Patterico's Pontifications

6/3/2021

Who Is to Blame for the Ellie Kemper Nontroversy? Twitter Is

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Kat Rosenfeld has an excellent follow-up to the Ellie Kemper nontroversy I discussed yesterday. Rosenfeld places the blame squarely on Twitter:

What matters is the Twitter sidebar.

Every Twitter user who visits the website is greeted by a list of links, which appear in a sidebar under the headline, ‘What’s happening’. The items on the list are a mixed bag of paid promotions, viral fodder and hot-button politics or pop-culture topics — but what’s important is that they are curated by Twitter independently of what’s actually trending on the website. (For instance: as I’m writing this article, the most-discussed Twitter topics in the NYC Metro area, according to a third-party aggregator, are the LA Lakers, a bunch of banal motivational hashtags like #wednesdaywisdom and #humpday and the recent FOIA release of Anthony Fauci’s emails. Meanwhile, my ‘What’s happening’ sidebar is the Fauci emails, a link to an interview with Kate Winslet, and ‘Tucker’, because someone with a significant following on Media Twitter is mad at Tucker Carlson. Again.) ‘What’s happening’ in your sidebar is not, for the most part, what is actually happening on Twitter. It’s more like what Twitter wants to make happen, by making you curious enough to click.

Last month, the words ‘Fartlow’ or ‘Eve Fartlow’ appeared in the trending topics sidebar for a full 24 hours. The source was a bizarre, juvenile bullying campaign against journalist Eve Barlow, which had been percolating under the radar for several days but gained viral traction after actor Seth Rogen, who has 9.1 million followers on the platform, amplified it by tweeting a fart emoji at her. The trollng stemmed from an essay Barlow had written about the Israel-Palestine conflict that some people found offensive, but this wasn’t readily apparent if you clicked the ‘Fartlow’ link in the sidebar, which led to a bunch of mean-spirited tweets about Barlow but not to her profile or her work — because these things were, in fact, irrelevant. As with Ellie Kemper, the story wasn’t what Barlow did; the story was that someone was mad at her — and the site’s editorial team knew that amplifying those tweets would keep users clicking and scrolling.

Orwellian dystopian analogies come pretty cheap these days, but this one is too obvious not to point out — only instead of Two Minutes Hate, it’s a 24-hour buffet. Twitter’s sidebar points to people who have been declared fair game for punching and the mob gleefully piles on. It’s not just that these stories are born on the website; it’s that Twitter actively nurtures them, promotes them and throws their scapegoats to the wolves. For a platform that likes to style itself as a place that takes harassment and abuse seriously, it’s especially ironic: Twitter will protect certain high-profile users who complain about abuse, but it also foments drama on purpose and by design, like the high-school teacher who plays favorites with the cool kids and always happens to be looking the other way when some unpopular schlub is being tormented right under his nose.

There’s an oft-cited study about Twitter trends in which researchers found that negativity is the key to going viral, but the truth, which most users understand intuitively, is more nuanced: the best way to drive engagement is to give people an excuse to be cruel. And that ‘What’s happening’ sidebar? It’s not just a list of topics. Sometimes, it’s a list of targets.

She’s exactly right, and Yair Rosenberg had an excellent satire of the Twitter sidebar on — where else? — Twitter.

Twitter is an incredibly useful resource and a platform for more people to spread their speech widely than has ever existed in this country. It’s also a poisonous pit of nastiness and mob retribution.

I don’t intend to give it up — I don’t think — but I’m increasingly nauseated by the way it’s used.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: There is a solution! I have used this today and highly recommend it.

All the stupid sidebar crapola is gone.

75 Responses to “Who Is to Blame for the Ellie Kemper Nontroversy? Twitter Is”

  1. It’s high time we start hearing stories of engineers, marketers, executives, etc. who are resigning from Twitter because they can’t stand what their site has become and the horrid ways in which it is used to encourage mob behavior. Why aren’t we seeing essays in the New York Times or the Atlantic titled “Why I Could No Longer Work at Twitter”?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. As always, David Burge (a.k.a. Iowahawk) has it right:

    Is there someway to turn off the "What's happening" sidebar? Asking for 500 million friends— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) June 3, 2021

    JVW (ee64e4)

  3. Time to break up Twitter. Too much power to do harm, beholden to no one.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  4. If Instagram is a tool that allows us to share our most beautiful moments Twitter is a tool that allows us to be the worst version of ourselves; glib, dismissive, exclusionary, and cruel. When I bother to tweet the ones that get attention have a few things in common: They’re short, they reference a cartoon version of the subject, they’re clever, and usually mean spirited.

