Trumpist Republicans Latest Freakout A Total Self-Own, As They Reveal They Don't Read What They Tweet

from the how-are-you-this-fucking-dumb? dept

I know, I know: Trumpists have decided that part of the culture war they need to create for the election is that “big tech” is somehow “censoring conservatives.” The narrative is complete bullshit, but the Trump cultists are so deeply bought into it that they’ll make themselves look absolutely ridiculous to further it. The latest is that a bunch of Republican officials apparently don’t understand Twitter and, in trying to continue this anti-tech culture war, instead demonstrated to the world that they can’t read.

The issue: a few weeks back Twitter introduced a new feature, popping up a little warning if you go to retweet an article before actually clicking through on it. They had been testing this for a few months, but finally rolled it out widely a few weeks ago. The idea is to try to get people to read through what it is they’re retweeting, rather than blindly retweeting it without reading. It’s an experiment to try to slow the spread of disinformation and to get people more engaged. I don’t know how well it will work, but the logic behind it makes some amount of sense.

Except… on Wednesday, prominent Republicans discovered this feature, and incorrectly thought that it was (1) blocking retweets (2) blocking access to links it was actually telling people to click on and (3) only applying this to content that Trumpists liked.

The Twitter account for the House Judiciary Committee Republicans tweeted a screenshot claiming that Twitter “put a warning label” on a Sean Hannity link. Of course, in their very screenshot (which it appears they did not read) it clearly says: “Headlines don’t tell the full story. You can read the article on Twitter before Retweeting.” And then it has a link to “Learn more” which tells people about the policy.

So, to be clear: this is not a warning label. It is not applied selectively to Republican content. If they had actually clicked through to the underlying article they wouldn’t have seen it. If they had read the label that they screenshotted it clearly explains it. If they had any confusion they could have clicked on the link to get even more information about what’s happening.

But, no, these geniuses immediately insisted it was a Twitter plot against “conservatives.”

And the thing is, their idiot followers are buying it. There are tons of replies to the tweet about how Congress needs to take away Section 230 or shut down Twitter because of this… effort to encourage people to read before they tweet.

But, of course, it spread quickly. The President’s son Don Jr. retweeted someone else showing a screenshot and added three sirens:

He also tweeted out a somewhat infamous internet troll claiming that Twitter only does it for the Republican fundraising site WinRed, but not for the Democratic fundraising site ActBlue. This is wrong. All it means is that the troll clicked through to an ActBlue page before trying to retweet, but not the WinRed page. And yet, the troll’s supporters are incorrectly claiming this is “election interference.”

Then we have Rep. Doug Collins from Georgia, currently running to be Senator in Georgia (against Kelly Loeffler, so there are no good choices), who got the same message FOUR TIMES and apparently read it zero times because he took screenshots and retweeted all four times, even though it says quite clearly that all it’s asking you to do is to READ a link before you retweet it. And Collins is apparently too stupid to realize that this is happening on any article you have first clicked on. Finally, it’s NOT “censorship” in any sense of the word to nudge you towards actually reading the article. It’s like the reverse of censorship. It’s encouraging you to read the content.

I’d really like to believe that there are some competent, level-headed politicians within Congress, but right now the Republicans there seem to be embracing the “we’re so fucking stupid that we’ll tweet out examples of how we can’t read” as a strategic culture war play.

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Comments on “Trumpist Republicans Latest Freakout A Total Self-Own, As They Reveal They Don't Read What They Tweet”

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53 Comments
This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Paul B says:

Re: Re: Re:

Our head of state is nothing but a fall guy or a tool of the people who control him in order to get things done. There are all kinds of evidence of when the money for his campaigns stop, he does exactly what the rich people funding him want.

I akin this to the Flat Earth problem, The people running the scam know its not flat, but they are doing it to get rich or for some other less understandable reason but most likely money.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I wish "The Donald" was just a corrupt tool. He would be a lot less scary. Unforunately I think he is exactly what he portrays – an unhinged, loose cannon. I am sure there are some who think they are running him, but those who rely on that "control" always end up roadkill (think Steve Bannon). What is even scarier than president pumpkin, though, is that there are a large number of people who honestly think he is good for American and its citizen and that he is doing a fabulous job as POTUS. That he is draining the swamp rather than just hiding it by erecting an even bigger one on Pennsylvania avenue.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I like to put it this way.

The "Right" (ideological, religious, corporate, and/or just plain reactionary) have spent decades building the alt-fact political machine that we see today.

Donald Trump (with help) stumbled into the driver’s seat and took off, like a drunk hijacking a parked bus.

He’s driving like a madman, without concern for collateral damage or appreciation of consequences — but in his uncomprehending glee and drunken verve is driving that machine in the direction the owners wanted to go, faster and more recklessly than the owners ever dared or imagined possible.

So they let him continue to be "the operator" of the machine — as long as he/they can stack the courts and pander to the wealthy, they’re getting exactly what they’ve been working towards for so many decades, and they’re more than satisfied.

