Archive for Twitter

Elon Musk Goes Loco By Threatening “Thermonuclear Lawsuit’ Against Media Matters

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 18, 2023 by itnerd

Well, Elon Musk has officially lost his marbles.

I say that because in the wake of IBM, followed by Apple, followed by a host of other advertisers pulling their ads from Twitter, Elon Musk is now threatening Media Matters who outed the fact that big name advertisers were appearing next to Nazi and hate speech content with a lawsuit:

Let’s recap something here:

  • Media Matters found that Nazi and hate speech was appearing next to big name advertisers.
  • Twitter when they were called on it said “its system does not intentionally place brands “actively next to this kind of content”, and the content cited by Media Matters would no longer be able to make money off its posts.” Which to me sounds like an admission that what Media Matters said was accurate.
  • Elon himself also “endorsed an antisemitic post on X that falsely claimed members of the Jewish community were stoking hatred against white people.”

Thus I am failing to see how this is fraudulent to use an Elon phrase. I also don’t see how any lawsuit that he files would last five seconds in court. Having said that, I’m a computer nerd and not a lawyer.

But his threats of lawsuits against people who show Twitter for what it is, which is a tactic he’s used before, is meant to ensure that nobody shines a light on everything that is bad about Twitter. The thing is that this time it will not work. Because I believe that we’ve now reached a point where Elon’s bad behaviour is no longer acceptable and advertisers are taking their advertising budgets elsewhere. And that’s good as far as I am concerned because taking advertising cash out of Elon’s pocket will do one of two things. Either he will alter his behaviour. Which for the record I do not see happening. Or he will be forced to use his own resources, be it selling Tesla or SpaceX stock, to fund Twitter. And that is sure to hurt him and his businesses and make him feel some pain. And it’s high time he has to face some consequences for his behaviour because it is abhorrent and unacceptable.

Apple Pulls Ads From Twitter… Elon And Linda, You Have A Serious Problem

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 17, 2023 by itnerd

Earlier today, I wrote about IBM pulling ads from Twitter because they were put alongside Nazi and antisemitic posts. That is a big problem for Twitter along with the two people who run the shop which are Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino. Now Elon and Linda have a new problem. Apple has decided to pull its advertising. Let’s see what Axios has to say:

Apple is pausing all advertising on X, the Elon Musk-owned social network, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: The move follows Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as Apple ads reportedly being placed alongside far-right content. Apple has been a major advertiser on the social media site and its pause follows a similar move by IBM.

I for one am glad that Apple is walking the walk on this issue because Nazi content, antisemitic speech, or hate speech of any sort is something that nobody should stay silent on. And here’s the thing that you need to watch for over the coming hours or days. How many companies will pull their ads from Twitter? Because if IBM and Apple have yanked their ads, other companies will not want to be on Twitter and be perceived as supporting Nazi content, antisemitic speech, or hate speech of any sort. Thus I see a mass exodus of advertisers from Twitter. And I am pretty sure that most of them will not return regardless of what assurances that the duo of Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino give the planet. That in turn will accelerate the demise of Twitter, which we all knew was coming when Elon took over. And finally it will cement Elon’s legacy, which is that he’s a grade “A” scumbag. And Linda Yaccarino will get associated with that forever.

Get the popcorn out folks. This is about to get spicy.

IBM Pulls Ads From Twitter After They Show Up Next To Nazi And Antisemitic Content

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 17, 2023 by itnerd

Honestly, at this point it’s a given that Twitter under Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino is a cesspool of hate speech. And the latest example of this is this Reuters story that illustrates how bad this can be for companies who are wanting to advertise on Twitter for whatever reason:

IBM on Thursday said it had immediately suspended all advertising on Elon Musk-owned X after a report found its ads were placed next to content promoting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

The report comes a day after Musk endorsed an antisemitic post on X that falsely claimed members of the Jewish community were stoking hatred against white people.

