…from a certain point of view [DOT 22/11/22]

it's not just the perspective that's warped...

…it’s tempting to say that purely on the “doing the same things while expecting a different result” ticket…there’s a lot of crazy out there…but…crazy covers a lot of ground…& it sure as hell isn’t just one kind of thing

You know who will get the blame for Colorado Springs, right? Each time these things happen, the right-wing go-to is to blame “mental illness.” That’s what some thought drove Robert Bowers to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to kill 11 human beings. That’s what others believed made Dylann Roof stroll into a Black church in Charleston, S.C., to murder nine human beings. And, sooner or later, conservatives will say it was “mental illness” that drove this newest killer of the marginalized to commit the latest atrocity.

…that particular brand of crazy, though…it has some pretty regular hallmarks

It’s right-wing rhetoric that sparks these nightmares. And here’s the bonus for the instigators: The bottomless list of homophobes and transphobes on the right don’t need to throw the rock and then hide their hands. Instead, they use someone else’s hands entirely. After ginning up hatred for a particular community through fear, lies and conspiracies, all they have to do is sit back and wait for someone to do their work for them.
Nothing in politics is as effective as fear. And conservatives such as Boebert know exactly how to weaponize it. The conservative mind is more concerned that a drag queen is entering a classroom to read a story to children than a gunman is entering a classroom to shoot them. And I will never understand that.

…this shit doesn’t go the way it does by accident

As the potential for damages mounted, Jones began moving millions of dollars out of his company, Free Speech Systems, and into companies controlled by himself, friends or relatives, according to a Washington Post review of financial statements, depositions and other court records. The transfers potentially put those funds out of reach of the Sandy Hook plaintiffs.

Between August 2020 and November 2021, Free Speech Systems signed promissory notes — essentially IOUs — for $55 million to cover what it said were past debts to a company called PQPR Holdings that Jones owns with his parents, according to financial records filed in court by Jones’s attorneys. PQPR, which is managed by Jones’s father, a dentist, had bought tens of millions of dollars in supplements for Jones that he then sold on his show, the records say. A lawyer for Free Speech Systems has said in court that the debt accrued unnoticed due to sloppy bookkeeping.

This year, Jones started paying his personal trainer $100,000 a week to help ship supplements and other merchandise, a Free Speech Systems attorney said in court. A company managed by Jones’s sister and listed as a “supplier or vendor” was paid $240,000, financial records show.
The IOUs and other recent transactions helped tip Free Speech Systems into bankruptcy in July, according to Jones’s court filings. An accountant hired by Jones calculated that Free Speech Systems had $79 million in liabilities at the end of May and only $14 million in assets, court records show. As a result, the Sandy Hook families could be left vying with other creditors — including the companies tied to Jones himself — to collect.
Attorneys for the Sandy Hook families contend in a separate suit filed in April in Texas state court that PQPR is “not actually an independent business” and that Jones has engaged in fraudulent transfers to shield his wealth. They have argued in bankruptcy court that Jones began moving money out of Free Speech Systems only after he began to face legal setbacks in the defamation cases.
The Post examined financial records, depositions and other documents from the court cases to trace the flows of money around Free Speech Systems and establish the ownership of the other companies that were involved. The analysis shows that the transfers echoed financial moves Jones made almost a decade earlier, when divorce proceedings jeopardized his fortune, according to sealed court records from the divorce case obtained by The Post.

Infowars has made Jones a wealthy man, to a degree that has become apparent only because of the Sandy Hook litigation. In August testimony, an expert hired by the Sandy Hook families estimated Jones’s net worth at between $135 million and $270 million. Jones has disputed the plaintiffs’ estimations of his wealth.
The supplement business tied to PQPR is the engine of Jones’s fortune, according to financial records Jones submitted in bankruptcy, often generating 2,000 to 3,000 orders a day, according to court testimony. Among the offerings are Survival Shield X-3 iodine spray, DNA Force Plus capsules and Super Male Vitality dietary supplement.

…I dunno…taking a gun & shooting a group of innocent strangers is always going to be flat out crazy to me…& not only buying anything with one of those names but buying it in a way that puts money into alex jones’ pocket is crazy twice over…& it might seem like that puts some priorities out of wack…because the first kind of crazy actually costs lives so the other thing surely can’t be as bad…but…if it seeds the other kind of crazy…if it has a causal relationship…then couldn’t you argue it was worse?

Moshenberg said his clients may be willing to settle with Jones for less money if it meant Jones would end his broadcasting career.

