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The "Aggressive Hostile Takeover" of Twitter....Elon has had enough


swordfish
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https://nypost.com/2022/04/14/elon-musk-offers-to-buy-twitter-for-41-billion/

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor.

“Since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said.

In the filing, Musk used blunt language, telling the Twitter board: “I am not playing the back-and-forth game.”

“I have moved straight to the end,” the entrepreneur said. “It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it.”

Just days earlier, he publicly trashed the company, which he called “the de facto public town square,” for “failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy” and mulled launching his own social media platform.

“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” Musk asked users in a Twitter poll on March 28, in which over 70 percent of the 2 million voters responded “Yes.”

In other words - take it or I'm gonna tank your stock price.  Not a fan of Twitter, but free speech needs to remain free speech.  I may start using my Twitter account if this happens.

 

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3 hours ago, swordfish said:

https://nypost.com/2022/04/14/elon-musk-offers-to-buy-twitter-for-41-billion/

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor.

“Since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

“My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder,” Musk said.

In the filing, Musk used blunt language, telling the Twitter board: “I am not playing the back-and-forth game.”

“I have moved straight to the end,” the entrepreneur said. “It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it.”

Just days earlier, he publicly trashed the company, which he called “the de facto public town square,” for “failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy” and mulled launching his own social media platform.

“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” Musk asked users in a Twitter poll on March 28, in which over 70 percent of the 2 million voters responded “Yes.”

In other words - take it or I'm gonna tank your stock price.  Not a fan of Twitter, but free speech needs to remain free speech.  I may start using my Twitter account if this happens.

 

My account was whacked in their great purge right before the 2020 election.

I posted a fact (the original topic was abortion) about Margaret Sanger in the topic thread.  My post went crazy.  Something like 10,000 likes and shares in less than a day, then BAM, whacked to this day.

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2 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Do you think if Mr. Musk succeeds and takes Twitter private he will unban Mr. Trump?

 

The million billion dollar question I guess.  I would assume yes, especially since the President of Russia still has his account on Twitter and the Former US President would probably be good for business.  The question then is if the President of Russia will get banned.  If that happens, then is Twitter a true "free speech" platform or is Elon Musk just looking to be the next Zuckerburg censorship monitor cop instead of the Free Speech advocate?  IDK.  What's your take on this?

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Why Does Elon Musk's Potential Twitter Takeover Scare the Media So Much?

https://reason.com/2022/04/18/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-poison-pill-media-speech/

Quote

Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter, turn it into a private company, and correct what he feels is the company's waning commitment to free speech principles has drawn both praise and criticism. Many people who share Musk's dissatisfaction with the platform—including Republicans and conservatives who think it discriminates against provocative right-wing speech—are eager to see Twitter in his hands. At the same, many supporters of the establishment media say they're worried that Musk's approach would mean more harassment and disinformation on the platform.

Twitter's board has given every indication that it sides with the traditional gatekeepers of information and that it is inclined to fend off Musk's bid. The company adopted a poison pill approach late last week. This is a well-known corporate tactic intended to thwart a potential buyer. In this case, Twitter would flood the market with additional shares available for sale if Musk's stake in the company reached 15 percent. Effectively, Twitter plans to dilute his stake and make it much harder for him to reach the 51 percent threshold. And if Twitter is ultimately interested in Musk's offer, this gives the board more time to consider it, and time as well to look for other potential buyers.

We thus have a pretty good idea what the board of Twitter wants: It wants to hold onto power. The board's offer to make Musk a member was probably born of a desire to control and quiet him; as a board member, he would have an obligation not to publicly disparage the company, and thus he would no longer be able to tweet his thoughts about all the ways Twitter should be different.

What, exactly, does Musk want to change about Twitter? He offered some thoughts during a TED interview last week.

"I think it's very important for there to be an exclusive arena for free speech," said Musk. "Twitter has become sort of the de facto town square, and it's really important that people have the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law. One of the things that I believe Twitter should do is open source the algorithm and make any changes to people's tweets, if they are emphasized or de-emphasized, that action should be made apparent so that anyone could see that action has been taken, so there's no sort of beyond the scenes manipulation."

