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Thread: Twitter censors leading Alt-Right figures

  1. #1
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    Default Twitter censors leading Alt-Right figures

    Twitter censors leading Alt-Right figures.

    Twitter expands 'mute' and 'report' features to combat abuse

    But the company knows it won't completely be able to get rid of trolls.

    Mariella Moon , @mariella_moon
    11.15.16 in Internet



    https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/15/...-combat-abuse/
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...5532#post15532
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...5532#post15532



    Twitter has such a bad troll problem that it may be the reason why Disney ultimately decided not to buy the social network. Now, even though it's probably too late to change Disney's mind, the company has enhanced a couple of features to help users get other abusive users off their backs. Over the coming days, you'll be able to mute not just people, but also keywords and phrases, usernames, emojis and hashtags to make sure nothing cruel or insulting slips into your notifications. If people keep tagging you in a conversation you want no part of, you'll be able to mute that thread to stop receiving notices, as well.

    Besides giving you the power to mute anything you don't want to see, Twitter is also putting other users' well-being in your hands. Starting today, you'll be able to report harassment and any hateful tweets directed not just towards you, but also towards other people, friends and strangers alike. So long as a tweet "targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease," you can let Twitter know. The company says it refamiliarized its support team about its policies and improved its tools to be able to better address those reports.

    In its announcement, Twitter has admitted that it's having issues keeping abusive behavior in check. "We've seen a growing trend of people taking advantage of that openness and using Twitter to be abusive to others," the announcement read. "Because Twitter happens in public and in real-time, we've had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct." It also knows these measures are nowhere near enough to clean up the website, but it's committing "to rapidly improving [the microblogging website] based on everything [the team] observe[s] and learn[s]." Whether it gets to the point that big companies won't hesitate buying it up, we guess we'll just have to wait and see.




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    Default

    President Trump, Nationalize Social Media

    SPLC seizes control of Twitter



    http://www.occidentaldissent.com/201...-social-media/
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...5532#post15532
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...5532#post15532


    Well, this doesn’t come as any surprise:

    “SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter suspended a number of accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech. …

    Heidi Beirich, spokeswoman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told USA TODAY that the center had asked Twitter to remove more than 100 accounts of white supremacists who violated Twitter’s terms of service. She also pointed to two alt-right accounts that had been verified by Twitter, including Spencer’s.

    Twitter says it verifies an account by giving it a blue check mark when “it is determined to be an account of public interest.” Twitter launched the feature in 2009 after celebrities complained about people impersonating them on the social media service.

    “We are encouraged by the decisions taken by Twitter. Now it is a matter of whether they are carried out,” Beirich said. “Obviously, well-known white supremacists violate these terms of service and we are glad it appears that Twitter has chosen to step up on these issues.”
    .





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    Default Twitter suspends alt-right accounts

    Twitter suspends alt-right accounts


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/n...unts/93943194/
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...5533#post15533
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...5533#post15533



    SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter suspended high-profile accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech.

    Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter.

    The alt-right, a loosely organized group that espouses white nationalism, emerged as a counterpoint to mainstream conservatism and has flourished online. Spencer has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the U.S.

    Twitter on Tuesday removed Spencer's verified account, @RichardBSpencer, that of his think tank, the National Policy Institute @npiamerica, and his online magazine @radixjournal.

    "This is corporate Stalinism," Spencer told The Daily Caller News Foundation. In a YouTube video, entitled Knight of the Long Knives, an apparent reference to the purge of Nazi leaders in 1934 to consolidate Adolf Hitler's power, Spencer said Twitter had engaged in a coordinated effort to wipe out alt-right Twitter.

    "I am alive physically but digitally speaking there has been execution squads across the alt right," he said. "There is a great purge going on and they are purging people based on their views."

    In a statement, Twitter said: "The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted abuse and harassment, and we will suspend accounts that violate this policy."

    It declined to comment specifically on the suspensions, which included the accounts of Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers.

    Twitter was the platform of choice for the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump and the alt-right political movement that embraced him. The alt-right used social media to spread its cause of white supremacy, operating largely unchecked by social media giants Twitter and Facebook.

