatedly said it does not moderate content based on its political leaning, but instead enforces its policies equally in an effort to keep users safe. Jack’s said in the interview that the company does not look at political viewpoint or ideology. Behavior is looked at.
He said on the earnings call that the long-term potential for the company is greater than its current value.
When billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter and pledged that “the bird is freed” last week, Felix Ndahinda saw a threat rising on the horizon.
It is clear that the rise of hate speech and conspiracy theories on social media contributed to the unrest in the Democratic Republic ofCongo, even if academics do not yet know what part it played. It’s hard to work out a link from a message to violence. “But we have many actors making public incitements to commit crime, and then later those crimes are committed.”
In a blog post last week, Twitter said it had not changed its policies but that its approach to enforcement would rely heavily on de-amplification of violative tweets, something that Twitter already did, according to both the company’s previous statements and Weiss’ Friday tweets. “Freedom of speech,” the blog post stated, “not freedom of reach.”
There is still no firm idea about how the company will proceed. Musk met with civil-rights leaders to discuss his plan to establish a moderation council that would set policies on hate speech. Users who had been banned before Musk’s takeover of the company would not be reinstated until a process had been set up for allowing them to do so, Musk has said.
The Trump Era: What Twitter and Facebook Can Learn from Its Misleading Users: The Story of the Shadowbanned Musk Era
Stringhini says that these platforms are where false narratives start. When those narratives creep onto mainstream platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, they explode. He says they go out of control because everybody knows them and they are covered by the media.
James Piazza, who is studying terrorism at Pennsylvania State University, says that he is scared when he sees people use inflammatory speech on social media. There is a situation where you can have more violence.
And regulations on the way from the European Union could make Musk’s ‘free speech’ rhetoric impractical as well, says Rebekah Tromble, a political scientist at George Washington University in Washington DC. Social-media companies will have to take steps to mitigate the risks of illegal content under the EU’s Digital Services Act. Tromble says that it would be difficult for platforms to create their own policies and practices for Europe. Mitigating measures are likely to impact the system as a whole when there is a fundamental system.
Tromble believes that the Musk era will begin with a period of chaos as Musk and the users test the boundaries. Then, she says, it is likely to settle down into a system much like the Twitter of old.
The analysis was carried out by the dean of global business at the Fletcher Business School at Tufts University, which is called Digital Planet.
It will be possible for users to find out if the company limits how many other users they can view their posts if it has an option to do so. In doing so, Musk is effectively seizing on an issue that has been a rallying cry among some conservatives who claim the social network has suppressed or “shadowbanned” their content.
“Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal,” Musk tweeted on Thursday. He did not provide additional details or a timetable.
Many news outlets reverted to reporting on what Trump’s administration was actually doing instead of just focusing on furthering the illusion of how great a job he’s doing. The news habits of the early Trump years have come to life over the past few weeks.
The second “Twitter Files” drop this month came from journalist Matt Taibbi, who shared internal email conversations between the company and him, which showed that the company’s decision to suppress a 2020 New York post story about Hunter Biden was already known.
The files consist of internal emails, Slack chats and other material pre-dating Musk’s ownership. They revealed incomplete glimpses of how Twitter officials deliberated over high-profile decisions, including blocking the Post article and banning then-President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. They also showed the degree to which government officials, law enforcement and politicians regularly communicate with Twitter, along with other tech platforms, by flagging content that may violate the company’s policies and sharing threat assessments.
On the coverage of Trump and the lies he perpetrated in the media: The tweets of Musk and the far-right Pepe the Frog
Weiss offered several examples of right-leaning figures who had moderation actions taken on their accounts, but it’s not clear if such actions were equally taken against left-leaning or other accounts.
CNN reported on Monday that a person with knowledge of the situation said that the former head of trust and safety fled his home due to threats from Musk.
Tweets posted by Roth in 2016 and 2017 that were critical of then-President Trump and his supporters were later surfaced and used to argue that Roth and Twitter were biased against the president.
