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Twitter’s New Rules Lead to Fears of Meme Ban

“Synthetic and manipulated media” to be targeted.

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Twitter’s announcement that it will begin a crackdown on “synthetic and manipulated media” has led to fears that political memes could be censored in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

On Monday, Twitter said that it was “working on a new policy to address synthetic and manipulated media on Twitter.”

According to the Big Tech giant, “synthetic and manipulated media” is “media that’s been significantly altered or created in a way that changes the original meaning/purpose, or makes it seem like certain events took place that didn’t actually happen.”

Many pointed out that this description could easily describe memes and other satirical media that is intended to humorous but not necessarily factually accurate.

“The majority of responses back to Twitter Safety’s post was that the move was expected and grounded in hurt feelings of Democrats to put controls on Republicans before the 2020 Presidential election,” writes Kari Donovan.

If Twitter does start to ramp up censorship of memes, it wouldn’t be the first Big Tech outfit to do so.

Earlier this year, Instagram announced it would use “52 global “fact checking partners” to censor “false photos and memes on its platform,” according to Poynter.

Last year, Facebook also announced it was developing a new AI algorithm that can detect and ban “offensive” memes.

Back in September, the Pentagon declared war on memes as DARPA launched a new program to fight “polarizing viral content” before it spreads.

A study undertaken by researchers at University College London found that the most effective memes in the run up to the 2016 presidential election largely originated in two places – the subreddit r/the_donald – a forum devoted to boosting President Donald Trump, and 4chan’s politically incorrect /pol forum.

A VICE write-up of the study acknowledges that the most “effectively spread” memes originated on r/the_donald and /pol.

The Donald subreddit was subsequently placed in quarantine and 4chan has been repeatedly blamed as a radicalizing outpost for mass shooters and right-wing extremists.

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New York Times Complains That Cat Videos Are Being Used to Spread “Misinformation”

Can’t we just enjoy cute kitties?

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Kmatta via Getty Images/Twitter

The New York Times has identified the latest culprit that’s to blame for the egregious spread of online “misinformation.”

Cat videos.

Yes, really, cat videos – and GIFs.

In an article titled ‘Those Cute Cats Online? They Help Spread Misinformation’, reporter Davey Alba claimed “videos and GIFs of cute animals — usually cats” were being used by “people and organizations peddling false information online.”

The article complains that news outlets like the Western Journal and the Epoch Times have weaponized cute kitties to bait traffic, which then filters through to their website and the dreaded “misinformation,” which at this point means anything that the mainstream media doesn’t like.

The Epoch Times has apparently featured cute animals in 12,062 social media posts across 103 Facebook pages, posts which include links to their political content.

Respondents found the NY Times article hilarious, with one commenting, “They seem to think it’s some sinister conspiracy when in reality it’s just people with broad interests who like nice things.”

Indeed, it’s quite funny that the same outlets who express such doomsday hysteria over ‘conspiracy theories’ routinely dream up the most absurd conspiracy theories of their own.

“We are almost at the end of the game,” remarked Dave Rubin.

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Washington Post Says Christmas Parade Attack Was “Caused by SUV”

Yes, they really reported this.

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According to the Post, the attack was actually caused by the SUV.

Wow, surely self-driving cars must be banned immediately?

Please share this video! https://youtu.be/Dze_2anxiPw

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YouTube Hides ‘Dislikes’ Following Mass Downvoting of Biden Administration Videos

Surely just a coincidence.

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SOPA Images via Getty Images

YouTube has announced it will hide ‘dislikes’ from videos to curb “creator harassment,” with critics pointing out that this is merely a way of removing the huge amount of downvotes on videos posted by the Biden administration.

“YouTube has announced that it’ll be hiding public dislike counts on videos across its site, starting today,” reports The Verge.

“The company says the change is to keep smaller creators from being targeted by dislike attacks or harassment, and to promote “respectful interactions between viewers and creators.” The dislike button will still be there, but it’ll be for private feedback, rather than public shaming.”

Quite how viewer feedback in the form of a thumbs down icon represents “harassment” is anyone’s guess, but the immediate response to the announcement from many was that the Google-owned company was merely moving to protect the Biden White House from ridicule.

“Is this the reason?” asked one respondent, highlighting how Biden speeches and White House press briefings receive massive dislike ratios, sometimes at a rate of ten to one.

“This is for the White House account you KNOW that right?” commented another.

“The video department of the Ministry of Truth doing its part for the greater good,” added another.

Another respondent pointed out the massive dislike ratio received by the Fauci propaganda movie.

With the recent popularity of the ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ meme, this seems like another transparent attempt to protect the plunging popularity of Biden, whose approval rating just fell to a record low.

As we previously highlighted, despite being “the most popular president in U.S. history” after his *totally not unusual* vote record, Joe Biden didn’t fare too well on YouTube in the days after his inauguration, where every single video posted to the official White House channel received massive downvote ratios.

Thanks to YouTube, those ratios will never be a problem again.

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