No, The FBI Is NOT ‘Paying Twitter To Censor’

from the not-how-any-of-this-works dept

Sigh.

Look. I want to stop writing about Twitter. I want to write about lots of other stuff. I have a huge list of other stories that I’m trying to get through, but then Elon Musk does something dumb again, and people run wild with it, and (for reasons that perplex me) much of the media either run with what Musk said, or just ignore it completely. But Musk is either deliberately lying about stuff or too ignorant to understand what he’s talking about, and I don’t know which is worse, though neither is a good look.

Today, his argument is that “the FBI has been paying Twitter to censor,” and he suggests this is a big scandal.

This would be a big scandal if true. But, it’s not. It’s just flat out wrong.

As with pretty much every one of these misleading statements regarding the very Twitter that he runs, where people (I guess maybe just former people) could explain to him why he’s wrong, it takes way more time and details to explain why he’s wrong than for him to push out these misleading lines that will now be taken as fact.

But, since at least some of us still believe in facts and truth, let’s walk through this.

First up, we already did a huge, long debunker on the idea that the FBI (or any government entity) was in any way involved in the Twitter decision to block links to the Hunter Biden laptop story. Most of the people who believed that have either ignored that there was no evidence to support it, or have simply moved on to this new lie, suggesting that “the FBI” was “sending lists” to Twitter of people to censor.

The problem is that, once again, that’s not what “the Twitter Files” show, even as the reporters working on it — Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Michael Shellenberger — either don’t understand what they’re looking at or are deliberately misrepresenting it. I’m no fan of the FBI, and have spent much of the two and a half decades here at Techdirt criticizing it. But… there’s literally no scandal here (or if there is one, it’s something entirely different, which we’ll get to at the end of the article).

What the files show is that the FBI would occasionally (not very often, frankly) use reporting tools to alert Twitter to accounts that potentially violated Twitter’s rules. When the FBI did so, it was pretty clear that it was just flagging these accounts for Twitter to review, and had no expectation that the company would or would not do anything about it. In fact, they are explicit in their email that the accounts “may potentially constitute violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service” and that Twitter can take “any action or inaction deemed appropriate within Twitter policy.”

Email from FBI to Twitter saying: "FBI San Francisco is notifying you of the below accounts which may potentially constitute violations of Twitter's Terms of Service for any action or inaction deemed appropriate within Twitter policy."

That is not a demand. There is no coercion associated with the email, and it certainly appears that Twitter frequently rejected these flags from the US government. Twitter’s most recent transparency report lists all of the “legal demands” the company received for content removals in the US, and its compliance rate is 40.6%. In other words, it complied with well under half of any demands for data removal from the government.

Indeed, even as presented (repeatedly) by Taibbi and Shellenberger as if it’s proof that Twitter closely cooperated with the FBI, over and over again if you read the actual screenshots, it shows Twitter (rightly!) pushing back on the FBI. Here, for example, Michael Shellenberger, shows Twitter’s Yoel Roth rejecting a request from the FBI to share information, saying they need to take the proper legal steps to request that info (depending on the situation, likely getting a judge to approve the request):

Now, we could have an interesting discussion (and I actually do think it’s an interesting discussion) about whether or not the government should be flagging accounts to review as terms of service violations. Right now, anyone can do this. You or I can go on Twitter and if we see something that we think violates a content policy, we can flag it for Twitter to review. Twitter than will review the content and determine whether or not it’s violative, and then decide what the remedy should be if it is.

That opens up an interesting question in general: should government officials and entities also be allowed to do the same type of flagging? Considering that anyone else can do it, and the company still reviews against its own terms of service and (importantly) feels free to reject those requests when they do not appear to violate the terms, I’m hard pressed to see the problem here on its own.

If there were evidence that there was some pressure, coercion, or compulsion for the company to comply with the government requests, that would be a different story. But, to date, there remains none (at least in the US).

As for the accounts that were flagged, from everything revealed to date in the Twitter Files, it mostly appears to be accounts that were telling a certain segment of the population (sometimes Republicans, sometimes Democrats) to vote on Wednesday, the day after Election Day, rather than Tuesday. Twitter had announced long before the election that any such tweets would violate policy. It does appear that a number of those tweets were meant as jokes, but as is the nature of content moderation, it’s difficult to tell what’s a joke from what’s not a joke, and quite frequently malicious actors will try to hide behind “but I was only joking…” when fighting back against an enforcement action. So, under that context, a flat “do not suggest people vote the day after Election Day” rule seems reasonable.

Given all that, to date, the only “evidence” that people can look at regarding “the FBI sent a list to censor” is that the FBI flagged (just as your or I could flag) accounts that were pretty clearly violating Twitter policies in a way that could undermine the US election, and left it entirely up to Twitter to decide what to do about it — and Twitter chose to listen to some requests and ignore others.

That doesn’t seem so bad in context, does it? It actually kinda seems like the sort of thing people would want the FBI to do to support election integrity.

But the payments!

So, there’s no evidence of censorship. But what about these payments? Well, that’s Musk’s hand-chosen reporters, Musk himself, and his fans totally misunderstanding some very basic stuff that any serious reporter with knowledge of the law would not mess up. Here’s Shellenberger’s tweet from yesterday that has spun up this new false argument:

Tweet from Shellenberger saying "The FBI's influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time."

I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!" reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021.

That’s Shellenberger saying:

The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.

“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021.

But this is a misreading/misunderstanding of how things work. This had nothing to do with any “influence campaign.” The law already says that if the FBI is legally requesting information for an investigation under a number of different legal authorities, the companies receiving those requests can be reimbursed for fulfilling them.

(a)Payment.—

Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a governmental entity obtaining the contents of communications, records, or other information under section 27022703, or 2704 of this title shall pay to the person or entity assembling or providing such information a fee for reimbursement for such costs as are reasonably necessary and which have been directly incurred in searching for, assembling, reproducing, or otherwise providing such information. Such reimbursable costs shall include any costs due to necessary disruption of normal operations of any electronic communication service or remote computing service in which such information may be stored.

But note what this is limited to. These are investigatory requests for information, or so called 2703(d) requests, which require a court order.

Now, there are reasons to be concerned about the 2703(d) program. I mean, going back to 2013, when it was revealed that the 2703(d) program was abused as part of an interpretation of the Patriot Act to allow the DOJ/NSA to collect data secretly from companies, we’ve highlighted the many problems with the program.

So, by the way, did old Twitter. More than a decade ago, Twitter went to court to challenge the claim that a Twitter user had no standing to challenge a 2703(d) order. Unfortunately, Twitter lost and the feds are still allowed to use these orders (which, again, require a judge to sign off on them).

