Twitter to inform users if ‘Russian trolls’ affected their accounts

Following in Facebook’s footsteps, Twitter has announced it will let users know if they had interacted with content generated by “Russian trolls” during the 2016 US presidential election.

Executives from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube testified before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday on whether ‘Big Tech’ was doing enough to “combat the spread of extremist propaganda” on the internet. Yet much of the proceedings revolved around conspiracy theories about “Russian trolls.”

“I’m assuming that none of you have any doubt that the Russians meddled in our 2016 election and attacked our democracy,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) told the witness panel, going on to ask what the social media companies were doing to deal with “false, misleading and inflammatory posts generated by Russian agents,” in particular the Internet Research Agency (IRA), an entity presented by US lawmakers and mainstream media as a “Russian troll factory” sitting in St. Petersburg.

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“We will be working to identify and inform individually the users who may have been exposed to the IRA accounts during the election,” Twitter executive Carlos Monje replied.

In his prepared remarks at the hearing, Monje said the microblogging service “devoted significant resources to the issue of misinformation and interference in the election context by foreign state actors.”

Accusations that Russian agents somehow used social media to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election emerged as Democrats have sought to explain the shocking loss their candidate, Hillary Clinton, suffered to political newcomer Donald Trump.

Social media giants came under intense scrutiny last November, after lawmakers blamed them for not doing enough to protect Americans from content generated by “Russian trolls”supposedly intent on “hacking American democracy.”

By the end of November, Facebook had announced a new tool that would let its users check if Moscow tried to win their hearts and minds during last year’s US presidential election.

Since then, it has emerged that major social media platforms act as “gatekeepers” capable of filtering out news content. For instance, Facebook apparently censors political speech and bans personal accounts on government orders, while YouTube has algorithms allowing to edit their “news carousel.”

Twitter, for its part, reportedly practices shadow banning,” using an algorithm which allows blocking users or their content from reaching a wider audience without their knowledge. According to some reports, Twitter also collects all private message content, deleted tweets, and metadata associated with users.

 

HIDDEN CAMERAS CAPTURE HUNDREDS OF TWITTER EMPLOYEES SPYING ON EVERYTHING WE DO

Twitter employees routinely read sex messages of users

Project Veritas – JANUARY 15, 2018

Project Veritas has released undercover footage of Twitter Engineers and employees admitting that Twitter employees view all of your private messages on their servers and analyze it to create a “virtual profile” of you which they sell to advertisers.

The footage features four current Twitter software engineers–Conrado Miranda, Clay Haynes, Pranay Singh, and Mihai Alexandru Florea.

Haynes, who was featured in part one of the Twitter exposé, admitted in a January 6, 2018 meeting that Twitter has hired hundreds employees with the express purpose of looking at these “d*ck pics,” stating:

“There’s teams dedicated to it. I mean, we’re talking, we’re talking three or four… at least, three or four hundred people… Yes, they’re paid to look at d*ck pics.”

Haynes continues to elaborate that even he himself has seen these “d*ck pics”

“I’ve seen way more penises than I’ve ever wanted to see in my life.

“That’s, yeah… You know, actually… This sounds horrible, but I’m actually glad and fortunate it’s just dicks, it’s just blow job pictures, it’s just that type of stuff.”

Pranay Singh, a Direct Messaging Engineer for Twitter corroborated Haynes claims in a meeting with a Project Veritas journalist on January 5, 2018:

“Everything you send is stored on my server… So all your sex messages and you, like, d*ck pics are on my server now…”

“All your illegitimate wives and, like, all the girls you’ve been f*cking around with, they’re are on my server now… I’m going to send it to your wife, she’s going use it in your divorce.”

“So, what happens is like, you like, write something or post pictures on line, they never go away… Because even after you send them, people are like analyzing them, to see what you are interested in, to see what you are talking about. And they sell that data.”

According to Twitter software expert Mihai Florea, “To actually charge the advertisers the money we have to prove it was you, and that’s why using email address, or like a cookie or something that can track you.” Florea continues, saying, “You’re paying for the right to use our website with your data basically.”

