Matt Taibbi’s story about Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story

Have folks tried to follow and understand the story about Twitter’s pre-election-2020 suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and other material that politicians asked them to deep-six?

I think there is supposed to be a narrative in here, but it is so chopped up by the presentation as individual tweets that it is tough to follow.

Has Matt Taibbi mostly proved that Twitter needs a substantial re-thinking to be suitable for long-form text? (I think tweets should be allowed at any length up to the standard relational database CLOB (character large object) limit of 2 billion characters, but a reader sees only a short summary (that long-form authors are forced to craft) until he/she/ze/they clicks “more”)

Readers: Have you figured out whether there is anything of interest in this reveal of internal Twitter machinations?

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Twitter is 99.99 percent hate-free

“Hate Speech’s Rise on Twitter Is Unprecedented, Researchers Find” (NYT, today):

Before Elon Musk bought Twitter, slurs against Black Americans showed up on the social media service an average of 1,282 times a day. After the billionaire became Twitter’s owner, they jumped to 3,876 times a day.

Slurs against gay men appeared on Twitter 2,506 times a day on average before Mr. Musk took over. Afterward, their use rose to 3,964 times a day.

And antisemitic posts referring to Jews or Judaism soared more than 61 percent in the two weeks after Mr. Musk acquired the site.

This sounds plausible. After all, even Jews plugged into the ruling political party (#2 Joe Biden campaign donor after George Soros) were forced to take refuge in the Bahamas.

Yet, as the social media censors would say, this story is “MISSING CONTEXT”, i.e., that there are more than 500 million tweets per day. A few thousand that contain “hate words” (possibly used by those quoting or complaining about perceived hate) is a tiny percentage. The cited study actually shows that Twitter is more than 99.99% hate-free!

Here’s an example of a “slur against gay men” that came up when I searched for “fag”. This meets the criterion described in the NYT, but the tweet is not hate speech.

Here’s another example in which the author is not expressing a negative opinion about members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community:

And from a user with a profile of “white, trans, bi, she/her, … Marxist-Leninist-Maoist”:

Separately, who went to a high school in the hate-free pre-Trump days? My memory is that the word “fag” was used more than 3,964 times per day just by the 2,000 students at our high school. We were under the benevolent leadership of Jimmy Carter (folks who were nostalgic for the Carter administration got a replay with Biden after all, at least of the main feature: inflation) and it was in mostly-Democrat Bethesda, Maryland where even the Republicans believed that bigger government was generally better (since everyone in that company town worked for the government in some way).

Speaking of hate, here’s Pfizer spewing hatred for people who pay taxes that flow straight into its corporate pockets, i.e., the 50 percent of Americans who are without a Ph.D. and who yet want to ask a few questions before getting injecting with experimental drugs:

Note that the Deplorables cannot comment on the post!

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Who will join me on Mastodon?

I can no longer tolerate the environment of tolerance for a wide range of speech that Elon Musk has established on Twitter. It is time to leave for Mastodon. Who’s with me?

It looks as though there is already a “Philip” using the service. So my username will be @PhilipTheSecond@Of.Mastodon

Related:

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Warning symptom of Affluenza: a shrinking dishwasher

A story to keep in mind as we enter the season of outrageous consumerism (i.e., Christmas)…

I visited a friend who lives in a 10,000-square-foot beach house here in Florida. The core of the two-story house is open, which makes the ceiling in the living room about 25′ high. He said that he was planning to remodel the kitchen. “Why?” I asked. “This house was built only about three years ago, right?” He responded, “They put in a tiny dishwasher. They wanted something that would match the cabinet size and didn’t think about the function.” I imagined an 18″ Manhattan-style dishwasher in the kitchen, which was itself the size of a Manhattan one-bedroom apartment. After getting a good workout by opening and closing the doors on the 72″-wide wall of Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer (each door 36″ wide), I located and opened the dishwasher. It was a non-standard Asko-brand unit in the completely standard 24″ width of an American dishwasher. His house and kitchen were so vast that the standard-size machine seemed like Derek Zoolander’s dishwasher.

It looks as though a 30-inch dishwasher was actually made for home use at one time. From Dacor:

From the reviews…

We love being able to fit lots of dishes into our pretty dishwasher; however, everything must be rinsed very well before loading and the wash time is 2 hours. We’ve had less expensive dishwashers that were more effective with less time.