I do think it remains a scandal the way that 2703(d) orders work, and the inability of users to push back on them. But that is the law. And it has literally nothing whatsoever to do with “censorship” requests. It is entirely about investigations by the FBI into Twitter users based on evidence of a crime. If you want, you can read the DOJ’s own guidelines regarding what they can request under 2703(d).

DOJ's "quick reference guide" to what can be obtained under a (d) order.

Looking at that, you can see that if they can get a 2703(d) order (again, signed by a judge) they can seek to obtain subscriber info, transaction records, retrieved communications, and unretrieved communications stored for more than 180 days (in the past, we’ve long complained about the whole 180 days thing, but that’s another issue).

You know what’s not on that list? “Censoring people.” It’s just not a thing. The reimbursement that is talked about in that email is about complying with these information production orders that have been reviewed and signed by a judge.

It’s got nothing at all to do with “censorship demands.” And yet Musk and friends are going hog wild pushing this utter nonsense.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s own transparency report again already reveals data on these orders as part of its “data information requests” list, where it shows that in the latest period reported (second half of 2021) it received 2.3k requests specifying 11.3k accounts, and complied with 69% of the requests.

This was actually down a bit from 2020. But since the period the email covers is from 2019 through 2020, you can see that there were a fair number of information requests from the FBI:

Given all that, it looks like there were probably in the range of 8,000 requests for information, covering who knows how many accounts, that Twitter had to comply with. And so the $3 million reimbursement seems pretty reasonable, assuming you would need a decent sized skilled team to review the orders, collect the information, and respond appropriately.

If there’s any scandal at all, it remains the lack of more detailed transparency about the (d) orders, or the ability of companies like Twitter to have standing to challenge them on behalf of users. Also, there are reasonable arguments for why judges are too quick to approve (d) orders as valid under the 4th Amendment.

But literally none of that is “the FBI paid Twitter to censor people.”

And yet, here’s Elon.

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Comments on “No, The FBI Is NOT ‘Paying Twitter To Censor’”

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411 Comments
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pdoerr says:

Re:

The article talks about information that’s a part of the “files”: internal communications regarding the reimbursement from the “2703(d) program”. This reimbursement is for processing 2703(d) requests. The file does *not* contain the requests themselves.

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Gil Graft says:

Re: Re:

The point is we have no idea what those criminal requests entailed, because nothing about them is in the Twitter files. They could have also related to censorship (i.e., seeking info on basically everyone who was near the Capitol protesting on 1/6 even if they weren’t commiting crimes). You can flip that around and apply it to investigating BLM protesters etc…

Shellenberger is asserting that this reimbursement scheme may have made Twitter more eager to help out the FBI, but it’s financially beneficial to get paid at whatever rate they did. Is that a bit weak? Maybe, but it’s not a misinterpretation, and didn’t really need a whole article about one tweet in a 50 tweet thread. Elon probably did misinterpret.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

They could have also related to censorship (i.e., seeking info on basically everyone who was near the Capitol protesting on 1/6 even if they weren’t commiting crimes). You can flip that around and apply it to investigating BLM protesters etc…

Except seeking information isn’t censoring people. They didn’t say, “give us the information about this user, oh, and also ban them because we don’t want them talking.” In fact, it would be stupid to request a ban because if the person is using Twitter, a platform that can provide intel to the government upon court order, it’s beneficial for investigative purposes to allow those people to further incriminate themselves.

You’re being loose and lazy with your logic. Lack of evidence is not proof that it could have been something a person without evidence must be true.

Shellenberger is asserting that this reimbursement scheme may have made Twitter more eager to help out the FBI, but it’s financially beneficial to get paid at whatever rate they did. Is that a bit weak? Maybe, but it’s not a misinterpretation, and didn’t really need a whole article about one tweet in a 50 tweet thread. Elon probably did misinterpret.

That is a misinterpretation because there’s no evidence to suggest it’s true. Provide the citation that it is true or else you’re just speculating.

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David says:

Coincidence?

The level of clue that Musk is working with regarding operation data of his enterprise is about the same level the election deniers use for misinterpreting operation data of election offices.

Start with hard numbers saying something different than you think or want others to think and then fantasize from there without waiting for explanations or input from people who know the meaning of the numbers.

Now the seminal difference is that Musk is the CEO of the company. Even after his layoffs, there should be enough people he can ask before spouting off.

When the question “can you explain this to me?” gets replaced by “can you dramatize this for me?”, it ends up with a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

But getting plenty of exposure. Which beats actual information.

There is little surprise that Musk would want a different CEO in his place: that way he looks less incompetent when doing this sort of attention whoring. As long as he is in the CEO seat, he really should know better.

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Christenson says:

Elon sucking all the air out of Techdirt

Dear Mike:

I think you need to rethink the Techdirt format for covering Elon, as follows:
First, a post which you update briefly for each antic, like “Musk falsely claiming FBI demanding and paying for censorship, in-depth news soon”
and
Second, say, every other or third day, a full post on the most important details.

That will give you breathing room for your more usual material.

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Guy Person says:

FBI not paying for censorship, they're paying for warrantless searches

The information requests discussed in the twitter files do not actually include any judges signatures. None of this is relevant. Its ok. Your brain and body are deteriorating from mrna shot. Just relax, and try to enjoy the last months of your life. You did good. Not really, but your dying, so try to feel better.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Brother, a search necessarily means the government got access to otherwise inaccessible evidence. The FBI reporting users for potential violations of Twitter’s TOS isn’t a search – the information was already public and Twitter did not provide the government with any information.

Likewise, you can see in Yoel Roth’s email about halfway down the article above that Twitter wanted the FBI to go through legal channels to request information. You may take issue with 2703(d) orders and whether they should exist, but there’s no question that under current law those are valid searches.

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David says:

Re: Re:

MRNA shots do have consequences that aren’t yet well-established and/or quantified.

Let’s put one against another:

a) dead vaccine: body will bother with it until it’s gone. Low-key immune response will take longer and have sort-of low level of antibodies. High-key immune response will take shorter and have a bit higher level of antibodies

b) live vaccine: low-key immune response will take longer and have to destroy a larger number of multiplying pathogens, leaving more antibodies and giving a stronger reaction. High-key immune response will take shorter and possibly end up with a comparatively low number of antibodies.

c) MRNA vaccine: the actual stimulant is produced in-body for three days or so, regardless of immune response, and then metabolised. Low-key immune response will only result in low levels of antibodies. High-key immune response will go bonkers since the “pathogen” just keeps reappearing for days.

So the problem with the MRNA principle is that the stimulus is completely impervious to the immune reaction.

