Streetwise Professor

October 15, 2020

Twitter and Facebook Are Partisan Hacks. QED!

Filed under: Commodities,Economics,Energy,Politics,Russia — cpirrong @ 1:15 pm

As if to add a QED (with an exclamation point) to my last post, Facebook and Twitter cranked the censorship amp to 11 in an attempt to suppress dissemination of the New York Post story about the release of material from one of Hunter Biden’s laptops. Among the censored, inter alia: the NY Post itself, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and the GOP House Judiciary.

After I read about McEnany’s Twitter account being suspended, I told a friend that I estimated the over/under on how many days before they blocked Trumps account at 2.

The under won. Twitter suspended him today.

This was after Jack Dorsey had said that censoring the article was wrong and that Twitter had made communication errors in explaining its actions.

Translated: “We need to lie better.”

The ostensible justification for this was that the information had been acquired by hacking.


Crack addict whoremaster Hunter dropped off the laptop (3 actually, 2 of which were unrecoverable) for repair. He didn’t pick them up, or pay for them, for 90 days. Meaning that they were the property of the repair shop. No hacking involved. Hunter surrendered this laptop–and the information on it.

And by the way: a real hacker would have blackmailed Hunter/Joe/the DNC.

It’s not as if Hunter doesn’t have a record of such dumbassery. He left a crack pipe and cocaine in a rental car that he dropped off. While he was in rehab.

And as if Twitter, FB, etc., are routinely sooooo cautious about the dissemination of articles that include information not provided voluntarily by the subject.

You know, like articles about Trump’s tax returns, which were metaphysically obtained illegally and without his consent.

Of course the biggest news is that emails on the computer that show Joe Biden was lying about talking with his son about Burisma, or meeting with Burisma people.

The campaign is trying now to tell the truth slowly, by claiming that the meetings weren’t official, and were perfunctory.

Because yeah, when you are trading influence, you always do that in official meetings.

To me the more interesting angle is the revelations about Hunter’s dealings with, and flacking for, and arranging meetings for, CEFC, the dodgy Chinese energy company. So dodgy that its CEO, for whom Hunter carried water, is now in prison.

CEFC, you might recall, was the alleged buyer of a stake in Rosneft. I called bullshit on that deal when it happened.

And yes, it was bullshit. A crooked deal between crooked companies in crooked countries.

These are the kinds of scumbags that Hunter Biden was taking money from, in order to make it rain in DC. Something that wouldn’t have been possible had his father not been Joe Biden.

Birds of a feather.

Insofar as Twitter and Facebook is concerned, the mask is off–as if it was ever really on. These companies are basically arms of the Biden campaign, the Democratic Party, and the anti-Trump establishment. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Jack Dorsey is trying to cover for a drug addict, but the motive goes deeper than that. It is deeply partisan. To the bone.

Which doesn’t make Twitter or Facebook any different than the NYT or the WaPo. But that raises the question: why do they have legal protections as “platforms” that traditional news outlets don’t? And whereas the NYT, etc., face competition–e.g., from the NY Post–as platforms Facebook and Twitter do not. Indeed, they are clearly attempting to quash competing viewpoints.

We are supposed to FREAK OUT over Russians paying less than $100 grand to buy cheesy FB ads because that’s a grave threat to democracy, but we’re supposed to allow Facebook and Twitter to engage in far more consequential election interference?

Why, exactly?

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  1. if you don’t like it, move on. Don’t use FB and Twitter. Stop complaining. It’s a private company, and they can do as they please. Not a public service (free market innit?)

    Comment by [email protected] — October 15, 2020 @ 2:32 pm

  2. @Libte–Or would that be “@libtard”? I’ve addressed those issues before. Read before revealing ignorance/idiocy by repeating such hackneyed arguments. If you have something substantive to say, fine. Barfing up such banalities doesn’t count.

    Comment by cpirrong — October 15, 2020 @ 2:36 pm

  3. it’s [email protected], please.

    You don’t like it, then you move on. No one forces me to watch FoxNews, no one forces you to read the NYT. It’s not censorship, but try to convince me otherwise and I ll keep an open mind?

