Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was booted from Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify in August 2018.
Twitter, on the other hand, opted to allow Jones on their platform for a month longer than their peers, permanently suspending his account in September 2018.
A year earlier, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, initiated discussion with a number of conservatives who alleged Twitter was censoring their speech.
Among the conservatives who Twitter met with was Ali Alexander, a Roger Stone linked Trumpworld operative, who shared a photo of him hugging Dorsey at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on his Instagram in February 2018 (caption: “I appreciate [Dorsey] listening to some of my concerns affecting conservatives on the most important communications platform in the world…
According to Nick Bilton (author of “Hatching Twitter”): “Twitter knew about all its fake Followers, and always has — eliminating just enough bots to make it seem like they care, but not enough that it would affect the perceived number of active users on the platform.” (February 2018)
Upon closer inspection of what takes place under Twitter’s hood, it becomes apparent that Nick’s assertion perfectly describes Twitter’s approach to dealing with inauthentic accounts.
“M LeMont” (aka @MisterSalesman) is a Twitter account that, as of September 16th, 2020, reflects having nearly 375 thousand Followers (and with more than 1.5 million tweets):
It is worth immediately highlighting that “M LeMont” is Following nearly 375 thousand accounts (and that the account is Following more accounts than it has as Followers). …
In late July, Social Forensics penned a post detailing how Twitter’s announcement with regards to the QAnon collective delusion —namely, that they would be limiting the spread of QAnon-related content and accounts — was nothing more than lip service.
This post will focus specifically on Japanese language QAnon accounts, which Twitter’s part-time CEO, Jack Dorsey, continues to monetize, despite Twitter claiming to take a proactive approach towards mitigating against information operations/platform manipulation (and particularly those efforts connected to QAnon, having been linked to several acts of violence and dubbed a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI):
Jack Posobiec, a correspondent with One American News Network (OANN), recently celebrated surpassing a million Twitter Followers by changing his account’s display name to “Millionaire Poso.”
Before reading any further, I would implore you all to check out The Southern Poverty Law Center’s investigation into Posobiec, a summary of which may be found here.
What’s to follow will be an analysis of accounts that recently followed Posobiec, propelling him past the million Followers mark over Labor Day weekend (Social Forensics collected Posobiec’s most recent 50K Followers earlier this week and right after he transformed into superhero, “Millionaire Poso”). …
While the Medium accounts of Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec were suspended in February 2018, the “far-right conspiracy-mongers” have amassed Twitter followings of 685K and 940K, respectively, including more than 20K Followers (in the case of Posobiec) that include the QAnon motto (“where we go one, we go all”) in their account bios (those accounts may be found here).
Last week, Twitter announced they suspended more than 7 thousand accounts linked to QAnon for violating platform rules. On top of that, Twitter asserted they “will stop recommending accounts and content related to QAnon, including material in email and follow recommendations, and [that they] will take steps to limit circulation of content in features like trends and search.” Twitter stated this will impact about 150 thousand accounts, but declined to provide the name of their spokesperson and did not provide any further details, making it easy for Twitter to continue dodging accountability:
Earlier this week one of my LinkedIn connections interacted with a post from “The Nashville Tea Party” — a page reflecting having more than 11 thousand Followers.
Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Research Project defines computational propaganda as the “use of algorithms, automation, and human curation to purposefully distribute misleading information over social media networks.”
As noted in their working paper, “the most powerful forms of computational propaganda involve both algorithmic distribution and human curation — bots and trolls working together” — in other words, bots comprise a subset of computational propaganda. …
Richard Burr (R) is the senior U.S. Senator from North Carolina, where he has been serving since 2005.
The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Burr made headlines last Thursday on news that he sold a significant portion of his stock portfolio around the same time that he was receiving daily updates on the coronavirus health threat (and prior to the markets tanking).
Despite raising alarm (re: coronavirus preparedness) privately at a luncheon last month (where a small group of well-connected constituents were in attendance), Burr took a far less dire tone when addressing the public at large.
Cambridge Analytica broke into the U.S. political scene in 2013, testing psychographic messaging in Virginia’s gubernatorial race (and in support of Republican Ken Cuccinelli). Despite Cuccinelli losing the election, the political data strategy appeared promising, resulting in Steve Bannon partnering with Alexander Nix (SCL’s elections director at the time) to create Cambridge Analytica. …