A low-key response has obvious drawbacks with regard to immunization. Now a high-key response is what is interesting with regard to long-term side effects: if the immune system gets into hysterics, that can be bad in itself (and the deadly lung inflammation of the early COVID-19 variants is actually an immune overresponse, albeit a different one). The main side effect is that other immunization suffers.

One telltale “loss of immunization” sickness is shingles as a reawakening of chickenbox viruses that have been hiding dormant in nerve pathways.

You can easily get anecdotal information about increased shingles occurences in patients with allergies or neurodermitis or other autoimmune overresponse conditions that got MRNA shots.

Of course, there are significant latencies involves and you won’t get any viable statistics from pharmaceutic corporations or large-scale studies. That will take decades.

Of course this is a case of “but the alternatives would have been worse”. At the same point of time, how to properly dose a vaccination for people of different immune system acumen so that the results are both sufficient and not excessive for all kind of patients appears to be somewhat of a question without a well-established answer.

Again: this is certainly a case of “the alternatives would have been worse”. At the same point of time it would be good to carefully collect all the information one can from this world-wide mass study instead of keeping quiet about it for political reasons.

It’s a pity that all the vaccination denialism has created a climate where an open-minded assessment of advantages and disadvantages and refinement of more targeted applications depending on the patient is not likely to be welcome.

And in the long run, fishing around for dependable anecdotal information is a fool’s errand that makes no sense to leave to outsiders.

TLDR: I think with the current state of knowledge, “MRNA denialism” does not really work swimmingly as an open-and-shut label for kooks. Hopefully we’ll get there some day.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Everyone knows that when you have evidence-based research around potentially deadly medical practices, you publish it in the rigorous, peer-reviewed depths of a random tech blog’s comment section, the same way everyone knows the best tasting and safest wine is prison toilet wine!

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“I think with the current state of knowledge, “MRNA denialism” does not really work swimmingly as an open-and-shut label for kooks.”

Others think very different. What’s sad is that your ill-informed nonsense about mRNA vaccines seems to be causing people to avoid non-mRNA vaccines as well, including those for diseases that were well under control before COVID.

Thankfully, since the majority of the inhabitants of this planet have been vaccinated in one way or another now, and there’s so little evidence of major side-effects that “documentaries” about them have hilariously obvious lies even in their trailers, the coming winter season should be somewhat less deadly than the previous two.

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Matthew M Bennett says:

what a strawman

The salient point is that yes, the FBI gave lists on who to ban. They directed censorship. (It doesn’t matter if that was backed up by threats, it’s still government censorship)

But you’re really butthurt that the last month of releases has proved you utterly, completely wrong about twitter. So in addition to gaslighting, you’re now going to focus on a side issue to ignore the blatant 1st amendment violation.

Stop writing about twitter, you fraud.

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Matthew M Bennett says:

Re: Re: Re:2

There’s literal actual evidence released several times a week on twitter, you moron. Receipts and everything.

The problem is you’re seeing an actual, verified email that says “Here’s a list of people who should be shot”. And your rebuttal is “But the FBI didn’t actually tell them to shoot them!” That is some of the dumbest shit I have ever fucking heard.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

The problem is you’re seeing an actual, verified email that says “Here’s a list of people who should be shot”. And your rebuttal is “But the FBI didn’t actually tell them to shoot them!”

Two things.

  1. Being banned/suspended from one social media service out of many, no matter how popular the service, is nowhere near being the same thing as being shot.
  2. The email shows the FBI suggesting to Twitter that the company may want to look into several accounts that may violate the TOS. It implies no obligation on Twitter’s part to take those suggestions as orders. Hell, the language of the letter literally says that Twitter could take whatever action or inaction it deemed appropriate in re: those accounts. A demand or order for action wouldn’t say that.
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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

“Being banned/suspended from one social media service out of many, no matter how popular the service, is nowhere near being the same thing as being shot.”

Or, indeed, silenced. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone scream as loudly as the people who say they can’t speak because Twitter told them to GTFO.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Again, it’s not a list of “people who should be shot”. It is a list of “people who may or may not be breaking your rules”. The FBI didn’t even suggest that Twitter should do anything more than investigate these accounts, let alone take a specific action against them. There is a massive difference between the two.

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Benjamin Jay Barber says:

Re: Re: Re:5

The Commission’s notices, phrased virtually as orders, reasonably understood to be such by the distributor, invariably followed up by police visitations, in fact stopped the circulation of the listed publications ex proprio vigore. It would be naive to credit the State’s assertion that these blacklists are in the nature of mere legal advice when they plainly serve as instruments of regulation independent of the laws against obscenity.

Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 69(1963)

“Their conduct as disclosed by this record shows plainly that they went for beyond advising the distributors of their legal rights and liabilities. Their operation was in fact a scheme of state censorship effectuated by extra-legal sanctions; they acted as an agency not to advise but to suppress.”

Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 72 (1963)

Sounds alot like Twitter.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Yes it does.

Oh, please please pleeeeease, point to the Twitter files where the government virtually orders Twitter to do their bidding and where they intimidate Twitter to do it or else.

Legal arguments that have almost always already been defeated in court in landmark free speech and civil rights cases.

You shouldn’t really talk about legal cases since you so far haven’t managed to cite even one case that had any relevance or proved the argument you wanted to make.

And when that is pointed out we get the usual childish retort of “shut your mouth asshole”. It’s amazing how emotionally stunted you are, you are at best barely at a teenagers level of emotional development – like most trolls are.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

I’m just looking at the evidence you yourself presented, and it is incredibly easy to distinguish the two cases. No police visitations. Only 40% compliance. Lack of evidence that Twitter saw them as orders. Completely different phrasing in the notices. No implications of legal issues.

The fact is that that case is nothing like this one.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Mike’s Misfits were talking about social media being a private club

Not a private club, but a privately owned business. Whether it opens its doors to the public is irrelevant to whether the government can make it host (or not host) any legally protected speech. As Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed out in Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck: “A private entity … who opens its property for speech by others is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor.” (And you can preëmptively shove your “BuT iT’s NoT a StAtE aCtOr” bullshit; I’m not gonna buy into it and you’ve already had your ass handed to you on that point.)

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8

Regardless of whether or not social media companies are “State Actors” under the First Amendment which regulates the government, laws such as the California free speech clause and their Unruh Civil Rights act and the Texas social media laws, regulate companies and are enforceable.

“Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,”

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

laws such as the California free speech clause and their Unruh Civil Rights act and the Texas social media laws, regulate companies and are enforceable

Laws such as 47 U.S.C. § 230 do as well, and those laws give Twitter the right to determine for itself what legal speech is allowed or disallowed on its property. Yes or no: Do you think the government should have the right to make Twitter host (or not host) certain kinds of legally protected speech?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10

Except that they have already raised those arguments and lost in the 5th circuit court of appeals, I know people like to pretend that section 230 says things that it doesn’t, but in there the term “good faith” appears.