    It’s can be habit forming. I haven’t been tweeting for long but I’ve noticed that my other writing online tends to become more like that; shorter, more biting, more intended to get a laugh from someone that dislikes the butt of the joke. Less likely to explore an idea or share information.

    Time123 (6e0727)

  5. Twitter is an incredibly useful resource and a platform for more people to spread their speech widely than has ever existed in this country.

    Ever? Not really. Radio is. From ham sets to the ol’breaker-breaker on-nine CB sets.

    Radio is gold.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  6. @4. It’s can be habit forming.

    Agreed. Such is the nature of gimmicks and gadgetry. Those Pew numbers on Twitter use remain revealing. Much of the citizenry doesn’t use it. Yet news outlets tap it as an information source, which reveals both the laziness of news directors and the hungry demand their mediums have to be fed any content from virtually any source to fill air time.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  7. DCSCA my opinion of journalists outside of their beat is really low.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  8. @7. There are good ones w/print experience. But they’re increasingly rare birds. For example, CNN strayed from Turner’s original concept once he left the helm; the idea was ‘the news’ to be the “star”– not the anchors; ‘rip and read’ video, so-to-speak. That’s gone. What passes for news today is weak tea w/too much sugar.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  9. “Time to break up Twitter. Too much power to do harm, beholden to no one.”

    Break it up into what? What are the components of Twitter?

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  10. The Recent Comments sidebar seems to trigger a similar compulsion to click. It isn’t the sidebar’s fault we click and then say something sarcastic or cruel. It is the human who finds that acceptable and satisfying.

    DRJ (03cb91)

  11. But I concede that since it happens so much, there may need to be sidebar changes at Twitter. I don’t think it will help but it might.

    DRJ (03cb91)

  12. Time to break up Twitter. Too much power to do harm, beholden to no one.

    Twitter is beholden to its shareholders and users. There are no legal grounds to break up Twitter.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. Time to break up Twitter….

    “I don’t like how Twitter (or Facebook, or Instagram, etc.) works, so let’s break it up” is not a legal argument, it’s an emotional response (exactly what social media does, generating emotional responses).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. Hmmm … fomenting abuse of a person for financial gain. Is there a law against that? Is there legal recourse?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. Is there someway to turn off the “What’s happening” sidebar?

    The “Kitty Genovese” solution.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. Time to break up Twitter. Too much power to do harm, beholden to no one.

    How would you do that? Why would 5 “twitters” be less harmful or more responsible? Wouldn’t they compete for clicks in the worst possible ways?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. Hmmm … fomenting abuse of a person for financial gain. Is there a law against that? Is there legal recourse?

    They could sue Twitter and lose, as the company would not be liable under Section 230. Or the abused person could try to identify the Twitter users and sue them. Good luck with that.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. Rip:

    I would think the whole “public figure” thing would put a stop to lawsuits. Would Section 230 apply to a tweet Twitter actually promoted? A legal question, I guess, but I think active promotion of a website tweet would matter

    Appalled (1a17de)

  19. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 6/3/2021 @ 10:53 am

    Wouldn’t they compete for clicks in the worst possible ways?

    No single baby Twitter would have the reach of original Twitter, and they wouldn’t all be targeting the same person.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  20. @4. ‘[Just] 22% of Americans say they have ever used Twitter, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey. Noting how demographics of Twitter users differ from the average Americans, commentators have cautioned against media narratives that treat Twitter as representative of the populationadding that only 10% of users Tweet actively, and that 90% of Twitter users have Tweeted no more than twice.’ – source, wikitwitter

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  21. There are no legal grounds to break up Twitter.

    Break it up into what? What are the components of Twitter?

    How would you do that? Why would 5 “twitters” be less harmful or more responsible? Wouldn’t they compete for clicks in the worst possible ways?

    All great questions. But we do have a problem – a business entity that allows racism, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and other crap to thrive. It’s hard to solve because Twitter can hide behind Section 230.

    Since their business model is protected by the government, the government has the power to strip it, or tax the ever loving daylight out of Twitter.

    So maybe, on second thought, breaking up Twitter isn’t the optimal solution. I would posit a $10 tax on every Tweet sent is a much better solution. That is the price Twitter and its users pay for Section 230 protection.