“If he wants to agree to some sort of terms that hold him accountable for all he’s done, we’ll be open to listening,” Moshenberg said. “Whether that means walking away from public life, to paying Sandy Hook families in full, the Sandy Hook families are not going to stop until Jones is held accountable.”

…I can’t know how I’d feel in those folks’ position…though I can see how it might be tempting to give in to the kind of crazy where shooting the people you hold responsible might seem like it could qualify as a rational response…either way…however much money jones has I don’t think having it would make up for the loss he caused…taking it away might go some way towards making a dent…but how much would depend a lot on how many of its associated toys that takes away from from the hateful misfire of a human being in question

“They want us off air, that’s their goal,” he said during one show last month. “You’ve got my commitment. I’m not backing down.”
Jones sought to have the cases thrown out. The day before an appeals court rejected his motion to have one of the cases dismissed, Jones signed a promissory note to PQPR for $29.6 million on Aug. 13, 2020. He also agreed to provide all of his company’s assets and revenue as collateral for the debt to PQPR, according to a contract Jones and his father signed.

On Sept. 27, 2021, a trial court in Texas ruled that Jones had violated the rules of the discovery process by failing to turn records over to the plaintiffs. Four days later, Jones signed an agreement to send PQPR $11,000 per day to cover the alleged debt outlined in the promissory note. On Nov. 10, Jones signed a secondary promissory note saying, in effect, that he had discovered another unpaid debt to PQPR, this time for $25.3 million.

Jones was also taking money out of the company for himself, records from the court cases show. By the end of 2021, he had withdrawn $61.9 million, according to the records. Jones’s attorneys have said in court that the withdrawals occurred over 15 years, and that half that amount was used to pay taxes. The plaintiffs’ attorneys have suggested the withdrawals may have been meant to prevent Sandy Hook families from accessing the money.
His personal trainer, Patrick Riley, in March created a logistics company, Blue Asension Logistics, to pack and ship supplements and other merchandise ordered by Infowars fans. The company hired nearly all of its employees from Infowars and uses the same Infowars warehouse, rent-free, to fulfill the orders, according to Riley’s testimony in the bankruptcy case. Jones agreed to pay him $400,000 upfront and then $105,000 per week, according to bankruptcy records.
An attorney for the Sandy Hook families, Marty Brimmage, said “this is not an arms-length transaction,” during an Aug. 12 hearing. “It isn’t even close.”
In May and June, Free Speech Systems made six payments totaling $240,000 to a company managed by Jones’s sister, Marleigh Jones Rivera, according to bankruptcy records. The records do not specify who owns the company or the nature of its business.
The bankruptcy judge in Texas, Christopher M. Lopez, is expected to determine whether Jones engaged in fraudulent tactics designed to wall off assets from creditors. If the court finds that he did, the money that has been paid out or committed as debt could be divvied among creditors, said Georgetown University law professor Adam J. Levitin, an expert in corporate bankruptcy.

Levitin said the most likely scenario may be that Free Speech Systems chooses to liquidate, which would likely mean Jones forgoing the rights to all his films, brands and intellectual property, the Infowars name included. “There is nothing beyond a real Hail Mary route for him to avoid liability at this point,” he said.

…so…in an ideal world…you could simply make it so everyone fucking knew better than to pay attention…much less money…to these kinds of assholes…that they’d quietly asphyxiate without the oxygen of publicity in an oubliette named coventry…but in the meantime apparently it’s mostly a question of legal & financial whack-a-mole

In one of the defamation courts, Jones apologized to the Sandy Hook families and said he now believes the killings did occur. On his show, he remains defiant.

…call me crazy…but as much as I’m not insensible to the implied nobility of the whole I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say itthing…I can’t help thinking that if you’re going to bring matters of life or death into the equation then…logically…not only am I not inclined to start killing people so you can keep lying your ass off…but I feel like if you factor that equation out your lies might actually be grounds to suggest your life is forfeit…& I know…whether ghandi actually said it or not “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind“…so it’s not exactly a helpful thought…but there’s a disturbing logic to it

As someone who has been studying Mr. Trump’s Twitter use since before he was elected president, I believe that his return would mean the heightened spread of both misinformation and disinformation, the proliferation of degrading and dehumanizing discourse, the further mainstreaming of hate speech and the erosion of democratic norms and institutions. But there is something else: Mr. Trump’s return to Twitter could escalate the likelihood of political violence.

Simply put, if you are surrounded by dry kindling, add an accelerant and light a match, conflagration is the predictable outcome.