    For years, Twitter billed itself as "the free speech wing of the free speech party." But as the social media service grew, that hands-off approach contributed to a dramatic rise in abuse, harassment and hate speech. As the company's user and revenue growth stagnated and public backlash increased, Twitter has in recent months begun to address complaints. After a bitterly divisive election, personal attacks and threats have only escalated.


    USA TODAY
    Twitter says it's cracking down on hate speech

    White nationalist Matt Heimblach said the purge of alt-right accounts was politically motivated and accused Twitter of restricting free speech.

    "There is a lot of concern over them trying to stop us, whether it's the establishment or whether it's these multinational corporations like Twitter or Google, but I really think it's too little too late. This political revolution that we are seeing has already begun," Heimblach, chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, said in an interview.

    For every account that's banned, new accounts take its place, he said.

    "The more the system tries to make the ideas of nationalism taboo, the more people are going to be interested and seek them out," he said. "It's helping us propagate our message every time they try very clumsily to shut us down."

    As a private company, Twitter has no obligation to provide a forum for white nationalist views and "can do what it wants," said James Grimmelmann, a law professor who studies social networks at Cornell University.

    "The case for saying Twitter ought to leave these accounts up is that free speech has purposes and those purposes would be served by having private companies be compelled to be more neutral platforms," Grimmelmann said. "This is not a constituency in imminent danger of having its viewpoints shut down by the powers that be in the United States. We just had an election that proved that there are really ample chances for people espousing strong right-wing racist views to get their views heard."

    From Tuesday's suspensions, it's clear that Twitter is cracking down on accounts that it decides are in violation of the company's rules which ban hateful conduct. It has done a mass ban before. It removed 125,000 accounts linked to ISIL between mid-2015 and February 2016. But it's unclear if the crackdown will continue.


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    Default Twitter Bans Prominent Alt-Right Accounts But Other Hate Group Leaders Remain

    Twitter Bans Prominent Alt-Right Accounts But Other Hate Group Leaders Remain


    https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/...leaders-remain
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...5542#post15542
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...5542#post15542


    Amidst continuing outrage over a lack of content-policing on its platform, Twitter on Tuesday announced new steps to take on hate and bigotry online.

    The social media giant released a set of tools that allow users to silo and mute unwanted content. It also announced a strengthening of its enforcement of a longstanding ban on targeted hate and, it appears, shifted from a policy of banning users only for conduct violations to one that includes content violations.

    Within 24 hours, Twitter banned several accounts, including that of white nationalist Richard Spencer, his think tank, the National Policy Institute, and his online magazine, Radix Journal. Alt-right activists Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers were also banned.

    The alt-right erupted in outrage. In a YouTube video titled “The Knight [sic] Of Long Knives,” Spencer said, "I am alive physically but digitally speaking there has been execution squads across the alt right." Jared Taylor also released a statement, calling the banning of white nationalist accounts “suppression of certain political views.”

    A stable of hate groups and their leaders remain on Twitter. They include former Ku Klux Klan leaders, the American Nazi Party and many rogue, alt-right accounts that are responsible for much the most racist and anti-Semitic content on the platform.

    Here is a sampling of the extremist accounts still operating on Twitter:

    Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP):



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    Default Twitter's Misbegotten Censorship

    Twitter's Misbegotten Censorship

    The right way to deal with social media’s neo-Nazis is not by taking away their platforms, but by taking away their audiences.

    by David Frum
    Nov. 16, 2016



    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...-right/507929/
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...5554#post15554
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...5554#post15554


    The very last tweet from the now-suspended Twitter account of the alt-right leader Richard B. Spencer was directed at me.

    On Tuesday afternoon, I tweeted a link to a BuzzFeed report that Russia’s English-language channel, RT, was testing a new program featuring Katie Hopkins. (Hopkins, for those unfamiliar, is a provocative British media personality, perhaps best known for a TV interview in which she described judging her children’s playmates by whether their given names were posh enough.)