They may or may not like him, but he’s driving the bus where they want it to go — and some of the passengers are even exited enough by the ride that they’re cheering him on.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

"Trumpist Republicans Latest Freakout A Total Self-Own, As They Reveal They Don’t Read What They Tweet"

The current President of the United States has recently, on multiple occasions, retweeted parody articles as if they were true and has elevated witch doctors above his own medical experts in the middle of a pandemic that’s killed hundreds of thousands of his constituents.

Why would you think his spawn and cult members would do more?

"It is not applied selectively to Republican content"

None of this moderation is, but damn if they’ll whine as if it is.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: When one side is headed by a pathological liar...

None of this moderation is, but damn if they’ll whine as if it is.

Even if it was maybe, just maybe, there might be a non-politically based reason for why republican/’conservative’ content might end up scrutinized and fact-checked more often then content on the other side, thought Trump and his cultists in the ‘party of personal responsibility’ would never be honest enough to admit it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: When one side is headed by a pathological liar...

"there might be a non-politically based reason for why republican/’conservative’ content might end up scrutinized and fact-checked more often then content on the other side"

Well, that’s my point, really. Most of this moderation is not political at all (though, ironically the stuff that is politically moderate tends to favour right wing content). These people just can’t understand that maybe, just maybe, the reason why right-wingers get Nazi and hate speech moderated more is because they’re the main ones doing it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"The current President of the United States has recently, on multiple occasions, retweeted parody articles as if they were true and has elevated witch doctors above his own medical experts in the middle of a pandemic that’s killed hundreds of thousands of his constituents."

I’ve just been waiting for him to write some XO banning the use and storage of dihydrogen monoxide within US borders.

It’s weird though. All evidence points to Trump being a quintessential idiot savant with his one sole skillset that of navigating social situations on a steady stream of bullshit – like a mentos-coke bottle rocket piloted by a demented formula 1 driver.

But if that’s all there is to him then that in itself is a glaring condemnation of large parts of the human race. Had Trump been born to anyone other than a rich construction mogul he’d have been the village idiot.
Had he entered any other industry than one relying so heavily on lying and cheating his ship would be sunk the very second any of the first banks to hand him a large loan caught on to him. In fact, he did get sunk after his shady businesses all began collapsing around him and banks, wise to his trusty scheme of evading all claims by way of bankruptcy, refused to hand him a single dollar more.
And that’s when Deutsche Bank gave him a massive loan of several hundred million, guaranteed by the state bank of Russia, against no real collateral. Pretty much guaranteed Putin just bought himself a great many years worth of the US not being able to put a finger up sideways no matter what he did.

By every objective analysis Trump comes off as a total tool. A petty, monumental narcissist in abject admiration only of absolute dictators able to determine life and death – the "killers" his daddy taught him to respect. A man in full contempt and disregard of suckers and losers who put anything or anyone ahead of their own direct interests.

It’s really, really hard to keep holding onto Hanlon’s razor here, because if what we see truly is all there is to Trump then the last four years, 225k american dead, the "leader of the free world" exposed as a third-world shit-pit at the brink of a second civil war…is all just the result of a russian spymaster tossing a fat wad of money into the pockets of an entitled man-child yokel.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Oh that explains it...

No wonder they think that tech platforms have it against them, they’re collectively too stupid to read the site’s rules, think that there are no rules as a result and as such think that any time they get booted off for being assholes it was for no reason whatsoever and entirely without any basis other than the moderators not liking them.

Gotta say, the only thing sadder than a bunch of people showing to the world what raging idiots they are and how little they think of their followers’ intelligence is that they appear to be dead on with the latter assessment since so man suckers are apparently falling for it.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Paul B says:

Re: Oh that explains it...

If you look at the deep dive of the old Trump supporting Reddit you will find they actively work against platforms, breaking rules in order to get an advantage or stuff like that. So not only do they know the rules, but they try to subvert them for their own gains.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Oh that explains it...

No, Republican and conservative operatives knew how to use social media earlier and better than the Democratic Party. Years back. Not to say that some assclowns may both idiotically misunderstand and game the public and game the internet, or some combination thereof on various occasions, but all those people who work on campaigns (or did then got an administration job or some other reward) sure as hell know how to manufacture propaganda and manipulate systems.

CypherDragon (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Dunning–Kruger effect

The POTUS deemed his intelligence to be a national security threat, and didn’t even attempt to understand it at first. It took Ryan Wilson’s character taking action, which the POTUS’ character deemed illegal and then threw him into a modern Gladiatorial ring to die. It took actual, indisputable proof of the plants growing again (in the form of the love interest illegally taking a video camera to show the plants growing) before anyone listened to him.

Too bad our Dunning-Kruger example wouldn’t even admit he was wrong if it happened right in front of him. If someone on Fox News told him the Sun would rise in the west, he would spin everything showing it demonstrably rising in the east as "fake news" and a "witch hunt" to "make him look bad," and ~30% of the US would believe him.

Yes, that’s right. We’ve surpassed the stupidity present in a movie that was supposed to be a satirical commentary on how anti-intellectual the US has become.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Heh

Hell, they even have a prime example of that latter in Parler, which as I understand it has(or at the very least had) a clause in it’s TOS that says that if the site is sued because of a user then it’s the user that’ll be on the hook for paying any fees or legal costs.