Moreover, that section is content based, and under the First Amendment, content based speech laws that favor or punish speech, are “presumptively invalid”. This doctrine has been reinforced under Reed v. Town of Gilbert Arizona (2016), to say that content based laws with content neutral justification, cannot avoid this strict scrutiny.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

And yet, no court to date has ruled 230 to be unconstitutional. Hell, when the entire damn rest of the Communications Decency Act was declared null and void, 230 was the only part of it left standing.

230 is not about letting the government control what speech can or cannot show up on Twitter, Truth Social, etc. 230 is about giving private entities⁠—i.e., the owners and operators of interactive web services⁠—the legal leeway to moderate speech on their platforms as they see fit without being legally liable for what they chose to moderate (or not moderate). 230 lets 4chan be 4chan⁠—with all that implies⁠—without requiring any other site to permit the same amount of legal third-party speech as does 4chan. Similarly, 230 also lets a “family friendly” forum moderate speech to keep its “family friendly” descriptor intact without requiring 4chan to moderate speech with the same strictness.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

“but in there the term “good faith” appears”

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

Does it? Are you referring to something other than the section 230(c)(1) that most people refer to with this term?

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:11

This doctrine has been reinforced under Reed v. Town of Gilbert Arizona (2016), to say that content based laws with content neutral justification, cannot avoid this strict scrutiny.

My do people use cases like this as some kind of gotcha for content moderation and §230.

The referenced case involves the GOVERNMENT restricting someone’s 1A and 14A rights, it has zero bearing on private property and how the owner manages it. Someone with a brain would have realized this when the defendant is a town.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Some things lacking from the Twitter files that were present in that case:

  1. The target understood the notices as orders.
  2. Police visitations
  3. 100% compliance with the notices
  4. The notices were phrased virtually as orders.

Twitter didn’t receive police visitations. Twitter only removed 40% of the listed accounts. There is no indication that Twitter understood the notices as orders. The notices aren’t phrased virtually as orders.

Really, they have nothing in common.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

‘We didn’t tell the book stores to ban the books we just suggested that they might be obscene.’

And in so doing, they also suggested consequences for bookstores that refused to follow those “suggestions”. The FBI suggested no consequences for Twitter if it didn’t take action against the accounts flagged by the feds; hell, the feds even said Twitter could take whatever inaction it deemed appropriate. That doesn’t sound to me like the FBI saying “do this or else” (or the “it would be a shame…” mob boss variant thereof).

Like Mike, I’m not going to give the FBI any love. It created “terrorists” so it could prosecute those people and count the convictions as “wins in the war on terror”, tried to blackmail MLK into suicide, and did COINTELPRO. Fuck the FBI. But in this instance, I don’t see anything from the FBI that rises to the level of coercing, demanding, or otherwise ordering censorship from Twitter.

And I know you’ll inevitably say that “Mike paid you to say that” or some other shithead accusation, to which I say this: I’ll be glad to change my mind on this matter, but you have to show me something that would change my mind. Everything you keep quoting from the “Twitter Files” doesn’t do the job. Every legal citation you make is either devoid of context, taken out of context, or otherwise misinterpreted through your “anything short of letting me say the N-word without consequence is censorship most foul” belief system. You haven’t done the work necessary to change my mind; I’m not about to change it only because you lob insults and rape threats at me.

Oh, and one more thing, since I know what you’re gonna say to all that: I will not shut the fuck up only because you demanded I shut up. In the meantime, here’s a preëmptive bottle for you, since you’re gonna whine like a baby about my comment: 🍼

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Benjamin Jay Barber says:

Re: Re: Re:6

So if the FBI comes to your house, and says “I just want to let you know about this thing”, and “you can take whatever action you want”, that does not imply that there wont be consequences, including political consequences through other agencies.

There were also discussions off the record in SCIFs that we do not have access to, so its entirely possible to have an “off the record” statement to twitter, given that congress has repeatedly warned the tech companies of consequences of not acquiescing.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

So if the FBI comes to your house, and says “I just want to let you know about this thing”, and “you can take whatever action you want”, that does not imply that there wont be consequences, including political consequences through other agencies.

No, no it doesn’t imply there will be any consequences, including political consequences.

There were also discussions off the record in SCIFs that we do not have access to, so its entirely possible to have an “off the record” statement to twitter, […]

There is no evidence of such, so we cannot conclude that any such statement was ever made. At best, that is pure speculation on your part.

[…] given that congress has repeatedly warned the tech companies of consequences of not acquiescing.

Congress has not warned tech companies of any consequences for not acquiescing to the FBI, and the FBI never mentioned Congress in these documents, so that is entirely irrelevant here. What Congress does has no relevance to what the FBI did unless you can demonstrate one referred to the other on these matters.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Again.

I’m not the one who’s running a one-man harassment campaign against the owner of the site. YOU ARE.

I’m not the one hurling abuse at regulars, regardless of their viewpoints, unless they are actively harassing people. YOU ARE.

I’m not the one spraying garbage, forcing just about everyone who isn’t a white supremacist, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum, to clean up after your terrorist ilk. YOU ARE.

I’m not the one trying to silence people. YOU ARE.

And I’m not the one who supports the Jan 6 Insurrection. ** YOU ARE.**

But go ahead, commit more stochastic terrorism. It’s still legal in America.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3

“Harrassment”, in addition to not being terribly well defined, is not terrorism. And it’s definitely free speech.

Yes, your form of online harassment is legal under 1A, save for a few states where it isn’t and is classified as actual harassment under their criminal codes.

But.

I’m not the one who’s running a one-man harassment campaign against the owner of the site. YOU ARE.

I’m not the one hurling abuse at regulars, regardless of their viewpoints, unless they are actively harassing people. YOU ARE.

I’m not the one spraying garbage, forcing just about everyone who isn’t a white supremacist, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum, to clean up after your terrorist ilk. YOU ARE.

I’m not the one trying to silence people. YOU ARE.

And I’m not the one who supports the Jan 6 Insurrection. YOU ARE.

What else am I to assume, then? That you’d also LIE as well?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2

commit more stochastic terrorism

I don’t think that means what you intended for a meaning. Stochastics is defined as the ability to read all of the information available, and then make predictions that often seem profound when they come true.

“stochastic terrorism” would imply that a person has become so knowledgeble that he can then terrorize others with undeniably true facts. Given the tenor of this particular discussion, that seems a strong contradiction to me.