…predictable enough to feel like maybe some liability accrues…in several directions, even

Like all forms of communication, the defining features of Twitter create inherent structural biases. The platform is well suited for communicating simple messages widely and quickly. But Twitter’s three primary structural biases — simplicity, incivility and impulsivity — make it a lousy platform for engaging in thoughtful, sustained discussion of serious matters related to the public interest.

Twitter also participates in and contributes to the broader communication ecosystem of social media. Social-media platforms are biased in the direction of divisiveness and dogmatism. The underlying structure of these platforms generally invites and encourages users to seek out like-minded people who, in turn, become even more convinced of the “correctness” of their views. Given that so much of our news and information is filtered through social media, much of what we are exposed to simply confirms what we already think.
Given that our communication environment is structurally predisposed to heighten and cement our ever-growing political divide by telling us how right and righteous we are, one may reasonably wonder why I am concerned about one user in particular. First, a large number of people not only listen to Mr. Trump but also are inclined to take direction from him. Second, Mr. Trump combines divisiveness and dogmatism with hatred and angry rhetoric that risks inciting violence. For reasons better left to psychologists, Donald Trump is not content to forget or forgive people he perceives have wronged him. He wants to destroy them. So, he calls them out, often on social media, and then he goads his followers into doing something about it.

One of the fundamental premises of those who study rhetoric is that discourse always reveals motives. Mr. Trump’s discourse since losing the presidency in 2020 consistently suggests that he is motivated by one thing only: a desire for revenge. He wants to punish everyone who he perceives has wronged him, including anyone who has not shown unfettered fealty. For Mr. Trump, the desire for revenge has long involved symbolic violence in the form of speech that aggressively demeans and dehumanizes others. Such speech risks sparking material violence.
Trump is an accelerant; his message is a match.

Twitter and Mr. Trump represent a dangerous fusion of form and content. Social media generally and Twitter specifically lend themselves to simple, urgent, unreflective and emotionally charged communication. When the message is one of intolerance and violence, the result is all but certain.

…so…speaking of judging others by their own principles…if the basic tenets of effective altruism are along the lines of taking action that maximizes the benefit to others like bentham’s utilitarianism on steroids…&/or a blockchain…& the whole longtermism thing means we prioritize a future so far-flung that its resemblance to the present is more or less by definition wholly subjective…I’m not saying it logically demands that elon musk be put out of our collective misery any more than I think one of the parents suing jones over his take on what happened at sandy hook should…to borrow a phrase from another bottom-of-the-barrel source…be able to publicly shoot the feloniously fatuous fuckwit on 5th avenue & duly expect to be voted in as president afterwards…but…it’s not my petard I’m talking about these assholes getting hoisted on…&…not for nothing…but anyone who thinks this guy is trying to usher in a future for humanity that isn’t sunk so far into dystopian territory that in any version of the movie he would absolutely be dead before the credits roll

…is not only a fucking moron but frankly part of a problem to which we are apparently in desperate need of a solution

Social media sites have long struggled with misleading information and content moderation.

“There’s always been misinformation on the platforms,” said Sarah Barry, a vaccine advocate. Social media companies “only respond when something gets reported on, but they’re not actually proactively watching these groups”, she said.

…not least because a certain part-of-the-problem made sure that part of his performance art piece about how to personify the concept of more-money-than-sense done went & fired the majority of the people who were at least trying to do that shit where twitter is concerned

Some tools, like verification on Twitter, were meant to address impersonation on the platform by verifying the identities of government officials, public agencies, celebrities, journalists and others.

But the tools are now being used to create a false sense of validity in order to spread dangerous falsehoods, including about vaccines. And groups on other platforms, like Facebook, continue to circumvent moderation by making minor changes to their names and the terms they use to promote anti-vaccine agendas.

Verified accounts are frequently seen as reliable and trustworthy, and Twitter’s algorithm gives them a higher ranking in search results, replies and follow recommendations.
Other anti-vax advocates were already legitimized by social media platforms. Robert F Kennedy Jr, one of the leading anti-vaccine propagandists, already had a verified account on Twitter before the new verification system, and international and regional chapters of his anti-vaccine group, Children’s Health Defense, are still active on Facebook.

…I don’t see as how you can look at that shit as anything less than weaponized credulity…& much as it’s a sorry indictment of how badly we seem as a society to be failing the apparently inexhaustible supply of people who think jumping on this or that hatefully dumbwitted bandwagon is their best bet for personal gratification…that feels like it might be missing the point?

