Since Elon Musk took over Twitter in October 2022, he has continued to keep his promise of transparency with regard to the company’s past behavior
Thanks to the revelations in the so-called ‘Twitter Files’, we have seen clear evidence that the FBI and other three-letter agencies worked directly with various social media entities to suppress perfectly “lawful speech” for purely political reasons.
Twitter suppressed or removed content on various subjects, including irregularities in the 2020 elections, mail-in voting issues, and various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was under government pressure to purge such content and its purveyors from the platform, though most of the time it was cooperating with the censorship requests willingly, the documents indicate.
And yet, as Matt Taibbi writes, these extremely newsworthy revelations…
…have produced exactly zilch in mainstream news coverage in the last two months.
Something he discussed with Joe Rogan this past week…
However, as Taibbi notes, House hearings were held last week, at which one witness told a story about Donald Trump asking to remove a mean tweet by Chrissy Teigen.
The press went bananas. Now THAT was big news!
And so, Taibbi throws down the gauntlet in the latest ‘Twitter Files’, “purely to show the bankruptcy of media in this area”…
If a president freaking out about one tweeter is news, surely a U.S. Senator finking on three hundred-plus of his constituents also must be?
Here’s Maine Senator Angus King writing to Twitter to call a slew of accounts “suspicious” for reasons like:
- “Rand Paul visit excitement”
- “Bot (averages 20 tweets a day)”
- Being followed by rival Eric Brakey
- Or, my personal favorite: “Mentions immigration.”
Taibbi notes that King’s office declined comment. If Dick Nixon sniffed glue, this is what his enemies list might have looked like:
Yes, the Maine Senator demanded @ZeroHedge (and 100s more) Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts (and Facebook Groups) be instantly removed for being “suspicious”.
As one wit on Twitter responded via DM when we remarked on Senator King’s actions: “the f**king balls on these people!!”
We could not have said it better.
As Matt writes in a follow-up…
Taibbi concludes the latest tweet thread with a big reality-check slap to the face of the mainstream media
The fact that mainstream outlets ignored the Schiff story but howled about Teigen shows what they’re about.
Responses like this are designed to keep blue-leaning audiences especially focused on moronic partisan spats, obscuring bigger picture narratives.
The real story emerging in the #TwitterFiles is about a ballooning federal censorship bureaucracy that’s not aimed at either the left or the right per se, but at the whole population of outsiders, who are being systematically defined as threats.
Beginning in March, we’ll start using the Twitter Files to tell this larger story about how Americans turned their counterterrorism machinery against themselves, to disastrous effect, through little-known federal agencies like the Global Engagement Center (GEC).
All of which, roughly translated, sounds like – look out MSM, there’s so much more to come that you will never get away with not covering it! We won’t hold our collectively censored breaths but with Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and others on the forensic case, we suspect the run up to the 2024 election will be a little more ‘free’ than the run-up to the 2020 election.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
The Truth About Brand
Of course it’s political.
The media assured us claims Brand was the subject of a coordinated political attack were baseless “conspiracy theories”.
Now the political class, the media and literally *the government*, is carrying out a coordinated political attack to unperson him from all public platforms.
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Netanyahu Tells Musk He Hopes He Can Work Within The ‘Confines’ of the First Amendment to ‘Stop Anti-Semitism’ on Twitter
Musk responded by saying he’s “against attacking any group, doesn’t matter who it is.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s met with Twitter/X owner Elon Musk on Monday as part of a public discussion on the dangers of artificial intelligence.
Though it was mostly about AI — which Israel is seeking to take a leading role in — Netanyahu also told Musk he hopes he can work within the “confines” of the First Amendment to “stop anti-Semitism” on X.
WATCH: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Elon Musk he hopes he can work within the "confines" of the First Amendment to "stop anti-Semitism" on X. pic.twitter.com/MiGQAgm1TP— Chris Menahan 🇺🇸 (@infolibnews) September 18, 2023
Musk responded by saying he’s “against attacking any group, doesn’t matter who it is.”
“Obviously I’m against anti-Semitism, I’m against anti— really anything that promotes hate and conflict,” he added.
As I reported in May, the Biden White House’s first-ever “National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism” — which was developed in concert with pro-Israel groups like the Anti-Defamation League — called on “all online platforms” to ban “extremist websites,” ban “hate speech” and institute “zero tolerance” policies to protect Jews from anti-Semitism.