    Spencer retorted to my Hopkins tweet: “We’re winning. You’re losing.” My answer remains on my Twitter timeline as a punchline without a setup: “You’d have said that on the afternoon of the Guernica bombing too. Wasn’t true then; isn’t true now.” Minutes after that exchange, Spencer’s account vanished, as did that of his website, as well as nearly a dozen other people associated with Spencer's brand of racialist politics. All this on a day when Spencer had appeared on NPR and the Daily Show.

    Twitter has long been harshly criticized for its weak policing of online harassment. Jewish journalists—including The Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg—have been barraged with thousands of viciously obscene and gleefully exterminationist messages from anonymous accounts. Leslie Jones, the Saturday Night Live comedian, was driven off Twitter for a time by orchestrated abuse of her performance in the Ghostbusters remake.

    Perhaps even more ominously, Twitter emerged during the 2016 presidential election as the pre-eminent means by which pro-Trump troll accounts—many of them automated, located outside the United States, often in Russia—disseminated false news and attempted to drive opponents off social media altogether.

    Twitter has responded by periodic crackdowns against people known or suspected of organizing abuse. Breitbart.com’s Milo Yiannopoulos had his verification status stripped, and ultimately his account suspended, for his role fomenting the campaign against Leslie Jones.

    In the case of Richard Spencer, however, there is no evidence of harassment or incitement to harass. The same can be said of most (although not all) of the other accounts suspended on November 15. These suspensions seem motivated entirely by viewpoint, not by behavior.

    Let’s pause here for the necessary caveats: Twitter is a private actor; it has no First Amendment obligations to anybody. It is a for-profit entity, seeking to maximize the value of its service. It can turn away anyone it likes, subject only to non-discrimination laws—and personal belief is not a forbidden ground of discrimination. Twitter is acting wholly within its rights.

    I’ll add a second group of caveats; these maybe a little more controversial than the first. Social-media platforms are not common carriers. They are entitled to turn away customers who behave in ways inconsistent with the platform’s identity and purpose. Americans have wide rights to post and view pornography—but there are strong business reasons why Instagram, for example, insists that Americans exercise that right somewhere else. If Twitter decides, “This is not the place for political discussion,” that’s Twitter’s prerogative.

    But, of course, that’s not what Twitter has done. Politics remains welcome at Twitter, as its most famous user, the president-elect, can attest. What Twitter is saying is that some and only some speech will be policed, by standards that can only be guessed at in advance.

    That’s socially undesirable for a lot of reasons, but consider just this one: It’s precisely the perception of arbitrary and one-sided speech policing that drives so many young men toward radical, illiberal politics. On campus especially, but also in the corporate world—and now on social media—they perceive that wild and wacky things can be said by some people, but not by others. By useful comparison: On the very same day that Twitter suspended the accounts of some alt-right users, DePaul University forbade a scheduled appearance by the broadcaster and writer Ben Shapiro. Shapiro is not an alt-rightist; in fact, the Anti-Defamation League reported last month that Shapiro is Twitter's single most frequently targeted victim of anti-Semitic abuse by alt-rightists. But Shapiro is a scathing polemicist and provocateur—an alumnus of the same Bannon-Breitbart empire that incubated Milo Yiannopoulos—and DePaul expressed worry that his appearance on campus might provoke violence.

    The culture of offense-taking, platform-denying, and heckler-vetoing—now spreading ever outward from the campuses—lets loudmouths and thugs present themselves as heroes of free thought. They do not deserve this opportunity.

    It’s a crazy fact of American life that as of today, a neo-Nazi has more right to build an arsenal of weapons and drill a militia than to speak on Twitter. Maybe we should try it the other way around.

    There’s not much American constituency for Richard Spencer’s vision of a United States subdivided into segregated countries for each racial group, or for debates about whether Jews and Italians should count as “white,” or for fantasies about overturning democracy and returning to rule by kings and lords. But there is a real constituency for debates about immigration, about crime and policing, and other racially charged issues.

    Over the past two decades, Americans have constructed systems of intellectual silencing that stifle the range of debate among responsible and public-spirited people. They’ve resigned hugely important topics to the domain of cranks and haters. If the only people who’ll talk about the risks and costs of a more diverse society are fascists, then the fascists will gain an audience. So long as they refrain from incitement and harassment, the right way to deal with social media’s neo-Nazis is not by taking away their platforms, but by taking away their audiences, by welcoming a more open and more intelligent discussion of what Americans yearn most to hear about.