Facebook group admins, like Tiago Henrique Fernandes, reconstitute banned groups by using slightly different names, like DSN Official instead of Died Suddenly News, while keeping the same focus on anti-science messages.

Fernandes coaches members not to write certain words that will be picked up by moderators, he explained on a recent show produced by Children’s Health Defense.

Facebook’s algorithms look for keywords – like vaccine, shot and mRNA – to flag potential problems.

“I basically train the members to … get away from that kind of language and get more into undercover, what I call ‘carnival talk’ – that way the algorithms can’t figure it out,” he said.

Group members often refer to the vaccines as food – “cookie”, “peaches”, “cheeseburger” – or use purposeful misspellings, especially for purported side-effects like seizures (“see jures”) or cancer (“can sir”).

One phrase that is picking up steam in the anti-vax world is “died suddenly”, which may be used in official media reports to talk about any sudden death, making it harder to moderate automatically.

…it may not make a lot of sense to describe that kind of tactic as “sophisticated”…but what does that say about the systems that are susceptible to those kinds of antics?

More than 300,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 because they didn’t get vaccinated, according to one analysis – more than six times the number of Americans who died by gun violence in 2020, for instance.
Even so, anti-vaccine propaganda has increased dramatically during the pandemic. Anti-vaccine activists “were prepared for a pandemic to happen”, and they were prepared to exploit it, [Sarah] Barry [a vaccine advocate] said.

Verifying anti-vax accounts and elevating their messages on social networks further entrenches anti-vaccine ideology in our culture, Barry said. “Anything that further legitimizes them, the extent of their influence gets even worse, and people don’t even realize that the origin of it is anti-vax.”

…after all…if you’re going to systemically advantage one thing over another…& that part isn’t news in the sense of new information

From Russian “bots” to charges of fake news, headlines are awash in stories about dubious information going viral. You might think that bots—automated systems that can share information online—are to blame. But a new study shows that people are the prime culprits when it comes to the propagation of misinformation through social networks. And they’re good at it, too: Tweets containing falsehoods reach 1500 people on Twitter six times faster than truthful tweets, the research reveals.
The main impetus for the new research was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The lead author—Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge—says after the attack a lot of the stuff he was reading on social media was false. There were rumors that a student from Brown University, who had gone missing, was suspected by the police. But later, people found out that he had nothing to do with the attack and had committed suicide (for reasons unrelated to the bombing).

That’s when Vosoughi realized that “these rumors aren’t just fun things on Twitter, they really can have effects on people’s lives and hurt them really badly.” A Ph.D. student at the time, he switched his research to focus on the problem of detecting and characterizing the spread of misinformation on social media.

He and his colleagues collected 12 years of data from Twitter, starting from the social media platform’s inception in 2006. Then they pulled out tweets related to news that had been investigated by six independent fact-checking organizations—websites like PolitiFact, Snopes, and FactCheck.org. They ended up with a data set of 126,000 news items that were shared 4.5 million times by 3 million people, which they then used to compare the spread of news that had been verified as true with the spread of stories shown to be false. They found that whereas the truth rarely reached more than 1000 Twitter users, the most pernicious false news stories—like the Mayweather tale—routinely reached well over 10,000 people. False news propagated faster and wider for all forms of news—but the problem was particularly evident for political news, the team reports today in Science.

At first the researchers thought that bots might be responsible, so they used sophisticated bot-detection technology to remove social media shares generated by bots. But the results didn’t change: False news still spread at roughly the same rate and to the same number of people. By default, that meant that human beings were responsible for the virality of false news.

That got the scientists thinking about the people involved. It occurred to them that Twitter users who spread false news might have more followers. But that turned out to be a dead end: Those people had fewer followers, not more.

…well…most of them, anyway

Finally the team decided to look more closely at the tweets themselves. As it turned out, tweets containing false information were more novel—they contained new information that a Twitter user hadn’t seen before—than those containing true information. And they elicited different emotional reactions, with people expressing greater surprise and disgust. That novelty and emotional charge seem to be what’s generating more retweets. “If something sounds crazy stupid you wouldn’t think it would get that much traction,” says Alex Kasprak, a fact-checking journalist at Snopes in Pasadena, California. “But those are the ones that go massively viral.”

The research gives you a sense of how much of a problem fake news is, both because of its scale and because of our own tendencies to share misinformation, says David Lazer, a computational social scientist at Northeastern University in Boston who co-wrote a policy perspective on the science of fake news that was also published today in Science. He thinks that, in the short term, the “Facebooks, Googles, and Twitters of the world” need to do more to implement safeguards to reduce the magnitude of the problem. But in the long term we also need more science, he says—because if we don’t understand where fake news comes from and how it spreads, then how can we possibly combat it?