    Or, make Twitter liable for the bilge that its users spread – strip Section 230.

    I would be happy with either.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  22. But we do have a problem – a business entity that allows racism, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and other crap to thrive. It’s hard to solve because Twitter can hide behind Section 230.

    And every time Twitter or Facebook, etc. try to do something about racism, disinformation, etc. the Trump wing of the Republican Party yells “cancel culture!”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. @22 you’re confusing “i don’t agree with this person, therefore racist” with actual racism and confusing “i don’t like this information, therefore disinformation” with actual false information

    but, maybe you need an example

    covid lab leak theory

    JF (e1156d)

  24. “covid lab leak theory”

    Which theory? Covid was accidently released? Covid was intentionally released? Covid is an engineered bio-weapon?

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  25. @24 you’re asking these questions like they actually mattered

    JF (e1156d)

  26. The Kat Rosenfeld piece is very informative. I didn’t get this from anywhere else. It deserves to be re-published by the New York Post. Has she tried something like that?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  27. I think JF means any version.

    I think the consensus theory is that Covid was engineered. in part as a result of research that had been recommended by a couple of U.S. people, (which is why there are people concerned it could be repeated some place else other than China) but not precisely as a weapon, and was unintenionally released.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  28. Sammy that seems to be what looks most likely currently. Does HHS have an IG and are they working on this yet?

    Time123 (b87ded)

  29. @22 you’re confusing “i don’t agree with this person, therefore racist” with actual racism and confusing “i don’t like this information, therefore disinformation” with actual false information

    but, maybe you need an example

    Arizona voter “audit” is better.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  30. “Arizona voter “audit” is better.”

    False flag antifa attacks

    https://twitter.com/nancymace/status/1399695342635991042

    Davethulhu (69e65f)

  31. I don’t know. I don;t know if we would know.. But it might not be covered anyway.

    Fauci, of course has engaged in propaganda, and maybe that could be an issue for an Inspector General. It’s not just with one thing, it’s with regard to a lot of assertions, but it seems mostly in have been pretending to be more sure of himself than he was. The emails don’t really show what right wing talk radio is trying to claim. They show that Fauci wasn’t sure what was the truth.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  32. They could sue Twitter and lose, as the company would not be liable under Section 230. Or the abused person could try to identify the Twitter users and sue them. Good luck with that.

    Twitter’s decisions to promote topics is an editorial one that might be outside Section 230. It is one thing to way “we are just passing it along” but their decision to not only allow it, but to promote it is editorial.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. No single baby Twitter would have the reach of original Twitter, and they wouldn’t all be targeting the same person.

    Until everyone ended up on the winner.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  34. @32-
    I’ll concede to your legal expertise in first amendment law.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  35. Which theory? Covid was accidently released? Covid was intentionally released? Covid is an engineered bio-weapon?

    All were blocked in places until last week.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. I’ll concede to your legal expertise in first amendment law.

    Well, I’ll concede to you wanting to avoid the questions.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. I’m trying to understand this.

    Complaints about the danger of “gain of function”” research were made by 2011. Support for it was discontinued (probably because of someone at a higher level than Dr Fauci) in 2014.

    Dr. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina complained that he would have to discontinue most of his research if the Obama Administration edict was interpreted strictly, and in the end, his research was allowed to continue. (and it didn’t just concern coronaviruses. He was interested in a lot of diseases.)

    In the meantime, Dr. Ralph Baric or others had also begun working with the main lab in Wuhan going back to at least 2013. A new lab was built by a French contractor in 2015. In 2015 there was a scientific paper in which he collaborated with Wuhan.

    In late 2017 the Trump administration reversed the ban. The research the U.S. “paid” for was not precisely what could have led to Covid.

    In addition the U.S. government gave grants to to Dr. Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance which gave grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Understand that the Chinese might not have revealed all the research they were conducting. Even in less sensitive fields they like to conduct some research in secret.

    https://khn.org/news/article/wuhan-lab-leak-coronavirus-virologists-seek-inquiry-covid-origins-bat-research

    At the center of the storm is Peter Daszak, whose EcoHealth Alliance has worked directly with Chinese coronavirus scientists for years. The scientist has been pilloried by Republicans and lost National Institutes of Health funding for his work. He gets floods of threats, including hate mail with suspicious powders. In a rare interview, he conceded that he can’t disprove that the deadly covid-19 virus resulted from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — though he doesn’t believe it.