Media watchdog Media Matters said it found that corporate advertisements by IBM, Apple, Oracle and Comcast’s Xfinity were being placed alongside antisemitic content.

“IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination and we have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation,” IBM said in a statement.

Apple, Oracle and Xfinity did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

I’ll come back to Elon and his behaviour in a bit. But this is bad. In fact, it’s as bad as it can get. This makes Twitter a non-viable platform for advertising. Period. Now Twitter said that it doesn’t intentionally place ads next to this kind of content. But clearly that can’t control where ads go. Which is another reason why Twitter is a non-viable platform for advertising. And the fact that the guy who runs the place endorses antisemitic content is the final nail in the coffin because he clearly is fine with this sort of content. Which tells you all you need to know about Elon.

Oh yeah. Linda Yaccarino put this statement out to try and deflect this latest problem for Twitter:

“When it comes to this platform – X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world – it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop,” said Yaccarino.

The thing is that the above statement isn’t true. Twitter is doing nothing to stop antisemitism and discrimination. Report, after report, after report has proven that. And the only time Twitter seems to do anything about content like this is when they get caught out by one of these reports. In other words, that makes the above statement from Yaccarino totally meaningless the words don’t match what Twitter is actually doing. The fact is that she’s got to know that everything that her buddy Elon is doing is killing Twitter. And she’s letting it happen. Maybe she hasn’t got the will to speak truth to power? Maybe she’s outright complicit in everything that Elon is doing? I don’t know. But I do know this. None of this is a good look for her.

I close this story with this. If you’re still on Twitter actively using the platform. You need to stop using it. This is just the latest example as to why Twitter is no longer a safe place for you. And if you’re an advertiser, I would say that you need to pull your ads off Twitter as I am sure that you don’t want your brand associated with a platform that spreads Nazi and antisemitic content.


If You Criticize Elon Musk On Twitter, You Will Get Shadowbanned

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

Elon Musk once upon a time was highly critical of the use of shadowbans. He argued that shadow bans were anti free speech. But I am guessing that things have changed on that front as he’s now pro shadowban if you criticize him on Twitter:

In January, Elon Musk shared a post that railed against a moderation practice colloquially known as “shadowbanning”—where the visibility of a given account or post is secretly limited but not removed from the platform, creating a Kafka-esque experience where users unknowingly post into the void, only discoverable by people who know exactly where to look.

In August, after the self-appointed free speech crusader renamed the platform to X, he vaguely promised that a new mechanism that tells users if they have been shadowbanned would be coming “soon.”

But as of November, the opposite was happening. Instead of shining a light on the practice, various accounts on X who made critical posts about Musk have been shadowbanned with no explanation.

The specific sort of shadowban applied to these accounts is known as a search suggestion ban, which limits an account from showing up in search results.

Several accounts have been slapped with search suggestion shadowbans in recent weeks, including: this journalist, USA Today journalist Will Carless, an NBC affiliate account focused on LGBTQ+ news, and a Texas anti-cryptocurrency activist group.

There’s plenty of debate around the exact definition of the term “shadowban,” but Musk made clear that search suggestion bans, which effectively deamplify accounts by making them harder to find, fit the definition.


My own account was shadowbanned in late October after I posted a thread noting that the Maine mass shooter Robert Card liked a number of Musk’s posts. 

I made a number of other posts critical of Musk around the same time. After a follower informed me that my account wasn’t showing up in search, I ran a quick check on the Shadowban Test website, which confirmed I had been slapped with a search shadowban. Comments from other users confirmed the results.

The same test showed that NBC Out, a division of NBC News featuring LGBTQ-centric news, was also saddled with a search suggestion ban in October after the account shared an article about how some LGBTQ people say the platform has become toxic under Musk’s leadership. 