…so…cart…horse…carrot…stick…symptom…disease…cause…effect…root…branch…hell, maybe even fruit if you’ve poisoned the whole damn tree…where do you start?

The hypocrisy shouldn’t be surprising. Americans often celebrate business leaders and entrepreneurs as icons of liberty and the expansive national spirit of free enterprise. The truth, though, is that business leaders are bosses, and a lot of the average worker’s typical subjugation occurs on the job. Musk’s treatment of his employees is a reminder that even bosses who claim to embrace freedom often, in practice, do not.

Musk took over Twitter less than a month ago, and immediately started making changes. Saddled with enormous debt from his inflated purchase price, Musk’s first cost-cutting measure was to fire half of Twitter’s workforce, including vital executives. One engineering manager vomited after he learned he was going to be forced to eliminate hundreds of people.

…in fairness to that manager…I get queasy just contemplating what it would be like to have my livelihood be dependent on that dimestore syndrome

The people who were let go might consider themselves the lucky ones at this point. Musk has spent the past few days cozying up to the sort of far-right individuals who have long railed against Twitter, against the “liberal elite” and really anyone trying to regulate or critique racism and bigotry. Indeed, Musk is now acting as if he thinks his employees are lazy subversives who need to be disciplined and crushed.
He’s also fired employees after they expressed what sounds like mild dissent in Twitter’s Slack channel. And not only has he fired them, but he’s publicly mocked them. “These geniuses will be of great use elsewhere,” he sneered on (of course) Twitter.

…he’s a particularly visible blemish on the face of things…but…on balance…I might go symptom over disease?

Being unable to criticize the boss isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s potentially dangerous. When you can’t speak up, you can’t speak up about being mistreated. And bosses already have great latitude to mistreat workers. They have power over employee schedules. They can deny you sleep. They can unilaterally break agreements. They can insult you in public. And if you don’t like it, they can strip you of your income and health insurance and try to blacklist you from other employers.

…&…in common with some other ailments…arguably an ounce of prevention might be worth a pound of cure?

A stronger safety net, universal health care, more secure unemployment benefits and UBI would insulate people from the worst harms of losing their jobs, and so would make it harder for bosses to be terrible. Unions can help workers push back against unreasonable demands, too — which is why union construction job sites are much safer than nonunion ones.

It might help, too, if we didn’t think of freedom of speech and action as embodied mainly in the unrestricted bombast of the extremely powerful. Musk can say ugly things and bully those around him with near impunity. But that doesn’t make him an avatar of free speech. It just makes him another unpleasant entitled billionaire white guy with little accountability.

…so…what’s it all about?

The similarities between Mr. Musk’s approach to Twitter and what he did at Tesla and SpaceX are evident, added Tammy Madsen, a management professor at Santa Clara University. But it’s unclear if he will find the means to motivate employees at a social media company as he did with workers whose quests were to move people away from gas-powered cars or send humans into space.

“At Tesla and SpaceX, the approach has always been high risk, high reward,” Dr. Madsen said. “Twitter has been high risk, but the question is: What is the reward that comes out of it?”

…it’s a good question…not so sure about the answer

At companies led by Mr. Musk, the pattern of claiming that the firms are on the brink of a potential bankruptcy has come up often. At Tesla in December 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis, Mr. Musk closed a $50 million investment round from Daimler, he said, on the “last hour of last day possible or payroll would’ve bounced 2 days later.”

He has said the same about SpaceX, once noting that both SpaceX and Tesla had a more than 90 percent chance that they “would be worth $0” in their early days.
A crisis atmosphere and self-imposed austerity gives Mr. Musk the cover to make drastic changes and fire top managers or eliminate large swaths of staff, two former Tesla executives said. It also prepares those who remain to work under extreme conditions to bring about Mr. Musk’s desires, they said.
The chaos at the social media company is familiar to people who worked at Tesla when the company was struggling to ramp up manufacturing of the Model 3, which went on sale in 2017. In May of that year, Mr. Musk sent an email to the staff that echoed some of the language he has used with Twitter employees.

…& there’s nothing like learning from one’s mistakes

Testifying in Delaware last week in a lawsuit about his Tesla pay package, Mr. Musk acknowledged that his penchant for acting unilaterally can get him in trouble. “When I make decisions without consulting people,” he said, “the probability that those decisions will be wrong is higher.”
And for Mr. Musk, remaking Twitter is only a part-time job. He remains chief executive of Tesla, which he said in court he continued to lead, and SpaceX, where, he said, he focuses on designing rockets rather than management.