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    Default The Far Right Has a New Digital Safe Space

    The Far Right Has a New Digital Safe Space



    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/ar...afe-space.html
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...5603#post15603
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...5603#post15603





    When the white nationalist leader Richard B. Spencer was suspended from Twitter recently, he hopped over to YouTube to address his supporters. “Digitally speaking,” he said, Twitter had sent “execution squads across the alt-right.” He accused Twitter of “purging people on the basis of their views,” calling it “corporate Stalinism.” Then he mapped out a path forward. “There’s obviously Gab, which is an interesting medium,” he said. “I think that will be the place where we go next.”

    Gab is a new social network built like a hybrid of Twitter and Reddit — posts are capped at 300 characters, and the crowd votes to boost or demote posts in the feed. But Gab’s defining feature is its user guidelines, or rather, its lack thereof. Gab bans illegal activities — child pornography, threats of violence, terrorism — and not much else. “Facebook, Twitter and Reddit are taking the path of censorship,” Utsav Sanduja, Gab’s chief communications officer, told me via email. “Gab does not.”

    Think of Gab as the Make America Great Again of social sites: It’s a throwback to the freewheeling norms of the old internet, before Twitter started cracking down on harassment and Reddit cleaned out its darkest corners. And since its debut in August, it has emerged as a digital safe space for the far right, where white nationalists, conspiracy-theorist YouTubers, and minivan majority moms can gather without liberal interference.

    This election laid bare the ideological divide on social media, and since the election, the rift has deepened. Just as dejected Hillary Clinton supporters have come together in Pantsuit Nation — a “secret” Facebook group of nearly four million members — some on the right have found their postelection online oasis in the invitation-only Gab.

    Gab’s 25-year-old founder, Andrew Torba, dreamed up the site after reading reports that Facebook employees suppress conservative articles on the site. Mr. Torba — who previously created Kuhcoon, a system for running automated Facebook ad campaigns (it’s now called Automate Ads) — is a rare conservative Christian tech C.E.O. Gab is a corrective to what he dubs “Big Social,” and it’s based on what the company calls “a pluralistic ethos of mutual respect and toleration of dissonant views.”

    When other social sites push out disruptive users, Gab opens its arms. Recently, Twitter beefed up abuse rules to police not only threats but also hate speech “against a race, religion, gender, or orientation.” (The move presaged the purge that swept up Mr. Spencer.) And Reddit erased a community called Pizzagate, where conspiracy theorists had gathered to spin lies about Democratic pedophiles operating out of a D.C. pizzeria. On Gab, the topic is always trending.

    All the big-name Twitter castaways have resurfaced here: In addition to Mr. Spencer, there is Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart editor who was barred from Twitter for siccing trolls on the “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones; Pax Dickinson, the former Business Insider chief technology officer who rebranded himself as a victim of P.C. culture when he was sacked for posting sexist tweets; and Tila Tequila, the reality TV star who was booted from Twitter after posting racial slurs and pro-Nazi stuff. Gab has also attracted the cutting conservative commentator Ann Coulter; the right-wing media guerrilla Mike Cernovich; and the disinformation king Alex Jones, founder of Infowars. Gab now hosts 98,000 accounts, with tens of thousands more hopeful members on a wait list.

    Right-wing rhetoric pervades the site, even the lifestyle and sports categories. With more than 28,000 followers, Mr. Yiannopoulos is one of the site’s biggest stars, though he rarely posts anything. On election night, Mr. Torba excitedly live-Gabbed Donald J. Trump’s victory, then wrote, “Gab is going to be absolutely massive under President Trump.”

