Muskovite Birds of a Feather: Notes on the Great Twitterpation

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Nov 4, 2022.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Okay. I think I get it. Your complaint is that you believe that some discussions are "presently precluded" or "poisoned at the well" because somebody (me, presumably) is trying secretly to defend some political opinions without telling anybody what they are.

    Is that correct?

    So, let's see if we can narrow things down a bit. Which discussions are precluded, in your opinion? What is nobody here able to discuss because of these unenumerated political views of mine? Please give some examples.

    After you've done that, you really ought to tell me what the problem is, exactly. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that I have political views that I'm unwilling to share with you (or anyone). Why I would have such views is a bit of a mystery to me. You know, you could just ask me what my political views are on X or Y, or whatever, and see whether I'd like to share. You might be surprised. Anyway, let's run with your claim for now.

    So, I have these political views that I'm not disclosing. And your complaint is that these secret political views of mine mean that certain (so far unspecified) discussions are impossible for anybody to have on sciforums. Why are they impossible? Does everybody have to know all my political views to make discussions possible? I don't get it.

    Now, if you have specific claims that my undisclosed political views have poisoned some well or other, so that you feel sadly unable to carry on an honest discussion about something, perhaps you should make those specific claims, rather than just vaguely alluding to conspiratorial secrets that might not even be real.

    I assume that you believe that these secret political opinions of mine affect the way I moderate this forum. Can you give any specific examples of where you think a hidden political opinion of mine has affected some moderation decision I've made. Because, you know, I'm usually fairly careful to explain moderation decisions. I leave notes in relevant threads. When I issue a warning, there's always a clear explanation of what the warning was issued for and why. So, where is the secret politics supposed to come in, exactly?

    Also, if you think I'm harbouring some secret and harmful political views, then why the hell don't you just come out and say what you think they are, rather than making these vague insinuations? I'll most likely tell you whether you're right or wrong. I'm pretty open and accessible when it comes to being asked about my politics. In fact, I would have thought that after sharing this forum with me for over 20 years, you would have gained an inkling of my political inclinations by now, even without asking.

    Shall we clear the air? Ask away. Who knows? My unenumerated political views (if there are any) might be enumerated, with very little effort.

    It occurs to me, also, that perhaps I'm coming at your complaint from the wrong angle. Maybe these unenumerated views you're so worried about are not my views, but the views of somebody else who is here? In which case, why don't you ask them to enumerate their views for you? Why ask me?

    Your refrain is that I'm somehow acting to protect these secret political views, whatever they are. Well, spill it out. What am I supposedly doing to protect them? Why is it bad? Which views are you even worried about? Or don't you know, seeing as they are "unenumerated"? Are you having a generalised anxiety attack?
    You know, I don't see anybody else fretting about this. Just you. Maybe the problem isn't real.
    You want to resume an old discussion? What do you want to know from me? Maybe post your questions in the relevant thread and I'll see if I can help you.
    It seems that neither you nor I have any clue what these political views might be. Where's the problem, then? If I have ever commented about suppressing political views, I'm fairly confident I would have been specific about why I thought that was a bad thing. But maybe I wasn't clear. So ask me. What do you want to know about?
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It's irrelevant without knowing the costs however. There is no evidence for the current charge of corporate "price gouging" as the explanation for inflation, for example. I'm not talking about Twitter here but just in general. A Congress woman has made such a charge and it's all over the media now.

    If that were the case, we would have had "inflation" for the last 20 years. The nature of the market hasn't changed. Competition is still a thing. Companies have always tried to maximize profits.

    Regarding revenue, there is also a common viewpoint that "Workers should be paid XXX because some company has $5 billion in revenue". So what? That tells you nothing. Usually it has to do with CEO pay and people just don't do the math. "If the CEO wasn't making $24 million a year, workers wouldn't be on foodstamps!".

    You see that when Walmart is being mentioned. Walmart has 2.3 million employees. If the CEO made zero dollars a year that would mean that every employee would get $10. Not $10/hr more but just a $10 bill once a year. The charges never add up. It's always correlation but not causation.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2022
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    And here we go..