Mr. Musk also leads the Boring Company, a tunneling start-up, and Neuralink, a brain-computer interface technology firm. He has said his long-term goal is to save humanity by developing technology for space travel, or, in his words, by “making life multiplanetary in order to ensure the long-term survival of consciousness.”

…motherfucker isn’t even pretending to be in this thing for the survival of humanity…just consciousness…I know I’ve said this before but for a dude who purports to be a fan of iain m banks’ culture novels…he hasn’t just missed the entire fucking point…he seems to want to emulate all the wrong parts of the chairmaker…but you need to be kind of a geek to know how profoundly unsettling that is…whereas it seems like it isn’t that hard for even rats to flee from the off chance the ship is sinking

These Are All The Businesses That Have Left Twitter So Far [Essence]

…seriously…one of the accounts who currently consider twitter to be too toxic for their advertising is…fucking balenciaga…who…in case you happen to be blissfully unaware…are ok with some pretty fucked up shit in the name of advertising

Rach McQueen (@rachmcqueen1), who has nearly 10,000 followers, is known for posting celebrity and entertainment news recaps on TikTok. On Monday, she posted a video breaking down the Balenciaga advertisement, which she says looks “exactly” like child pornography or fetish content.
McQueen, the TikToker, says the photos seemed more “crazy” when she dug a little deeper. In her video, she shares a screenshot of an image on the Balenciaga website’s home page. The image is seemingly harmless, picturing a small handbag on top of a pile of papers and folders. McQueen says when she zoomed in on the documents in the photo, she noticed words and phrases like “speech coalition,” “sexual intercourse,” “pornography” and “sex.”
McQueen claims that the documents seen in the photo came from Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, a court case arguing that images that don’t actually depict child pornography — but only imply it — should be legal.
Since backlash about the photos arose, Balenciaga deleted all the posts from its Instagram account. It is unclear whether the company deleted the posts in response to the backlash or for an unrelated reason. On Monday, Balenciaga made 10 new posts featuring its Spring 23 campaign.

…& it’s not like there’s nothing to be done

There is hope, however, that better automatic monitoring of content and enforcement of platforms’ terms of service, which take freedom of expression concerns into account, can push extremist material to the fringes. The massacre in Buffalo, for instance, was livestreamed on the platform Twitch. About two minutes after the first shots were fired, the stream was taken offline. As social media experts told The Times, that was “the best that could reasonably be expected.”

The quick response and the scrubbing of subsequent copies of the video and the manifesto from the internet was made possible in part by groups like the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which was founded by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube in 2017 and now includes more than a dozen platforms.
Of course, the automated tools aren’t perfect. The New York attorney general’s office found videos of the shooting or links to them on Reddit, Instagram and Twitter, and links to the manifesto on Rumble, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. Tech companies can and should invest more money and resources in content moderation at scale, but that alone will not purge the internet of extremism — especially when the networks for sharing it cross international borders, span continents and come in countless languages.

…so…call me crazy…but maybe…just maybe…it might help if we started from the perspective that being dangerously fucking crazy is not in fact a selling point when claiming to be the one who ought to be running the asylum…da quincey might beg to differ…but that guy was taking enough opium to fell a horse on the daily…so there might be a limit to the things he came up with that it would be wise to heed?

[…honestly…no idea where to start with the tunes today…but…I expect I’ll get there at some point?]



  1. I think we have to hope that Elmo’s mismanagement tanks Twitter completely. I feel sorry for the remaining employees, but it’s basically a cancer now and needs to be excised.

    One of the problems I’m seeing is influential people who “refuse to be chased off.” You’re not being chased off; you’re refusing to participate in a disease vector that literally will kill people through hate and misinformation. If you keep bringing eyes to Twitter, you’re contributing to the problem.

    At this point I think it’s probable that Elmo will need to declare bankruptcy, as long as business refuse to advertise. He’s tanking Tesla simultaneously, and it’s always been built on a house of cards. He doesn’t have as much real assets as he’s got paper assets, and eventually that’s going to catch up to him. 

    • …I keep expecting to find some helpful soul has done the hard work to collate the sources & crunch the numbers to tell us where the tipping points are that ratchet his problems into a self-fulfilling downward spiral that might go down in history as the definitive example of throwing good money after bad…but I haven’t found it yet?