Even those without Twitter accounts have their data stored in their databases, according to Conrado Miranda: “You leak way more information than you think. Like, we have information from people–Like, if you go to Twitter for the first time, we have information about you.”

When asked how to protect people if that power fell into the wrong hands, Miranda responded “You don’t… There is no way.”

Clay Haynes also expressed his discomfort for Twitter’s policy in a December 29, 2017 meeting:

“It is a creepy Big Brother. It’s like a level… I don’t want to say it freaks me out, but it disturbs me.”

When Haynes was asked if this type of private information could leak from Twitter, he had this to say:

“Oh yeah, and it’s a genie out of the bottle kind of thing after that point. You know? Sure, I can fire them. Heck, I could probably even sue them, in some cases. But, the genie’s already out of the bottle. Like, how do actually recoup costs… you can’t calculate the cost or the damage of that.”

“Twitter is aggressively harvesting your personal information and tracking your every movement, selling your virtual dossier to the highest bidder ” says Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe. “Even more alarming is that these Twitter employees don’t seem to think that they are the ‘biggest brother’ out there… We have more to come – stay tuned.”

Mr. O’Keefe has just completed a book about this series entitled “AMERICAN PRAVDA: My fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News.” The book will be released by St. Martin’s Press on January 16, 2018.

 

*(LET’S HOPE THEY NEVER COME BACK) – CNN’S APRIL RYAN: ‘BROWN PEOPLE’ SHOULD CALL AIRLINES, BOOK FLIGHTS TO ‘S–THOLE’ COUNTRIES

Search for something to ‘change dynamic’ comes just hours after Ryan asked Trump if he was ‘a racist’

The Washington Free Beacon – JANUARY 13, 2018

CNN political analyst and White House reporter April Ryan outlined a unique way for people to oppose President Donald Trump’s reported comments that some foreign nations are “s—hole countries.”

On “The Situation Room” Friday, Ryan cited an unnamed “influencer” and “child and product of the sixties” who advocated that anti-Trump activists call various companies and talk about Trump’s comments. She said asking if Trump is racist is not enough, that people need to do something that will have an “economic impact.”

“It’s one thing to ask if he’s a racist and that’s OK, but the next thing is, since this continues to happen there needs to be something to dynamic, some kind of leverage,” Ryan said.

“It’s one thing to ask if he’s a racist and that’s OK, but the next thing is, since this continues to happen there needs to be something to dynamic, some kind of leverage,” Ryan said. “And this influencer said what needs to happen, and it’s kind of—she made me laugh with it, but it’s real. She said what people need to do—black and brown people need to do—is pick up the phone and start calling the airlines and saying, ‘Book me a ticket to S-hole.’”

“And if they say we don’t have that, say, ‘Well, look again,’” she added. “Then the influencer said you also need to call the telephone company, tie up the lines and call the telephone company talking about ‘I need to have my international phone plan include S-hole.’”

Ryan went on to explain that people opposing Trump are talking about new ways to counter Trump’s political moves.

“There is talk now about what to do to change the dynamic of this because the president is talking about his base, but there is a large portion of America who does not accept this kind of thing and they’re now thinking about what can be done because we now have to go off of Twitter and move into action to change this dynamic,” Ryan concluded.

Ryan’s search for something to “change the dynamic” comes just hours after Trump ignored her questions at the White House on Friday.

At Trump’s signing ceremony for his Martin Luther King, Jr. Day proclamation, Ryan shouted, “Mr. President, are you a racist?”

TWITTER ‘SHADOW BANNING’ BLOCKS OPPOSING VIEWS

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UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Twitter Engineers To “Ban a Way of Talking” Through “Shadow Banning,” Algorithms to Censor Opposing Political Opinions

Steven Pierre, Twitter engineer explains “shadow banning,” says “it’s going to ban a way of talking”
Former Twitter software engineer Abhinav Vadrevu on shadow banning: “they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it”
Former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai explains banning process: “if it was a pro-Trump thing and I’m anti-Trump… I banned his whole account… it’s at your discretion”
When asked if banning process was an unwritten rule, Norai adds “Very. A lot of unwritten rules… It was never written it was more said”
Olinda Hassan, Policy Manager for Twitter Trust and Safety explains, “we’re trying to ‘down rank’… shitty people to not show up,” “we’re working [that] on right now”
“Shadow banning” to be used to stealthily target political views- former Twitter engineer says, “that’s a thing”
Censorship of certain political viewpoints to be automated via “machine learning” according to Twitter software engineer
Parnay Singh, Twitter Direct Messaging Engineer, on machine learning algorithms, “you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck…” “the majority of it are for Republicans”

(San Francisco) In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.