Loud, Poor cleaning, Unit replaced, Still bad, Racks begin rusting in 18 months, 3 yrs the rusted racks are falling apart. 800 for bottom rack 300 for top rack. Now I have an oversized space in my cabinets. If you want to spend 3K on a dishwasher and really want greater capacity, buy 2 24″ washers, I wish I did.

And that last idea is what’s going into my friend’s new kitchen: two dishwashers.

Separately, I’m not sure why he needs so much dishwashing action. He doesn’t have more kids or more meals than moderately rich people. He doesn’t even eat breakfast. When he has a big party there are caterers. I guess one justification is that dishwashers now take more than 2 hours to run so the obvious solution of doing two loads in sequence isn’t as sensible as it was back in the 1970s.

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Leashflation: 33 percent compared to March 2021

Mindy the Crippler’s primary leash, purchased in March 2021 from chewy.com:

The upper snap, useful for parking a dog outside of a shop, has failed. The same product is still available on chewy.com:

That’s a 33 percent price increase in what the human and AI minds at Chewy.com think that a consumer will be willing to pay. The leash is actually available at $30 from Zappos so maybe this proves our Native American elders correct. Consumers are now so accustomed to Bidenflation that they won’t question dramatically higher prices. This leads to price gouging ($5 worth, in this case) and massive profits.

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The Illustrated History of Corn Pop as a Christmas Gift?

It’s December and therefore time to think about Christmas gifts. My vote for best all-around gift, suitable for friends and family of all ages… Joey: The Story of Joe Biden, by Dr. Jill Biden (who better to tell the story than a physician who wasn’t around at the time?).

The Vanquisher of Corn Pop who kept Americans safe from SARS-CoV-2 was an early safety advocate:

Sometimes the best way to avoid spreading a contagious virus is a communal bowl:

Readers: Any better ideas for Christmas gifts?

Related:

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Anyone on Twitter can be canceled by Twitter, Apple, Google, or the European Union?

FastCompany says that Apple and Google will kill Twitter by removing the app from their respective monopoly stores if they see anything on Twitter that they don’t like.

Twitter, obviously, will remove anything and anyone that the company deems objectionable. Historically this was people who did not follow the Democratic Party line, e.g., the New York Post for the Hunter Biden laptop story.

“Twitter must comply with Europe’s platform rules, EU digital chief warns Musk in virtual meeting” (CNN Business):

… the social media platform must take significant steps to comply with EU content moderation laws, …

Twitter has “huge work ahead” to meet its obligations under the Digital Services Act, Europe’s new platform regulation, said Thierry Breton, the EU’s digital chief, in a readout of his meeting with Musk.

“Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve, and limit targeted advertising,” Breton said…

I would love to learn about this law! To “protect freedom of speech”, it is necessary for a service to prevent anyone from speaking in a way that the European Union bureaucrats don’t like (“reinforce content moderation”)? And who decides what is “disinformation” that violates EU law? Sticking with the Hunter Biden laptop story, above, all of the Washington, D.C. expert insiders said that it was disinformation. “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say” (Politico, just before the 2020 election on 10/19/2020):

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The letter, signed on Monday, centers around a batch of documents released by the New York Post last week that purport to tie the Democratic nominee to his son Hunter’s business dealings.

While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work.

While there has been no immediate indication of Russian involvement in the release of emails the Post obtained, its general thrust mirrors a narrative that U.S. intelligence agencies have described as part of an active Russian disinformation effort aimed at denigrating Biden’s candidacy.

Facebook hasn’t faced the same scrutiny, perhaps because they are still censoring in accordance with the ruling politicians’ wishes. But they could also be taken down by the smartphone duopoly or the EU.

In summary, there are now at least four filters through which content must pass before it can be distributed via the only practical modern means of reaching a substantial number of people. Folks in China might have more practical freedom of speech because there are only two filters: the operator of a service and the government.

This is an interesting illustration of how the early Internet nerds’ predictions turned out to be 100 percent wrong. None of them would have imagined a world in which there was no practical way to sell a book if a single bookstore (Amazon) didn’t like it and in which multiple bureaucracies exercised veto power over the online existence of any individual user and his or her (there was just two gender IDs back then) speech.