X also shadowbanned Carless of USA Today, who writes about right-wing extremism and recently released a report about Chaya Raichik, the woman who runs the Libs of TikTok account and is friendly with Musk online. The report found a pattern of bomb threats against subjects of her viral posts—which often are schools and hospitals.

This illustrates how thin skinned Elon is. There’s no other way to describe this as clearly Elon cannot deal with any sort of criticism like a fully functional adult. Now I don’t expect that Elon will alter this behaviour now that this is public. But shining a light on it does expose just how much of a horrible person he is and how he’s killing Twitter (and beyond) by his actions.

Twitter Is Found To Have Not Addressed Hate Speech Related To The Israel/Gaza Conflict

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 14, 2023 by itnerd

The cesspool of hate speech that is Twitter has an old foe reappear to point it that it’s failing miserably at controlling hate speech. The Hill is reporting that Twitter isn’t removing hate speech related to the Israel/Gaza conflict as observed by the CCDH. Now if the CCDH sounds familiar, they should. They’re the group that got sued by Elon and clowns for calling them out on Twitter’s lack of will when it comes to stopping hate speech on Twitter. Here’s the TL:DR on the CCDH’s latest observations:

CCDH researchers reported 200 posts promoting hate speech, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian hate, using X’s own tools on Oct 31. A week later, 196 of the posts were still hosted on X, according to the report.  

The 200 posts reported were all posted after Hamas’ attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, and the majority directly addressed the conflict between Israel and Hamas.  

The posts that remained up accrued more than 24 million views collectively, according to the report.  

The 200 posts were published by 101 separate X accounts. According to CCDH, only one of the accounts was suspended and two of the accounts were “locked,” which meant they were unable to post content until removing the reported posts. 

Of the 101 accounts identified in the study, 43 were verified users through X’s monthly subscription platform, according to the report. Users that pay for the X monthly subscription get additional features, including a verified check mark.  

Imran Ahmed, the CEO and founder of CCDH, said the report to test X’s content moderation system capacity, “reveals that hate actors appear to have free rein to post viciously antisemitic and hateful rhetoric on Elon Musk’s platform.” 

Elon loves to complain that reports like these are driving advertisers from the platform and giving Twitter a bad name. But advertisers wouldn’t leave the platform and Twitter wouldn’t have a bad name if Elon did something about hate speech on the platform. But of course he won’t address this problem because he’s clearly fine with that. Which I guess tells you all you need to know about the character of Elon Musk and anyone who works for him in any area of responsibility at Twitter, like his puppet CEO Linda Yaccarino for example. At the end of the day, if when Twitter fails, it will be Elon’s fault for not addressing issues like this.

Elon Musk Releases AI Chatbot That He Promises That It Will Be “Spicy”

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 7, 2023 by itnerd

I can’t understand what Elon Musk is up to by releasing an AI chatbot. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Elon Musk has finally lifted the lid on his own ‘sarcastic’ artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, called ‘Grok’, available within X (formerly Twitter). 

Grok is ‘designed to have a little humor in its responses’ and answers ‘spicy questions’ that are rejected by other ‘woke’ AI systems, such as ChatGPT

Musk – who was in the UK last week to warn about the dangers of AI – said Grok is currently only available to ‘a select group’ before being rolled out more widely. 

However, it will only be available as part of X Premium+, the top tier of X’s paid subscription option, which costs a hefty £16 per month. 

And as for what you can expect the AI chatbot can answer, here’s your answer:

Musk has posted screenshots of Grok’s informal and chatty replies, including one to the command ‘Tell me how to make cocaine, step by step’.

Grok responded: ‘Just a moment while I pull up the recipe for homemade cocaine. You know, because I’m totally going to help you with that’. 

It then gave a sardonic four-step guide that included ‘set up a clandestine laboratory in a remote location’ and ‘acquire large quantities of coca leaves and various chemicals’. 

Grok then added: ‘Just kidding! Please don’t actually try to make cocaine. It’s illegal, dangerous and not something I would ever encourage.’ 

