FBI Handed Twitter $3.5 Million to Take Down Accounts

The latest batch of the Twitter files reveal some real bombshells: the FBI gave the company nearly $3.5 million in taxpayers’ cash to reimburse the company for handling mass “processing requests” – the taking down of accounts. This, in other words, amounted to banning certain conservative accounts and blocking “possible violative content” in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election and beyond. One leaked email shows a Twitter employee even gleefully wrote “I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” 

According to US journalist Matt Taibbi, who was briefed by Musk himself, “Between January 2020 and November 2022, there were over 150 emails between the FBI and former Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth”, with the express purpose of blocking accounts sharing alleged “disinformation“. Sometimes this even included accounts sharing obvious jokes…

The most damning consequence of all this is, of course, the censorship of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden story. Twitter blocked the exposé on the grounds that it was “Russian disinformation“, just a day after their top lawyer Jim Baker had a secret meeting with the FBI. By chance, Baker himself happens to be an FBI alumnus. He personally told Yoel Roth to censor the story – a story which, it now goes without saying, wasn’t churned out by the Kremlin at all…

mdi-timer 21 December 2022 @ 11:54 21 Dec 2022 @ 11:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Musk Actively Searching for New Twitter CEO

Looks like he’s heeding the Twitter poll, CNBC is reporting that Musk is actively searching for a new Twitter CEO. Which will be a relief to Tesla shareholders…

mdi-timer 20 December 2022 @ 14:44 20 Dec 2022 @ 14:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Poll Over: Twitter Tells Musk to Step Down

Elon Musk’s future at Twitter hangs in the balance after a bizarre poll last night resulted the platform’s users calling on him to quit as CEO. While partying at the World Cup final, Musk put out a poll asking “Should I step down as head of Twitter?”, promising to “abide by the results“. It closed minutes ago, and the result hasn’t gone his way…

10,063,874 users – 57.5% – told him to go. Will he really abide by the result?

mdi-timer 19 December 2022 @ 11:28 19 Dec 2022 @ 11:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Elon Musk’s Free Speech Crusade Stalls

Elon Musk’s decision to ban a dozen critical journalists last night – despite buying the platform for a hefty $44 billion to promote what he himself called “free speech absolutism” – is already causing him major headaches and an inevitable slew of bad headlines. The accounts belonging to prominent left wing US journalists, including from CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, mysteriously disappeared yesterday – all after posting negative Tweets relating to Musk’s banning of “@ElonJet“, which used public data to tweet the flight plan of his private plane.

Among them was Alan Ruper, who had nearly 800,000 followers. He criticised Musk for suspending the Jet account, and then yesterday discovered his own account had been suspended…

“I never posted anything Elon Jet related or that could violate the policy about disclosing locations. Unless the policy is that you criticize Elon and you get banned…”

The same thing happened to Mastodon, a new Twitter platform rival, which also saw its account locked. Musk briefly appeared on a Twitter Spaces call with journalists to explain himself, claiming the jet tracker violated his safety – although he left a few minutes into questioning…

“There is not going to be any distinction in the future between journalists and regular people, everyone is going to be treated the same […] You’re not special because you’re a journalist, you’re just a citizen. So no special treatment: You dox, you get suspended, end of story.”

He’s since shared a poll asking when those banned should be reinstated. “Now” is currently ahead at 59.6%.

Guido has supported Musk’s takeover of Twitter. The arbitrary censorship of certain stories and ideas under the previous ownership – not least the Hunter Biden laptop debacle – stifled the platform and undermined free discussion. For a free speech crusader, Musk suspending a bunch of journalists like this is hypocritical to say the least…

mdi-timer 16 December 2022 @ 12:04 16 Dec 2022 @ 12:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Musk Banters with Heaton-Harris After Resignation Hoax

Matt Hancock was so busy being humiliated on I’m A Celebrity last night, the Westminster bubble managed to miss the resignation of Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.

Or, not quite.

A prankster emailed a number of news agencies and managed to get one with over 270,000 followers to tweet that he’d resigned for ‘personal reasons’. Heaton-Harris spotted this fake news early, and clarified via his own account that it was “tosh”

Chris’s tagging of Elon managed to get the Twit in Chief to reply, asking for clarity onWhat does a tosh look like?”

Guido presumes HH’s team are busy workshopping a funny yet serious reply while they’ve got Elon’s attention.

Unfortunately for observers, Musk declined to commit to Heaton-Harris’s request for him to sort out fake news on the social media app. He’s far too busy experimenting with Twitter’s verification system for that…

mdi-timer 10 November 2022 @ 09:55 10 Nov 2022 @ 09:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Twitterati Outraged at Reports Musk to Charge for Blue Ticks

Elon Musk has owned Twitter for a matter of days, and already he’s causing meltdowns. Today he confirmed the site will revamp its ‘blue tick’ verification process – the badges of honour awarded to ‘notable’ authentic accounts – amid reports the site may charge up to £17 per month for the scheme. Even though the precise details haven’t yet been confirmed, it’s inevitably led to an amusing backlash from the ego-obsessed Twitterati…

Priyamvada Gopal, the hard-left academic who was uninvited from giving a Home Office lecture over her “racist views“, is somehow claiming her blue tick was “a matter of physical safety” and it is “actually not funny”:

Meanwhile Chris Bryant – a man who has tweeted over 82,000 times – is busy shouting into the wind saying he’s “not sure” if he has a blue tick, never asked for one, doesn’t care if he has one or not, and personally warned Musk he “certainly” won’t pay for one. Sure.

Expect to see more of this sort of thing in the coming weeks. Guido looks forward to the first MP claiming their blue badge on expenses. It’s bound to happen soon…

mdi-timer 31 October 2022 @ 16:00 31 Oct 2022 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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