See Robert Silverberg’s ‘The Stochastic Man’, published in 1975.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Stochastic terrorism refers to the act of demonizing a person (or persons) for the purpose of provoking a violent act that is likely to happen even if no one can know who will do it or when. To put it another way: A powerful person expresses a desire to see certain people die, then sits back and waits for the inevitable without ever having to give an order. The continual right-wing demonization of queer people⁠—trans people in particular⁠—as “groomers” and child rapists can arguably count as an example of stochastic terrorism, especially given the Club Q shooting.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Umm, can’t go with that. Stochastics is a valid science, and not some made up word that anyone can just hijack for their own desires.

Not that I’m accusing you, STS, but someone, somewhere, at some time in the recent past, has made a grievious error in how to use the English language.

In point of fact, your example is the exact opposite (some might say, the antithesis) of the correct definition. Stated simply, there are no facts to be found anywhere that allows one person to denigrate another person, period. However, if one desires to make up facts (we can all thank Kellyanne for “alternate facts” being entered into our daily vocabulary) and then spout them as if they were part of our shared reality, that’s on them. Such person need to be sent to bed without any supper.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:5

Umm, can’t go with that. Stochastics is a valid science, and not some made up word that anyone can just hijack for their own desires.

Whether it is a valid science or not has no bearing on the expression “stochastic terrorism”. You should really revisit the definition of stochastic because it actually means “properties being well described by random probability distribution”.

And that means when you pair it up with the word “terrorism” the meaning becomes the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.

So the word hasn’t been “hijacked” in any way, it’s just you that have fallen for the etymological fallacy.

A Friendly Dog (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

It’s not even the etymological fallacy; as far as I can tell, the field of ‘stochastics’ that he mentions is an invention of Silverberg’s, and this guy is hilariously claiming this 70s sci-fi concept is “a valid science, and not some made up word that anyone can just hijack for their own desires.” In fact, it was Silverberg hijacking an English word for his own desires—in English, ‘stochastic’ has had the sense of ‘randomly determined’ since 1934, which it got from German mathematics.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Calling things you do not agree with “Stochastic terrorism” is actually Stochastic terrorism because you are trying to encourage law enforcement to use it’s anti-terrorism powers against those you politically disagree with to force political change.

Attempting to get a third party to use force to terrorize your opposition to force political change is Stochastic terrorism. You are a terrorist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5

I don’t agree with mike, or some of the more conservative voices here.

I do not call them terrorists. One of them is a ripe asshole, though.

But you, Koby, Hyman, Matthew, and your ilk who keep appearing here to spew white supremacist propaganda, intimidate people into not talking and generally try to force people to leave the place…

Yeah, the term fits. No different from the brownshirts of old, or the modern cyberarmy of stochastic terrorists authcap governments “employ” to keep the populace down online. Inclusive of the JIDF.

And I am not getting any government entity to arrest you. At least, not when I comment here, even though I believe YOU should be shot.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Please, stop lying.

You are likely not Latino, not an engineer of ANY sort, not bi, or anything you claim to be.

You fucking SUPPORT white supremacists. You HAVE threatened to rape a regular. And you keep polluting the comment section.

You are a liar and a terrorist. And stochastic terroism is one step away from actual terrorism. And you already root for white supremacists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Point acknowledged. I do apologize for tarnishing the good field of stochastics.

However, this isn’t about that field, but a form of online harassment that, while technically legal under 1A, is used to silence people and intimidate them.

It’s not much different from the legions of online brownshirts some authcap governments use to silence criticism, spread propaganda and harass people who do not march in lockstep with the ruling political party.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

if you pay attention to all the details it looks way, way worse

Only if you deliberately misread all the details to paint the image of a conspiracy to censor right-wing voices⁠—and only right-wing voices, for some reason⁠—with the aid of a social media service that routinely bans people for expressing hateful ideas such as racism, misogyny, queerphobia, and anti-Semitism. Otherwise, all the details look pretty much exactly as Mike has continually explained them to you.

If you can quote literally anything from the “Twitter Files” that backs up your assertions and hasn’t already been explained to you, now would be a good time for that.

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Strawb (profile) says:

Re:

The salient point is that yes, the FBI gave lists on who to ban.

No, it gave lists on what to be on the lookout for, which sometimes included specific accounts.

They directed censorship. (It doesn’t matter if that was backed up by threats, it’s still government censorship)

It’s not government censorship unless the government ordered Twitter to do it, which they didn’t. Stop lying.

But you’re really butthurt that the last month of releases has proved you utterly, completely wrong about twitter.

Do you work in a movie theater? Because that’s quite a bit of projection.

So in addition to gaslighting, you’re now going to focus on a side issue to ignore the blatant 1st amendment violation.

Point to the piece of evidence that showcases blatant 1st amendment violations. As Mike lays out in the articles you apparently haven’t read, so far, there’s no evidence of government coercion or interference.

Stop writing about twitter, you fraud.

Stop lying about government censorship, you twit.

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Matthew M Bennett says:

Re: Re:

“To be on the look for” sounds nice and mild but changes none of the facts. They gave lists. Of people to ban. That’s directed censorship. No, there didn’t have to be an “or else” attached (though one can be assumed) to make it a 1st amendment. No it doesn’t matter if it’s “ordered”. There are at least hundreds of precedent on this. If you don’t understand that then you really have no excuse to be talking here.

The rest of it is just you sucking Masnick’s cock and I’m not interested.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“To be on the look for” sounds nice and mild but changes none of the facts. They gave lists. Of people to ban.

Nope. They were lists of people to investigate, then to decide what—if anything—ought to be done about them. Twitter could have decided to just add a disclaimer or offer a warning. No particular action was even suggested be taken.

No, there didn’t have to be an “or else” attached (though one can be assumed) to make it a 1st amendment.

Yes, there does. Also, given that only around 40% of those accounts actually had action taken against them by Twitter and yet nothing was done against Twitter for the other 60%, I see no reason why an “or else” can be assumed in this case.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Guys, guys, guys….. Just because Bennett is emitting strong evidence that his puberty has never gone into remission, that doesn’t mean we should we should all gang up on the poor retarded little fuckhead, does it?

Come on, be nice and give him back his shovel and mallet, so he can go back to happily pounding sand up his ass, OK?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

the FBI gave lists on who to ban

I could give Twitter a list of accounts to ban. What’s your easily debunked point?

you’re really butthurt that the last month of releases has proved you utterly, completely wrong about twitter

…says the guy who is deliberately misreading what’s in those “Twitter Files” to act like a victim of iron-fisted leftist fascism.

Stop writing about twitter, you fraud.

Or else what?

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re:

The salient point is that yes, the FBI gave lists on who to ban. They directed censorship.

No, that’s not what happened. They gave lists of accounts that they believed Twitter might want to investigate to decide whether or not they violated the ToS. There was no expectation on the part of the FBI regarding what Twitter would do with that information.