On the day after the election, he wrote on his account, “I am just saying we fly over those states that voted for a racist for a reason.”
I want to be clear, I support Yoel, even though I made some questionable statements on social media. My sense is that he has high integrity, and we are all entitled to our political beliefs,” Musk tweeted.
I told colleagues in the newsroom where I worked that we should stop covering everything Trump said on the internet at the time he was inaugurated. A president’s every word was assumed to be a signal of a future policy, and was reported as such. Trump, on the other hand, clearly said many things purely to get a rise out of people. Reporting on them, I argued, just fed the flames. Another editor pushed back. He said, or words to that effect, that he is the president. He says that is news.
We saw a flurry of rapid-response news stories about Musk suggesting that his pronouns are Prosecute/Fucci, a dig at the former chief infectious disease expert, and at gender diversity. Here’s another bunch about the picture of his bedside table with two replica guns on it, and some more about his tweeting a far-right Pepe the Frog meme.
This is how coverage of Trump was done. The right-wing media treated his egomania, corruption, and lack of interest in grasping basic policy as evidence that he was not a good candidate for president, while the liberal media used stories to prove that he was certainly not a good candidate. There was plenty of good reporting going on at the same time, but these polarizing accounts tended to dominate the conversation. The public lost their understanding of what was happening across the country due to incompatible narratives surrounding the behavior of a man in the White House.
This is what’s happening with Musk and Twitter. Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic describes a “dysfunctional relationship between Twitter’s new owner and so many of the journalists who cover him … where the least defensible statements and claims on all sides are relentlessly amplified in a never-ending cycle that predictably fuels disdain and negative polarization.”
The journalist Friedersdorf is arguing that Musk’s journalistic critics should give him more benefit of their doubt, after all he did ban West, refused to rein in Jones and helped suppress the story about Biden’s laptop. I think it misses the point by straying toward both-sides-ism.
Editor’s Note: Kara Alaimo, an associate professor in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University, writes about issues affecting women and social media. Her book “This Feed Is on Fire: Why Social Media Is Toxic for Women and Girls — In 2024, And How We Can Reclaim It” will be published by the Alcove Press. Her opinions are of her own. CNN has an opinion on it.
The platform has a policy against doxazo or posting private information online, but Musk claimed that the journalists had violated it by sharing his location. But none of the banished reporters — including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan and The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell — appeared to have done so. CNN didn’t get a response from Musk or the social network.
To share your reporting on issues that impact the welfare of people in their community, is very important for grassroots journalists, who are often forced to work on shoestrings as advertising dollars migrate to online platforms. So make no mistake: The fact that reporters can simply be booted from the platform if they cause displeasure to Musk is a danger to us all.
Marjorie Taylor Green was a Republican from Georgia who was reprimanded by the company’s previous management for repeatedly violating its rules against making false claims about drugs and vaccines. Greene was reinstated in November, after Musk took over.
Musk has power moves that are dangerous. Tech and journalism workers who have recently been unemployed should use them as a calling to get everyone to create healthier online spaces. We have nothing to lose except our dependence on a mercurial, egotistical czar to set the terms of our public debates.
Senate testimony on social media attacks against conservatives in the wake of the Hunter Biden alleged hacking of the Reddit: A congressional hearing with the House Republicans
The U.S. government and former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign were not involved in the decision to bar people from sharing a story about his son on the social network, according to former officials.
Republicans hold up the incident as a prime example of Silicon Valley’s alleged anti-conservative bias. They claim that the government and the Biden campaign worked to suppress the story, even though the disclosures of the Twitter files don’t include any evidence of that.
“Twitter, under the leadership of our witnesses today, was a private company the federal government used to accomplish what it constitutionally cannot: limit the free exercise of speech,” committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said in his opening remarks.