This video release follows the first undercover Twitter exposé Project Veritas released on January 10th which showed Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes saying that Twitter is “more than happy to help the Department of Justice with their little [President Donald Trump] investigation.” Twitter responded to the video with a statementshortly after that release, stating “the individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent of speak for Twitter.” The video released by Project Veritas today features eight employees, and a Project Veritas spokesman said there are more videos featuring additional employees coming.

On January 3rd 2018 at a San Francisco restaurant, Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter Software Engineer explains a strategy, called “shadow banning,” that to his knowledge, Twitter has employed:

“One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.

Twitter is in the process of automating censorship and banning, says Twitter Software Engineer Steven Pierre on December 8th of 2017:

“Every single conversation is going to be rated by a machine and the machine is going to say whether or not it’s a positive thing or a negative thing. And whether it’s positive or negative doesn’t (inaudible), it’s more like if somebody’s being aggressive or not. Right? Somebody’s just cursing at somebody, whatever, whatever. They may have point, but it will just vanish… It’s not going to ban the mindset, it’s going to ban, like, a way of talking.”

Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team explains on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “shitty people” is in the works:

“Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”

Former Twitter Engineer Conrado Miranda confirms on December 1st, 2017 that tools are already in place to censor pro-Trump or conservative content on the platform. When asked whether or not these capabilities exist, Miranda says, “that’s a thing.”

n a conversation with former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai on May 16th, 2017, we learned that in the past Twitter would manually ban or censor Pro-Trump or conservative content. When asked about the process of banning accounts, Norai said, “On stuff like that it was more discretion on your view point, I guess how you felt about a particular matter…”

When asked to clarify if that process was automated Norai confirmed that it was not:

“Yeah, if they said this is: ‘Pro-Trump’ I don’t want it because it offends me, this, that. And I say I banned this whole thing, and it goes over here and they are like, ‘Oh you know what? I don’t like it too. You know what? Mo’s right, let’s go, let’s carry on, what’s next?’”

Norai also revealed that more left-leaning content would go through their selection process with less political scrutiny, “It would come through checked and then I would be like ‘Oh you know what? This is okay. Let it go.’”

Norai explains that this selection process wasn’t exactly Twitter policy, but rather they were following unwritten rules from the top:

“A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state. You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules.”

“There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump.”

At a San Francisco bar on January 5th, Pranay Singh details how the shadow-banning algorithms targeting right-leaning are engineered:

“Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff.

When asked if the majority of the algorithms are targeted against conservative or liberal users of Twitter, Singh said, “I would say majority of it are for Republicans.”

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe believes the power over speech Silicon Valley tech giants has is unprecedented and dangerous:

“What kind of world do we live in where computer engineers are the gatekeepers of the ‘way people talk?’ This investigation brings forth information of profound public importance that educates people about how free they really are to express their views online.”

Project Veritas plans to release more undercover video from within Twitter in the coming days.

Mr. O’Keefe has just completed a book about this series entitled “AMERICAN PRAVDA: My fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News.” The book will be released by St. Martin’s Press on January 16, 2018.

Twitter ‘happy’ to hand over Trump’s direct messages & deleted tweets to DOJ – Project Veritas VIDEO

An undercover investigation has purportedly caught a senior engineer at Twitter saying the social media giant is “more than happy” to hand over the private communications of President Trump to the Department of Justice.