My question is why the same standards aren’t applied to web sites and email. Google and Apple can program their browsers to reject attempts to visit web sites that contain disinformation, e.g., that COVID vaccines do not prevent infection and transmission. Or at least augment web pages with context, as Twitter and Facebook already do. Google and Apple also control email systems. Why allow Deplorables to share misinformation and disinformation via email? The idea is that the companies, out of the goodness of their corporate hearts, will ensure online safety when on Facebook and Twitter, but will make zero attempt to prevent people from being led astray when reading email? How does that make sense? At a minimum, shouldn’t Gmail add context? If a personal friend gets an email from Rochelle Walensky about becoming sick with COVID a month after receiving the bivalent booster, Gmail could display “MISSING CONTEXT. The latest bivalent COVID boosters have been proven to protect against all SARS-CoV-2 variants. Visit cdc.gov for more information about COVID.” If someone is reading about how New York State is #1 in the nation in percent of residents’ income taxed away to fund state and local government, Safari could add a banner “Visit www.governor.ny.gov to learn how New York provides abortion care and protects you from gun violence with the taxes that you pay.”

Sculpture from the Louvre below titled “EU online safety expert deplatforms Nick Fuentes.”

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The protests against lockdowns in China: Why didn’t California pursue Zero COVID?

All of the U.S. media that previously celebrated lockdowns, school closures, forced masking, and forced vaccination are now highlighting the purported horrors of life in Zero COVID China. The apparent 180-degree change is justified by the idea that SARS-CoV-2 today is far less dangerous than it was in 2019. This is untrue according to Science: “Study suggests SARS-CoV-2 Omicron is as deadly as past variants” (May 2022). Sometimes the about-face is justified because vaccines are so effective, but “Covid Still Kills, but the Demographics of Its Victims Are Shifting” (KHN) shows that the reduction in death risk was at most 4X in the summer of 2022 and was trending down. (Remember that the vaccinated may have less to begin with because they’re more likely to be members of the laptop class. The reduction from the vaccine itself might be a factor of 2 at this point.) Why might the Righteous believe that COVID-19 is less dangerous than it was a few years ago? Because a human cannot be killed twice. Those who were most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 are already dead. Yersinia pestis did not become less dangerous in 1354, but most people who could be killed by it had died in 1346-1353.

From state-sponsored NPR: “China’s lockdown protests and rising COVID leave Xi Jinping with ‘2 bad options'”.

My big question is why Gavin Newsom did not pursue Zero COVID in California. Gifted with the meekest and most compliant group of humans in the history of our planet, he failed to use the obvious tools of quarantine (which include welding torches for apartment houses!) to shut down COVID for at least a few years, as the Chinese have done. Californians pat themselves on the back for having an age-adjusted death rate of 270 per 100,000 compared to 292 in give-the-finger-to-the-virus Florida (full stats; remember that California is one of the youngest states due to the miracle of immigration and Florida has one of the highest percentages of elderly and therefore vulnerable). But given their zeal for fighting COVID, isn’t the correct comparison for California the 0.3 deaths per 100,000 in China?

Here’s an NPR article noting that lockdown can also kill, e.g., because humans cannot access non-COVID medical care:

This is the same enterprise that cheered when U.S. states made it illegal for physicians to continue providing non-emergency care! Even worse, by highlighting “Young Chinese”, they’re implying that people of different ages face different risk levels from SARS-CoV-2 infection and, therefore, a young person might want to reject experimental medicines that have received emergency use authorizations.

Nearly 100,000 Californians have died with a COVID-19 tag. Gavin Newsom could have saved all but 100 of these folks if he’d used Chinese techniques to achieve a Chinese COVID death rate. Lockdown governors such as Newsom have explicitly marked the cost of lockdowns, e.g., children denied an education, adults denied the opportunity to work or socialize, at $0. So there would have no cost to Californians from a Zero COVID program. Hawaii showed that it is not illegal for a U.S. state to restrict people coming in from the rest of the nation. Why didn’t Newsom do at least what Hawaii did and, preferably (under his expressed value system), what China did?

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The CDC supports my neo-prohibitionist philosophy

Loyal readers will remember that I’ve long been an advocate of alcohol prohibition:

The increased power of government that I noted in 2016 was tremendously amplified between 2020 and 2022. Americans are much less tolerant of the negative effects of alcohol (sexual assault, other violent crimes, death) than ever before and coronapanic showed that there is almost no price that Americans are willing to pay in an attempt to save even one life.

Readers have heaped scorn on my dream. Yet this month fair Science is on my side. “Estimated Deaths Attributable to Excessive Alcohol Use Among US Adults Aged 20 to 64 Years, 2015 to 2019” (CDC employees are the first two authors).