    “It’s a good conspiracy theory,” Daszak told KHN. “Foreigners designing a virus in a mysterious lab, a nefarious activity, and then the cloak of secrecy around China.”

    But to attack scientists “is not only shooting the messenger,” he said. “It’s shooting the people with the conduit to where the next pandemic could happen.”

    Yet what if the messengers were not only bearing bad news but also accidentally unleashed a virus that went on to kill more than 3 million people?…

    Daszak, who finds such theories specious, was the only American on a 10-member team that the World Health Organization sent to China this winter to investigate the origins of the virus. The group concluded its work without gaining access to databases at the Wuhan Institute, but dismissed the lab leak hypothesis as unlikely. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, said the hypothesis “requires further investigation.”

    On Friday, 18 virus and immunology experts published a letter in the journal Science demanding a deeper dive. “Theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable,” they said, adding that the Wuhan Institute should open its records. One of the signatories was a North Carolina virologist who has worked directly with the Wuhan Institute’s top scientists.

    That demand is “definitely not acceptable,” responded Shi Zhengli, who directs the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute. “Who can provide evidence that does not exist?” she told MIT Technology Review. Shi has said that thousands of attempts to hack its computer systems forced the institute to close its database.

    In September, 2019? Who would have wanted to hack it then?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  38. Kevin M #33.

    Until everyone ended up on the winner.

    What you would want is that there shouldn’t be a single winner again. So they’d need to be on top of this. And maybe there never would anything quite so dominant. Although Twitter isn’t completely dominant.

    But there is a problem. It is hard for there to be more than one MYSpace at a time.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  39. It’s a little like nuclear inspectors in Iraq or Iran. If you can talk freely and check the records you could find out a lot.

    My own theory is that there was bureaucratic inflghting with the dangerous research having backing by the military (both making for greater amateurishness and carelessness)and some research was moved offsite from the Wuhan Center of Virology to the more secret Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, located about 300 yards from the seafood market that was repeatedly misdescribed as a “wet market” that was falsely blamed as the source. It must be because that was in the vicinity of a locus of infection. Otherwise, why pick a seafood market rather than a market were live animals that had lungs were sold?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  40. I’ll concede to your legal expertise in first amendment law.

    Well, I’ll concede to you wanting to avoid the questions.

    Fine, your opinion is that by promoting tweets, Twitter is an editor. However, saying it does not make it so. From what I can tell, Twitter itself does not promote tweets, but individuals can pay to have their tweets promoted to show up in the Twitter search engine (it’s called advertising). And Twitter promotes tweets using an algorithm.

    Does that make them an editor more like a newspaper? That’s the opinion of people who don’t like Twitter (or Facebook, etc.), but so far the courts have disagreed, and fully backed Twitter et. al. under Section 230. If people want Twitter et. al. to be subject to Section 230, they will face more, not less, censorship because the social media companies (big and small) will take down anything that could cause them to be sued for libel, etc. and pay out damages.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  41. The reach of Section 230 into editorial decisions is unclear. It seems that it does protect the de3cision to allow or remove material from 3rd parties, for whatever reason. What is NOT clear is editorial promotion.

    Does Twitter’s putting some content on their sidebar set it outside Section 230? I’m not sure this has been tested. I’d love to see a case.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. @40

    1. twitter is a private entity, they can do what they want and it’s not censorship

    2. if 230 is repealed, twitter will take down stuff and that’s more censorship

    choose one narrative and stick with it

    JF (e1156d)

  43. (Rip, that last leapfrogged you. Phone call.)

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. If people want Twitter et. al. to be subject to Section 230, they will face more, not less, censorship

    I am only concerned with items they promote, whether directly paid to do so (and once money changes hands, claiming to just be bystanders is awkward) or not. When they do that, they have ceased to be a mere conduit and there may well be a line they can cross at some point (suppose it was a 30pt text banner you get when you sign on).

    In any event what they are doing is really sh1tty. It could easily lead to suicides.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. Shorter: If they became responsible for items they promote it would not affect other material.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. @40

    1. twitter is a private entity, they can do what they want and it’s not censorship

    2. if 230 is repealed, twitter will take down stuff and that’s more censorship

    choose one narrative and stick with it

    Both statements are true.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  47. I think what Kat Rosenfeld said is that something Twitter does – Trending Topics – promotes cyberbullying and is not honestly described either.