      …I do know that even if (to go for the hat-trick of misattributed quotations today) it might not have been einstein who claimed “compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe“…there’s several avenues of compounded woe that stitch his apparent wealth together…so…by way of just one example…at some point the dwindling value of his tesla stock would require him to sell a larger tranche of the stuff that his contract with tesla lets him in order to cover his debts (& the capital gains tax on the sale of the stock)…which either brings down the whole house of cards in a cascade of defaults…or tanks tesla because he does it anyway…or…depending how the lawsuits shake out…all of the above…so that tipping point is out there for sure…but somehow he’s still teetering on the brink…which…to break out the tinfoil for a moment…seems like it has to be largely a matter of unseen hands that are propping him up there?

    • …possibly more relevant to your point, though…there was a thing about that over at the atlantic

      Trying to predict what Trump will do is probably pointless. However, the mere threat that he may return to Twitter is already provoking an emotional response from some of the site’s most devoted users. After Musk’s announcement that Trump’s account would be reinstated, Mary Trump—the former president’s niece, and a popular figure among online liberals who published a tell-all book about her uncle in 2020—posted the single word “Stay,” which has so far been liked nearly 40,000 times. The tweet has become a gathering site for participants in Twitter’s liberal #Resistance subculture. One of the top replies is an offering of inspiration for this “important community,” in the form of a famous Dylan Thomas quote: “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” The historian and commentator Ruth Ben-Ghiat—who has nearly 185,000 followers—reposted Mary Trump’s tweet and added, “It is more important than ever to stay on Twitter now. This is an information war, and DT is a skilled and tenacious warrior. Removing yourself voluntarily from the field of battle helps the right to win this war.” Pretty high stakes!
      This situation—Will he tweet? What will he tweet?—is a useful snapshot of Twitter at its most Twitter. It’s a smallish platform that gets outsize attention because it is used by journalists and politicians, many of whom have trouble distinguishing the conversation there from the priorities of people in the offline world. Paradoxically, though, because powerful people are invested in Twitter, the site demands close attention. If Trump were to return, people would have to look, and that would be especially true if he were once again a serious candidate for the presidency and, once again, tweeting out antagonistic, sometimes dangerous non sequiturs. For the “stay and fight” faction, constrained by the oddball logic of a social-media platform, simply staying online could feel like a small step toward saving democracy.

      • Nope. Just nope. Any Twitter interaction increases the likelihood that advertisers will see it as a viable outlet to reach the public. More eyeballs = money in Elmo’s pocket. It’s like saying “Oh, we’re going to do a reverse boycott. We’re going to punish that business by driving more traffic through the front door. Pretty soon they’ll have so many people visiting that business that they’ll have no choice but to shut down.” That’s just not how it works. You’re trying to put out a fire by adding more fuel.

        Businesses will look at brand safety, but they’ll trade that in a second if you can guarantee you’ll put an ad in front of 50 million people.

        Frankly, the Atlantic thing strikes me as highly self-serving, since “journalists” basically use Twitter as a lazy alternative to actually reporting on anything now.

        What’s going to hurt is if people with millions of followers move to other platforms. I don’t think Mastodon is there, but I’ll bet you there’s somebody out there building another Twitter. Probably made up of fired employees.

        • …it’s mostly just guessing since I don’t really use twitter in the sense of having an account…but I think I get how some folks might not want to surrender that bit of online territory to the fate that seems in store for it

          …when I was faced with something analogous on the kinja front my whole rationale in making that SplinterRIP account was basically akin to trying to keep something a lot like I understand a twitter feed to be…& a lot of the appeal of the comments I hoped not to be summarily denied might have been mostly snark with a side of confirmation bias but some of it was genuinely insightful or from a perspective I might otherwise not hear…& that was more valuable to me than being able to throw in my 2¢…& seeing the parts that had appeal to me buried under a slew of dross that seemed to come in a volume & at a rate that suggested it was a full time gig for some people who had a specific agenda that stuck in my craw…that rankled

          …so when that account briefly became a storm in a very niche teacup it was a lot of fun but never really something I’d see in the light of impacting the bottom line of the business…& when a lot of the people who’d made kinja entertaining below the line quit hanging out there I didn’t have any illusions that their absence would bring down the underlying business…but I did feel like on a number of levels the wrong people got to have their way

          …so I think I can empathize with wanting to do something similar with respect to twitter?

          …I don’t think you’re wrong about the problems with that approach…just that I think I get where some of that might be coming from & that there’s something at stake for those people that does have value…maybe not a hill worth dying on…but perhaps not one to be surrendered without some sort of a fight

          …so long as the technical side of things is a fucking shambles the advertising concerns can’t be allayed

          …so as far as people actually worth listening to continuing to say stuff on twitter…it might cost musk more than it makes him, even…which would have a certain poetic justice to it?