The estimates in this cross-sectional study of 694 660 mean deaths per year between 2015 and 2019 suggest that excessive alcohol consumption accounted for 12.9% of total deaths among adults aged 20 to 64 years and 20.3% of deaths among adults aged 20 to 49 years. Among adults aged 20 to 64 years, the proportion of alcohol-attributable deaths to total deaths varied by state.

These findings suggest that an estimated 1 in 8 deaths among adults aged 20 to 64 years were attributable to excessive alcohol use and that greater implementation of evidence-based alcohol policies could reduce this proportion.

(Note that this doesn’t cover the lockdown years in which Americans pounded back way more alcohol in response to governors making it illegal to work and “essential” to sell and buy liquor. Presumably the percentage of young people killed by this chemical menace is even higher now.)

The death count is shocking:

an estimated 12.9% (89 697 per year) were attributable to excessive alcohol consumption

In terms of life-years lost, this is far more than are taken away by SARS-CoV-2 because a person 20-64 has many more years of life expectancy than a person whose death was tagged as COVID-19-related (median age 80-82). And this CDC study didn’t even look at those over 64 who are killed by alcohol consumption. I’m sure that there are plenty! (A CDC web page says more than 140,000 total among all ages.)

I trust and hope that everyone had a safe and alcohol-free Thanksgiving!

And if Thanksgiving depressed you because you learned that some of your relatives do not support President Biden’s inflation reduction system, his transfer of student loan obligations to those who did not attend college, and his support for Science-based COVID policies… “Tequila Fixes Everything,” a Jupiter, FL restaurant reminds us:

As a reminder of the potential economic savings of Prohibition, discount red wine at Costco (Waltham, Maskachusetts 2013), below. Note that these are pre-Biden prices:

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The Brits don’t love the world’s best health care system

From a bookstore in Kensington:

A Guardian review says it is all about the death panels:

Side Effects forces us to face up to – rather than ignore or deny – the realities of balancing the vast sums that can be spent on a single, seriously ill patient against the “distressing conditions in which many frail and elderly people live out their final years, often as a result of lack of adequate funding”. It is all too tempting, Haslam recognises, to dismiss as abhorrent the act of attaching a price tag to a person – as though their worth can be measured in pounds and pence. A human life, surely, is priceless? No amount of mere money or stuff comes close? But anyone who is actually involved in the real, messy world of healthcare knows full well this is nothing but rhetorical posturing.

Later that afternoon I was talking to a guy who is married to an emergency medicine doc in London. With the cost of living adjustment, she can expect to earn 80,000 pounds per year (i.e., $80,000!) after 15 years of slavery for the NHS (age 40). “A train driver will earn more,” he noted, “because their union is actually effective.”

Who is smarter than the Brits for running a universal health care system that doesn’t bankrupt everyone? Africans! “Middle class Nigerians who need any kind of advanced medical treatment will come here on a tourist visa,” my friend explained, and go straight from Heathrow to an NHS hospital. Once they’re in the system they get treated just like anyone else. After consuming what might be hundreds of thousands of pounds in services and recovering, they go back to Nigeria.”

What else did they have in the bookstore? It’s “smart thinking” to fight structural racism:

An American hero who inspires Biden voters can also inspire the British:

Although the age of consent in the UK is 16 (e.g., a 16-year-old could consent to have sex with a rich guy after a Gulfstream flight to somewhere luxurious) and prostitution is a legal career for an 18-year-old, the British are apparently shocked about what Jeffrey Epstein was allegedly up to:

Anyone who isn’t a cisgender heterosexual white male is in trouble:

England was saved from German invasion by women of color who were willing to risk their lives in combat while white men relaxed in the safety of their country homes:

Despite the fact that some heroines exist, the entire Earth is, literally, toast because of those who Deny the Science (i.e., unlike World War II, this is not a war that can be won by women alone):

An entire section of the front of the bookstore was devoted to a personage who by right should have been King of England and was denied this position purely on account of her gender ID:

Circling back to the British health care system… if we aren’t willing to use death panels or at least a quality-adjusted life year calculation the way that the Brits do, how are we going to keep health care from growing to consume 25 percent of American GDP (a shrinking quantity in the aggregate and, since the population continues to grow via immigration, an even more dramatically shrinking quantity on a per-capita basis)?

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