    And we can say that trying to get someone “cancelled” is a form of cyberbullying.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  48. https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/03/health/anthony-fauci-emails/index.html

    He says he has never changed what he says.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  49. Truth be told, I am not affected by what the social media companies do, as I do not have any accounts.

    It could easily lead to suicides.

    A version of the heckler’s veto?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  50. It was not Twitter who made “racist” the 21st century “Witch!”. It takes a majority to allow the nattering nitwittery of vocal minorities to be consequential. Easier when that majority has no center — itself splintered into a jumble of self-absorbed minority groups and individuals.

    nk (1d9030)

  51. A version of the heckler’s veto?

    Well, there is some issue with a multi-billion dollar corporation promoting attacks by 10s of thousands of bullies on innocent victims. That they then disavow any responsibility while fighting subpoenas for the names of the actual bullies is clearly not right.

    Is there such a thing as an inverse class-action suit?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. Now, what you need to know, is what niche you’re in. Because it’s the group opinion of that niche that you are vulnerable to. Marjorie Taylor Greene cannot afford to offend Trumpkins. Alexandria Ocasio Cortes cannot afford to offend Greenwich Village weirdos.

    Keep your niche on your side and you’ll be safe. I remember when some people tried to give the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch grief. He was asked why they did not carry plus sizes. He said because their market was attractive people (or people who cared about looking attractive). The “controversy” probably raised their sales. The way MTG hauled in several hundred thousand dollars in donations in the days following her purge from her committee assignments.

    If Ellie Kemper is in trouble, it’s not because of what Twitter is. It’s because the entertainment industry is what it is.

    nk (1d9030)

  53. JVW (ee64e4) — 6/3/2021 @ 8:57 am

    It’s high time we start hearing stories of engineers, marketers, executives, etc. who are resigning from Twitter because they can’t stand

    I’m guessing this has already worked itself out because

    their site has become

    isn’t really a new thing. It might be larger in scale or more obvious but it’s been this way for a while. Just like everyone working in the pron, tobacco, abortion, loan shark, and journalism industry have already made their moral decisions.

    frosty (f27e97)

  54. Is there a need to modify Section 230? What would need to change?

    Anonymity? If commenters had to be identified, or at least have a path to their identity that did not pass through lawyers, some kinds of comments would not occur. Do we lose a baby with this bathwater?

    Editorial promotion? We probably don’t want to limit the ability of a site to censor those things that should be censored (e.g. incitement to violence), but there is a difference between non-censoring and promoting content. If the site says: LOOK AT THIS it should have some skin in the game.

    Bullying? Does a site have a duty to protect users from rampant bullying? Could it?

    Doxxing? Does a site have a duty to take down personal information posted by others?

    It’s clear that the current regime has problems. Can we address them without curbing the usefiul parts of these media?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. But nk, your argument (“don’t stray off the reservation”) is applied to the MTGs and to the John Smiths equally. Some people choose to paint the bullseye on themselves and whatever happens is their own effing fault.

    Someone who is merely in the entertainment industry, who is attacked for something that is utterly beyond their control (and beyond their ken) is not a willing target. This isn’t Mel Gibson’s tirade against Jews, this is attacking someone for sport.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. Facebook to end special treatment for politicians after Trump ban

    Facebook plans to end its controversial policy that mostly shields politicians from the content moderation rules that apply to other users, a sharp reversal that could have global ramifications for how elected officials use the social network.
    …….
    Facebook also plans to shed light on the secretive system of strikes it gives accounts for breaking its content rules, according to two people familiar with the changes. That will include letting users know when they’ve received a strike for violating its rules that could lead to suspension. BuzzFeed News and other outlets have previously reported on instances when Facebook employees intervened to keep political pages from being subject to harsh penalties under the strikes policy.
    …….
    For the past few years, Facebook has maintained a list of political accounts that aren’t subject to the same fact-checking or content moderation processes that apply to other users. In 2019, a group of employees asked for the list to be dissolved, citing internal research that showed people were especially likely to believe falsehoods if they were shared by an elected official, according to The Information.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  57. RIP F. Lee Bailey (87) and Mike Marshall (78) have died. Marshall was the first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award while with the Dodgers (1974).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  58. Not to be confused with Mike Marshall, an outfielder for the Dodgers in the 80’s who never could quite lay off the slider.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  59. Facebook to end special treatment for politicians after Trump ban

    When one can of worms closes, another opens. When they censor (and that’s what it is) political figures, especially during a campaign, they have better be damn sure they do so by the most clear criteria. If your staff is biased, partisan or just hasn’t enough time-on-planet to tell bullsh1t from regular sh1t, you may find that you are digging a hole that you may not like.