    In your last blog post, you “barfed” about Friedman’s doctrine of letting business be. So there you go, leave FB and twitter be. Or would you also say we need to regulate AM radio? Because there is plenty to regulate once we start.

    Comment by [email protected] — October 15, 2020 @ 2:52 pm

  4. @libte. I also addressed the Friedman issue.

    Furthermore, the point is not that FB is forcing me or anyone from reading anything: it is PREVENTING people from reading things. See the difference? Probably not.

    If you want to make a reasoned argument regarding platform network effects, common carriers, etc. Go ahead. But your continuous regurgitation of hackneyed arguments is the opposite of persuasive. It just shows how vacuous your position is.

    Comment by cpirrong — October 15, 2020 @ 2:59 pm

  5. honestly, I don’t. Are you seriously suggesting that it PREVENTED anyone interested from reading the NY Post article? Anyone who is “tech-savy” enough to use FB/Twitter can just visit the NY Post site within 5 seconds.

    Your entire blog is a continuous regurgigation of the same arguments. Still fun to read so two thumbs up!

    Comment by [email protected] — October 15, 2020 @ 3:27 pm

  6. Lib-whoever – As I understand it, the real issue is that the various tech players claim to be immune from most media law (notably, defamation liability) because they are only ‘platforms.’ Like a community bulletin board, they are not responsible for what is posted on their sites – they don’t originate it, and make no effort to moderate or police it. They are not exposed to the risk of erroneous or irresponsible reporting in the way that a ‘publisher’ like (say) the NY Times or Fox News is. That theory works just fine – until Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Blogger, (etc) start moderating their content or exercising editorial control – say, by suppressing particular stories. The argument goes that at that point, they have become ‘publishers’ not platforms – and should be treated as such. The distinction is that if someone were to defame you on Twitter – say by spreading the scurrilous lie that you are a violent pedophile – your recourse if twitter is a platform is against the person making the accusation, who well may turn out to be “Bob23492” who cannot be traced. If Twitter is a publisher, your recourse is against both Bob23492 and Twitter (Twitter Inc? – I have no idea).
    I can understand why the tech boys want to be considered as platforms – and why they and their woke employees (or their one conservative employee) want to *act* like publishers, but it’s time for them to chose to be (and act like) one or the other, and for the courts to hold them to it.

    Comment by dcardno — October 15, 2020 @ 9:10 pm

  7. It got better Prof. After Tucker Carlson tweeted out about further news to be revealed on his show, Jack pretty much stopped Twitter from functioning.

    Yes, they replayed that scene from Platoon where the commanding officer asked headquarters to drop ordnance within his perimeter, the situation being so out of control.

    They were so desperate to stop the flood of revelations about Hunter and Joe, they shut down their own service.

    There are some alternatives to Twitter: Parler, Minds and my own favourite Gab. None have the scale, but with Twitter destroying its village in order to save Joe’s dumpster fire of a campaign, their numbers are likely to grow – Gab’s numbers leapt today.

    By the way, all of this – Joe, Hunter, Twitter’s problems, etc – along with much more, have all been forecast for years now. You just had to be fortunate enough to be in earshot of the latest Deepthroat/Delphic Oracle, and then be able to suspend your judgment and apply critical thinking to discern where the truth lay. For a former intel analyst, who has a consuming interest in working out what the bastards are up to at any point in time, the last three years have been fascinating. It has been a long time coming, but finally ‘the plan’ is being rolled out. ‘Few know this’!

    More strength to your arm Prof.

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — October 15, 2020 @ 10:00 pm

  8. @7 E-G S-R, do you expect the Trump Admin to remove the Twitter/FB/etc., etc., 1996 platform standing under CDA Section 230(c)(1)?

    Comment by Pat Frank — October 15, 2020 @ 10:29 pm

  9. @Pat,

    I have no insight into these things myself. And the modern-day Delphic oracle that I consult has been silent about this.

