If Riley Gaines had tweeted this on pre-Musk Twitter, she would have been suspended, perhaps permanently, for “misgendering” a bully pretending to be a woman.It ain’t perfect, but X is a much more open platform than Twitter.
Well, the social media platform is certainly different now than it was a year ago before the Musk takeover.
It’s still generally opaque and non-communicative about actual policies and procedures, but it is somewhat more responsive. Consider my problem with false, defamatory content warnings being placed on tweets promoting my astronomy posts beginning around Christmas last year. Complaints via their online contact forms were ineffective. In fact, the (automated?) responses I received were usually not true.
However, the company’s legal department was eventually responsive to certified mail. The first letter didn’t do the trick, but Twitter finally stopped falsely tagging my tweets and removed all of the false tags after another letter and an exchange of emails with their legal department. Perhaps I was helpful in identifying one of more of the old regime employees who needed to be fired.
So has my experience on the new X (TSMPFKAT) been perfect? Nope. But it’s been better, much more like when I joined over a decade ago while the platform was still pretending to be the free speech wing of the free speech party. The conversation become much more diverse, and Community Notes seems more effective at dealing with alleged misinformation than the old censorship regime.
Of course, many former Twitter employees don’t like the changes Musk has made. The Hill has an opinion post up by Anika Collier Navaroli, a former “Trust and Safety” team member during the last election.
The largest communications platforms are now vulnerable to manipulation and interference at a time when hostile nations are actively seeking to undermine democracy. This is even more concerning in the midst of a monumental global election season, with over 50 countries around the world having elections over the next year. We’ve already begun to see these elections take a turn toward far-right authoritarianism. This could sweep the globe, changing the face of our politics and affected all of our rights.
Many people believe Musk is a genius with a Midas touch. They name Tesla’s ability to singlehandedly reinvigorate the electric vehicle market, SpaceX’s savvy in sending reusable rockets into space, and Starlink’s ability to bring satellite internet connections to the most remote locations. But free speech, the product of X that upholds democracy, is not a technology company or a physical thing. Speech is evolving, complicated, and sticky. It requires tradeoffs, flexibility, and tough decisions. It shouldn’t be dictated by an autocratic CEO with absolutist ideologies.
At this moment, when we reflect on one year of Musk’s social media reign, we must reevaluate how we consume information and our complex relationships with social media platforms. It’s time to stop using X and participating in Musk’s immoral and dangerous failing free speech experiment. We must also make waves in developing better information ecosystems and sources of information to replace social media companies, like reinvesting in local news. Most importantly, we must make these changes quickly, because the future of our democracy depends on it.
There’s that phrase “our democracy.” I’m not sure who Ms. Navaroli would include within the circle of her “our,” but I am sure it doesn’t it includes people who speak things to which she is opposed. When a group can only maintain control by censorship—when their ideas cannot stand up to criticism, debate, or the facts—they not on the side of truth. Censored Twitter was on their side. They are not pleased to have lost control of X.
Is X better than Twitter? Yes, it is.
Is it perfect? No, but at least it’s better.
Dread Deadbeat Protester Kimberlin’s first not-for-profit was a grift called Justice Through Music Project. The TKPOTD for eight years ago today took a look at JTMP’s presence on Twitter.
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While doing some research, I happened to check out the Justice Through Music Project Twitter feed. For a organization that’s trying to connect with young people, it has a remarkably tiny presence in that part of social media.Only 192 follower? Yep, here are a couple of ’em.Green Rush isn’t the only dope related follower, and the restaurant seems to be one of several spam business followers (discount Ray-Bans, etc.).
It’s almost as if something is distracting The Dread Performer/Pirate/Pro-Se Kimberlin from his day job.
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Over the pass eight years, the account has managed to increase its following to 273. This screen shot was taken just before noon yesterday.Note that the most recent tweet is over five years old. It would seen that X no longer marks a spot where Kimberlin has any noticeable influence.
It’s been a while, but some of the usual suspects actually provided sympathetic coverage of Brett Kimberlin. This post headlined Salon Publishes Pro #BrettKimberlin Piece ran eleven years ago today.
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Read both and decide for yourself.
UPDATE–Stacy McCain responds.
UPDATE 2—After you’ve read Patterico’s fisking and Stacy McCain’s discussion of the Salon writer’s background, be sure to read Mr. McCain’s analysis of Salon and its possible future implosion.
UPDATE 3—Bob Belvedere has more background on Alex Pareene, the Salon writer, at The Camp of the Saints [dead link].