Later in that interview, Musk endorsed a feature many people have demanded: a Twitter edit button, so users could alter tweets after sending them. Facebook has this function, so it must be workable in some sense. (On Facebook, a little note appears showing that the post was edited.)

Musk also talked about removing ads for premium subscribers and providing other perks for those willing to pay more.

It's hard to argue that these proposals lack merit. More transparency would be a massive improvement: It's critical for users to know why and how the platform decides to reward and punish certain tweets. The ultimate goal should be to devolve content moderation to users. Instead of Twitter deciding for users what it thinks they ought to see—what it thinks is dangerous, or true, or safe—the platform should give individuals more options to curate their Twitter experiences.

 

Musk appears to share this vision. Yet many progressive critics are acting as if him taking control of the company would be the most horrible thing to ever happen. Literally.

Here's a Salon writer saying Elon Musk's takeover could cause a death blow to the free world.

If Elon Musk allows Trump back on Twitter, it will be a death blow to the free world.

Trump's Big Lie will spread like a virus.

I discussed the danger of Trump's Big Lie for @Salon. Like Hitler's Big Lie, it must not be normalized, lest fascism return.https://t.co/kGEKF6ei4C pic.twitter.com/rZRP1RUZxo

— Matthew Rozsa (@MatthewRozsa) April 14, 2022

 

Axios writes that Musk has gone into "full goblin mode" and is acting like a super villain.

City University of New York journalism professor Jeff Jarvis implied that Musk's takeover would be akin to the rise of Nazi Germany.

Normal fucking stuff pic.twitter.com/iTS5o9MTKJ

— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) April 14, 2022

 

These people are desperately scared by the mere possibility that a wealthy person with somewhat different politics—and a somewhat more favorable disposition to unfiltered speech—is going to tweak their favorite toy.

Agreed.  They are frightened snowflakes.

 

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8 minutes ago, DE said:

FIFY 🙂

Has happened.

He now should IMMEDIATELY reinstate Donald Trump and all the other people purged (especially those directly prior to the 2020 election).

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-says-he-probably-wouldnt-have-any-interest-in-returning-to-very-boring-twitter-if-musk-allows-him-back-on-11649951473?mod=home-page

 

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The whole "Trump back on Twitter" thing is not the story to me.  Trump's Truth Social (That is struggling to get everyone on the platform and hasn't even got an avenue for Android users like SF yet) potentially getting linked with Twitter (maybe) since Trump's endeavor doesn't seem to have the traction that Twitter does seems like a scenario that could happen to me......IDK.

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14 minutes ago, swordfish said:

The whole "Trump back on Twitter" thing is not the story to me.  Trump's Truth Social (That is struggling to get everyone on the platform and hasn't even got an avenue for Android users like SF yet) potentially getting linked with Twitter (maybe) since Trump's endeavor doesn't seem to have the traction that Twitter does seems like a scenario that could happen to me......IDK.

Doesn't matter what the "story" is as long as it involves free speech and hopefully Musk shows the world the corruption that was had by leftie big tech folks.

Ironic that nyag says Trump must pay 10k a day until he complies....

Coincidence, I think not.

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11 minutes ago, DE said:

Doesn't matter what the "story" is as long as it involves free speech and hopefully Musk shows the world the corruption that was had by leftie big tech folks.

Ironic that nyag says Trump must pay 10k a day until he complies....

Coincidence, I think not.

The term "Free Speech", as commonly used in the context of the 1st Amendment and government,   has nothing to do with Mr. Musk purchasing Twitter.   I seriously doubt Twitter's terms of service, which basically allows them to lock or outright delete the account of any person using its service, will change in any meaningful way. 

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How Elon Musk Can Improve Twitter

https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/04/how-elon-musk-can-improve-twitter/

Quote

Elon Musk has bought Twitter and intends to take it private. The purchase, Musk says, is designed to unlock the service’s “potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe.” In making this move, Musk is honoring the original architects of the Web, who abhorred the idea of rigorous moderation, and sought a system that regarded “censorship as damage” and automatically “routed around it.”

 

If Musk is to succeed in this endeavor, he ought to take three immediate steps to improve the platform. First, he should replace Twitter’s vague guidelines with a long list of more specific rules. I know, I know — that sounds paradoxical. But, in my view, the key to making Twitter an effectively neutral service is to impose more regulations on its users than currently exist.