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    The hypocrisy of his "shared power" statement aside, but here we have the owner of a social media platform, using said platform to give recommendations to his millions of followers about who to vote for.

    This is some dangerous crap. Particularly when taken in context with his earlier statement of how Twitter should be the most accurate place of information, which led to Jack Dorsey raising a proverbial eyebrow..

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    The discussion then took a weird turn, with Dorsey querying Musk's decision to rename Birdwatch and its purpose and goal..

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    Fun times ahead..
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Once again Tiassa and Seattle are fighting over points that now have absolutely nothing to do with the original topic.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    While I don't actually disagree, there does come a point, downstream, when it can become strangely relevant. One of the extraordinary aspects, of course, is how this is driven by Musk's egotism, but if we look into what he is actually talking about, what sort of rhetoric and behavior he is protecting and advancing, the credibility of saying something absurd and then changing the subject absurdly is among the chaff and even pollution to be equivocated as grain. It's the other big story in the Muskovization of Twitter. And it's not like nobody could see it coming. In fact, it's one of the things about tears for the content team layoffs is that they weren't especially great at their jobs, before. Still, though, in part because Elon is tilting windmills, part of what he is after is to influence the larger public discourse in particular ways that he seems to fail to understand will continue to distress and alienate reliable advertisers.

    That story, actually, is why I think our experiences at Sciforums are not irrelevant to what is happening at Twitter. We've been through a bunch of this, before, and the free speech of cacophony does not bring stimulating, healthy discourse to a community; it did not cultivate growth.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Quick tale about a small software company. There's actually a lot that goes into it, but the short form is that there is this software company, it's just this software company, y'know, and it's hard to describe what they do.

    Anyway, once upon a time, several years ago, someone I knew at the company was talking about CMS, or content management systems. This is apparently the heart of the company's business, or else simply the part it lets people see. The thing is, for a long time their only easily accessible work sample was an obscure, user-generated health-information website that bears a superficial resemblance to a market phenomenon that would arise only a couple years later, so-called fake news.

    And in that context, it ought to be funny. There is a line I use, approximately, "Could you please not?" and it simply means that if one is not something, then it would be better if they stopped acting like they were. For instance, no this company was probably not part of the rightist fake-news troll industry, but the part where their "About" page was bannered with a photo stolen from a drama textbook didn't help.

    Nor did redefining "CMS" help. These days, that sofware company calls CMS a "community management system", and it is exactly what it sounds like: The community decides what is true. It's a selling point. Sometimes we say something is a feature and not a bug, but in this case it's part of the pitch.

    Here is an example of what that can do, and taken from our own community: Once upon a time there was a dispute about what someone said, and when a second example was introduced for the purposes of comparison, it was dismissed as being something else. And, sure, there is actually a lot to say about that, but the part that stands out in comparing our experience to Muskovite Twitter is found in our justification: Compared to the idea of doing a bit, a sort of joke that just didn't go over in its moment, there was also the assertion that the second example was okay because it was true. The problem, of course, is that it wasn't true. To accept that asserted truth is both ahistorical and, because of the explicit factors involved, antisemitic; more generally, it's fallacious and happens to coincide a very common antisemitic¹ fragment widely accepted in post-Christian society and evident in societal influence.

    One needs no explicit antipathy in order to carry that sherd. It's just part of the language, so fundamental in the English-language historical narrative as to potentially be universal among first-language English speakers. But if we consider our own community, consider that an atheist, for instance, maintaining certain common rhetoric about the Bible, or Judeo-Christian history, has an effect of validating what I describe as usurpation, and in affirming the subordination of Jewish experience and history to the needs of Christians, reinforces part of what so many in our community have, over the years, considered so alarming about religion and theism.

