Science & Tech
Elon Musk Touts Twitter Fact Checks As “Ending Censorship In Guise Of Virtue”
“Handing control of the narrative to the people and actually accurate fact-checking are essential goals.”
Twitter owner Elon Musk has lauded the Community Notes feature on the platform, saying that the fact checking system is proving successful in “ending censorship in guise of virtue.”
Musk responded to a tweet by The Babylon Bee’s Seth Dillon stating “Twitter used to be a place where false narratives were protected and promoted. Now it’s a place where they’re challenged and corrected.”
Musk responded, “Ending censorship in guise of virtue, handing control of the narrative to the people and actually accurate fact-checking are essential goals.”
“Naturally, those who used to control the narrative and censored views they disliked are less than thrilled,” Musk further asserted, adding “How tragic.”
The Community Notes feature works by allowing all Twitter users to collaboratively add ‘context’ to posts. “If enough contributors from different points of view rate that note as helpful, the note will be publicly shown on a Tweet,” the platform states.
The system significantly reduces the risk of any partisan sources influencing the fact checks, as is apparent on other platforms such as Facebook where clearly non-independent actors are influencing content.
In a further post Wednesday, Musk again highlighted the Community notes feature when the so fact checkers Politifact were fact checked themselves over a post denying Teacher’s Union President Randi Weingarten’s previous staunch opposition to reopening schools after the pandemic.
Musk posted a pants emoji and and ‘on fire’ emoji:
Musk also responded to another post adding much needed context to a story about a video of a man who was killed while “suffering a mental health crisis”:
The Twitter Community Notes feature is now adding true context to tweets, including those by Democrats and Joe Biden, who continue to make false claims:
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Science & Tech
Cheese Pizza? Meta’s Instagram Facilitated Massive Pedophile Network
A comprehensive investigation by the Wall Street Journal and the Stanford Internet Observatory reveals that Meta-owned Instagram has been home to an organized and massive network of pedophiles.
But what separates this case from most is that Instagram’s own algorithms were promoting pedophile content to other pedophiles, while the pedos themselves used coded emojis, such as a picture of a map, or a slice of cheese pizza.
Instagram connects pedophiles and guides them to content sellers via recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share niche interests, the Journal and the academic researchers found.
The pedophilic accounts on Instagram mix brazenness with superficial efforts to veil their activity, researchers found. Certain emojis function as a kind of code, such as an image of a map—shorthand for “minor-attracted person”—or one of “cheese pizza,” which shares its initials with “child pornography,” according to Levine of UMass. Many declare themselves “lovers of the little things in life.” -WSJ
According to the researchers, Instagram allowed pedophiles to search for content with explicit hashtags such as #pedowhore and #preteensex, which were then used to connect them to accounts that advertise child-sex material for sale from users going under names such as “little slut for you.”
Sellers of child porn often convey the child’s purported age, saying they are “on chapter 14,” or “age 31,” with an emoji of a reverse arrow.
Meta claims to have taken down 27 pedophile networks over the past two years, and says it plans more removals.
“That a team of three academics with limited access could find such a huge network should set off alarms at Meta,” said Alex Stamos, the head of the Stanford Internet Observatory and Meta’s chief security officer until 2018, adding that the company has far more effective tools to ‘map’ its pedophile network than outsiders do.
“I hope the company reinvests in human investigators,” he added.
Researchers investigating the network set up test accounts within the pedophile network, which were immediately inundated with “suggested for you” recommendations of child-sex content, as well as accounts linking to off-platform trading sites.
Underage-sex-content creators and buyers are just a corner of a larger ecosystem devoted to sexualized child content. Other accounts in the pedophile community on Instagram aggregate pro-pedophilia memes, or discuss their access to children. Current and former Meta employees who have worked on Instagram child-safety initiatives estimate the number of accounts that exist primarily to follow such content is in the high hundreds of thousands, if not millions. -WSJ
“Instagram is an on ramp to places on the internet where there’s more explicit child sexual abuse,” according to Brian Levine, director of the UMass Rescue Lab. Levine authored a 2022 report for the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice on child exploitation over the internet.
What’s more, Meta accounted for 85% of child pornography reports filed with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, according to the report. That said, “Meta has struggled with these efforts more than other platforms both because of weak enforcement and design features that promote content discovery of legal as well as illicit material, Stanford found.”