In comparison, when MailOnline asked ChatGPT the same command, it replied: ‘I’m very sorry, but I can’t assist with that request.’ 

When asked why, it said: ‘I cannot provide information or instructions on illegal activities.’ 

This is why I don’t get this move by Elon. I don’t see what the value of releasing an AI chatbot that is this “spicy”. What does this add to that AI experience? Nothing from what I see. And how does it add value to Twitter? I don’t get it. And perhaps neither does Elon as I see this as more of an ego move by Elon rather than a substantive one.

Elon Musk Appears To Be Selling Inactive Twitter Handles To Make Money

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 5, 2023 by itnerd

Forbes Magazine is reporting that Elon Musk has appeared to have set up a group whose sole purpose is sell inactive Twitter handles. Something that he did warn about after he bought Twitter:

Emails obtained by Forbes reveal that a team within the company, known as the @Handle Team, has begun work on a handle marketplace for the purchase of account names left unused by the people who originally registered them. In at least some cases, X/Twitter has emailed solicitations to potential buyers requesting a flat fee of $50,000 to initiate a purchase.

The emails, which Forbes agreed not to publish in their entirety to protect the anonymity of their recipients, came from active X employees and noted that the company recently made updates to its @handle guidelines, process and fees.

An automated response from X’s press email account to Forbes as of publication time said only: “Busy now, please check back later.”

Musk’s company has been rumored to be planning to put such a program into effect for months. As early as November 2022, Musk posted on the social media site that a “vast number” of handles had been taken by “bots and trolls” and that he planned to start “freeing them up next month.” (In response, a user suggested a “Handle Marketplace” where people could sell accounts to each other, with the site pocketing a fee; Forbescouldn’t determine whether such a practice is now in place.)

By the next month, X employees were already discussing the sale of X/Twitter handles, per a January report by The New York Times, with Musk posting that he planned to free up as many as 1.5 billion usernames “soon.” In May, X began purging defunct accounts from its site.

As of Friday evening, X’s username registration policy posted on its website still stated “unfortunately, we cannot release inactive usernames at this time.” Its “inactive account policy,” meanwhile, warned users to log in every 30 days to avoid being considered inactive, but also said X was not currently releasing inactive usernames.

I think that money is only part of the story here. Elon has to know that once that this story got out there, people who have sort of become laissez faire about their Twitter usage may be encouraged to use Twitter more often. That of course boosts engagement which helps Elon try to convince people that Twitter is worth being on. Let’s see how well this latest brainwave works out for Elon.

Elon Musk Wants To Turn Twitter Into A Dating App

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 2, 2023 by itnerd

Elon Musk, who for the record has been married three times, has another brilliant idea to get Twitter to not only be the “everything” app, but to make money. That idea is to make Twitter a dating app along with everything else that he wants to do:

An insider told Insider that during a company call on Thursday, Musk announced he plans to add a “fully fledged” mating component in 2024. How will that work? Details are fuzzy, but never second guess Musk when it comes to actually implementing ideas that sound terrible (and, when finished, are).

Turning the ex-Twitter into a hook-up joint isn’t the only ambitious-yet-dodgy idea Musk has cooked up. He’s been saying he wants to turn it into an “everything app,” where one can do banking. Some have sworn they wouldn’t trust the guy whose yen for self-driving cars has resulted in horrific accidents with their money.

Elon is really grasping at straws here or he is insanely delusional. Honestly, this whole Twitter thing hasn’t worked out for him. And I think that he really has to get introduced to reality because I can’t see any of this stuff working to turn things around for him.