    It can seem a small point but if we look to a larger scale, in Roe v. Wade the Court described anti-abortion arguments as historically novel. A contiguous political position dating back before Christ, and possibly to the beginning of the world itself, might feel like a strong argument to some, but it's not a contiguous poltical position. While even the Euro-American experience included abortion within Christian communities, the anti-abortion argument is most certainly not "Judeo-Christian". Jewish scholars can literally track the history on this point back thousands of years. More easily observed to us, abortion was common enough that an Angel of Abortion appears in the Book of Enoch, ca. third century BCE. Toward the anti-abortion argument, it's one thing if the historical record disagrees, but the track back to the beginning of the world itself stops right there. And perhaps that seems like an obscure thing, but it is one of many differences that gets erased along the way.

    Abortion: Fetus is part of the mother. Incels: The let them die. Why salt? Actually, no, let's not. The thing is, there actually is a record, and if we know where to look we could probably figure out why not cut off offending hands or poison accused women. And it is an impressive record, sometimes astonishingly stupid, and downright hilarious at others, but throughout is extraordinarily human. The bit about salt, for instance; by the fifth century of the common era, that was the best the rabbis could come up with—she didn't even have a name until it was time to blame her. Or the story about the time Kahana hid under his stepfather's bed in order to learn about marital relations, and learned about what you might expect, that the old guy had a really dirty mind. And, yes, that's the official record, such as it is.

    It can seem like a small detail inasmuch as one might be accustomed to saying Judeo-Christian, or Biblical, when what they mean is that they do not believe in the Jewish-Christian-Muslim-Mormon deity, i.e., the Abramic, monotheistic godhead. But sometimes the difference matters. Sometimes we refer to the Bible when it's an Old Testament thing, and therefore the answer is to go ask a rabbi.

    Still, though, while one need not carry any antipathy, any decision that such blurring of distinctions is acceptable speaks to questions of what a community defines.

    In a larger context, at twitscale, certain questions that we are familiar with in our own community still apply; part of what makes the exchange between Elon and Jack so strange is that on Jack's watch, content moderation was often visibly an exercise in applied dullardry.

    It's not quite like watching Republicans scrambling rightward to outflank each other, but Jack asking, "Accurate to who?" is, in its way, extraordinary. In that morbid comedy, the populist has no better claim to reliability than the partisan.

    There are many intersections with experiences in our own community at Sciforums. A note on historians discussing religion insists on my attention:

    Part of the "scientific method" Noll refers to really was so simple as organzing data in a useful way. The thing about the "particular functions and meanings" in discourse is that nothing about that notion of the "scientific method" required that the data organized be scientifically valid or reliable ....

    .... Again, though, Noll: "Theological method came to rely less on instinctive deference to inherited confessions and more on self-evident propositions organized by scientific method." Think of what that actually means; it's actually pretty straigtforward: Theological method relied less on what the predecessors said, and more on what any believer thought obvious. Neither, as such, is reliable.

    Or, as Russell put it: "The concept—what people believed to have happened—is more important than what really did happen, because people act upon what they believe to be true."

    ("On Discussing Religion"↗)

    Self-evident propositions; what they believe happened, more than what really happened. It feels somehow strange that we see it actually carried out on such scale. The underlying questions are familiar to our considerations of rational discourse and the value of reliable evidence; the themes in play are not unfamiliar to our considerations of societal history, and quite apparently not insignificant.

    Watching Elon and Jack, we must remember that both are of a range that prefers the free speech of deception, defamation, conspiracism, and supremacism. The difference is that Jack understands the business implications, while Elon, quite clearly, does not. There is only so much ground Jack could give on community definitions defying reality.

    It's not quite like the line from a song² about, "Look at me, I'm on TV, it makes up for the shortcomings of being poor." Rather, it feels like something has gone horribly awry that something so familiar to our weird little experience over the years should be playing out, so intemperately fast-forward, and on the scale of forty-four billion dollars.

    It's like, small-time bulletin board and mod drama, sure, but, wait, what, really? I can only wonder at the noise and fury if the Tesla board decides to intervene. That sentence should be absurd.


