If the story of Twitter's former overlords is about their prejudices and power trips, the question now is what Elon Musk will do with the powerful tools they created.
The least curious people in the country right now are the credentialed news media. How disgustingly ironic that newspapers with highfalutin mottos like “Democracy Dies in Darkness” and ”All the News That’s Fit to Print” are refusing to cover arguably the biggest story of the year in even the briefest of ways. It’s testament to the bizarre situation we now find ourselves, in which the biggest advocates of state and corporate censorship are media corporations and their employees. Journalists are among the leading proponents for political censorship. That is surreal.
Take it from someone whose family fled Communism: Freedom of speech, along with due process, is the bedrock of a functioning democracy. Twitter’s censorship is antithetical to the values that made America a superpower. I’m glad to see these files being put out. I'm glad that writers like me can freely express our opinions online on sites like Substack. It reminds me and other immigrants to this great country that democracy is still worth fighting for.
Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. --Benjamin Franklin 1737 -- still true today.
Wow, I absolutely agree with Elon's take on this, and have been hoping that Substack would be the beginning of the new Fourth Estate, The reason Biden and his cabinet are successfully doing so many destructive and unethical things is because they can. The media, that was supposed to be the final check on the three pillars is actually rooting them on. Hopefully, what started for me by finding Bari, Matt, Glenn, Sasha, Saager and Krystal (all of who have likely voted totally differently than me in ever one of the past several decades) is that our government is not functioning the way it has for over 200 years, and is in serious danger of crashing. Free Speech has to be protected, and Media needs to be credible.
I can't even believe what an amazing experience that had to be for you, Nellie, Suzi, Matt and everyone.
Now, tell us how they've controlled the COVID messaging and the Green religion!
But the return of the satire account is a nice benefit.
THANK YOU, Ms, Weiss, for your hard work at Twitter.
"Musk barging into the Twitter Tower on Market Street and turning over the tables. But I’m not sure anyone should have that kind of power."
Well then maybe instead we accept that the left collective created by the corrupt education system and infesting the media and big tech has power to influence elections where their puppet leaders like Joe Biden have all the power and we lie to ourselves that this is just democracy and fair elections.
At some point we have to rely on and rally behind the single heroes of freedom to save us and fight the Dunning-Kruger effect. We should never let the pursuit of attainable character perfection be the enemy of the good. Musk's character is 100000% times better for civilization than is the cabal of corporatist power seeking to destroy him. Don't get sucked into that maw of media manufactured groupthink against him.
Bari, you are such a gift to this country. The work you (and a handful of others) are doing to fight for a rigorous, honest, free press is essential to the survival of the American republic. Keep up the good fight.
“Honest, dogged, independent journalism.” This Twitter story reflects your stated mission, Bari.
Elon Musk invited you, trusted you, to dig into Twitter archives and report what you, and others, found there. You have reported those damning facts; but you didn’t stop there. You’re also expressing curiosity, perhaps even a degree of skepticism, about Elon - his motives and objectives. In other words, you’re looking at all sides of this huge story instead of allowing yourself to go all in for the guy who invited you behind the curtain. Such journalistic curiosity and objectivity is what I somewhat naively continue to hold out hope for. The Free Press delivers. Thank you!
Awesome work from you and the rest of the journalists leading the charge with this! It's still super encouraging to see Musk put all the information into the hands of capable, independent writers who care about honesty! Can't wait to read more!
Elon Musk is a hero. It is really as simple as that.
There’s plenty to be concerned about.
Free speech is a very important component of a functioning Republic.
I think unintentionally (though maybe not), the Twitter files project, may be more than any other before it, has uncovered the necrotic, decomposing body of the corporate media. This isn't simply because of the yeoman's work the team has done to uncover the facts, but rather because of the media's response to Bari, Taibbi, et al.
It's easy for the corporate press to dismiss people like Ben Shapiro because after all, he's one of "them" (Conservative, not Jewish, of course). But when the likes of Bari and Taibbi come along who have true, though somewhat heterodox, liberal bona fides, the media have a choice...they can listen, think and evaluate, or they can implement the No True Scotsman fallacy.
No TRUE liberal would do propaganda for the richest man on earth, therefore, they can be ignored as well because they are Right Wingers just like Shapiro and the rest of the far-right, nazi loving, white supremacists.
Corporate Media is dead and stinks to high heaven...they just don't realize it yet.
I have to agree with Musk. Reinstating the Babylon Bee was only worth $43 billion, not $44.
I did a deep dive into tech companies performance prior to investing and Twitter stood out as complete outlier on the low side. I have kept up with it and periodically posted about it.
Twitter stock IPO'd around $42 and stayed there for 10 years. It crept up and back a few times. Compare that to other tech companies that grew 3x to 10x in that time. Twitter never made money. A few positive quarters, but mostly lost money. Revenues grew very slowly, but costs grew faster. Again, compare that to the revenues of Amazon, Google, Facebook (not to mention some of their subsidiaries who outdid Twitter by miles - WhatsApp, Youtube, Instagram, etc. Total monthly users at Twitter were stuck at 300MM while many sites grew to over 1B. Twitter has been sliding down the rankings of users and is now at 22 among social media sites. There was virtually zero innovation in making the product better. Increasing the number of characters was about it. Musk has already done more innovation and promised much more. It seems most of the people in Twitter were developing tools to censor and/or running around like chicken littles personally trying to censor. Using mostly Twitter data (which, over the years, Twitter made less available) they had about 66MM daily active users in the US. When you subtracted out their estimates on bots at the time, businesses, almost all of whom are on Twitter, including hundreds of accounts for larger ones, duplicate estimates (lot of Pierre Delectos and Carlos Dangers out there), government agencies - federal, state, local), charitable organizations, etc, and you get down to somewhere between 600K and 3MM actual people tweeting every day. Less than 1% of the country. Twitter is not the real world.
I worked for a fortune 5 company, and had to lead some large government contracts at times. I thought I knew bureaucracy, TLA spewers (three letter acronyms), and dysfunctional decision making. One of the biggest takeaways from the Twitter files outside of the actual news put out by these reporters is just the sheer dysfunction within Twitter, the number of teams - half of whom did not really seem to know why they existed-, the horrible "decision by committee" that routinely got kicked up to executive levels, and of course the group think that it took to come to some of their conclusions. Stunning. Musk was right to lay waste to the structure. By the way, I liked how he did it. First top down (it was easy to see and calculate how many people you actually needed), and then bottom up with his "work hard or leave" ultimatum, where people self selected out.
Is the reason there was no TGIF because Nellie was working in this story?
Please free Nellie to write TGIF for tomorrow. It’s a major reason why I subscribe.