    Trump has hinted at it a few times, in those ‘Why isn’t anybody doing anything about this??’ questions that he occasionally asks which make one wonder if understands why it is that he wakes up in the White House each morning. The non-functioning clock that appears behind Kayleigh McEnany when she appears in interviews from her home had its hands set at 2:30 the other day, sending the fringes of the internet into paroxysms of excited, bias-confirming speculation, but I’ve learnt the hard way that speculating that these sorts of things are coded messages gets you laughed at by the massa damnata, so I’ll leave it to you to read into it what you will.

    My own opinion is that doing so would be both a recognition of the reality of what these companies are, and a public service. But I bet that, as always, given what is at stake there is a brawl going on under some rug in Washington, of which Trump’s questions and McEnany’s clock are just bones thrown out to indicate at any given moment where the battle is and how it might be going. If Trump does make the change, then, given who we now know is standing behind these companies and using them to extend and exert their own power, that would indicate that Trump has prevailed in an arm-wrestle against some very powerful interests.

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — October 16, 2020 @ 12:27 am

  10. Darn, and I thought you were going to blog about the NYT (yes, that NYT) for breaking this story, congratulating them on breaking from their usual partisan editorial line less than 3 weeks from the election.

    I have to say though that, as scoops go, it is less than dull, and is way too byzantine for your average MAGA-errr to follow. Still, fair play to Count Orlokliani for continuing to do his thang, digging up the dirt wherever he can find it. He – and you – should be thanking Twitter and Facebook for giving the story a set of legs it would never have otherwise had.

    Comment by David Mercer — October 16, 2020 @ 2:40 am

  11. There was me thinking it was the New York Post that book the story. How could I have got that impression?

    Comment by dearieme — October 16, 2020 @ 10:42 am

  12. Sorry, I meant the Babylon Bee.

    Comment by David Mercer — October 16, 2020 @ 2:23 pm

  13. Some have made the point Twitter and the Big Tech platforms are private property and can censor if they want. This is then predictably followed by the counterpoint that if they censor, they are not section 230 platforms anymore and are liable as ordinary publishers. All familiar territory by now.

    I would add that Big Tech not only wants to have it both ways on Section 230, they are *deliberately opaque* about the key facts that would decide the issue. None of us know who makes these censorious decisions; we have not seen the source code of their censoring algorithms, or know what data they use to train the models. If nothing else, a lawsuit’s discovery process will bring some of this to light.

    I would also add that a belief in private property does not require one buy into the expansive notions of copyright law that entrench the monopolistic positions held by Big Tech. Nothing in the Non-Aggression Principle leads logically to banning screen scrapers that allow users to conveniently aggregate FB/Twitter with Gab/Parler client-side, but this sort of freedom has been blocked by courts in Facebook v Power Ventures. I would rather see the problem addressed by *reducing* government intervention (i.e. reducing copyright scope) than active government via anti-trust.

    Comment by M. Rad. — October 17, 2020 @ 7:02 am

  14. I suppose I should add a third point. When people post stuff on Twitter and get censored, the reaction is one of indignation, and rightly so. Twitter advertises itself as on open platform, and millions have made the forbearance to publish on it, and through their labors made the platform valuable. The claim that Twitter is a free service rings false, and Twitter’s behavior appropriating the product of their users’ labor is fraudulent. We don’t tolerate such misrepresentations elsewhere, why should Big Tech get a pass?

    Comment by M. Rad. — October 17, 2020 @ 7:30 am

  15. The maturity of these posts are on par with what I’ve come to expect from trump and his gang of apologists. Hopefully our country comes to its senses and votes out the ignorant and immature admin in the coming weeks. SAD!

    Comment by Joe Bob — October 18, 2020 @ 6:34 am

  16. Steve Bannon interviewed on Australia Sky News.

    It’s the most incredible revelations about Hunter Biden, the data on his abandoned laptop, Joe Biden’s involvement, the acceptance of bribes from the CCP, and the FBI protection of the Bidens, and of the Clintons by direct analogy.

    One can only hope that heads roll first thing Monday morning.

    Comment by Pat Frank — October 18, 2020 @ 10:41 am

  17. Pat F, we’ve been waiting for heads to roll for a long, long time. Ever since the promise that Hillary will be in jail comes January 2016.
    With the kind of RINO that passes now for Republican Party, I’m not holding my breath.