Take that and apply it to every site and that’s one of the likely results should they ‘win’ this battle with moderation.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Heh

… Kinda? 230 allows the platform to get a lawsuit shut down before it gets too expensive by pointing out that the person suing is going after the wrong party, however the platform is still on the hook for what fees there were, whereas a clause like that has the user on the hook for paying those fees from the start making it if anything 230 on steroids, which is rather funny given the kind of people that supported that cesspit and their view towards 230.

ECA (profile) says:

I wonder about the republicans.

And Who pays their bills.

Considering they are so Pro-Corp, and most of them have paid into the system to Keep them around, to lower their taxes Even more.
Or are the corps, spending so much to keep them in office, USING consumer money that they have raised prices to a New high every few years.
If the consumer could Not use a service to Contest Where they are using their money to control the Gov. Do you think we could(?) or that it would have much affect? Most corps are so diversified that 1 business losing abit isnt enough to even bother them.

Their have to be some smart republicans, Someplace.
Or is it that it Dont matter? Which ever side is in office becomes the Money maker for the corps.
But for all the money given to the corps, its the consumers Paying for it.

CoffeeZombie says:

There are GA Dems running against Collins and Loeffler

Then we have Rep. Doug Collins from Georgia, currently running to be Senator in Georgia (against Kelly Loeffler, so there are no good choices)…

This is very, very wrong. There are several Democratic candidates running against Collins and Loeffler, with Rev. Raphael Warnock as the lead Dem. candidate who is very likely to be running against Collins and Loeffler in a January runoff.

GA is not a hard red State this year; by all the polls I’ve seen, Biden has a real chance of taking the State, and Democratic candidates are doing well in both of our US Senate races.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: There are GA Dems running against Collins and Loeffler

Whats fun?
that all I see adverted is the 2 Primary groups. And not the other 3 running in my state.
So, we get the 2 persons Most of us had No choice in choosing. And the other candidates are hidden behind the MONEY they arent spending, to stand out and to Show the states WHO is really running.

Also, its interesting that EACH person running has to register in Each state, at a COST to them.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: There are GA Dems running against Collins and Loeffler

"GA is not a hard red State this year; by all the polls I’ve seen, Biden has a real chance of taking the State, and Democratic candidates are doing well in both of our US Senate races."

Assuming, of course, that Governor Kemp doesn’t manage to purge the voter rolls, doesn’t put the voting booths at the bottom of a deep lake, and that the Very Fine People don’t manage to scare people off from voting, alternatively just burn down the buildings where said voting is done.

Yeah, it looks bad for Trump if you look at the polls. Good thing for him there are people "standing back and standing by", I guess.

Anonymous Coward says:

Even an angry and sleepy woman from the UK, already having a rough day, figured out what the deal with Twitter was. She got even more pissed of when her guy explained to her why Twitter is testing this setup now. (Even though it is the same damn number of clicks as it used to be…) But she bloody well figured it out, unlike some Exceptional Americans.

[Seen very early this morning on Twitch.]

Anonymous Coward says:

If users complain as soon as they’re ‘encouraged’ to consider the detail of a subject they’re retweeting, doesn’t that show they were mindlessly retweeting previously? It’s an interesting ‘experiment’ to observe. Yes, retweets can serve to support or decry an idea or individual or company, or simply amplify or self-promote. And such attention-grabbing noise can have consequences. But was twitter ever a platform for considered debate?

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"doesn’t that show they were mindlessly retweeting previously?"

This is pretty obvious without any further investigation. A lot of people just read headlines or memes and share what agrees with their worldview without further thought. Which is part of the problem with political discourse out there – for every person who carefully considers facts, there’s a bunch of others who read a headline or meme and take that as the full unvarnished truth without question.

"But was twitter ever a platform for considered debate?"

There are many accounts on there that do give insightful and fact-based analysis, using Twitter to communicate in a way that’s easier for laymen to understand more complex topics and to give a platform for reasoned discussion. Unfortunately, these do not include the accounts of the current White House occupant, his family or his fans.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
John85851 (profile) says:

We all know the whole "censoring conservative voices" is nonsense, but has anyone actually tested this idea? You know, by sending out tweets talking about true conservative points, such as:

  • The government should balance it’s budget.
  • Government shouldn’t tell businesses what to do since the free market will sort it out.
  • Reduce the size of government, which goes back to point #2 about not needing government regulators.

Has anyone ever been kicked off of Twitter for talking about a balanced budget or fiscal responsibility? No? Then there is no bias against conservatives- it’s bias against hate speech.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yes, this is why I always insist on concrete examples when people whine about this stuff. They love to wax lyrical about oppression, but when they’re finally pushed to provide actual proof, the examples are always of people being angry that they were stopped from oppressing others…

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Has anyone ever been kicked off of Twitter for talking about a balanced budget or fiscal responsibility? No? Then there is no bias against conservatives- it’s bias against hate speech."

…and hate speech is, today, "conservative values" in the US. Which is why everyone in the alt-right to complain about the "anti-conservative bias" is very careful never to show too many examples.

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