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Brett Kimberlin is still the Speedway Bomber, and he has become a liability to The Narrative.
According the Bill Schmalfeldt’s LinkedIn page, he’s still the editor of the Center (ND) Republican, and yet he retweeted this.
Teacher union president Randi Weingarten has been trying to respin The Narrative to make it seem that she wasn’t in favor of keeping schools closed for as long as she did. He claims were challenged on Twitter by comments on its recently adopted Community Notes feature. PolitiFact has tried to “fact check” those comments.
PolitFact has been fact checked via Community Notes.Heh.
In April, 2015, Twitter suspended my @wjjhoge account based on false accusations of targeted harassment made by Brett Kimberlin. Eight years ago today, Breitbart Unmasked published a post bragging about my account being suspended and attacking Ken White and others for supporting me. That post was still up as of 10 pm last night.The post falsely describes my coverage of Team Kimberlin.
For the last 3 years or so Mr. Hoge has been on a daily 7 day a week posting grind about Mr. Kimberlin and his family and children, and his roving hatred masked as a psyop propaganda campaign against Mr. Schmalfeldt, who is disabled and suffers from Parkinson’s disease, but still manages to report on Hoge’s activities as best he can.
I have endeavored to keep the members Brett Kimberlin’s family out of my coverage of his activities—except when he dragged them into various situations. As for Bill Schmalfeldt, his disability didn’t not prevent him from scurrying from Maryland to Wisconsin to Iowa to South Carolina (multiple times) to Montana to Oklahoma to Michigan to Missouri to Georgia to Michigan in search of employment over the past seven years.
Meanwhile, I’ve continued keeping an eye on Team Kimberlin for the past seven years, and I’m not done with them yet.
When I was reviewing this BU post last night, I noticed the byline: Marcus Crassus. The real Crassus was one of the three members of the first Triumvirate along with Pompey and Caesar. He was the richest man in Rome and noted for his corruption. His largest military success probably was his defeat of the slave revolt led by Spartacus, but his campaign against the Parthians was a disaster, ending in his defeat and death at the Battle of Carrhae. I suppose that’s an appropriate nom de cyber for a writer at BU.
One more thing—I’m thankful for all the support I have received while dealing with Team Kimberlin, and I owe special thanks to Ken White for putting up the Popehat Signal for me and to Patrick Ostronic for responding as pro bono legal counsel.
After the CBC claimed to be “less than 70 %” government funded, Twitter made the following correction to the label attached to the (at)cbc account.Heh.
Never believe what you read on the Internet.
… but I am pleased to report that Twitter has finally removed the last of the false and defamatory sensitive content warnings to my tweets linking to my astronomy posts. They have also ceased applying new warnings.
While the operations side of Twitter is still almost completely opaque, a black hole into which request for help disappear without result, Twitter’s new legal team was responsive.
Thank you, Twitter, for doing the right thing.
For several weeks, Twitter has been marking some (but not all) of my tweets linking to Hogewash! astronomy posts with sensitive content warnings. Twitter’s published definition of “sensitive content” includes media which displays nudity, sexual content, violence, gore, or hateful symbols. The warnings they have attached to my tweets are facially false.
Last week, I sent a letter to Twitter demanding they cease and desist marking my tweets with false warnings and remove any warnings still attached to my tweets. I’ve not had a timely response to my letter, Twitter has continued marking some (but not all) of my astronomy tweets, and they have not removed any of the false warnings.
I am reviewing this matter with counsel.
The Gentle Reader who has followed this blog for the past few weeks should remember the issue I’m having with Twitter posting facially false warnings to my tweets linking to my astronomy posts. I’m not the only blogger having warning posted to my work. Neo has a post up: Blogger flagged me.
I got a little note from Blogger recently – that is, from the entity that hosts my original blog at Blogspot, which apparently is still accessible. I assume the missive is not from a sentient being, but rather from some sort of AI. But it’s a sign of our touchy touchy times that this post originally published in May of 2005 (yikes!) is now considered to be insufficiently sensitive (that link is to the version that came over to the newer site, but it’s the exact same post).
Google owns Blogspot.
I’m just back from the Post Office where I sent a letter by certified mail to Twitter with a copy to Twitter’s Maryland resident agent. The letter demands Twitter cease and desist from marking my tweets linking to Hogewash! astronomy posts with facially false sensitive material warnings. It also demands that Twitter shall preserve all documents, records, messages and/or data (whether hard copy or electronic) relating to the warnings attached to my @wjjhoge account.
I consider the warnings defamatory.