Usually, I am of the view that the fewer the rules, the better the outcome for liberty. But, in this case, I suspect that the opposite is true. “Don’t Be Evil” might be a good policy for a society that agrees upon the nature of “evil,” but, in one that does not, it is next to useless. As a result, Musk ought to insist on a larger set of narrower limits — “You may not threaten to kill another user” — and to assiduously avoid any of the broader concepts that have been captured and corrupted by the DEI-types that are ruining the American workplace. Twitter should not promise to protect “dignity,” or to avoid “harm,” or to uphold “equality.” It should not vow to keep people “safe,” or to outlaw “hatred,” or to combat “misinformation.” Hell, given the absurd hierarchies of immutable characteristics that progressivism has imposed, it should not base any rules on race, gender, or religion, either. Instead, it should focus on the specifics. “You may not publish another user’s physical address” is a good rule. “You may not use Twitter in the commission of a crime, as determined by a court” is a good rule. If certain words are to be verboten, Musk should list them. Sure, a Terms & Conditions page with 500 items on it would be a touch unwieldy, but it would ultimately be less of a problem than having five intrinsically vague statements that accord carte blanche to the spoiled children of Oberlin.

Having set these narrow and concrete rules, Musk’s second step ought to be to fire pretty much everyone who has ever been involved in Twitter’s content moderation. Over the past few years, Twitter has provided Americans with a perfect example of the old adage that “personnel is policy,” and, clearly, Twitter’s existing personnel cannot be trusted. One could put together the greatest guidelines that have ever existed on the Internet, but if the people who are charged with interpreting and executing them are biased lunatics, they’ll make no difference whatsoever. Going forward, every employee at Twitter must be asked, bluntly, “Are you in favor of free speech, even when you hate that speech?” If the answer is “No,” they should be asked to leave. There is no reason whatsoever for a “platform for free speech around the globe” to employ people who oppose free speech around the globe.

Finally, Musk ought to dramatically increase transparency. At present, Twitter is an infuriating black hole for everyone except the famous and well-connected. If a user is banned from the service, he should be told exactly why. Before he is banned, he ought to be warned, told why he has been warned, and informed about the likely consequences of repeat behavior. And if Twitter is to have an appeals process, it ought to be staffed by real people, rather than by algorithms that make instant decisions and then lie to you about the “careful review” that went into the call. Insofar as those algorithms are necessary — it is probably impractical to humanize everything — the (non-security-based) variables that have been plugged into them ought to be made public, so that users are aware of where the thumbs are on the scale. In concert, Twitter ought to commit to publishing any correspondence it has with elected officials. If the White House has “reached out” — as the Biden administration often has — Twitter’s users ought to know about it. Twitter is a private company, and it can do whatever it likes, but the equation changes a little when the people who regulate Twitter are also putting political pressure on it, and the public ought to know exactly what that pressure looks like.

Beyond that, I will only say “Good luck.” Terrified as they clearly are by the prospect of open speech, a lot of powerful people will be rooting against Musk, and some will even try to sabotage him. Thankfully, he’s unlikely to give a toss — which, of course, makes him exactly the right person for the job.

 

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5 hours ago, Muda69 said:

The term "Free Speech", as commonly used in the context of the 1st Amendment and government,   has nothing to do with Mr. Musk purchasing Twitter.   I seriously doubt Twitter's terms of service, which basically allows them to lock or outright delete the account of any person using its service, will change in any meaningful way. 

Musk's tweets are available.

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The Hodge Twins are great reads.

From one of their posts.....

"An African American immigrant that manufactures electric cars is now protecting free speech for everyone and the left is somehow mad."

 

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Twitter Admits It Hid Tweets About HBO's QAnon Docuseries

https://gizmodo.com/twitter-hbo-qanon-censor-q-into-the-storm-1848842476

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For the past year, Twitter has censored tweets about a documentary exploring the origins of the QAnon movement.

The documentary, Q: Into the Storm, debuted as a six-part series on HBO Max in March 2021. Twitter decided to “limit the visibility” of the series on its social network shortly after the release, a Twitter spokesperson said.