    • Twitter is terrible but Black, Indigenous, and the disabled are conflicted. It’s been a very important tool for them in organizing and community building. And it’s not like the rest of America isn’t terrible for them too. So I can understand their reluctance to leave. But celebrities and brands? They have no excuse.

    • …between flinging ordanance at a nuclear plant…mining the area they retreated from like the DMZ in korea…& out & out trying to put as much of the country as possible at the mercy of a cruel winter


      …it’s a barbaric campaign that frightened little man in the kremlin has wrought…& I don’t know if I can lay claim to keeping up with it

      …plus…as unlikely as it might sound…I don’t know as I have the words to convey the awe I find myself struck by when I start to think about what it takes to defy that from the literal front lines…in that respect it’s a lot like what’s going on in iran?

      • A point I keep coming back to is how the propaganda messaging in the lead up to both movements (aided enormously by social media giants like Facebook and Twitter) was:

        “Don’t bother resisting, the enemy is too strong, they always win, even when you win a battle here’s why they’ll win the war.”

        The nutty thing to me is the abject eagerness of so many in the lefty intelligentsia to endorse and amplify this kind of messaging all over.

        It takes the superficial form of intellectual discourse, but the arguments and facts are so paper thin, and they’re really more about reinforcing a self identification as a smart person than providing any actual engagement with the issues.

        In baseball terms, it’s the equivalent of yelling “out” before each at bat that the batter is going to be out, since nobody has ever gotten on base more than 50% of the time since 2004. It’s superficially true, but also meaningless and ultimately just a jerkwad thing to do.

        • …remember when a twitter poll by elon resolved things in ukraine?

          …lesson learned


          …pretty sure that’s what they call willful ignorance…& I’m reliably informed that ignorance is in fact no excuse…so you’d think it’d be harder to get away with?

      • On link #1 I’d note that the goal isn’t an expectation that Roberts will come to his senses. It’s more about undermining the incestuous relationship between the radical right legal community and the mainstream legal community and press, and also draining public support for the radicals.

        It’s anticipating more and more situations will emerge which add to the schism as the Alitos keep attacking basic rights.

        Part of the point is to head off a discourse that the problem is some vague thing like “divisiveness” or “the courts” and put it right where it belongs — on the right’s radicalism, so that when the press finally catches up to public opinion they get cornered into reporting honestly.

        It’s a salvo, not a killshot.

        • …forgive me…but I’m not clear as to which link you’re referring to as #1?

          …the link in the comment yours seems to be aligned as a reply to is the guardian thing claiming russia’s attempt to cripple ukraine’s power grid is a nihilistic tactic…the one in the comment I was replying to is likewise from the guardian about ukraine…so it seems like it isn’t either of those

          …the first link ATL was the WaPo thing talking about mental health being neither a sufficient nor necessary proximate cause for homicidal bigotry…so…doesn’t seem like that, either

          …care to help me out with a different landmark…or is it a different kind of point that I’m missing?

          [ETA – wait…I think I’ve got it…it was meant to be a reply to @loveshaq below…whose 1st link is the huffpo thing about supreme court stuff…sorry]

  2. One of the most interesting things social media has made clear is just how equivalent powerful people feel criticism is of them versus hate speech against other groups. I legitimately don’t think Elon Musk sees any difference between some 800-follower rando saying “Tesla sucks” versus a Mango acolyte spouting replacement theory. It’s why they all buy into the right-wing fever dreams of “shadow banning” and believe blindly in context-free free speech unless it’s about them, of course.

  3. On the first point, it’s worth adding the GOP doesn’t just incite, they recruit and organize.

    One of Joel Kaplan’s main goals at Facebook, with Zuckerberg’s buy in, has been greasing the GOP’s organizational efforts targeting truly paranoid people. They use Facebook’s tools to identify audiences according to psychological profies and develop and refine messaging aimed at driving them to antivax protests, shutting down schoolboard meetings, and stalking politicians.

    Facebook’s midlevel people have repeatedly seen these efforts, which violate Facebook’s policies, and moved to shut them down. Over and over Kaplan and Zuckerberg have stepped in to keep them active.

  4. You better do this or else! (Spoiler Alert: This will go nowhere!)




    and I know most of you don’t like sports but a few of you watch World Cup.  After watching this, I will never watch another FIFA game.  This is long but well worth it.  Fuck FIFA & Qatar!

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