I presume this decisuon also cuts off academics; this is going to have a huge impact on research, and not in a good way. I’m glad I’ve pivoted to other platforms, but this is still infuriating. link to ‘Twitter to remove free API access in latest money making quest - The Verge’
Although it’s been a real delight to see so many people joining Mastodon over the past few weeks, I’ve found that there’s also a disadvantage that I hadn’t expected: I’m spending a lot more time scrolling through Mastodon these days than I ever have since setting up my Mastodon accounts.
When I began setting up Mastodon accounts and shifting away from Twitter back in April, I felt like I had made a big leap forward in terms of my online consumption.
Just when you thought this couldn’t get any worse. Will be really interested to see if Dorsey gets banned.
link to ‘Twitter abruptly bans all links to Instagram, Mastodon, and other competitors - The Verge’
This has been one of the most delightful moments I’ve experienced in my relatively short time on Mastodon. This week has been a good one for Mastodon: Musk’s continued missteps have brought more people, and a meme like this one helps give the fediverse more of a shared culture.
link to ‘Mastodon users embrace columnist’s funny error about a fictitious “John Mastodon” | Boing Boing’
I’ve posted a bunch of articles about this already, but Masnick’s take is super helpful.
link to ‘Elon Tries (Badly) To Defend The Banning Of Journalists As Twitter Starts Blocking Links & Mentions Of Mastodon | Techdirt’
Free speech is genuinely important, but it’s hard to take the ideal seriously when its advocates twist it to mean something specific and self-serving.
link to ‘Elon Musk Is Taking Aim at Journalists. I’m One of Them.’
I’ve been trying to avoid dire predictions for Twitter since Musk took over, but this seems more and more like a turning point in the identity and reputation of the platform.
link to ‘Twitter is blocking links to Mastodon - The Verge’
I got my job largely because I can work with Twitter data, and my tenure application is built on the premise that I do good Twitter research. I probably shouldn’t take as much pleasure as I do from watching the platform fall apart right now, but I was ready to move on anyway.
I mean, I’m willing to wait a bit and see what Twitter and Musk have to say about this, but this sure doesn’t seem like the approach that a free speech absolutist would take.
link to ‘Elon Musk starts banning critical journalists from Twitter - The Verge’
How does such an already bad story get so much worse over the course of a single day?
link to ‘Elon’s Promise Not To Ban Account Tracking His Jet Didn’t Last Very Long At All; Also Bans Guy’s Personal Account | Techdirt’
I think this headline captures one of the worst parts of all of this: Musk isn’t just dismissing concerns about behavior, he’s fueling that behavior.
link to ‘Twitter ditches Trust and Safety Council as Musk tweets fuel harassment | Ars Technica’
I haven’t been following Ken White as much as I used to, but this reminds me why I appreciate his perspective. This is someone who knows what free speech is and advocates for it, not someone who uses it as a buzzword justification for reprehensible behavior, à la Musk.
link to ‘Goodbye, Twitter - by Ken White - The Popehat Report’
If I could pick one story to demonstrate that Musk’s Twitter tenure has been blundering and inconsistent…
link to ‘Before Musk Riled Everyone Up With Misleading Twitter Files About ‘Shadowbanning,’ Musk Used The Tool To Hide Account Tracking His Plane | Techdirt’
For over three years now, I’ve been getting increasingly involved with research projects that involve the online far right in one way or another. One of the most interesting ways that I’ve developed as a researcher during this time is having to think through in greater detail my commitments to research ethics. Because my research typically focuses on public social media data, I am rarely required to obtain informed consent from those whom I study.
Is he serious? Does he really think this is a good idea? Also, I love the increasing sass that The Verge and other outlets are putting into their comments about Twitter no longer having a communications team to respond to requests for comment.
link to ‘Elon Musk proposes letting nearly everyone Twitter banned back on the site - The Verge’
Oh good, so on top of the unexpected chaos, the expected chaos is also still happening.
link to ‘Elon Musk begins reinstating banned Twitter accounts, starting with Jordan Peterson and the Babylon Bee - The Verge’
Move fast and break things, indeed. Checks as verification and checks as business model are inherently at odds with each other, and I get the vibe that Musk (team business model) is unhappy with internal pushback from team verification.
link to ‘Musk-led Twitter rolls out new “Official” tags, removes them hours later | Ars Technica’
They’re so obvious as to almost not be worth pointing out, but two points: First, this is why making verification a paid feature is dumb; and second, penalizing parody because your business model is dumb is not what free speech absolutism looks like.
link to ‘Elon Musk’s first Twitter moderation change calls for permanent bans on impersonators - The Verge’
Choosing not to do business with someone isn’t an assault on free speech—it’s the very definition of the marketplace of ideas.
link to ‘Elon Musk tries to distract from Twitter layoffs by claiming advertisers are fleeing the platform - The Verge’
Interesting read here from Masnick. I’m not familiar with everything he writes about here, but I always appreciate his perspective.
link to ‘Elon Musk’s First Move Is To Fire The Person Most Responsible For Twitter’s Strong Free Speech Stance | Techdirt’
I always appreciate Masnick’s going into the legal details that are above my head. Techdirt has proven to be one of the most helpful sources for understanding this fiasco.
link to ‘Musk’s Attempt To Get Out Of The Twitter Deal Proceeding Exactly As Predicted; What Happens Next? | Techdirt’
Best line: “Musk seemed to relish the ability to make wishful product plans about free speech and corporate independence more than he wanted to develop a coherent business plan for Twitter.”
link to ‘Elon Musk officially tries to bail on buying Twitter - The Verge’
Last week, I was interviewed by a reporter at WEKU about social media and content moderation in the context of the horrific recent shooting in Buffalo, and I was pleased to see the interview appear on the WEKU website this morning.
I wish that the headline didn’t frame this as a question of “free speech”—and that I’d perhaps been more forceful in emphasizing that these really aren’t questions of free speech so much as content moderation.
What a troll. Even if the deal falls through, the way in which a sole rich dude can mess around with Twitter is souring me on the platform.
link to ‘Elon Musk Says Twitter Deal ‘Cannot Move Forward’ in Current State - The New York Times’
If QAnon is excited, the rest of us should be worried—though I think there is a possibility that Musk realizes just how bad his ideas re: limiting moderation are and fails to deliver.
link to ‘QAnon Thinks Elon Musk Is Going to Let Them Back On Twitter’
Is this just mastodon.social? Seems like it, but that’s not the only instance getting a bump, and sloppy reporting to ignore how federated instances work—that’s one of the reasons we’re all moving there.
link to ‘30,000 New Users Signed Up for Mastodon After Elon Musk Bought Twitter’
The quotes in here underline how often ‘free speech’ is used to mean ‘problematic right-wing talking points.’
link to ‘Trump says he won’t leave Truth Social, despite Musk’s Twitter takeover - The Verge’
EFF cares about and actually understands free speech and content moderation, so their voice is especially important today.
link to ‘Twitter Has a New Owner. Here’s What He Should Do. | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
Not excited about this, but the good news is that I’ve already been thinking about revamping my web presence, and this is a push to do something about it.
link to ‘Twitter accepts buyout, giving Elon Musk total control of the company - The Verge’
I have only been reading Techdirt for a short amount of time, but I increasingly appreciate Masnick’s perspectives on issues like this.
link to ‘Elon Musk Demonstrates How Little He Understands About Content Moderation | Techdirt’