I’d like to be able to work with Twitter to resolve this issue, but given the company’s stonewalling and lack of transparency so far, I’m not optimistic about avoiding further escalation of the matter.
I don’t intend to have any further public comment on the warnings or this letter until I see Twitter’s response (or lack thereof) to my letter and review it with counsel.
Of course, I have appealed the warning—
This tweet links to an astronomy post about the Cat’s Paw nebula. It contains no sensitive material. I DEMAND TWITTER CEASE AND DESIST FROM MARKING MY TWEETS WITH FACIALLY FALSE WARNINGS.
I found this notification in my Twitter account last night.When I checked my tweets that had been flagged with sensitivity warnings, I found that all that had warnings as of midnight 31 December still had warnings attached as did yesterday’s tweet. The claim that warnings had been removed was false.
Clicking on the notice took me to a survey form where I provided the following comment—
You have sent me several notices stating that warnings have been removed from tweets when, in fact, all the tweets with warnings still have warnings attached. My tweets linking to astronomy posts on 24-28, 30, and 31 December and 1 January still have warnings attached. See, eg,, You have sent me several notices stating that warnings have been removed from tweets when, in fact, all the tweets with warnings still have warnings attached. My tweets linking to astronomy posts on 24-28, 30, and 31 December and 1 January still have warnings attached. See, eg,, https://twitter.com/wjjhoge/status/1606607705346564097 and https://twitter.com/wjjhoge/status/1609506712553242624. No honest observer could believe that these tweet contain nudity, sexual content, violence, gore, or hateful symbols. Since your online guidance (https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/media-policy) says that you apply these warnings manually after sensitive content is reported, I suspect that Twitter is acting as a catspaw for someone who is subjecting me to targeted abuse. Because I have been unable to find a means to contact Twitter Safety about this harassment via an online form, I demand that Twitter contact me by 5 pm ET, 3 January, via email (email@example.com) about this matter.
As of the drafting of this post at around 8 am, all the tweets cited above still had warnings attached. However, today’s tweet does not have a warning.
They did it again.And they appear to be ignoring my appeals of these facially erroneous warnings.
The saga of Twitter’s flagging of astronomy posts as “sensitive” continues. Twitter’s Sensitive media policy (https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/media-policy, downloaded on 30 December, 2022) (lowercase letters in the orignal) states
If you don’t mark your media as sensitive, we will do so manually if your content is reported for review.
Assuming that statement is truthful, that means someone or something (eg., an algorithm) is reporting the posts. I don’t believe that any reasonable observer can honestly believe these astronomy posts contain media “that is excessively gory” or “violent or adult content” or that that the posts to which my tweets link are in way “hateful.” Once was a mistake. Twice was a coincidence. Two weeks of it is enemy action.
I believe that I am being subjected to targeted abuse.
My tweet linking to yesterday’s astronomy post went through without a hitch. Today’s post has been flagged.
It’s just about 7:15 am ET, and Tweeter hasn’t slapped a “sensitivity” warning on today’s astronomy post. However, they did send me this notification a few minutes ago.When I checked to see which tweets has had warnings removed, I found that, as of now, all of the flagged tweets from 24 through 28 December still have warnings attached. Here is how I have responded to Twitter’s survey about their “appeals process.”
Twitter 2.0 has a long way to go to become a trustworthy venue.
They did it again.Twitter started this nonsense last week. I’ve appealed each warnings, and so far, they’ve removed all of them through 23 December. All since Christmas Eve remain. Here’s my comment from today’s appeal—
This tweet links to an astronomy post about the planet Jupiter’s rings. I’ve been tweeting these links in this format for a decade. If Twitter were an honest and reliable business partner, you would explain why you are now tagging these tweets with warnings. I shouldn’t have to guess.
It’s been suggested the problem is caused by the #StarPorn hashtag I began using over a decade ago. If some bit of poorly trained AI is tripping over that hashtag, it shouldn’t be too difficult for a competent programmer to whitelist certain uses of the term. Of course, Twitter may lack the desire or ability to fix their code. If that’s the case, I can find another hashtag, but Twitter has refused to give any explanation.
Apparently, Twitter now views Astronomy as a “sensitive” subject.
Twitter has begun flagging my daily astronomy posts as “sensitive.”
Everything proceeded as I had foreseen.
I wish I’d been wrong.
Deep Throat: Follow the money.
Bob Woodward: What do you mean? Where?
Deep Throat: Oh, I can’t tell you that.
It’s being reported that this meme was removed by Instagram for inciting violence.Ok, they’re not reindeer, but still …