    ¹ If we suggest that, 「ninety-nine percent of the time we might use the phrase, "Judeo-Christian", we probably ought not」, we must be similarly cautious about how we describe what is in "the Bible" compared to taking it up with a rabbi. Ironically, while I might have been aware of the point, it was rabbis and Jewish scholars on Twitter who finally made clear to me that it is, in fact, a very important distinction.

    ² Belle & Sebastian, "If You're Feeling Sinister"↱.​
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    It is difficult to describe the predictable catastrophe preceding the suspension of the Muskovite Twitter Blue. Highlight threads can be fun↱, but the trigger, here, was that blue-checked impersonators making strange declarations about businesses significantly affected the stock prices of Eli Lilly and Lockheed Martin.

    One of Elon critics, fuming as an early target of impersonation, suggests everything makes more sense if we accept that Musk's↱ purpose↱ is to dismantle Twitter. This ought to be an absurd proposition, and we can leave it alone as some sort of joke because, sure, it's easy enough to see what she means. But it's forty-four billion dollars.

    Between labor rules, an FTC consent decree, and now talk of bankruptcy, the idea of self-immolation as anti-establishment temper-tantrum really should seem much more far-fetched than our instinctive protestation that it's forty-four billion dollars.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    In re dismantling Twitter↱, the hard part to grasp is how that could be worth forty-four billion dollars. Caroline Orr Bueno↱ considers the possibility, as well:

    It's particularly painful to watch Elon Musk drive Twitter into the ground because it really doesn't look he's just a reckless novice making mistakes. It really looks like he bought Twitter — a platform that many of us love & many more rely on — just so he could destroy it.

    But there is a question of what anybody means by dismantling or destroying Twitter. As a revenge fantasy or other sort of childish temper tantrum, it really does sound insane. Bueno↱ suggests↱:

    I think Elon Musk bought Twitter b/c he wanted to control the incredible amount of influence that flows from the platform. He wanted to grab that power & influence — which belongs to us, the ones who create it — and use it for his goals. He wanted to mine Twitter all for himself.

    He's currently in the process of stripping apart Twitter like a mad scientist looking for a nuclear reactor core. He wants to find where the influence comes from, how it flows, and how he can control those valuable pipelines. I think he really believes it's possible.

    It's not.

    And, sure, it's an almost supervillanously flawed plan, but in its way, this prospect sounds very nearly possible because it kind of fits with a cognitively distinct egomaniac who cannot keep his damn mouth shut long enough to not wager forty-four billion dollars on an attitude problem he doesn't understand. Somewhere in all the twitcophony, someone mentioned the villain Syndrome, who did not pay attention to superhero history and died for the sake of stylish egotism. And, yes, in that supervillain-valence manner of egotism we might perceive or project about Elon Musk, it is easy enough to imagine him desperately seeking some relic to salvage this extraordinary and humiliating debacle, but the man with a reputation for thinking differently than his overly wealthy CEO peers might well be simply unable to see what that treasure is. That is, he searches frantically for a macguffin that isn't there, while looking past the resource potential he sheds like a dead skin mask.

    Or, I don't know, maybe vivisection is a better metaphor. It's not necessarily that he's sadistic, per se, but, rather, incapable of not behaving this way.


    @RVAwonk. "It's particularly painful to watch Elon Musk drive Twitter into the ground because it really doesn't look he's just a reckless novice making mistakes. It really looks like he bought Twitter — a platform that many of us love & many more rely on — just so he could destroy it." (thread) Twitter. 16 November 2022. 16 November 2022.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I was writing what turns out to be a really long post about something else, so I missed the last few hours.

    Zoë Schiffer↱ tweets:

    Twitter just alerted employees that effective immediately, all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended. No details given as to why.

    We're hearing this is because Elon Musk and his team are terrified employees are going to sabotage the company. Also, they're still trying to figure out which Twitter workers they need to cut access for.

    Offices will reopen on November 21st. In the meantime: "Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere."

    So far no Twitter employees have been deactivated — even those who've publicly resigned. Musk and his team only collected the list of "yes's" — employees who said they want to be part of Twitter 2.0. They're still trying to track who is out.