    The site has a broader conservative coalition than the largely young, mostly male crews camped out on Reddit’s Trump forums or slithering around the anonymous message board 4chan. The Facebook factions have found a home here, too. Recently a woman named Lisa posted to Gab: “Hi folks. I’m a #gabmom from Ohio and this is my 1st post. Still trying to figure the format out but thanks for the site Andrew!” Her note has been up-voted more than 200 times. Gab’s mascot is a frog, which Mr. Torba claims is based on religious and natural sources associating frogs with exodus and rebirth. Many users see it as a wink to Pepe the Frog, the internet cartoon that became a 4chan icon and — after being dressed up online in Nazi insignia — was declared a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. But plenty of non-meme-fluent Gab users just see it as a cute mascot, “Gabby.”

    High on Mr. Trump’s win, Gab users are pretty upbeat. Part of the reason that Gab’s anti-anti-harassment rules work so well, so far, is that most people agree with one another. And one of those points of agreement is that anti-Semitism is tolerable, if not exactly preferred. On Twitter, anti-Semitic and racist trolls prowl around, pouncing on users while dodging the site’s moderators. But on Gab, anti-Jewish rhetoric is slung casually and liberally. One user, angry that his content had just been downvoted, wrote, “Thanks to the #Jew that just stopped by.” Andrew Auernheimer, a white supremacist troll known as weev, kicked off a minor censorship debate when Gab erased his bio, which advocated the rape, torture and murder of Jews. When one user advised weev to be more careful to avoid trouble with the law, another accused him of being Jewish.

    While mainstream social networks are promising to crack down on “fake news,” Gab clears the runway for posts like “Satanic PizzaGate Is Going Viral Worldwide (Elites Are Terrified)” to pick up speed. Ricky Vaughn, a pseudonymous white nationalist (he takes his name from Charlie Sheen’s character in “Major League”) also barred from Twitter, posted to Gab that Twitter is effectively dead and should now be used only to pull off “skirmishes” against Twitter denizens. Gab would be a convenient base for recruiting more digital foot soldiers to that cause.

    Behind the rah-rah free speech attitude, dissenting opinions on Gab are quashed in their own way. Overtly racist accounts were created by enemies to make Gab look bad, Mr. Torba said in a post. “Without a doubt,” he wrote, “we have fake shill profiles attempting to play into the media narrative.”

    But some have worried that the site’s insulation can dampen their message. “Now that Twitter is purging everyone, I think it’s important for Gab to branch out and attract leftists so we’re not just preaching to the choir,” wrote Paul Joseph Watson, editor at large at Infowars.

    When I asked why the site leans conservative, Mr. Sanduja denied that Gab had any ideological bent. “We challenge this premise completely — to the contrary, Gab has a number of diverse users globally,” he wrote. (There is a politely argumentative Democrat who goes by the handle @Democrat, for instance.) But he added that right-wing users would be naturally drawn to Gab. “When a group of people are being systematically dehumanized and labeled as the alphabet soup of phobias,” he wrote, “they will look for a place that will allow them to speak freely without censorship and devoid of Social Justice bullying.”

    But that’s the trick, isn’t it? You can’t sell a social destination where conservatives are free from liberal pestering and expect the pitch to resonate across the spectrum. Even the idea that harassment rules are oppressive — instead of protective of the vulnerable — is itself a pointed worldview. I suspect that any concern about inclusion will be assuaged by the comfort of chatting with people who think and talk the same way. It’s the next logical step after all the blocking and muting on Twitter and filtering and unfollowing on Facebook split America into two social media realities. Where there once was a bubble, now there’s a wall.



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    Default Promising no censorship, social network Gab draws 'alt-right'

    Promising no censorship, social network Gab draws 'alt-right'

    Thomas URBAIN
    AFP December 11, 2016



    https://www.yahoo.com/news/promising...061709406.html
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...5663#post15663
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...5663#post15663


    New York (AFP) - Squeezed out of Twitter and other social media websites cracking down on hate speech, far-right activists are finding a home on a new platform that promises never to censor content.

    Launched in August, Gab has become known as a safe haven for the "alt-right" movement dominated by the white supremacists who are helping fuel America's deepening polarization.

    The social network currently has 100,000 members and another 200,000 on its waiting list, according to the company.

    "All are welcome to speak freely," spokesman Utsav Sanduja says.

