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Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A #179359
01/10/2023 11:35 AM
01/10/2023 11:35 AM
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ConSigCor Offline OP
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Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists Are NOT Crazy

So…it turns out we crazy conspiracy theorists aren’t so crazy after all. In fact, we can knock “crazy” right off that moniker. Again. Elon Musk has allowed the curtain to be pulled back on Twitter to reveal corruption, collusion, and straight-up propaganda that have changed the course of American history. Musk is catching all sorts of flack for the Twitter Files from the mainstream media, who are somehow trying to defend the indefensible actions that have taken place behind the scenes and paint Musk as the bad guy for exposing it.

Many things that non-liberals have been saying for years have been shown to be true. There was indeed collusion between the Biden campaign and Twitter, conservatives were absolutely shadowbanned, the FBI is involved in social media, and points-of-view that were not in line with the narrative were suppressed by the social media giant.

Read the rest here. https://www.theorganicprepper.com/twitter-files/


"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861
Re: Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A [Re: ConSigCor] #179360
01/10/2023 01:29 PM
01/10/2023 01:29 PM
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airforce Offline
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Elon Musk is the best thing to happen to America since pizza and beer. I may not agree with him on a lot of things, but he just isn't afraid of anything or anybody, and he's doing more to expose government corruption and crony capitalism than anyone.

Seriously, I'm surprised no one has taken him out yet. I wonder what he's paying his bodyguards.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A [Re: ConSigCor] #179361
01/10/2023 01:36 PM
01/10/2023 01:36 PM
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airforce Offline
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House Republicans want to probe the Biden administration on Twitter. I'm rather curious to see how that will go.

Quote
As one of their first orders of business in the new Congress, House Republicans plan to probe the pressure the Biden administration put on social media companies to suppress certain sorts of content. The inquiry will come as part of a new Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

The subcommittee "will demand copies of White House emails, memos and other communications with Big Tech companies," reports Axios.

A series of recently released internal documents—some as part of a lawsuit filed by Missouri and Louisiana and some as part of documents that new Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been sharing with journalists—showcase requests by the federal government to control the flow of content and information on Facebook and Twitter. During both the Biden and Trump administrations, federal officials were in close contact with these Big Tech companies. They warned of potential misinformation around elections and COVID-19 and frequently flagged specific content they considered dangerous or suspect.

To be clear, there's nothing strictly wrong with such warnings and requests. So long as officials aren't demanding content be taken down, or threatening adverse action if it is not, then these officials do not run afoul of the First Amendment.

But things get a bit sticky when you look at what might be considered implied threats here.
At the same time as government officials were asking Twitter and its ilk to suppress certain sorts of content, Big Tech companies were being harangued from just about every angle the government could muster. They faced executive orders and comments related to taking them down a peg. They faced a flurry of bills that aimed to regulate them more intensely. Lawmakers bashed them in the media constantly, while demanding their leaders repeatedly answer antagonistic questions in public hearings and turn over all sorts of documents to congressional panels. Meanwhile, state attorneys general and the federal government filed numerous lawsuits against Big Tech companies.

When you consider all of the anti-tech action from myriad branches and levels of government, it throws into question the idea that federal officials could ever be just asking for cooperation with their censorship schemes.

The new subcommittee, chaired by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R–Ohio), "will look for government pressure that could have resulted in censorship or harassment of conservatives — or squelching of debate on polarizing policies, including the CDC on COVID," Axios says.

To the extent that the new subcommittee plans to investigate whether the government acted inappropriately here, good.

"This oversight is an infinitely better use of Congress' time than past anti-Big Tech efforts," said Jessica Melugin, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Technology and Innovation. "The only real threat all along has been the use of government coercion to pressure these companies to make politically-motivated decisions they might not otherwise have made."

But to the extent that their probe winds up being yet another opportunity to excoriate tech companies, House Republicans will be exacerbating the very conditions that have created the current mess we're in. The more federal lawmakers, agencies, law enforcement, and administration officials demand answers about exactly why and how these companies make internal decisions, the more they demonize them in public and in the press, and the more they bully these companies to conform with their (competing) visions of good content stewardship, the less likely it is that these companies will feel empowered to resist "friendly requests" from the federal government.


Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A [Re: ConSigCor] #179573
03/08/2023 12:21 PM
03/08/2023 12:21 PM
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The Federal Trade Commission wants Twitter to name all the journalists it gave the "Twitter Files" to. is this a huge First Amendment violation? You bet.

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is asking Twitter to turn over the names of all journalists with whom the company shared internal documents, as well as all communications related to or received by CEO Elon Musk. The agency says it's normal practice, while House Republicans say it's politically motivated and a huge infringement on freedom of the press. Whether politically motivated or not, the second part of the claim seems undeniably true.

In one of 12 letters sent between November 10, 2022, and February 1, 2023, the FTC asks Twitter to "identify all journalists and other members of the media to whom" it granted "any type of access to the Company's internal communications" since Musk acquired the company, as well as the nature of the access granted.

The identities of journalists privy to these communications—which reporters have been calling the Twitter Files—is just one piece of information the FTC is seeking from Twitter. The agency also asked the company to turn over all internal communications—"including but not limited to emails, memos, and Slack Communications"—that were related to Musk, sent at his direction, or received by him. It also asked for detailed information about company layoffs, its Twitter Blue subscription service, and more.

The agency's ostensible authority for these demands is a consent decree forged between Twitter and the FTC in 2011 and expanded in 2022. The 2011 consent order prohibited Twitter from misrepresenting how it employed user data. Last year, Twitter had to pay $150 million to settle an FTC suit saying Twitter had violated that earlier order's terms by collecting user phone numbers and email addresses for account security purposes and then also using that information for advertising purposes. The 2022 settlement also involved an expanded consent order, which FTC Chair Lina Khan called "much more prescriptive, much more detailed" than the 2011 order.

The FTC says its requests for information from Twitter (including the identities of all journalists with whom Twitter shared internal communications) are necessary to ensure that the company is still protecting consumer privacy and not misusing user information.

"Protecting consumers' privacy is exactly what the FTC is supposed to do," FTC spokesman Douglas Farrar said in a statement. "It should come as no surprise that career staff at the commission are conducting a rigorous investigation into Twitter's compliance with a consent order that came into effect long before Mr. Musk purchased the company." Farrar also said the kind of information it is seeking from Twitter is routine for companies under consent decrees.

House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee don't see it that way. On Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee's Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government published excerpts from the FTC's letters to Twitter, as part of a larger report.

"The Committee does not dispute that protecting user privacy and mitigating information security risks are important duties," the report says. "Because of its consent decree with Twitter, the FTC has the authority to monitor how Twitter is protecting users' private information, such as their phone numbers and email addresses."

"But the FTC is currently imposing some demands on Twitter that have no rational basis in user privacy," it continues. "There is no logical reason, for example, why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter. There is no logical reason why the FTC, on the basis of user privacy, needs to analyze all of Twitter's personnel decisions. And there is no logical reason why the FTC needs every single internal Twitter communication about Elon Musk."

The report also suggests that the timing of the FTC's latest investigation into Twitter was politically motivated, beginning just a few weeks after Musk bought the company late last October and coming amid demands from Democratic lawmakers and progressive groups. The FTC has made more than 350 requests for information during Musk's tenure as CEO.

"If the FTC concludes Twitter violated the 2022 order, the agency could seek financial penalties, business restrictions, or sanctions on responsible executives," noted The Wall Street Journal.


Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A [Re: ConSigCor] #179582
03/10/2023 01:31 PM
03/10/2023 01:31 PM
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Here's some unintentional comedy at the Twitter Files Hearing. rep. Syklvia Garcia clearly has no idea who journalist Bari Weiss is:

Quote
On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government conducted a hearing on the Twitter Files, which have revealed efforts by the federal government and big tech to censor speech.

Congressional Democrats have tried to use the opportunity to champion censorship and attack Twitter Files reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger as pawns of dangerous free speech advocate Elon Musk, who cherrypicked information from internal Twitter communications in support of the GOP narrative.

It did not go well for them, but one particular line of questioning turned out to be the most hilariously unintentionally funny exchange I’ve seen in a House hearing.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) questioned both Taibbi and Shellenberger during the hearing, and it was genuinely entertaining comedy as she proceeded to embarrass herself.

“In… in your discussion—in your answer, you also said that you were invited by a friend, Bari Weiss?” Garcia asked, already sounding confused, as if she had no idea what she was even questioning the witnesses about.