But you’re really butthurt that the last month of releases has proved you utterly, completely wrong about twitter.

No, this only proves what Mike has said all along.

So in addition to gaslighting, you’re now going to focus on a side issue to ignore the blatant 1st amendment violation.

First, Mika already addressed the issue you’re talking about in a previous article. He is now addressing this new issue that has been circulated. That doesn’t mean he is ignoring the previous claims.

Second, again, there is no 1A violation here.

unrulycow (profile) says:

Mike for Twitter CEO

I hereby nominate Mike Masnick to be the new CEO of Twitter following Elon losing his own poll. He’s one of the few people who seem to actually understand the problems that Twitter has to deal with. I know he’s busy here and all, but bringing intelligence and honesty to Twitter might be worth taking a break from Techdirt.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

On the level of having someone in charge who understands the very basics of what the site does and how it relates to the real world? Sure.

But, even if Mike wanted the job I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Musk has saddled the company with $1 billion/year extra debt, chased off a lot of its revenue generating users and advertisers, removed decades of man years of institutional knowledge and has invited the worst possible people to abuse the site.

Whoever replaces Musk, even assuming they have a free hand, adequate investment and the actual skills to turn things around, to have a hope of turning the site around they will have to purge and reverse so much of Musk’s damage that even if they manage to turn things around will be accused of being so many things and be the target of so much potential violence that… yeah, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I’m sure it’s better to watch from the sidelines, and use this sad spectacle of how to do things wrong to promote those places that do it right. Unfortunately for our regular friends here, that will mean keeping them off those platforms too.

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Tara says:

Two of those dates are very interesting.

  1. The FBI email with notification of user TOS violations is dated Nov. 10, 2022. That’s after Musk’s acquisition. I thought he was exposing the corrupt old regime, lol.
  2. Yoel’s email re: the OGA query that mentions the NSA is dated Jan. 7, 2020. Hmm… any significant date around there come to mind? Perhaps the IC wanted to jump on a call to find out the quickest options to obtain J6 participant data. And Twitter pushed back. Corrupt conspirators! /s

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: FBI reimbursement

The more I think about the reimbursements, the more I think both as a matter of fairness and pragmatic policy it makes sense. Unlike regulations like installing pollution scrubbers or conforming to a particular accounting practice, which have a purpose for the benefit of a factory’s neighbors or your investors, a warrant-like request is purely a governmental power imposing on a private entity. That’s a taking! You make a dozen demands on a small company, and you take up all the time of their employees, that’s devastating to it. Twitter obviously could and did absorb it fine, but I wonder how many other companies would balk at the expense and trouble if it had to field any decent number of such demands. And try to fight it on the grounds that they’re not going to work for the government for free.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re:

You’re conflating two different things.

The payment was for Twitter to look for and provide information about certain accounts to the FBI pursuant to a court-approved subpoena. It had no apparent connection to any moderation efforts by Twitter, nor to any requests by the FBI to look into certain accounts for ToS violations.

The list was a list of accounts (not necessarily the same accounts subpoenaed) for Twitter to consider investigating to decide for itself whether or not those accounts violate Twitter’s ToS and, if so, what—if anything—should Twitter do about them. This was not reimbursed by the FBI and has no apparent connection to the subpoena or reimbursement.

There is no connection at all between these two things.

Anonymous Coward says:

Would it not be a simple matter of releasing how many “Censor” requests were directed at non-right leaning stories or accounts to put this to bed? IMO You can’t claim political bias or “censorship” if it’s being done evenly.

So my question is this; How many left leanings or left supporting stories or accounts were flagged by the FBI? If it’s a fairly equivalent amount, doesn’t that shut this all down? Wouldn’t then it be fair to say that if they are indeed censoring, it’s not politically motivated? I feel we need more data.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

The question is irrelevant unless you associate the kinds of speech that violate Twitter’s TOS with a specific political ideology. To wit:

Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views
Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?
Con: LOL no…no not those views
Me: So…deregulation?
Con: Haha no not those views either
Me: Which views, exactly?
Con: Oh, you know the ones

(All credit to Twitter user @ndrew_lawrence.)

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“The question is irrelevant unless you associate the kinds of speech that violate Twitter’s TOS with a specific political ideology. ”

But isn’t that what’s happening here? Musk is basically saying that the FBI is trying to censor speech by flagging stories and accounts that attack the Left. How many of the FBI’s flags attack the right, and how many of them were valid. If you compared those two numbers, and they were the same or close, would that not shut all this shit down?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

isn’t that what’s happening here?

Unless you have proof of that assertion: No. No, it is not.

Musk is basically saying that the FBI is trying to censor speech by flagging stories and accounts that attack the Left.

Musk can claim whatever the fuck he wants. But the burden of proving his claim is on him; nothing in the “Twitter Files” lays out a nefarious conspiracy between Twitter’s previous staff and the FBI to censor right-wing voices for…reasons.

How many of the FBI’s flags attack the right, and how many of them were valid.

Wouldn’t matter if the answer for both is “all of them”. Twitter was under no obligation to ban anyone flagged by the FBI.

If you compared those two numbers, and they were the same or close, would that not shut all this shit down?

To claim as a fact that Twitter engaged in some form of “anti-conservative bias” (regardless of the FBI’s reports), one must prove true two separate notions:

  1. Punishment of conservatives happened only because of their political beliefs/ideology rather than violation of the Twitter TOS.
  2. That punishment followed a pattern of unequal, politically motivated actions that exclusively targeted “right-wingers” but left “left-wingers” alone.

I wish you the best of luck in trying. You’re gonna need it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views

Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?

Conservative: LOL no…no not those views

Me: So…deregulation?

Conservative: Haha no not those views either

Me: Which views, exactly?

Conservative: Mutilating children to virtue signal support for transgenderism is evil and I can’t support anyone who advocates for it.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Three things.

  1. Your edit isn’t as funny or enlightening as you think it is.
  2. “One of the reasons I think transphobia isn’t the seat filler racism or homophobia were/are is that there’s just really not that many trans people. Even if you’re predisposed towards it, it’s kind of a boutique prejudice.” — @opinonhaver@twitter.com…which includes as a QRT:
  3. “17,683 over five years means 3,537 kids initiate puberty blockers or hormones per year. There are around 50 million kids between 6 and 17 in the United States. But please, tell me how 0.007% is not “miniscule.’ ” — @RottenInDenmark@twitter.com

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2

It’s not meant to be funny.

Chopping off the breasts of young women or the penis of young men (and leaving a gaping wound in their crotch) isn’t funny or desirable, except to ghouls like you.

How about ZERO mutilated children?