Conservative political activist James O’Keefe, who has a knack for stirring the media pot, has struck again. On January 3, an undercover member of Project Veritas, the anti-fraud and anti-corruption organization O’Keefe founded in 2010, sat down with an unsuspecting senior network security engineer at Twitter, Clay Haynes, who was caught confiding“We’re more than happy to help the DOJ with their little investigation” of President Donald Trump.

Meeting with the undercover journalist at a popular San Francisco cafe, Haynes seems to have dropped his guard, unloading both his personal and professional sentiments with regards to both company information and the US leader.

With a bit of prompting for details as to what Twitter could effectively do, Haynes says, “Basically, giving them every single tweet that he’s posted. Even the ones he’s deleted, any direct messages, any mentions…”

In a separate comment made to Project Veritas, Haynes supports this claim by providing a glimpse of the power that Twitter wields over each user’s account.

“We have full access to every single person’s account, every single direct message, deleted direct messages, deleted tweets, I can tell you exactly who logged in from where, what username and password, when they changed their password,” he boasted.

As for President Trump, there is apparently very little love lost: “He’s dangerous, I don’t like him and he’s a terrible human being and I want to get rid of him.” 

“I don’t like being part of the machine that is contributing to America’s downfall,” Haynes adds.

Moreover, he admits to being “a bleeding-heart Liberal. I think it comes with the territory.”

On its website, Project Veritas emphasizes it is not known – assuming the claims by Haynes are valid – whether Twitter is “voluntarily disclosing this sensitive information or acting under a court order.” In other words, there was no proof from the undercover interviews that Twitter has been cooperating with the Department of Justice in its investigation of Donald Trump.

However, O’Keefe may have succeeded in revealing a rumored leftist political bias at Twitter, which the comments by Haynes would tend to support.

In the past, Project Veritas has tended to focus its undercover work on mainstream media organizations, particularly over the unsubstantiated claims that Russia somehow interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.

In June, the group released a video featuring CNN anchor Van Jones referring to the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election as “a big nothing burger,” and adding, “There is nothing you can do.”

Jones, in an opinion piece for CNN, called O’Keefe a “notorious con artist” for posting videos that are allegedly “fake” and “doctored.”

Meanwhile, Twitter rejected the claims made by Haynes in comments to International Business Times.

“The individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent or speak for Twitter,” a spokesperson for Twitter told IBT. “Twitter only responds to valid legal requests, and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request.”

“We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative,” the spokesperson added.

 

WHY IS TWITTER CEO JACK DORSEY ALLOWING ‘VERIFIED’ USERS TO ‘PROMOTE HATE’ AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE?

Twitter said they’re going to pull verification check marks from anyone they deem to be “promoting hate,” whether on or off their platform

Chris Menahan | Information Liberation – NOVEMBER 16, 2017

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided to ban alt-right personality Baked Alaska on Wednesday and removed “verification” check marks from Richard Spencer, James Allsup, Jason Kessler, “Wife With A Purpose,” Tommy Robinson, Laura Loomer and other right-wing personalities, ostensibly for “promoting hate.”

Dorsey’s “Twitter Support” account tweeted last week: “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.”

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Dorsey confirmed from his personal account they’re working to “fix” the problem (which they made up).

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Twitter said they’re going to pull verification check marks from anyone they deem to be “promoting hate,” whether on or off their platform.

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For some reason, all these leftists promoting hatred against white people have not been deverified:

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Keith Olbermann, who does nothing but “promote hate,” is also still verified.

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Drexel professor George Ciccariello-Maherwho said he wants “white genocide for Christmas” and said the genocide of white people during the Haitian revolution “was a good thing indeed” is also still verified.

 

Jack Dorsey’s hypocritical censorship standards were exposed last year:

A Twitter user conducted an interesting experiment to sniff out double standards in the site’s censorship policy concerning race.

The person wrote the same comment on two different accounts with only two words changed, then reported each for abusive behavior.

The first comment read: “I fucking hate white people and their inconsiderate asses for voting for Trump. Fuck you.”

The second: “I fucking hate black people and their inconsiderate asses for voting for Clinton. Fuck you.”

The first was found not to be in “violation of Twitter’s Rules regarding abusive behavior,” while the second resulted in the user’s account being banned.