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Twitter files 13 and 14… plus the critical bigger picture

Growing distrust of mainstream media should be supplemented by scrutiny among users of Big Tech social media. They're not an answer to the problem.

First, as Elon Musk continues to dump the files out the window at Twitter — to the dismay of the media elite that generally knew and approved of censorship of views other than their own, especially where COVID-19 or U.S. federal politics was concerned:

Twitter files 13: Handled by independent journalist Alex Berenson — once banned from Twitter for criticizing the government response to the pandemic: “Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb secretly pressed Twitter to hide posts challenging his company’s massively profitable Covid jabs /To funnel his demands, Gottlieb used the same Twitter lobbyist the White House did – fresh evidence of overlap between the company selling mRNA shots and the government forcing them on the public.”

Twitter files 14: This one was prepared by news veteran Matt Taibbi. From his Substack post: “Remember this one? Russian bots and trolls were blamed by virtually every major news organization in the country for amplifying the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo. The files contain a mass of emails from executives blowing up this ridiculous story, once and for all. / “The #ReleaseTheMemo scandal was one of the more shameful episodes in the recent history of our media, but taken seriously by all but one or two mainstream editors at the time. All citing the same dubious source — the Hamilton 68 “dashboard” trumpeted by former FBI counterintelligence official and current MSNBC contributor Clint Watts — they insisted Russians deployed Twitter bot-armies to whip up cyber-support for Republican congressmann Devin Nunes. Nunes had just released a classified memo alleging Democrats and the FBI used the infamous paid oppositional research dossier of ex-spy Christopher Steele to obtain secret FISA surveillance authority on Trump-connected figures like Carter Page, amid other improprieties. / “We now know Twitter internally found no evidence, as in zero, that Russians were anywhere near this story.”

From TF 14:

The significance of this (and probably other) Russian influence claims is that the mainstream media pros — whose news sense we are all supposed to trust — either did not suspect anything or pretended that they did not. They entirely failed to ask critical questions. That’s why we hear very little about the steady stream of Twitter revelations from them now. The big question is what news institutions that the public can trust will replace them?

Here are capsule summaries of all the Twitter files up to 13 so far, with links and glossary.

There is a danger, if we get caught up in the latest revealing file dump, of failing to see the momentous big picture, which is that Big Tech control of the news, with the tacit support of Big Media and the U.S. federal government, means that we did not get a very good picture of what was happening in the last few years by turning to the internet. Here are three instances to ponder:

● If you relied on legacy mainstream media for coverage of Elon Musk’s Twitter reforms, you probably heard plenty of angst from former employees but you may not have heard about the crackdown on using the platform for child sex abuse:

To those who aren’t aware yet, last week Twitter did add a direct reporting option for child sexual exploitation. (ONLY on tweets with content images/videos) this was not previously available and was a separate form that wasn’t easy to find.

I’m grateful to see these changes. pic.twitter.com/AI88XdX9HW— Eliza (@elizableu) November 20, 2022

It may relevant that Musk has ten kids himself.

● Facebook, eager to please the White House, apparently suppressed true information about the COVID vaccines in order to combat “vaccine hesitancy”: “As you know, in addition to removing vaccine misinformation, we have been focused on reducing the virality of content discouraging vaccines that does not contain actionable information. This is often-true content, which we allow at the post level because it is important for people to be able to discuss both their personal experiences and concerns about the vaccine, but it can be framed as sensation, alarmist, or shocking.” In short, if you thought that Facebook was manipulating your news in order to get compliance, you were right. No wonder 2022 has been dubbed the year conspiracy theory became conspiracy fact. Or as some wags now say, these days the lead time between a conspiracy theory and today’s news is six months.

Microphone with face mask photo isolated on white background conceptual pandemic epidemic

● Non-compliant media have also been a target. A recent lawsuit by the attorneys-general of Missouri and Louisiana show that the White House was after Facebook to censor Fox News host Tucker Carlson: “Facebook’s efforts did not meet the administration’s demands for greater censorship, however. In response to the representative, White House Director of Digital Strategy Robert Flaherty questioned how Carlson’s video didn’t violate Facebook’s existing policies and pressured the company to turn over information on the efficacy of its censorship practices.

“‘How was this not violative? The second half of the segment is raising conspiracy theories about the government hiding that all vaccines aren’t effective,’ Flaherty claimed. ‘Moreover, you say reduced and demoted. What does that mean? There’s 40,000 shares on the video. Who is seeing it now? How many? How effective is that?’” – The Federalist (January 10, 2023)

For the purpose of creating public trust, there’s nothing like the White House stage managing news in order to protect its political narrative…

At any rate, the current plunge in public trust of legacy mainstream media needs to be supplemented by growing scrutiny among users of Big Tech social media. They’re not an answer to the problem.

You may also wish to read: As the Twitter files drop, ponder the future of mainstream media. Mainstream media are largely ignoring the story for reasons that go to the heart of their own growing weakness and unstoppable decline. Journalism will never matter anywhere near as much to the MSM again as doing what their betters want. And they view those who follow the story as a threat.

and

Big Tech censorship goes well beyond Twitter. Big Tech media is not, in itself, an answer to current legacy mainstream media if we would like to know information that our betters would prefer that we didn’t. Governments that gain control of media generally want an absolute rewrite of history so that it re-emerges as a PR machine for their governance.


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Twitter files 13 and 14… plus the critical bigger picture