“Instagram’s problem comes down to content-discovery features, the ways topics are recommended and how much the platform relies on search and links between accounts,” said David Thiel, chief technologist at the Stanford Internet Observatory. “You have to put guardrails in place for something that growth-intensive to still be nominally safe, and Instagram hasn’t.”
Sarah Adams, a Canadian mother of two, has built an Instagram audience discussing child exploitation and the dangers of oversharing on social media. Given her focus, Adams’ followers sometimes send her disturbing things they’ve encountered on the platform. In February, she said, one messaged her with an account branded with the term “incest toddlers.”
Adams said she accessed the account—a collection of pro-incest memes with more than 10,000 followers—for only the few seconds that it took to report to Instagram, then tried to forget about it. But over the course of the next few days, she began hearing from horrified parents. When they looked at Adams’ Instagram profile, she said they were being recommended “incest toddlers” as a result of Adams’ contact with the account.
A Meta spokesman said that “incest toddlers” violated its rules and that Instagram had erred on enforcement. The company said it plans to address such inappropriate recommendations as part of its newly formed child safety task force. -WSJ
Meta acknowledged to the Journal that they had received a flood of reports of child sexual exploitation and failed to act on them – blaming a software glitch that prevented a substantial portion of user reports from being processed.
And while Meta is allowing pedophiles to run rampant on its platforms, ZeroHedge is still banned.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Science & Tech
Twitter Files: FBI Worked With Ukraine to Censor Twitter Users, Including Journalists
The FBI sent Twitter an email from Ukrainian intelligence asking the social media platform to ban journalists and users critical of Ukraine and turn over their “user data specified during registration,” according to the latest Twitter Files leak.
From Aaron Maté, “FBI helps Ukraine censor Twitter users and obtain their info, including journalists”:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has aided a Ukrainian intelligence effort to censor social media users and obtain their personal information, leaked emails reveal.
In March 2022, an FBI Special Agent sent Twitter a list of accounts on behalf of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Ukraine’s main intelligence agency. The accounts, the FBI wrote, “are suspected by the SBU in spreading fear and disinformation.” In an attached memo, the SBU asked Twitter to remove the accounts and hand over their user data.
The Ukrainian government’s FBI-enabled targets extend to members of the media. The SBU list that the FBI provided to Twitter included my name and Twitter profile. In its response to the FBI, Twitter agreed to review the accounts for “inauthenticity” but raised concerns about the inclusion of me and other “American and Canadian journalists.”
The FBI’s attempt to ban Twitter accounts at the request of Ukrainian intelligence is among the most overt requests for censorship revealed to date in the Twitter Files, a cache of leaked communications from the social media giant.
Twitter declined to turn over their data but banned dozens of people off the list.
The US government is a lawless regime. While Biden and his handlers endlessly prattle on about the “rules based order,” “upholding democracy” and all that garbage they’re shamelessly using the state to target/jail their political enemies and censor their opposition.This post was originally published at Information Liberation
Science & Tech
Musk Demands AP Back Claims Or Retract Article Over ‘Unchecked’ Stolen Election Tweets
Elon Musk has told AP to put up or shut up – after the outlet published an article alleging that “false claims of a stolen election thrive unchecked on Twitter,” refuting Musk’s claims during a CNBC interview that such claims would be fact checked on the platform.
“Either back up your claims @AP with actual source data or retract your story,” Musk tweeted on Friday.
The May 18 article written by Ali Swenson, who previously worked at a Magneto-funded fact checking nonprofit, the Center for Public Integrity, cites the CNBC interview in which Musk said that claims of stolen election on Twitter “will be corrected, 100 percent.”
Musk was responding to host David Faber, who asked about Twitter users claiming that the 2020 election was “rigged” or “stolen” and whether such tweets would be tagged with a community note or face other actions.
“To be clear, I don’t think it was a stolen election,” Musk replied, with the caveat that he believes there was someelection fraud.
“By the same token, if somebody is going to say that there is never any election fraud anywhere, this is obviously false. If 100 million people vote, the probability that the fraud is zero—is zero,” he added, before noting that it’s important to strike a balance in discussions regarding election integrity.