    Gab is unable to accommodate all those who want to join, he adds, because it is still in its test phase.

    The social network's rise comes amid Twitter's suspension of political activists for purportedly promoting racist and harassing comments.

    One of the new "Gabbers," Richard Spencer, heads the white supremacist National Policy Institute, whose account Twitter has suspended.

    Spencer, whose "Hail Trump" comments were seen as evocative of the Nazi era, joined the Twitter exile along with Milo Yiannopoulos, accused of fomenting a social media campaign against the African-American actress Leslie Jones.

    - Rising acrimony -

    Gab's appearance follows the launch two years ago of another free-speech labeled platform, Voat, which has had limited success.

    But the new site comes amid escalating tensions and acrimony over politics in social media.

    Some say the new guidelines for major platforms represent an effort to curb harassment and hate, others call it censorship.

    Reddit, an online news and messaging board, announced last month that it would crack down on "toxic users" in an effort to curb some incendiary comments from supporters of President-elect Donald Trump.

    "We have identified hundreds of the most toxic users and are taking action against them, ranging from warnings to timeouts to permanent bans," Reddit chief Steve Huffman wrote.

    Gab meanwhile pledges no censoring or filtering, allowing users to post messages of 300 characters, compared to Twitter's 140-character limit.

    Headquartered in the Caribbean island Anguilla, Gab is "bootstrapped," or self-financed, with some donations from the "Gab community."

    Despite its user base, Gab denies having a political agenda.

    "Gab is for everyone and our mission is to challenge censorship on a global scale," Sanduja says.

    "Whether it is from authoritarian governments persecuting their own people, politically incorrect citizens engaging in peaceful and civil discourse or whistleblowers in establishment institutions seeking a safe refuge, Gab will always be there for them and the people."

    - Overtly racist -

    Although the platform's terms prohibit calls for violence or "terrorism," many messages on the site are overtly racist or anti-Semitic.

    That reflects the belief of Gab's founders "that free speech is a fundamental right, one that is absolute and cannot be vitiated in any way," Sanduja says.

    That means "a free exchange of ideas" on the site "without proscription."

    Instead of censoring content, Gab enables its users to filter their news feeds by blocking messages with certain keywords or from specific users.

    Sanduja points to the startup founders' backgrounds as a reflection of diversity.

    He is a Canadian Hindu with roots in India. The other co-founders include Ekrem Buyukkaya, a Muslim of Kurdish origin, and Andrew Torba, the chief executive who calls himself a "Christian conservative."

    However, that kind of symbolism does little to mollify the concerns of those worried that services such as Gab keep users inside "filter bubbles" that reinforce their own ideas and block out other viewpoints.

    "The service that they have created is an echo chamber for extremely conservative opinions," says Lauren Copeland, associate director of the Community Research Institute at Baldwin Wallace University.

    "It may be open to everybody, but it certainly doesn't appeal to everybody."

    .


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    Default Twitter rethinks ‘verified account’ approval process after white nationalist made the cut

    Twitter rethinks ‘verified account’ approval process after white nationalist made the cut

    ‘We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon’

    By Andrew Blake -
    The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2017



    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...tm_medium=push
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...7233#post17233
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...233#poost17233

    Twitter said its evaluating how it authenticates its users after the company caused an uproar for awarding a blue “verified” check mark to Jason Kessler, the white nationalist who organized the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    The company ignited a firestorm upon verifying Mr. Kessler’s Twitter account on Tuesday this week, seemingly endorsing the presence of a widely panned racist on its platform by placing him in a category reserved for accounts “of public interest.”

    The blowback triggered a response from Twitter on Thursday that effectively put a hold on its process of verifying users.

    “Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon,” Twitter said.

    Jack Dorsey, the company CEO and co-founder, tweeted from his personal account moments later conceding flaws with Twitter’s system, admitting: “our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered.”

    Twitter began applying blue check marks to accounts of interest in 2009, and last year it began accepting requests from non-celebrity users asking to be verified. Today the platform boasts about 330 million monthly active users, including at least 287,000 who’ve been verified, according to a Twitter account that automatically follows users after they’ve received blue check marks.

