Musk has another underemployed Substacker trying to dig up dirt on the previous Twitter regime, as right-wing hack Bari Weiss serves up another batch of “Twitter Files” revelations that don’t deem to reveal much.
One defining element of the six weeks of the Elon Musk era at Twitter has been the repeated missing of launch deadlines on the $8 blue check-mark system, technically known as Twitter Blue. And lacking a comms department and rather than acknowledging the repeated swings and misses on this front, Musk has pulled a series of distractions and provocations from his rear end, all of which align with right-wing media talking points about how conservative are so terribly persecuted by “Big Tech.”
Matt Taibi went from writing for the Rolling Stone to writing Twitter threads about how not being able to look at Hunter Biden's dick whenever he wants is violating his first amendment rights.— the asexual transsexual (@LilBrattyBun) December 4, 2022
It started with last Friday’s lengthy thread from curmudgeony, Left-hating journalist Matt Taibbi (both Taibbi and Weiss have been vocal critics of the "woke" Left and its censorship of social and traditional media) catering to the conservative obsession with Hunter Biden’s laptop, and claiming that Twitter limited the story’s reach. The thread features many purported “bombshell” internal Twitter email screenshots, all of them clearly handpicked by Musk. The notion goes that Twitter’s decisions effectively swung the election to Joe Biden, despite that only 23% of Americans are on Twitter.
THREAD: THE TWITTER FILES PART TWO.— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 9, 2022
TWITTER’S SECRET BLACKLISTS.
The Benghazi-like infatuation continued Friday morning. Another right-wing-media-catering journalist, Bari Weiss, is promoting “Twitter Files Part Two,” according to The Hill. Weiss is a former New York Times columnist and wife of other former New York Times SF correspondent Nellie Bowles, who now just pens “San Francisco is dying” articles. Both former Times writers have burned so many bridges professionally that now their career options are pretty much Substack or going on Bill Maher’s show, but I digress.
The gist of Weiss’s revelations (in the thread above) is that "teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics — all in secret, without informing users." Whoa, sounds scary!
It's honestly kind of funny that Bari Weiss accidentally tweeted proof that the Libs of Tik Tok account was/is receiving *preferential* treatment while trying to illustrate the opposite. pic.twitter.com/980km4TasN— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) December 9, 2022
Weiss has made her disdain for Twitter's previous moderation policies well known — in her self-published resignation letter from the Times she noted, "Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space."
Weiss’s roundup of allegedly shadow-banned “victims” are basically a Who’s-Who right-wing provocateurs: Libs of TikTok, Dan Bongino, high-profile COVID deniers. But the “scandal” Weiss describes is that Twitter limited the amplification of potentially dangerous tweets, which seems to be the exact policy Musk said he’s employing shortly after he took over the company.
The biggest takeaway from that Bari Weiss thread is that Twitter spent years finding new and creative ways to keep large conservative and right-wing accounts on the site despite some pretty egregious behavior. But that was always obvious to anyone paying attention.— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) December 9, 2022
It is pretty obvious now that these “scoops” were hand-selected by Musk himself to promote the narrative that right-wing contrarians are the single identifiable most persecuted population in America, and he will be the great savior of Free Speech by letting them out of Twitter Jail. And in that sense, these Twitter Files announcements might serve as a great marketing tool targeting right-wing contrarians to buy those $8 blue check mark subscriptions
Well, that is, Elon Musk ever manages to launch those $8 blue check mark subscriptions.
Related: Elon Musk Gets Fully In Bed With Conservative Media, Lashes Back About Twitter 'Bedroom' Investigation With Tweet About Fentanyl-Exposed Baby [SFist]
Image: osunpokeh via Wikimedia Commons