Twitter admitted that it was restricting the reach of tweets about the series after the director, Cullen Hoback, tried paying to boost his own tweet publicizing the film’s iTunes debut on March 21. He was barred from buying promotion for his tweet. An email from Twitter’s ad department stated the film had been “manually reviewed” and deemed to be in violation of the social network’s “inappropriate content” policy. The documentary criticizes Twitter for the role it has played in the spread of QAnon.

Believing the response in error, Hoback’s production house, Hyrax Films, reached out to members of the Twitter communications team to request help. A response came three days later. To Hoback’s surprise, Twitter informed the suppression was intentional.

“In 2021, Twitter made the decision not to allow promotion of this documentary via advertising on the platform,” the company said. “This decision was aligned with the actions we took to suspend accounts dedicated to QAnon and to limit the visibility of QAnon-related content on the platform generally. As a result, the client will not be able to promote this content.”

 

It’s unclear whether Twitter has taken additional actions to limit the visibility of Hoback’s account or others discussing the series. Since Jan. 2021, accounts sharing QAnon-related content have been excluded from features like “search” and algorithms that offer users personalized “suggestions,” the company said.

“Perhaps Twitter didn’t appreciate that we shined a light on their censorship practices in the series,” the director said. (Two of the six episodes raise questions about Twitter’s moderation efforts, including its role in promoting the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto, and argue Twitter was key to spreading QAnon conspiracy theories.) The company began a crackdown on QAnon content in the weeks following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, part of a major effort to limit content with “the potential to lead to offline harm,” according to the company.

Hoback told Gizmodo, “The way to unravel QAnon was to reveal the underlying mechanics and players behind it; not censoring all discussion around the topic.”

Executive producer Adam McKay, director of The Big Short and Don’t Look Up and producer of HBO’s Succession, blasted the decision ahead of the Oscars last month. “Human beings are really and truly having a hard time with free speech in the face of big tech,” he said. “It’s getting ridiculous.”

Hoback has long been critical of Twitter’s moderation practices, but said he was still shocked to learn the company had taken this particular approach to content that unsparingly assesses the movement. “To my knowledge, no one has watched the series and walked away suddenly believing in QAnon,” he said. “In fact, I received countless messages from folks saying it helped repair family relations and break some believers from the QAnon spell.”

An expert on conspiracy culture agreed. Mike Rothschild, author of The Storm is Upon Us, told Gizmodo, “Forbidding works like Q: Into the Storm gives people curious about Q only half the story, the half Q influencers want them to have.”

Q: Into the Storm is the culmination of a three-year effort by Hoback to “unmask and demystify” the forces behind QAnon, the conspiracy-based movement kicked off by an anonymous user posing as a high-ranking government official. The movement eventually wormed its way into the Trump White House, where the conditions were more than hospitable, and into the halls of Congress, where its adherents tried, failingly, to overturn the 2020 election. Hoback first rose to prominence with Terms and Conditions May Apply, a documentary about online privacy and the Patriot Act.

The director went in search of the people responsible for posting the cryptic, anonymous messages known as “Q-Drops,” which gave life to a variety of far-out conspiracies starting in 2017. Hoback’s main suspect—spoiler alert—is Ron Watkins, the 34-year-old admin of the forum that “Q” for years called home. (In one exchange, Watkins acknowledges spending years “teaching normies how to do intelligence work,” and in what Hoback frames as a major slip-up, appears to acknowledge he’s been doing Q’s work—right before he denies it.)

Roughly a year after the film’s debut and a few weeks prior to Into the Storm’s iTunes debut, The New York Times published a story on research carried out by two separate teams of forensic linguists: Both found evidence to support Hoback’s theory with the help machine learning tools that compare patterns in text “a casual reader could not detect.”

“The conclusions in the series were recently reinforced by The New York Times,” Hoback said. “Would [Twitter] allow the Times to promote that article?”

At the start of Twitter’s 2021 QAnon crackdown, more than 70,000 accounts were reportedly suspended. The company said at the time that its teams were “discussing ways” to “empower research into QAnon and coordinated harmful activity”on the platform. Other measures were taken against an unknown number of accounts the company described as not “predominantly engaged” in spreading QAnon content. They included limiting “visibility across search, replies, and on timelines” and a ban against being “recommended to others by Twitter.”