At the time the Post article was published, it was unclear how much of the material said to come from Hunter Biden’s laptop was authentic. Tech companies, intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement were on edge because of the possibility of another “hack and leak” operation by the Russians.
“I believe Twitter erred in this case because we wanted to avoid repeating the mistakes of 2016,” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, told the panel, alluding to Russia’s hacking of Democratic National Committee emails that year that were selectively leaked to the public in the final months of the campaign.
James Baker, who served as a deputy general counsel at the social networking site, told the committee that he was aware of no illegal coordination between any government agency or political campaign and the way the Hunter Biden laptop situation was handled.
The hearing is the first of a series of congressional investigations of the Biden administration and what the House Republicans describe as the federal government’s attacks against conservatives.
The allegations of social media colluding between Democrats and Republicans were given added strength after the release of the “Twitter Files” by Musk, a group of journalists.
Anika Collier Navaroli, a former Twitter safety policy employee called as a witness by committee Democrats, told the panel that Twitter removed the phrase “go back to where you came from” from its policy barring abuse of immigrants after Trump expressed the sentiment in a 2019 tweet targeting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-NY) and other Democratic congresswomen.
Collier Navaroli also testified that the Trump White House had asked Twitter to remove a tweet by celebrity Chrissy Teigen insulting the president. Twitter declined to do so, but Democrats seized on her testimony to rebut Republicans’ claims of political bias.
The committee heard from the former chief legal officer ofTwitter that she approved the decision to block the Post link on the site. She said in retrospect, Twitter should have immediately unlocked the newspaper’s account when it reversed that decision.
Citing its rules against sharing hacked material containing private information, Twitter showed a warning to anyone who tried to post a link to the article saying it was “potentially harmful.” It also suspended the Post’s Twitter account until it deleted its tweets about the story.
On Wednesday, Roth testified that potential Russian interference was the frame through which Twitter viewed the Post story – even though he personally did not believe the Post article broke Twitter’s rules.
He said the decisions weren’t straightforward and that hindsight is not always right. It’s not clear what the right response would be to a suspected but unconfirmed cyberattacks on a presidential election.
The hearing, which was interrupted by a power outage, followed the split-screen format that’s become the norm when lawmakers grill tech executives: Republicans spent their time accusing witnesses of censorship, while Democrats argued tech platforms have not done enough to crack down on harmful content.
Greene attacked the panel for her ban and lobbed baseless allegations against the former executives. That included echoing smears against Roth previously amplified by Musk. The threats made against him by Musk have forced him to sell his home.
Democrats accused their Republican colleagues of wasting time and money on a political crusade, by holding the hearing.
Lawmakers should look at how the platform is being used by Russia, Iran, and China to foment transphobia, and how it is being used to whip up violence before Jan 6, according to Democrats.
The Democrats called him as a witness because they wanted to point that out. She testified before the select committee about the role that the platform played in the insurrection.
How Will We Detect The Rise of Antisemitism on Social Media? A Post by Moskowitz on Mar-a-Lago
Moskowitz writes to Musk asking about how he will work with others to combat the rise of Antisemitism on social media.
Moskowitz and many other Democrats used their allotted time to grill the former executives testifying at the hearing about the company’s policies for policing hate on the platform Moskowitz rebuked the former President for allowing a white nationalist and Holocaust denier to attend Mar-a-Lago. He brought a large copy of a post he had seen in the news about the similarities between the views of Nazis and those of Donald Trump. So I have questions about that.”
Moskowitz pointed to a November 30 National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin warning from the Department of Homeland Security, which “issued domestic terror threats to multiple groups, including the Jewish community,” as evidence of his heightened concern. “DHS notes that threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, and there is an ‘enduring threat’ to the Jewish community,” he writes.
“These findings, combined with Twitter gutting its trust and safety operations, suggest serious issues will continue to persist on the platform as it pertains to effective content moderation and the proliferation of antisemitism,” Greenblatt said.