    It's unclear what is actually happening. Early press reports aren't doing any better; we'll see what comes.

    Still, no, I don't think I could have predicted what this musky melodrama would bring. Maybe if I was really, really high.


    @ZoeSchiffer. "NEW: Twitter just alerted employees that effective immediately, all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended. No details given as to why." (thread) Twitter. 17 November 2022. 17 November 2022.
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Twitter shareholders must be having a fit by now.

    Surely the share price must be in the gutter?
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Shares were delisted earlier this month. It's probably the Tesla board we should keep an eye on.
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It's no longer a public company. Musk owns it. Were he to try to sell it now, yes, he wouldn't get anywhere near the $44 billion that he paid for it.
  16. Bells Staff Member

    I think it's more a case that Musk does not care about the business implications.

    The belief that 'yo, he can land rockets' and 'he's the richest man in the world' creates a mindset that he truly believes he can do whatever he wants. And in theory he can. It is now his business to do with as he chooses.. Except for those pesky things like laws and whatnot..

    For example, the earlier edict that all remaining staff must work in the office is a clear violation of the employment contracts of a large portion of staff, the majority of whom are contractually obligated to work remotely and then we have the logistics that Twitter offices did not actually have space or offices for these staff to work from.

    After Musk's email went out, a senior legal counsel at Twitter told employees in the company’s New York City office Slack channel they believed no one has an obligation to return to office — especially not on short notice — as the mandate represents a fundamental change to their employment contracts, according to screenshots reviewed by Protocol.The counsel also encouraged Tweeps to use Twitter's unlimited PTO policy to take the day off.

    The message sent to Twitter staff from one of the legal counsel working for Twitter in response to Musk's email is really something else...

    Twitter is a remote-first workplace, and has operated as such for years. It is a fundamental change to our employment contracts to require a 40hr a week in-office requirement. I do not, personally, believe that Twitter employees have an obligation to return to office. Certainly not on no notice (if at all).

    I also remind all Tweeps (at least in the US) that we have an unlimited PTO policy. All Tweeps are able to take PTO. Perhaps today is a good day to take some rest and recharge.

    Everyone here should also know that our CISO, Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Compliance Officer ALL resigned last night. This news will be buried in the return-to-office drama. I believe that is intentional.

    Over the last two weeks. Elon has shown that he cares only about recouping the losses he’s incurring as a result of failing to get out of his binding obligation to buy Twitter. He chose to enter into that agreement! All of us are being put through this as a result of the choices he made.

    Elon has shown that his only priority with Twitter users is how to monetize them. I do not believe he cares about the human rights activists. the dissidents, our users in un-monetizable regions, and all the other users who have made Twitter the global town square you have all spent so long building, and we all love.

    I have heard Alex Spiro (current head of Legal) say that Elon is willing to take on a huge amount of risk in relation to this company and its users, because “Elon puts rockets into space, he’s not afraid of the FTC.” I have heard another leader in the Legal department say that because of the tight SLA’s (of two weeks?!) between product inception > launch, Legal will “have to shift the burden to engineers” to self-certify compliance with FTC requirements and other laws. This will put huge amount of personal, professional and legal risk onto engineers: I anticipate that all of you will be pressured by management into pushing out changes that will likely lead to major incidents.

    All of this is extremely dangerous for our users. Also, given that the FTC can (and will!) fine Twitter BILLIONS of dollars pursuant to the FTC Consent Order, extremely detrimental to Twitter’s longevity as a platform. Our users deserve so much better than this.

    If you feel uncomfortable about anything you’re being asked to do, you can call Twitter’s Ethics Hotline at (800) 275-4843 or submit a report at Please also note the FTC’s number is: 1-877-FTC-HELP. You may also remember that Mudge reached out to httos://

    I wish you all luck. It’s been such an honor to work with all of you. And I’ll be taking a day of PTO today.

    It's turned into an already bigger spectacle.