A Twitter employee told Gizmodo and members of Hoback’s production team in March that “generally,” allowing any promotion of Q: Into the Storm would not “be aligned with our previous actions as a company around QAnon.”

Into the Storm’s take on Twitter’s suppression tactics found them to be either useless or counterproductive. Hoback’s interviews paint the suspension of QAnon accounts as an energizing rather than demoralizing force for adherents. “If their website didn’t have such an outsized influence on public discourse, I would be less concerned,” he said. “In a way, their response has validated the case made in Q: Into the Storm.”

Twitter has been under increased assault in recent weeks over vague allegations of censorship flung with the support of Republican lawmakers. Beyond a handful of examples—such as Donald Trump, who was suspended for “incitement of violence,” or U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal account was suspended for spreading covid-19 misinformation—allegations of widespread censorship remain largely anecdotal. They also happen to form part of a broader, politically-useful narrative painting internet giants from Amazon to Facebook as deeply hostile to conservative views.

Earlier this month, researchers at MIT and Yale unveiled research aimed at uncovering the truth behind the claims of Twitter’s anti-conservative bias. Their analysis found that Republican accounts are, in fact, “much more likely” to be suspended compared to their Democratic counterparts. The Republican users, however, had posted misinformation at a rate “substantially” higher than Democrats, the researchers said. The same research revealed deep divides along partisan lines when it came to defining “misinformation,” as well as which actions taken by the social media companies actually constitute bias.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Monday struck a deal to purchase Twitter for roughy $44 billion after campaigning publicly against what he called “de facto bias” in the automated tool employed to moderate Twitter. In a tweet, Musk revealed that his plans for the company include making the algorithms behind these tools public and more open to audits: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Senator Mark Warner, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that Twitter had so far outperformed its competitors in addressing “false, deceptive, and manipulated content.” A “backslide” by Musk, he warned, would do only harm to the “important discourse that takes place on Twitter across the world every day.”

For Republicans who participated in the MIT/Yale study, curtailed access to QAnon content was viewed as an act of political discrimination—even as those same Republicans held that individuals were free to be anti-QAnon without being anti-conservative.

 

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https://nypost.com/2022/04/26/the-views-sunny-hostin-says-elon-musk-bought-twitter-for-straight-white-men/

“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin said she dreads Elon Musk taking over Twitter, claiming it would benefit “predominantly straight white men” who are on the social-media platform.

“When Elon Musk says, ‘Wow, this is about free speech,’ it seems to me that this is about free speech of straight white men, so let them have it,” Hostin told her “View” co-hosts on Tuesday.

“Let them just go at it.”

Hostin added: “I think Twitter can be a really horrible place, and I think people are excited because he is sort of going to unleash the trolls, right?”

“I think he is saying, ‘You get to say whatever you want. I’m going to take away the guardrails.’ And for me, that is something that is a bit scary.”

Hostin cited a statistic according to which 38% of women on Twitter have been “on the receiving end of abuse.” 

Hostin added that her favorite feature on Twitter is the “block button.” She bemoaned the fact that Twitter “has an outsize influence in our world because politicians and celebrities are on it.”

 

The Straight White Male ages 18 - 59 is the least protected demographic in the US.  (and receives the most blame for everything bad)  Just saying..... 

 

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  • 5 months later...

https://news.yahoo.com/advertisers-plan-boycott-twitter-elon-102551010.html

Advertisers plan to boycott Twitter if Elon Musk allows Donald Trump back on the platform after he took control on Thursday night, The Wall Street Journal reported.

After paying $44 billion to close the deal he tried to walk away from, Musk swiftly fired four top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal and finance chief Ned Segal.

Advertisers are now weighing in as concerns over former President Donald Trump being reinstated grow.

Kieley Taylor, the global head of partnerships at advertising agency GroupM, told The Journal that letting Trump tweet again would be a red line for some major brands.

It always amuses SF when the people that seemingly exude the most "Tolerance" in this country (the left) prove themselves hypocritical by being intolerant when they can't get their way ........

 

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