    Take for example the Wuhan Labs thing. Not to litigate that again, but when a “lie” becomes “not a lie” because a different president tells it, it is not hard to see bias.

    In an MTG/AOC world, with a staff that has been taught that freedom is slavery, it is probably a better path not do get between the dogs and the hydrant.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. Editorial promotion? We probably don’t want to limit the ability of a site to censor those things that should be censored (e.g. incitement to violence), but there is a difference between non-censoring and promoting content. If the site says: LOOK AT THIS it should have some skin in the game.

    This is interesting and i think one of the GOP bills has some penalties for ‘hiding’ things by algorithm. The trick is what counts as promoting. Do you have any thoughts on how to define that?

    Time123 (80b471)

  61. IMPORTANT UPDATE: There is a solution! I have used this today and highly recommend it.

    All the stupid sidebar crapola is gone.

    Patterico (e349ce)

  62. I’m sure that will clean up your feed, but it still won’t stop jerks making someone else’s life miserable — the bullies will still use it, and Twitter will still promote it.

    As I said upthread, it’s like closing your window so you can’t hear the screams.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  63. Do you have any thoughts on how to define that?

    Concrete ones? No. Partly because I don’t use Twitter (and yes, I am closing the window to avoid the screaming, too). If the NY Times publishes a libelous letter in print, they have clear responsibility. The approve all comments on their site (where Section 230 protects them still), but some of them they select out for recommendation; is that enough?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. @62. ‘Twitter Lite.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  65. @61 i personally didn’t watch any of the outlets that smeared richard jewell

    did that make things better for him?

    JF (e1156d)

  66. i personally didn’t watch any of the outlets that smeared richard jewell

    did that make things better for him?

    What’s the point of regrets, now? And besides, who are we to judge you? You answered the call when Mr. Trump lost his job and Melania needed new Manolos and that’s what counts.

    nk (1d9030)

  67. your sleep number setting might be too high, nk

    JF (e1156d)

  68. You got anything to offer here besides unfunny snark?

    nk (1d9030)

  69. He also has a wounded sense of grievance and racial resentment if you’re needing any of that.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  70. JVW (ee64e4) — 6/3/2021 @ 8:57 am

    It’s high time we start hearing stories of engineers, marketers, executives, etc.

    If twitter and facebook are ok with the strike back pac on their platform it’s just more evidence that this is more about speech a certain side doesn’t like.

    It seems clear that hate speech is just fine as long as it’s against the right groups. I’d extend this beyond just the employees.

    frosty (f27e97)

  71. @70, If I stipulate your premise that they’re a hate speech site my next response is “Ok. I don’t want to participate in hate speech but those are (horrible) things people have a right to say.”

    I mean, I don’t spend time at stormfront or 4chan but I think the garbage people who do have that right.

    Time123 (441f53)

  72. Time123 (441f53) — 6/4/2021 @ 11:07 am

    I mean, I don’t spend time at stormfront or 4chan but I think the garbage people who do have that right.

    And I’d apply that equally for twitter/facebook. I’ve never suggested that people can’t push the hate speech they want to push. I’m just observing the hypocrisy of claiming to be against hate speech while promoting hate speech and continuing my first comment to JVW about people having already made their moral decisions on this.

    frosty (f27e97)

  73. Too bad a single “click” can’t remove Jack Dorsey.

    askeptic (5a6749)

  74. Darn it, she caved:

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/ellie-kemper-apologizes-veiled-prophet-ball-190658411.html

    And if I ever met Ms. Kemper, I would have liked to use the same line Dallas Winston used with Cherry Valance at th he drive-in in The Outsiders.

    urbanleftbehind (23a4bd)

  75. “Remember, you’re fighting for this woman’s honor, which is probably more than she ever did.” — Just Google it.

    Ellie Kemper Apologizes for Participation in Controversial Pageant: ‘Ignorance Is No Excuse’
    In a statement, the actress addressed her 1999 participation in a Missouri ball with a “racist, sexist and elitist past”

    I won’t say “I told you so” because I’m not sure that I did, but I did try to tell you in a nice way that that’s the kind of business she’s in.

    nk (1d9030)


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