    One that may have repercussions for his other companies.

    Now, to realize his new and arguably poorly thought-out ideas for making Twitter money, Musk is leveraging some existing personpower from his other ventures, including Tesla, The Boring Company, and Neuralink, CNBC reports.

    According to documents viewed by the broadcaster, more than 50 employees from Tesla alone are now authorized to work for Twitter. Among them are Autopilot and TeslaBot director of engineering Milan Kovac and senior director of software engineering Maha Virduhagiri.

    Pulling resources from Tesla's assisted driving program feels symbolically fraught, especially as the tech faces serious regulatory scrutiny at the same time that it's been pulled into a manslaughter case.

    Now offices are closed to everyone, as you noted above, because they don't even know who is meant to have access.

    While Jack may understand the business implications, it's clear that Musk simply does not care. A huge part of the problem is society's inclination to elevate people like Musk into being almost God-like figures.

    In the meantime, we can quietly laugh at the people on the right who were jumping up and down celebrating Musk buying Twitter, his firing the staff and mocking anyone and everyone who predicted that this was exactly what was going to happen.. Then the realisation of Musk owning Twitter actually materialised in the form of impersonators. As Matt Walsh quickly found out, which was beautifully screen shotted:

    I think they are now realising that the demise of the security team, that they all crowed about, was actually unwise.
  17. Bells Staff Member

    Twitter is now a private company. So no share price. It's no longer listed. His other companies are to be the ones to watch. Especially Tesla.

    Oh to be a fly on the wall at Tesla's next board meeting..

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    I think the best part was when he stated that all parody accounts are required to have "parody" in their name, but they disabled the ability for users to change names..

    Thankfully screenshots exist for a reason.

    And at the very least, this whole disaster has given us "Space Karen"..
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Did you catch the bit with Doja Cat?

    Meanwhile, I don't know what to think of the episode with Ben Collins↱, yesterday, as Twitter apparently locking accounts for retweeting a post about Musk, but they didn't lock Collins' account. There is a bunch of stuff going on that sounds like the rightists' revenge, but the effort for it to be deliberate would be just stupid, especially as everyone is either jumping ship or being thrown overboard.

    Still, it's quite a spectacle. Actually, except for everyone fretting in realtime about when Twitter actually dies and where to go afterward, I might even be able to enjoy the twitpocalypse.
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Twittery re: Twitter

    Adam Parkhomenko↱, yesterday:

    It sure seems like Elon bought twitter to destroy it. Makes you wonder given how quickly he is doing it if the shady investors he is working with knew exactly what he planned to do. For a platform that had much potential I imagine there are limited reasons behind Musk’s actions.

    Avi Bueno↱, later yesterday:

    We should probably have a serious discussion about the ease with which a billionaire haphazardly purchased & immediately destroyed a company that employed 7,500 people and facilitated essential communication for hundreds of millions.

    Toward which, Caroline Orr Bueno↱ reminded that Jack Dorsey "assured us that Twitter was in good hands when Elon took over".

    And today's thread from Thomas Zimmer↱ is too long for this post, but worth mentioning; it could be its own discussion.
  20. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I hope so.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Brookings Institution↱ consideration of hate speech at Twitter—

    “The bird is freed,” tweeted Elon Musk on October 27, 2022, as a celebratory endnote to his acquisition of Twitter. However, this begs the question, free for which type of birds? By show of his previous political statements, current missteps, and future plans for the platform, this so-called freedom may simply galvanize extremists and further expose racial and religious minorities to hate speech and trauma. Twitter is now a major platform for proponents of hate speech.

    —was already obsolete when it posted, but that is a known issue when researching and writing about social media trends in realtime. Still, though, if, "Twitter is now a major platform for proponents of hate speech", people need to remember, that was the point. Promoting hate speech and further alienating the marginalized was what Elon Musk intended; it's why he said the things he did, in the first place, and how he committed himself to buying the platform for way too much money.