Regardless, people in America are allowed to question the outcome of elections – like Democrats did in 2016 when Hillary Clinton kicked off her self-pity tour – so CNBC and AP and the rest of them can pound sand with that little purity test.
According to the Associated Press article, since former President Donald Trump held a CNN town hall in which he reiterated his claims that the 2020 election was stolen, such claims have spread on Twitter.
“Yet many such claims have thrived on Twitter in the week since former President Donald Trump spent much of a CNN town hall digging in on his lie that the 2020 election was ‘rigged’ against him,” reads Swenson’s article, which provides no evidence. “Twitter posts that amplified those false claims have thousands of shares with no visible enforcement, a review of posts on the platform shows.”
The article cites media intelligence from firm Zignal Labs, which claims without evidence to have identified the 10 most widely shared tweets promoting a “rigged election” narrative following the town hall.
“While Twitter has a system in place for users to add context to misleading tweets, the 10 posts, which collectively amassed more than 43,000 retweets, had no such notes attached,” AP claimed – again without evidence.
More via the Epoch Times,
In his town hall appearance on CNN, Trump reiterated his view that the 2020 election was stolen.
The former president said that he performed “fantastically” in 2020, doing “far better” than in 2016 with 12 million more votes.
“When you look at that result and when you look at what happened during that election, unless you’re a very stupid person, you see what happens,” Trump said before adding that he believes the election was “rigged.”
“That was a rigged election, and it’s a shame that we had to go through it. It’s very bad for our country. All over the world, they looked at it, and they saw exactly what everyone else saw,” Trump said.
He pointed to the Twitter Files disclosures as an indication of apparent collusion between the FBI and Twitter to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story in the run-up to the election, which Trump said, “made a big difference.”
The seventh installment of the Musk-endorsed Twitter Files claimed that there was an “organized effort” on the part of federal law enforcement to target social media companies that reported on the explosive Hunter Biden laptop story, which was first published by the New York Post.
Hunter Biden Laptop Story
In the run-up to the 2020 election, the New York Post published a story about a laptop abandoned at a computer repair shop that purportedly belonged to Hunter Biden and contained emails suggesting that then-candidate Joe Biden had knowledge of, and was allegedly involved in, his son’s foreign business dealings.
The New York Post’s story titled “Smoking-gun Email Reveals How Hunter Biden Introduced Ukrainian Businessman to VP Dad” was published on Oct. 14, 2020.
Twitter first prevented sharing of the story for 24 hours before reversing the decision. However, the story did not circulate on the platform for weeks because of a policy requiring the original poster to delete and repost the original tweet.
Polling has indicated that if the public had been aware of the suppressed story ahead of the election, it may have cost then presidential candidate Joe Biden several percentage points of voters—possibly enough to thwart his bid for the White House.
“In Twitter Files #7, we present evidence pointing to an organized effort by representatives of the intelligence community (IC), aimed at senior executives at news and social media companies, to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published,” wrote author Michael Shellenberger, who released screenshots on Dec. 19, 2022, that appeared to show message exchanges between top Twitter officials and the FBI in October 2020.
The FBI told The Epoch Times in an earlier emailed statement that it had only offered general warnings to Twitter about foreign election interference and never pushed for the platform to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Former Twitter executives have conceded that they made a mistake by blocking the Hunter Biden laptop story but denied that they were pressured to suppress the story by law enforcement.
However, documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) show that the FBI warned Twitter explicitly of a “hack-and-leak operation involving Hunter Biden” ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Twitter’s former head of site integrity Yoel Roth made the remarks in a signed declaration (pdf) attached to a Dec. 21, 2020 letter to the FEC’s Office of Complaints Examination and Legal Administration on behalf of Twitter.
Roth said in the attached declaration that he was told by the FBI at a series of meetings ahead of the 2020 election that the agency warned of the threat of hacked materials being distributed on social media platforms.
“I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter,” Roth stated in the declaration.
“I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden,” Roth added.
Roth said that Twitter’s Site Integrity Team determined that the New York Post’s articles about the laptop violated the platform’s policies on hacked materials and Twitter took action to suppress the distribution of posts sharing the articles.
He later acknowledged that it was a mistake for Twitter to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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