There’s nothing in the First Amendment about banning the criticism of certain groups or banning the promotion of “hate” and there’s nothing in there about prohibiting “hate speech.”
🚨 👀 X is seemingly working on adding government ID verification with Israeli digital ID company AU10TIX. To verify by ID, users will have to upload a selfie and a photo of their government ID. via @X_ALERTS_ pic.twitter.com/gXTChLeFWJ— Reclaim The Net (@ReclaimTheNetHQ) August 16, 2023
Last week, X CEO Linda Yaccarino pledged to expand X’s censorship policies and appears to have banned multiple accounts to please the Center for Countering Digital Hate — which X is actively suing for defamation.
As promised, we're following up on the recent report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) on how X allegedly moderates content. Our hope is that in the future the CCDH will share the full report with us proactively and prioritize partnership over publicity. We have… https://t.co/uxQELjg2L2— Safety (@Safety) September 15, 2023
Canada: School Board Purges Books Written Before 2008 to Advance ‘Equity’
Defeat hate by purging all books written before 2008!
Defeat hate by purging all books written before 2008!
The Peel District School Board near Toronto had its libraries remove all books written before 2008 as part of an “anti-racist and inclusive audit.”
The purge took place over the past year with students shocked to return to school to see their libraries with half-empty shelves.
Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
Those are all examples of books Reina Takata says she can no longer find in her public high school library in Mississauga, Ont., which she visits on her lunch hour most days.
In May, Takata says the shelves at Erindale Secondary School were full of books, but she noticed that they had gradually started to disappear. When she returned to school this fall, things were more stark.
“This year, I came into my school library and there are rows and rows of empty shelves with absolutely no books,” said Takata, who started Grade 10 last week.
She estimates more than 50 per cent of her school’s library books are gone.
In the spring, Takata says students were told by staff that “if the shelves look emptier right now it’s because we have to remove all books [published] prior to 2008.”
Takata is one of several Peel District School Board (PDSB) students, parents and community members CBC Toronto spoke to who are concerned about a seemingly inconsistent approach to a new equity-based book weeding process implemented by the board last spring in response to a provincial directive from the Minister of Education.
They say the new process, intended to ensure library books are inclusive, appears to have led some schools to remove thousands of books solely because they were published in 2008 or earlier.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s office said said he wrote to the board to halt the process in order to… fight anti-Semitism?
Prior to publication, neither Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s office, nor the Education Ministry, would comment on PDSB’s implementation of Lecce’s directive when contacted by CBC Toronto.
But in a statement Wednesday, the education minister said he has written to the board to immediately end this practice.
“Ontario is committed to ensuring that the addition of new books better reflects the rich diversity of our communities,” said Lecce.
“It is offensive, illogical and counterintuitive to remove books from years past that educate students on Canada’s history, antisemitism or celebrated literary classics.”
Incidentally, Holocaust denial was also banned last year in Canada to “fight anti-Semitism.”
Both the CBC and Global News would only criticize the book bans on the grounds they hurt the forward march of progress.
[…] Takata, who is of Japanese descent, is concerned weeding by publication date doesn’t follow that norm and will erase important history.
“I think that authors who wrote about Japanese internment camps are going to be erased and the entire events that went on historically for Japanese Canadians are going to be removed,” she said.
“That worries me a lot.”
Another complaint the CBC highlighted was a woman who said she was told the diary of Anne Frank was removed.
“Dianne Lawson, [a] member of Libraries not Landfills, told CBC Toronto weeding by publication date in some schools must have occurred in order to explain why a middle school teacher told her The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank was removed from shelves,” the CBC reported.
Canadians concerned with their own history being thrown into the garbage can take a hike.
“Books published prior to 2008 that are damaged, inaccurate, or do not have strong circulation data (are not being checked out by students) are removed,” [the PDSB said in a statement to CBC Toronto].
If damaged books have strong circulation the board says they can be replaced regardless of publication date, and older titles can stay in the collection if they are “accurate, serve the curriculum, align with board initiatives and are responsive to student interest and engagement.”
“The Peel District School Board works to ensure that the books available in our school libraries are culturally responsive, relevant, inclusive, and reflective of the diversity of our school communities and the broader society,” said the board.
Inclusivity, of course, means purging everything which could be considered racist, politically incorrect (aka technically correct) or far-right.