    At Vanity Fair, the headline runs, "If Elon Musk Really Doesn't Want Twitter to Look 'Right Wing,' 'He's Doing a Terrible Job'"; the subhead explains, "From reinstating Donald Trump to rubbing elbows with members of the online right, the tech billionaire has put his true colors on full display."

    On Monday, during a company-wide meeting, the billionaire owner reportedly claimed that he's enacting a “moderate-wing takeover of Twitter.” The subject came up shortly after Musk discussed whether he plans to relocate Twitter's headquarters from California to Texas, as he did with Tesla during the pandemic. “If we want to move the headquarters to Texas, I think it would play into the idea that Twitter has gone from being left-wing to right-wing, which is not the case,” he told employees, according to The Verge. “This is not a right-wing takeover of Twitter.”

    The billionaire reportedly added that Twitter could become “dual-headquartered,” and concluded that the platform must strive to be a digital town square that represents “people with a wide array of views even if we disagree with those views.”

    If we take Musk at his word—which history has proven to be ill-advised—then Twitter's new owner is failing spectacularly at achieving his middle-of-the-road vision ....

    .... In reality, Musk has moved the platform so far to the right that it appears to be threatening the existence of Truth Social.

    One intersting question is to wonder who was fooled. Because, let's face it, Musk's ideas of left, right, representation, and diversity are hardly uncommon. Even in our own community, we've experienced this absurd and vicious parade. Similar questions have wracked and rippled and echoed for years; that we must show unequal deference and favor in order to be equal is not at all a new idea around here. That equality requires extraordinary deference to inequality is not at all a new idea around here. Certain lessons ought not cost forty-four billion dollars to learn, or, even more so, fail to learn.

    But if, as such, even we could have told him, the question remains to wonder who all was fooled along the way.


    Ecarma, Caleb. "If Elon Musk Really Doesn't Want Twitter to Look 'Right Wing,' 'He's Doing a Terrible Job'". Vanity Fair. 22 November 2022. 26 November 2022.

    Rashawn, Ray and Joy Anyanwu. "Why is Elon Musk's Twitter takeover increasing hate speech?" Brookings Institution. 23 November 2022. 26 November 2022.
  22. Bells Staff Member

    I've been away for the past week and haven't had much time to check in with Twitter, but the ban's of late have been bizarre. There is a general slant of banning people who joke about him or criticise him and are then reported, with little explanation for why they have been banned and then reinstated.

    The rules are now fluid and based on a whim. As Rob DenBleyker discovered, not all jokes are now appropriate on the platform and he was banned, then reinstated. The joke was apparently in relation to another cartoonist at Cyanide and Happiness, and that apparently violated the rules enough that he was banned and then reinstated. Lack of understanding or context appears to now be a major issue.

    However, the reinstating of various right wing accounts who had been banned for violent, sexist, homophobic, racist and violent rhetoric, does indicate a nose dive to the far right and Musk is quite open about his preferences. His talking points on the platform are now even more right wing. The stuff he is saying, would not be surprising from Trump. That he banned accounts linked to or belonging to groups who provide armed support for LGBTQIA+ right to protest peacefully is telling. More eyebrow raising is the way in which Musk seems to be taking advice from Andy Ngo. The bans are being handed out after mass reports, some using bots to do so and it's quite targeted. Reinstating bans for those who participated in or were part of violent and deadly protests and overthrowing the government is apparently fine. But providing support and protection for a peaceful protest involving Trans people is not fine.

    Now the risk to Musk and Twitter is that the platform could very well find itself being removed from Apple and Google App stores, due to the nature of the posts and some of the people he has reinstated. I do agree with the Vanity Fair piece though. It has moved so far to the right, that it is giving Truth Social a run for its money. How long it continues on this current trajectory remains to be seen. Twitter of old no longer exists. It has not been replaced by a far right wing version.
  23. Thus Spoke Registered Senior Member

    Is he banning anyone?

    When your politics define you, you become a pawn on a quest for a promotion, but you can never become a king.

    Now remember, volunteering for good social or environmental causes will increase your social credit. Chop-chop!

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