Saturday, October 29, 2022

Reports About Twitter after Musk Acquisition

Microphone photo by Taoheedah, Wikimedia Commons


1. Heather Cox Richardson reports about what's happening at Twitter after Musk acquired it: 

Today, racist and antisemitic content rose sharply as users appeared to be testing the limits of the platform under Musk. The Network Contagion Research Institute, which studies disinformation on social media, noted that posters on the anonymous website 4chan have been encouraging users to spread racist and derogatory slurs on Twitter. The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism, which focuses on civil rights law, backed this observation up today when it noted that on October 27, an anonymous post on 4chan, which users immediately spread to extremist Telegram channels, told followers how to increase antisemitic content on Twitter. 

In the first 12 hours after Musk acquired the site, the use of the n-word increased nearly 500%.

2.  The Guardian writes,

[D]ozens of extremist profiles – some newly created – circulated racial slurs and Nazi imagery while expressing gratitude to Musk. And researchers found a surge in new followers flocking to the accounts of high-profile rightwing figures in the 24 hours after Musk took over, the New York Times reported.

3.  Hamilton Nolan says,

Musk probably bought Twitter for the same reason that sickeningly rich people throughout history have become press barons: to try to control the conversation. About themselves, in particular, and secondly about their own economic interests, and thirdly about their own inevitably selfish, bizarre, half-witted political beliefs. …

You may notice that Musk’s stated goal of being an angel of open, civilized discourse is not wholly compatible with all billionaires’ natural desire to bend the content of that discourse in a direction that they agree with. Reconciling these two competing mandates is one of the oldest and most central tasks of news media companies, or discourse-shaping social media companies, owned by rich guys. 

4. If you have the stomach for it, you can see some of the racist filth that began pouring out on Twitter immediately after Musk acquired it, in this report from Rebekah Sager, who writes,

[W]ithin what seemed like a few hours after Elon Musk closed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter and his firing of several executives, the flood of racist, antisemitic bigots returned in droves.

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