Elon Musk captured Twitter last month. Now, apparently, comes the grinding-down and rooting-out of the thought police that have ruled it since Jack Dorsey’s day. Or does it? Leftists are squealing, and conservatives are celebrating – all but one. And that one might be the only one to keep Elon Musk, and his platform, honest.
Latest reforms of Twitter
Recall that Elon Musk reinstated Donald J. Trump’s account. To this day, Trump has not left anything new; the most recent tweet dates to January 8, 2021. The Anti-Defamation League and its CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, howled like banshees, as did other leftists.
But the most remarkable part of the saga of Trump returning to Twitter was this poll:
Now compare that result, with this poll that Musk commissioned on whether to restore all suspended accounts, so long as the account holders had broken no laws, nor dumped large quantities of spam on the platform:
The second result no doubt reflects the clean-up of “bots”. Note how many fewer “votes” this poll recorded than the last one. In any event, Musk, true to his word, said the mass reinstatement would start next week.
Now consider this graphic he shared:
A spike to ten million “hate speech impressions,” before a decline to about one-third lower than previous baseline? Where did they come from? Elon seemed to know how many and who they were:
But he credited a simple reform: limiting the number of tweets a day.
Whatever the limit was, it seems to have cramped the styles of “bots” and addicts.
Four days ago, Musk found something breathtaking: a closet full of “merch” with a clearly leftist theme.
Who commissioned all those T shirts? Thus far, no one will take credit for it.
Much more serious is this observation Musk made when another user asked about analytical manipulation at Twitter:
Elon Musk also affirmed this more serious charge:
Here Musk seemed to promise to share the minutes of all discussions that led the platform to block The New York Post from posting about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
The Associated Press seemed to out-banshee the ADL. They suggest “online safety experts predict” the coming general amnesty “will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.”
Musk is having none of such scare talk.
Who indeed are those “online safety experts”? Maybe they consist only of two successive Trust and Safety Officers who have lost their jobs. Maybe they also include this former subordinate of theirs:
On the current path, I’m … really, really worried about Twitter’s future…. Over time, these things build up, and the site will become more abusive, more extreme, and less reliable over time.Melissa Engels, former moderator
Is that so?
Selective application of the Twitter Rules
The real problem at Twitter has always been inconsistent and selective application of the “Twitter Rules.” And those Rules say nothing about having to be leftist in outlook, unless you count weapons sales. (Gab permits weapons sales but forbids sales of financial products or services, or anything to do with endangered animals.)
Dinesh D’Souza knows this. When Elon said the AP were experts in misinformation, D’Souza heartily agreed:
He also agreed with the proposed audit of the decision to suppress the Hunter Biden Laptop Story:
Here he directly confirmed the selective application of the rules:
To which Elon Musk replied, “Correct.” But leftists tried to pretend otherwise. See, for example:
Then we have someone who tried to suggest that the Twitter Rules were more extensive than they are:
In fact the Civic Integrity policy does not specifically forbid anyone to question the fairness of an election. Furthermore:
organic content that is polarizing, biased, hyperpartisan, or contains controversial viewpoints expressed about elections or politics
does not violate the Twitter Rules. The Rules themselves say it does not. Maybe Melissa Engels thought it did. But she was wrong, and previous management was just as wrong to let her punish people for it.
The skeptics call out from Telegram
Two prime skeptics on the right, remain. Laura Loomer is one. Four years ago she lost her account, the first step to becoming “the most banned woman in America.” In fact To Loomer became a verb meaning “to ban comprehensively from all conventional platforms.”
In response to Elon Musk’s promise of general amnesty, Loomer said:
Guess that means we are all getting our twitter accounts back next week.🙃🙃 Ok… I will believe it when I see it though. I don’t have much faith in anyone or anything these days. 👽
Later that day she sent two lengthy Telegram messages about
- How it was to lose her account the day before Thanksgiving, and
- Her desire for vengeance against those who ignored or made light of the censorship.
Andrew Torba – and a sanitized account?
Andrew Torba recently did something that seriously harms his credibility – or else he suffered a curious sanction on Telegram. All of his messages, from May 25, 2022 to November 23, 2022, have simply vanished. That has never happened to a Telegram user before, and one must wonder who made it happen. Did he sanitize his account, or did they? No one will say.
Here is what comes next:
#TheNoticing in every reply thread on the site naming them (based)
App Store bans
Amazon AWS ban (Twitter feed is hosted there)
European countries ban
Payment processor bans
Continued advertiser exodus
That could be either a doubt that Musk is serious, or anticipatory schadenfreude. Torba will be first to point out that he has suffered all these things, and that’s why he built everything that anyone took away from him. This includes his own server farm and payment processing system, and a business model relying more on user fees.
CNAV will watch closely who else “comes back,” and will pay particular attention to Laura Loomer’s account. Laura Loomer aside, the criticisms all come from those who want a censorship regime, or a competitor still trying to establish his brand. But that competitor might be the only one to whom Elon Musk should pay the slightest attention.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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