The new regime at Twitter has been engaging in what it calls an “exposé” of alleged censorship of conservatives in general – and Donald Trump in particular – on the part of Twitter’s prior management team. However, their efforts thus far have been pitifully underwhelming and have failed to prove any of their outrageous and unfounded allegations.
When Elon Musk took control over Twitter he portrayed himself as a “free speech absolutist” who aspired to bring a dialogue to the service that was unfettered by bias and censorship. In reality, Musk just inserted his own personal biases and revealed that he has no grasp of what free speech really means. He also demonstrated that his absolutist approach only permits unfettered hate speech. Consequently, despite his instance that Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape,” that’s precisely what it became shortly after he took the reins.
Last week Musk put out the first of what he promised would be a series of revelations exposing the bias of Twitter. That first release was pathetically devoid of any of the bombshells they teased. Although it succeeded in doxing private citizens and putting them at risk for harm.
Now the latest release of Musk’s multipart melodrama was posted Friday night. It consisted of 67 tweets by his protégé/puppet, Matt Taibbi, that ostensibly unveiled a vast conspiracy against conservative tweeters. Suffice to say that it was another nothingburger that failed utterly to prove its predetermined point.
To the contrary, Taibbi actually proved that the staff at Twitter acted responsibly to prevent Trump from inciting further violence during the January 6th insurrection in Washington, D.C. For example, the seventh tweet explicitly laid out how carefully considered any decisions were to tag or suspend potentially violating tweets and users…
7. Twitter executives removed Trump in part over what one executive called the “context surrounding”: actions by Trump and supporters “over the course of the election and frankly last 4+ years.” In the end, they looked at a broad picture. But that approach can cut both ways.
This tweet included a screenshot of the remarks by Twitter moderation staff…
“[H]ere is our quick take: the decision on whether to pull that particular tweet or use that as the last straw for trump depends on many factors including: (1) The overall context and narrative in which that tweet lives – we currently analyze tweets and consider them on a tweet-by-tweet basis which does not appropriately take into account the surrounding context – you can use the telling fire into a crowded theater example – context matters and the narrative that trump and his friends have pursued over the course of this election and frankly the last 4+ years must be taken into account.”
How Taibbi can regard this as evidence of bias is puzzling. It shows a respect for analyzing tweets that takes into consideration the context and the tweeter’s prior comments in order to fully understand their intent. It’s exactly how content moderation should be done. But Taibbi exhibits his bias in the tweets that followed…
8. The bulk of the internal debate leading to Trump’s ban took place in those three January days [6-8]. However, the intellectual framework was laid in the months preceding the Capitol riots.
9. Before J6, Twitter was a unique mix of automated, rules-based enforcement, and more subjective moderation by senior executives. As @BariWeiss reported, the firm had a vast array of tools for manipulating visibility, most all of which were thrown at Trump (and others) pre-J6.
10. As the election approached, senior executives – perhaps under pressure from federal agencies, with whom they met more as time progressed – increasingly struggled with rules, and began to speak of “vios” as pretexts to do what they’d likely have done anyway.
Taibbi is making a wholly manufactured assessment about what he calls the preceding “intellectual framework,” whatever that means. Then he complains that Twitter responsibly employed “rules-based enforcement,” that he baselessly calls subjective, and he whines that their moderation tools were “thrown at Trump.” Maybe that’s because Trump had violated Twitter’s rule innumerable times in the weeks and months that preceded January 6th.
However, the worst part of this screed was Taibbi’s claim that when senior executives “began to speak of ‘vios'” [violations] it was “perhaps under pressure from federal agencies.” Really? He could have just as credibly have said that it was “perhaps under pressure from Martians.” He provided zero evidence of anything resembling pressure by federal agencies or any other entity, terrestrial or otherwise.
That is representative how carelessly and dishonestly Taibbi put together this sham. His only purpose was to create a store of material that Republicans and Trump cultists could link to in order to advance their crackpot conspiracy theories and yammer about conservatives being victims of evil “Big Tech” liberals. The truth is that Twitter long ago admitted that their algorithms favored right-wingers. And near the end of the 67 tweet harangue was one that expressly outlined the situation with regard to Trump’s hostile incitements…
“An update on actions we’re taking as a result of what’s happening in DC today. We have removed (bounced) 3 tweets from @realDonaldTrump on 6 January 2020 [sic] for making unfounded claims of voter fraud and election theft, which must be viewed in the context of the violence in Washington DC today and reasonably can be expected to continue to incite and inspire violent acts around the country. We are requiring a 12-hour timeout following the removal of these tweets. We also have tweeted so there’s transparency in our actions and making it clear that future violations of the Twitter Rules will result in permanent suspension.”
That message completely negates virtually everything that Taibbi had falsely framed prior to it. But he still maintains that his work proves there was a bias at Twitter against Trump and other conservatives. If there was, it was a bias against allowing a treasonous, twice impeached, wannabe dictator from staging a violent coup. And Musk’s rush to reinstate Trump’s account further affirms that he couldn’t care less about the welfare of this nation or its people.
MORE ON “TWITTER FILES”:
- OH-MY: Trump Unleashes Vile Threats in Tantrum Over Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ Farce (Part 6)
- Another ‘Twitter Files’ Doc Dump Fails to Make Its Government Censorship Case: COVID Edition
- Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ Farce Fails Pitifully in Portraying Poor Trump as a Put Upon Victim
- The Sham ‘Twitter Files’ Exposé Actually Proves that Trump’s Coup Plot was Appropriately Muted
- Fox News Spreads Blatant Lie that the ‘FBI Paid $3.5M To Suppress Hunter Laptop Story’
- Fox News Lies: Falsely Accuses Michele Obama of ‘Pressuring’ Twitter to Ban Trump
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