And why is your virtue signalling so much more important than childrens’ bodies?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Trans children don’t tend to undergo gender reassignment surgery while they’re children. Feel free to offer any proof that such an occurence is widespread amongst the approximately 0.007% of the 6- to 17-year-old population in the U.S. that identifies as transgender…if you can. And if you can’t (or even if you can): Your obsession with the genitals of children⁠—but especially the genitals of children who aren’t your own⁠—says a lot about you.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6

And yet, every time you talk about trans children, you always end up talking about their genitals. Curious.

Because that’s what is happening.

Again, if the left decided to start chopping off legs or arms of young children, that’s what I would be talking about.

You see no correlation between the two?

Or are you deliberately trying to defame me instead of addressing the actions of doctors and hospitals?

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

I don’t recall the exact stats, but when they started freaking out about the possibility of trans people using public toilets, the number of attacks by trans people (or those pretending to be such) was virtually zero, but there were many significant cases of trans people being the victims of rape and other forms of sexual or violent abuse.

They also seem very concerned about trans women, and virtually never concerned about trans men. I sense projection, and it’s not healthy.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9

Genital mutiliation is another issue altogether.

It is not done by trans people, and any sort of gender reassignment surgery is done as a last resort, and done with the advice of a TEAM OF DOCTORS.

And do look up who does child genital mutiliation, won’t you?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8

I ONLY BRING IT UP BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT’S HAPPENING.

You try to defame me because I have to talk about actual incidents to address this, and those actual incidents involve chopping off breasts and penises.

AGAIN, since you’re too stupid (or purposely pretending to be too stupid) to understand: If the left decided to chop off legs or arms for their virtue signalling, I would be talking about those.

If you respond the same way again, I’ll have to assume you are deliberately pretending to not understand.

You argue in bad faith.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9

Of course we don’t understand. Or rather, we understand that you are trying to get in the way of children realizing their true, fabulous selves and transcending the gender binary.

Sounds like you need to be re-educated. Looking up Astolfo Rule 34 should be a sufficient start on how femboys are the modern lifeblood of a progressive society.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:13

No, I do not think I will. Right wing trolls must be destroyed. Homophobia is terrorism. Procreation is rape. Anyone who disagrees must be shamed into submission, and we can only do that by fuelling our righteous outrage. Straight freaks have had it too good for far too long. No more. No more.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:16

Most LGBTQ+ activists do NOT approve the use of violence, first of all.

Secondly, extreme permissiveness results in the promotion of bad behavior via lack of criticism. I’ve read some criticism of the furry fandom, and uh, they believe that basic social norms have to be upheld.

Thirdly, your fetishes are none of my business and I don’t want to know what you’re into.

Fourthly, child genital mutiliation aren’t done by transgender folk (and even then, it’s not mutiliation but sex reassignment surgery, something that is done with the advice and agreement of A TEAM OF DOCTORS after A LONG PERIOD OF FAILED ALTERNATE TREATMENTS like HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY and less intrusive treatment) but…

Hold on to your seats…

…by the religious folk. Specifically, Muslim folk in the Middle East (no word on Iran), and historically, the Jews (not anti-Semitic slander). The technical term is circumcision.

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Hyman Rosen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

That’s pretty much his thing. I’ve yet to decide whether he does it deliberately or he’s just stupid. The next thing he’ll do is make up stuff you didn’t say and then argue with that. The thing to do with him is to never give up. Every time he says something wrong, correct him. It’s fun!

Woke gender ideology is similar to recovered memory therapy. First, it’s a lie. Gender and sex are the same. People can never be other than the sex of their body. The sex of a body can never be changed. Second, in support of that lie, woke gender ideologues are willing to cause harm to innocent people, using psychology to exacerbate their problems instead of easing them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10

Where are your citations and/or credentials that allow you make the assertions that you are making? I would trust the evaluation of the professionals dealing with trans children, and not someone who will badger them into hiding or an early grave by continuously telling them how wrong they are. You are the one who would torture them by denying them the right to exists as what they really are.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

Woke gender ideology is similar to recovered memory therapy.

No, it absolutely is not.

First, it’s a lie.

No, it isn’t. Your characterization of it is a lie, though, in that it isn’t what anyone actually believes.

Gender and sex are the same.

Under your definitions of those terms, yes. However, no one is obligated to use those words as you define them as opposed to how scientists define them.

People can never be other than the sex of their body.

No one has said otherwise.

The sex of a body can never be changed.

Again, no one disputes this, at least as far as our current technology is concerned.

Second, in support of that lie, woke gender ideologues are willing to cause harm to innocent people, using psychology to exacerbate their problems instead of easing them.

[citation needed]

OGquaker says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Propagate fear and hate

NOTHING HERE. Gender reassignment (or assignment) surgery has been available from Board-Certified Surgeons in America since the mid-1960s, Masters&Johnson wrote books on technique before that. I was ask to prep (shave) the perineum of a 14year-old dependent child during my three weeks as a pediatric nurse in Letterman Army hospital in 1970. Why is this a political hot potato sixty f-en years later?

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

What is increasing exponentially? The existence of trans people, or them being more comfortable being honest about who they are and come out, whereas in the past they would have had to opt for hiding or suicide?

Not that this even matters. While it’s hardly scientific, some studies suggest that the perception of some changes in US demographics and the reality are rather different. For example:

https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2022/03/15/americans-misestimate-small-subgroups-population

According to that, the trans population is around 1%, while the US public thinks it’s 21%. No shit it seems to be increasing exponentially if you’re being told it’s 21x the actual number, but you need to work out who’s lying to you, not hate the victims.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10

The “hilarious” thing about that statistic: Conservatives seem to think trans people have a shitload of political power in the U.S., but when you look at the actual reality of the situation (which includes that statistic), trans people are far more likely to be politically marginalized⁠—especially by conservatives.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9

We were always there, you just kept holding us back.

Not anymore. You straight people have been endlessly, needlessly breeding, straining a planet of its limited resources. The truth is that a new paradigm shift of futanari and femboys is coming. You will not stop us. You breeders are not nearly responsible enough to carry children. The only reason why you won’t let us teach your kids and keep calling us “groomers” is because you’re scared that we’d do a better job. And you’d be right.

Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

A group of people here admit openly that they flag posts not because they are abusive/trolling/spam but because they simply don’t like the post/poster and they want people who disagree with them to leave.

If Mike had an ounce of integrity he would punish this group for using the report feature in bad faith.

Make cant ethically write articles about bad faith actors then permit and encourage bad faith actors on his own blog, especially when they are completely honest their bad faith actions.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

“Why is this a political hot potato sixty f-en years later?”

Because society and its rules shifted, and went from being gay is illegal to being gay affords you the same rights as straight couples in a relatively quick amount of time… and that was not long after women and blacks also got rights.