    Comment by Tatyana — October 18, 2020 @ 11:22 am

  18. 1. With respect to Facebook/Twitter being “private” companies, I would argue that they are public accommodations operating in a regulated sphere. This necessitates that they treat all comers the same, which they do not. This is more than obvious.

    2. WIth respect to the political bias Facebook/Twitter it is clear that this is political activity in-kind to the Democratic Party. There are limits to such contributions and those limitations have been significantly broken.

    3. What really sets this entire story from its inception is the absolute mental illness of about half of the electorate. Consider:

    a. the Vice President of the United States is named the “point man” for US policy towards Ukraine ;
    b. within months, a corrupt Ukrainian energy company with ties to the previous Ukraine regime hires a drug addled son of the Vice Predident to its board of directors with a salary of $83,000/month ;
    c. when the new Ukrainian regime starts to investigate potential corruption of Burisma, the Vice President of the United States forces the Ukranian government to fire the prosecutor and end the investigation or lose more than $1 billion in US loan guarantees.

    Not one of those facts is in dispute. And there is not anyway that a reasonable person could argue that there is at least the appearance of corruption (and I agree with Contrarian that this appearance of corrpution would be a no brainer conviction of corruption).

    So, even if everything that happened was perfectly reasonable, why is it that half of the electorate has NO INTEREST in investigating such an appearance? I mean, zero curiosity over the actions of the former Vice President and his son. NOthing.

    The answer is obvious. Nothing was reasonable. The corruption is obvious and it should never be tolerated. But, the answers would hurt hte Democratic Party so it must be suppressed just as Fast and Furious, the IRSgate Scandal, and all of the other Obama corruption was suppressed.

    Comment by MARK — October 18, 2020 @ 12:25 pm

  19. Even worse, Mark: state and city leadership of the Democratic party has colluded in violent sedition in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. The national leadership has not only not repudiated them, but has encouraged them.

    The Democratic Party vitiates all standing of citizenship in its program of open borders. Their call to defund the police violates civil order.

    They repudiate free speech in their hate speech regulations and their thinly disguised desire to disarm the populace repudiates the right to bear arms.

    Their desire to eliminate the Electoral College and pack the Supreme Court with Partisans rejects Constitutional process.

    They have literally set themselves against the United States as a sovereign nation and against the Constitution as a governing document.

    The Democratic party is become unfit for governance at any level of the polity.

    Comment by Pat Frank — October 18, 2020 @ 7:21 pm

  20. @Pat Well I got to more-or-less the halfway point of that video and gave up, as I felt my will to live rapidly ebbing away. You see, herein lies my point to Craig – this story is waaay too dreary and complex for your average American, let alone your average MAGA-errr. I guess we’ll all need to wait to see what other revelations come out, although if I were you I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for a bombshell.

    @Tatyana: Did you honestly think they’d lock Hillary up?? My, what childlike naivete you possess.

    Comment by David Mercer — October 19, 2020 @ 2:52 am

  21. @20 David, “I got to more-or-less the halfway point of that video and gave up

    Evidently it’s your attention span that fails the challenge, David.

    The silence of the Democratic establishment about the $1.5 billion bribe of Hunter/Joe Biden, with Chinese money, is enough — without any further bomb-shells — to expose the bankruptcy of their integrity.

    Comment by Pat Frank — October 19, 2020 @ 10:07 am

  22. I love it when Euros sneer at the ignorant Americans. They get so puffed up I’m surprised they don’t burst.

    Comment by Christopher L Hunt — October 19, 2020 @ 6:53 pm

  23. @MARK–Well said. Common carriers/public accommodations–very similar. (Original common carrier common law dealt with public inns, as an example.)

    Re your question. A large share of the electorate benefits directly from the corruption (this includes the entire government sector, and various industries, notably finance and certain parts of the energy sector) or is a client thereof. A large share is also unhinged by its hatred of Trump that they would vote for Caligula. There is of course considerable overlap between these groups.

    Comment by cpirrong — October 22, 2020 @ 10:55 am

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