    “An account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest,” according to Twitter. “Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other key interest areas.”

    “A verified badge does not imply an endorsement by Twitter,” the company says.

    Mr. Kessler’s verification nonetheless made waves this week, particularly in light of Twitter taking heat in the past from critics who’ve accused the company of catering to neo-Nazis and other racists.

    Mr. Kessler, 34, organized the infamous August 12 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that police linked to the death of a woman killed while protesting the event, Heather Heyer. A week later he used his Twitter account to call Heyer a “fat, disgusting Communist” whose death he described as “payback time.”

    “Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter,” he tweeted to his roughly 14,000 followers Tuesday. “I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction.”

    Twitter has been frequently criticized in the past for not doing enough to keep its platform free of hate speech. Earlier this month the company began banning groups that use violence to advance their causes, and on November 22 it’s slated to implement new policies banning “hateful imagery and hate symbols,” according to Mr. Dorsey.



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    Default Live Thread: Twitter Apocalypse



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    Default Twitter begins long-awaited crackdown on hate groups and extremist rhetoric

    Twitter begins long-awaited crackdown on hate groups and extremist rhetoric

    Us dirty spawn of Satan jews are now calling the shots, cum-cum, cum-cum !!!



    https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/...emist-rhetoric
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...7388#post17388
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...7388#post17388



    Twitter began implementing new rules on Monday to suspend users affiliated with hate groups, as well as users who engage in abuse, hateful conduct, or promote violence and physical harm against people “on the basis of their group characteristics.”

    In other words, Twitter started making small steps toward addressing what became a pronounced problem in the lead up to the 2016 election — that the radical right was using the platform to propagate extremist rhetoric, spread anti-Semitic and other racist memes, and attack opponents of white nationalism with raw fury.

    “Today, we are starting to enforce these policies across Twitter,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We’re making these changes to create a safer environment for everyone.”

    The guidelines, initially announced in November, allow the company to prohibit posts that detail “specific threats of violence or wishing for serious physical harm, death, or disease to an individual or group of people,” as well as accounts that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes,” the company said in a blog post.

    The new rules come after Twitter refused to meet critics’ demands that the platform to do more to combat harassment and abuse from trolls and racists. During that time, the racist “alt-right” — a collection of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals who believe multicultural forces are using “political correctness’ to undermine white people — rushed to the platform, taking advantage of Twitter’s uneven and confusing moderation of extremist content.

    Twitter advertised the new rules as simply a clarification of rules already in effect, but by early Monday afternoon some prominent racists had seen their access to the platform suspended.

    The white nationalist American Renaissance and its founder Jared Taylor were suspended, as was Michael Hill, head of the neo-Confederate League of the South, Matthew Heimbach’s Traditionalist Workers Party and Occidental Dissent, a white nationalist website published by Brad Griffin.

    On their own websites, and on Gab, a social media platform catering to alt-right personalities and interests, many reacted with panic and propaganda.

    Throughout Monday, Griffin, who writes under the pseudonym “Hunter Wallace,” maintained a live thread of the suspensions on his website in a post titled “Twitter Apocalypse.” His takeaway? “It shows that Jewish conspiracies are REAL,” he wrote.

    Griffin added: “I’ve always believed in the balkanization of social media. As someone who expects the country itself to polarize and break apart, I have always assumed social media would be an early victim. Free speech is incapable of coexisting with Jewish power, SJWs [social justice warriors] and political correctness.”

    While it remains to be seen how far Twitter will go in enforcing its new rules, many alt-right accounts remained active by early afternoon, including those belonging to the anti-immigrant VDARE, white nationalist attorney Kyle Bristow, former Klansman David Duke and Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, the founder of The Right Stuff (TRS) and a co-host of the Daily Shoah, a seminal podcast of the alt-right.

    Even Richard Spencer, founder of the National Policy Institute and one of the country’s most prominent white nationalist leaders, remained verified on Twitter.

    “As of now, I don’t see any systematic method to the #TwitterPurge,” Spencer tweeted. “I’ve lost more than a hundred followers in 24 hrs, but lots of pro-White accounts, even shit-lordy ones, remain.”




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