In that context, purging everything written before 2008 makes perfect sense (though they’re probably going to have push the date up to 2016 or so in the near future).
The CBC shared the photo below showing some of the empty shelves after the purge. The book in the center-right is “Until We Break” by Jamaican Canadian author Matthew Dawkins, which is about overcoming white racism.
It has only 12 reviews on Amazon.
CBC’s report continues:
[PDSB’s] Directive 18 instructs the board to complete a diversity audit of schools, which includes libraries.
“The Board shall evaluate books, media and all other resources currently in use for teaching and learning English, History and Social Sciences for the purpose of utilizing resources that are inclusive and culturally responsive, relevant and reflective of students, and the Board’s broader school communities,” reads the directive.
PDSB’s “equitable curation cycle” is described generally in the board document as “a three-step process that holds Peel staff accountable for being critically conscious of how systems operate, so that we can dismantle inequities and foster practices that are culturally responsive and relevant.”
First, teacher librarians were instructed to focus on reviewing books that were published 15 or more years ago — so in 2008 or earlier.
Then, librarians were to go through each of those books and consider the widely-used “MUSTIE” acronym adapted from Canadian School Libraries. The letters stand for the criteria librarians are supposed to consider, and they include:
Misleading – information may be factually inaccurate or obsolete.
Unpleasant – refers to the physical condition of the book, may require replacement.
Superseded – book been overtaken by a new edition or a more current resource.
Trivial – of no discernible literary or scientific merit; poorly written or presented.
Irrelevant – doesn’t meet the needs and interests of the library’s community.
Elsewhere – the book or the material in it may be better obtained from other sources.
The deadline to complete this step was the end of June, according to the document.
Step two of curation is an anti-racist and inclusive audit, where quality is defined by “resources that promote anti-racism, cultural responsiveness and inclusivity.” And step three is a representation audit of how books and other resources reflect student diversity.
The purged books were ordered to be thrown into the trash or recycled:
When it comes to disposing of the books that are weeded, the board documents say the resources are “causing harm,” either as a health hazard because of the condition of the book or because “they are not inclusive, culturally responsive, relevant or accurate.”
For those reasons, the documents say the books cannot be donated, as “they are not suitable for any learners.”
A PDSB spokesperson said the board supports its schools “in the disposal of books in a responsible manner by following Peel Region’s recycling guidelines.” Peel Region allows for the recycling of book paper, as long as hard covers and any other plastics are removed first and put in the garbage.
[…] CBC Toronto recently reviewed a recording of a May 8 board committee meeting focused on the new equitable weeding process. In it, trustee Karla Bailey noted “there are so many empty shelves,” when she walks into schools.
“When you talk to the librarian in the library, the books are being weeded by the date, no other criteria,” Bailey told the committee.
“That is where many of us have a real issue. None of us have an issue with removing books that are musty, torn, or racist, outdated. But by weeding a book, removing a book from a shelf, based simply on this date is unacceptable. And yes, I witnessed it.”
Bernadette Smith, superintendent of innovation and research for PDSB, is heard responding on the recording, saying it was “very disappointing” to hear that, because she said that’s not the direction the board is giving in its training for the process.
Banning “racist” books is just fine but kids need to learn about the Holocaust and Japanese internment.
Trustee and chair of the board, David Green, told CBC Toronto the weeding process itself “rolled out wrong.”
That’s why he says trustees briefly paused the process until the board could get a better understanding of what was actually going on.
A motion was passed at a May 24 board meeting to ensure that, going forward, those weeding books during the anti-racist and inclusive audit in the second phase of the curation cycle would need to document the title and reason for removal before any books were disposed of.
“We have to make sure that we are meeting the needs of the students and not just rolling something out because we were told to do it,” said Green.
When it comes to removing all books published in 2008 or earlier, Green said the board of trustees has heard that, too.
“We have asked the Director [of Education] again to make sure that if that is taking place, then that is stopped, and then the proper process is followed,” he said.
Green also said they have plans to communicate with parents about the weeding process.
In the meantime, students like Takata are left with half-empty shelves and questions about why they weren’t consulted about their own libraries.
“No one asked for our opinions,” she said. “I feel that taking away books without anyone’s knowledge is considered censorship.”
In short, after a bit of polish, the process will continue.
As George Orwell wrote in 1984: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
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