“My friend, Bari Weiss,” Shellenberger repeated for clarity.

“So this friend works for Twitter? Or, what is, what is her, ummm—”

“She’s a journalist,” Taibbi explained, much to the irritation of Garcia, who probably should have known who Bari Weiss was before participating in the hearing.

“Sir, I didn’t ask you a question,” Garcia snapped. “I’m now asking Mr. Shellenberger a question.”

At this point, Taibbi and Shellenberger both start to laugh. I suspect they were more than just a little amused at Garcia’s cluelessness regarding the subject matter she was questioning them about.

“Yes, ma’am, Bari Weiss is a journalist,” Shellenberger interjected.

“I’m sorry, sir,”

“She’s a journalist,” Shellenberger repeated.

“She’s a journalist, so you work in concert with her?”

It was a rather dumb question, but Shellenberger eventually, after pondering it for a few seconds, responded in the affirmative.

“Do you know when she first, uhhh, was contacted by Mr. Musk?” Garcia asked.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know,” she echoed. “So you’re in this as a threesome?”

At this point, I don’t know how Shellenberger or Taibbi held it together. People in the gallery were audibly holding back laughter. Eventually, Shellenberger was able to reply and explain that there were “many more people involved than that.”

Bari Weiss, who wasn’t able to make it to D.C. for the hearing, responded to the ridiculous questioning on Twitter.

“I am dead,” she tweeted. “but nothing but love for [Shellenberger] and [Taibbi] who do a heroic job of not completely breaking down here.”


I’m still laughing myself.


Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A [Re: ConSigCor] #179669
03/28/2023 04:00 PM
03/28/2023 04:00 PM
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Tulsa
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Is the IRS targeting Matt Taibbi? It sure looks like it.

Quote
Democrats are denouncing the House GOP investigation into the weaponization of government, but maybe that’s because Republicans are getting somewhere. That includes new evidence that the Internal Revenue Service may be targeting a journalist who testified before the weaponization committee.

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter Monday to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeking an explanation for why journalist Matt Taibbi received an unannounced home visit from an IRS agent. We’ve seen the letter, and both the circumstances and timing of the IRS focus on this journalist raise serious questions.

Mr. Taibbi has provoked the ire of Democrats and other journalists for his role in researching Twitter records and then releasing internal communications from the social-media giant that expose its censorship and its contacts with government officials. This effort has already inspired government bullying, with Chair Lina Khan’s Federal Trade Commission targeting new Twitter owner Elon Musk and demanding the company “identify all journalists” granted access to the Twitter files.


Now Mr. Taibbi has told Mr. Jordan’s committee that an IRS agent showed up at his personal residence in New Jersey on March 9. That happens to be the same day Mr. Taibbi testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government about what he learned about Twitter. The taxman left a note instructing Mr. Taibbi to call the IRS four days later. Mr. Taibbi was told in a call with the agent that both his 2018 and 2021 tax returns had been rejected owing to concerns over identity theft.

Mr. Taibbi has provided the committee with documentation showing his 2018 return had been electronically accepted, and he says the IRS never notified him or his accountants of a problem after he filed that 2018 return more than four-and-a-half years ago.

He says the IRS initially rejected his 2021 return, which he later refiled, and it was rejected again—even though Mr. Taibbi says his accountants refiled it with an IRS-provided pin number. Mr. Taibbi notes that in neither case was the issue “monetary,” and that the IRS owes him a “considerable” sum.

The bigger question is when did the IRS start to dispatch agents for surprise house calls? Typically when the IRS challenges some part of a tax return, it sends a dunning letter. Or it might seek more information from the taxpayer or tax preparer. If the IRS wants to audit a return, it schedules a meeting at the agent’s office. It doesn’t drop by unannounced.

The curious timing of this visit, on the heels of the FTC demand that Twitter turn over names of journalists, raises questions about potential intimidation, and Mr. Jordan is right to want to see documents and communications relating to the Taibbi visit.

The fear of many Americans is that, flush with its new $80 billion in funding from Congress, the IRS will unleash its fearsome power against political opponents. Mr. Taibbi deserves to know why the agency decided to pursue him with a very strange house call.


Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A [Re: ConSigCor] #179729
04/19/2023 12:22 PM
04/19/2023 12:22 PM
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Tulsa
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The federal government is in your Twitter DM's. And no one should be too terribly surprised. What's surprising is Elon Musk made it public.



Quote
Who's that sliding into your Twitter DMs? Is it the federal government? Well, according to Elon Musk, who took over the social media platform last year, government bureaucrats were routinely taking a close look at users' content.

Thanks to the Twitter Files, a collaboration between Elon Musk and independent journalists, as well as the Facebook Files, my own investigative project for Reason, we now know that social media companies constantly faced pressure to censor speech—and that pressure was coming from the government. The State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and even the White House all targeted legitimate online speech. Federal law enforcement agents flagged tweets and posts for deletion under the guise of protecting national security.

And no one should be surprised. The feds love to invoke national security, and then take away more of your rights and pretend they're keeping you safe.

Well, guess what: They're at it again. Following a massive leak of U.S. intelligence documents that were posted on Discord, another social media platform, the Biden administration wants more power to monitor online chat rooms.

A senior administration official told NBC News that the government "is now looking at expanding the universe of online sites that intelligence agencies and law enforcement authorities track."

That's bad. We know where it will lead: More government surveillance of the American people, and eventually, more censorship of political speech. In the runup to the 2020 election, for example, the FBI warned social media sites to be wary of Russian-based disinformation. But then they also started flagging joke tweets written by Americans that happened to be about the election.

You see, the feds just can't help themselves: They'll use the new powers we give them to pressure the internet to shut down dissent. We've seen it happen time and again.

So let's keep the government out of our chatrooms. And watch out for your DMs.


Onward and upward,
airforce

Re: Twitter Files Have Confirmed (Again) That Conspiracy Theorists A [Re: ConSigCor] #179740
04/20/2023 08:04 PM
04/20/2023 08:04 PM
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Tulsa
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Democrats threaten Matt Taibbi with jail time. So much for "speaking truth to power."

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Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat, is the delegate from the Virgin Islands to the U.S. Congress. Last month, when independent writers Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, she described them as "so-called journalists" and sought to undermine their testimony about government pressure to restrict speech on Twitter.

She has now gone much further.

Plaskett recently sent a letter to Taibbi accusing him of perjury and suggesting that he could face up to five years in jail. The letter was obtained by Lee Fang, a writer who works with Taibbi and publishes on Substack. In it, Plaskett notes that providing false testimony to Congress "is punishable by up to five years imprisonment."

The congresswoman's basis for accusing Taibbi of perjury is a handful of errors that he made during the publication of the Twitter Files. These mistakes caught the attention of MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan, who skewered Taibbi in an interview and suggested the entire Twitter Files project rested upon a house of cards.

It is true that Taibbi made some errors: In one of his tweets about the web of organizations engaged in identifying so-called misinformation on Twitter, he confused CISA, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency—an organ of the federal government—with CIS, the Center for Internet Security—a nonprofit. Hasan has never sufficiently explained why this mistake would render the Twitter Files obsolete; in fact, both organizations participated in the Election Integrity Partnership, a Stanford University project that sought to monitor the election-related discourse on social media. Taibbi pointed out this fact in a tweet admitting to the mistake.

Regardless, it is obviously not the case that Taibbi committed perjury. Plaskett's letter describes the CISA/CIS mistake as an "intentional" one; this is simply false. Taibbi did not willfully mischaracterize the two organizations; when he rewrote "CIS" as "CISA," he honestly thought the tweet in question had referred to the government agency rather than the nonprofit.

Aaron Terr, director of public advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), described Plaskett's letter as shocking.

"The mistake in Taibbi's tweet does not show that he knowingly lied to Congress," says Terr. "It's hard to think of anything more chilling to a free press than threatening a journalist with prison time based on a single, corrected mistake in their reporting."

Accuracy is vital to the project of journalism, and it was important for Taibbi to set the record straight, even if the impact of these errors has been overstated by Democratic partisans. But Plaskett's suggestion that Taibbi's testimony should put him at risk of prosecution was wildly inappropriate.

There's a profound irony here. Plaskett's likely agenda was to undermine the work of the subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government, and the manner in which she chose to do this was to threaten a journalist with jail time. Weaponization, indeed.


Onward and upward,
airforce


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