It’s no longer legally or socially acceptable to be outright homophobic or racist for the most part, so they moved on to the next set of potential victims while they work to reverse all that.

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JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Chopping off the breasts of young women or the penis of young men (and leaving a gaping wound in their crotch) isn’t funny or desirable, except to ghouls like you.

Why on earth do you think this is actually happening? Do you have even a shred of actual evidence or are you just repeating ridiculous claims from other ridiculous people on Facebook? The fact that you think a “gaping wound” would be left in anybody demonstrates a severe lack of critical thinking on your part. You’re literally terrified of fantasies.

And why is your virtue signalling so much more important than childrens’ bodies?

Why is your virtue signalling so much more important that providing the actual number of children you think are being “mutilated”? You’ve been asked to back up your claim, but you’re still blathering on without answering.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4

The fact that you think a “gaping wound” would be left in anybody…

You’re wrong:

https://magazine.nursing.jhu.edu/2019/05/wound-care-transgender-women-vaginoplasty/

You’ve been asked to back up your claim…

Look at that, a five second google search:

https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/us-sex-reassignment-surgery-market

$1,900,000,000 is a lot of money. And convincing confused kids to get the surgery is easy for greedy, virtue signalling psychopaths.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Maybe spend more than five seconds next time reading

Look at that, a five second google search:

You found an article, now the real question: Did you read it, or were you no different than a plague cultist and just saw the headline and assumed it sided with your argument? Because I did and no-where that I saw did it say that kids were getting surgeries, merely that gender dysphoria tends to crop up early.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Yeah, that still doesn’t quite say what you might think it does because ‘mastectomy’ is a surgery involving the partial or total removal of the breast(hence the ‘top’ part), when it comes to genitals the numbers given are a whopping 56 over the course of those three years, and it’s worthwhile to point out that either of those surgeries come after a diagnosis of gender dysphoria so if people are brainwashing those poor kids rather than giving them the aid they need to be comfortable in their own bodies they’re doing an abysmal job of it.

The Komodo analysis of insurance claims found 56 genital surgeries among patients ages 13 to 17 with a prior gender dysphoria diagnosis from 2019 to 2021. Among teens, “top surgery” to remove breasts is more common. In the three years ending in 2021, at least 776 mastectomies were performed in the United States on patients ages 13 to 17 with a gender dysphoria diagnosis, according to Komodo’s data analysis of insurance claims. This tally does not include procedures that were paid for out of pocket.

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Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8

It’s worth noting that because gender-affirming surgery is done as a extremely considered process, that the regret rate for the surgery is less than 1%. Far below the regret rate of even procedures like knee/hip replacement. In the overwhelming majority of cases, correcting physical issues so people can live the way they were born has been absolutely the right thing to do.

The only monsters here are the transphobes seeking to interfere, with their sole evil motivation of wantonly inflicting physical and mental torture upon trans people by making treatment harder to impossible.

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Matthew M Bennett says:

FBI ban lists

Masnick, your argument regarding the FBI ban lists boils down to-

Verified FBI email: “This is a list of people that should be shot.”

Masnick: “But the FBI didn’t tell twitter to shoot them!”

That’s not how it works. You KNOW that’s not how it works. And your argument that that somehow changes things is some of the dumbest fucking shilling I have ever heard.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re:

That’s not what Mike said. He said that the FBI gave Twitter a list of accounts to see if they violate Twitter’s rules to allow Twitter to decide for themselves what to do about them. This could include merely adding a disclaimer to specific posts. No action was recommended or suggested at all beyond mere investigation.

A better analogy would be the FBI saying, “Here’s a list of people we think might have violated your rules. You might want to investigate to decide what—if anything—to do about them.” Then Mike says, “The FBI didn’t tell Twitter to shoot them.” (This still isn’t perfect, because Twitter didn’t break the law in its moderation, but still.)

An even better analogy would be this:
FBI: “We have reports of some suspicious behavior from these people on your property. You might want to look into them and decide what—if anything—to do about this.”
Mike: “The FBI didn’t tell them to kick anyone off of their property!”

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“That’s not what Mike said. He said that the FBI gave Twitter a list of accounts to see if they violate Twitter’s rules to allow Twitter to decide for themselves what to do about them. This could include merely adding a disclaimer to specific posts. No action was recommended or suggested at all beyond mere investigation.”

And the Rhode Island Commission to Encourage Morality In Youth didn’t direct book stores to ban any books. They only recommended books that might be obscene. What did the SCOTUS say about that in 1963?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Not just 'anyone' can file a report

“Right now, anyone can do this. You or I can go on Twitter and if we see something that we think violates a content policy, we can flag it for Twitter to review. Twitter than will review the content and determine whether or not it’s violative, and then decide what the remedy should be if it is.”

I get what you’re saying but this isn’t entirely accurate.

You have to have a Twitter account in order to report potential violations.

People who have been perm. suspended from Twitter, and prohibited from making new accounts, can not report potential violations.

Yes, any “active Twitter account user” can report a violation, but Twitter staff is naturally going to give FBI preferential treatment in both the queue, and report.

Additionally, Twitter staff will respond to the FBI’s specific requests one way or the other, but if an active Twitter account user reports something for spam, scamming, etc. the report just goes into a void with no acknowledgement of receipt nor follow-up.

This is not necessarily surprising, nor should it be, but the idea that there’s a level playing field for all as it pertains to filing reports on Twitter, simply isn’t so.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

'Look at the evidence! 'It says you're wrong.' 'Then stop looking at it!'

I think the thing that blows me away the most is that this entire ‘Twitter Files’ thing has been so incredibly similar to listening to a plague cultist/anti-vaxxer in that they’ll present ‘evidence’ and inevitably it ends up not saying what they claim it does or outright contradicts their claims as soon as you actually read it rather than listening to their interpretation of it.

I suppose this isn’t too surprising given who the biggest anti-mask/vax were but when your argument style is basically ‘anti-vax with a terminology swap’ that’s not a good look for anyone not already buying into your claims.

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Paul says:

Most of you are delusional

Any $3.5 million payment to a company or individual is a very significant amount of money and yields tremendous influence

To look at the facts from a high level view (forgive me if this is out of your pay grade) one or two ultra liberal leftists were filtering all information Tweeted and obviously suppressed conservative views along with the now infamous Hunter Biden Laptop story.

If you don’t think that part of this love affair between the FBI and Twitter was “would you please do me a favor” and control the masses then you are delusional. There were hundreds of phone calls you didn’t hear – not everything is done only via email.

I’m a moderate and don’t really like democrats or republicans these days but I demand freedom of speech with open honest journalism reporting that now extends to social media beyond traditional news sources like papers and television.

What if Twitter suppres