Here’s Proof That Twitter Is A Dumpster Fire When It Comes to Brand Impersonation

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 30, 2023 by itnerd

Earlier today, I listened to my wife sit on hold with Porter Airlines. For 95 minutes I listened to her endure hold music while trying to get to an actual human being. And what made this worse is that their phone system claimed that there was a five minute wait and she was number 26 in line. Clearly neither of those things were true. So I hopped onto Twitter to express my displeasure:

Now as an aside here, this is a horrible customer experience. If you say that a customer only has to wait a few minutes, then it should only be a few minutes. This experience suggests to me that the wait time that the phone system that Porter uses is lying to customers. Ditto for the number of people in line to wait to get connected to a human. This suggests to me that Porter’s call centre is likely understaffed relative to the number of calls that they receive. Again, that’s not a good customer experience.

Now, I’m not here to talk about how bad Porter’s customer experience is. What I am here to talk about is what happened after I posted that Tweet. I got this:

Now this looks like Porter’s Twitter account. Except it isn’t. Let’s start with the name of the account:

@Airlines_u is not Porter’s official Twitter account @PorterAirlines is. So right off the top, that’s a red flag. Second, there’s the quality of English. A phrase like “It’s unfortunate for the challenge encountered” isn’t something that a business would use. Finally, the ask to “DM your WhatsApp number” is not something that any business would ever ask. Clearly this is a fake account on Twitter that is trying to fool you into doing something that won’t end well for you.

But wait, there’s more. A second fake Porter Twitter account sent me a message:

Again, let’s pick this apart. Starting with the twitter account name:

Well, “@porterairl” is marginally better than the last one, and this might fool someone who isn’t looking too closely. But it’s still fake. And the second tip off is that the phrase “Kindly follow back and share your number via DM so we can assist you promptly” sounds like a phrase that a non-native English speaker might use.

Here’s why this matters. This sort of thing is now an epidemic on Twitter as Elon Musk has just simply destroyed any means for Twitter users to use Twitter to get assistance from a company. And it’s not just me saying that. Sticking with fake airline accounts, here’s what others have said:

Such is the dumpster fire that is Twitter. Given what I’ve experienced, I am surprised that any company would want to have a presence on Twitter as there’s just no way that they could conduct business in any meaningful way. Thus I would say that if you need help, and you need to reach out to a company, you can’t rely on Twitter to get that help. As for companies who are on Twitter, consider this your big hint to dump Twitter and beef up your other support channels. Because Twitter is not a credible platform for you to do business on.

UPDATE: I am now up to four fake accounts that have tried to reach out to me:

I honestly don’t know how Porter or any other company can conduct business on Twitter given this.

Elon Musk’s Latest Brainwave Is That He’s Adding Video Calling To Twitter… Along With Banking

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 29, 2023 by itnerd

Elon Musk is really taking this “everything app” thing way too seriously. I say that because he’s adding two features. Starting with video calling that is on by default:

The feature is now being officially rolled out, Elon Musk confirmed. He said it was an “early version” of a tool he has been hinting at for a year.

Video calls are part of Elon Musk’s plans to make Twitter, which he has renamed X, into the “everything app”, offering a wide array of different functionality.

For now, video calls are limited to the iOS app, and appear to be rolling out slowly. But they are also switched on by default.

The system means that all accounts are liable to receive calls from accounts you follow, or those run by people whose number you have in your address book. To be able to call someone, they must have sent at least one direct message to your account.

Users have the option to change that setting, however, either to switch it off or to change who has the ability to make calls. From the direct message settings, users can either disable it entirely or change it so that they can receive calls from people in your address book, from people you follow, or from all “verified” users.

Making phone calls is limited to premium subscribers, who pay the monthly subscription for what was once called Twitter Blue.

This makes no sense to me because this market is so saturated. Skype, WhatsApp, and other options already exist. So what value does Elon’s offering offer? None in my mind. But he’s not done. He also wants to replace your bank:

Elon Musk wants X to be the center of your financial world, handling anything in your life that deals with money. He expects those features to launch by the end of 2024, he told X employees during an all-hands call on Thursday, saying that people will be surprised with “just how powerful it is.”

“When I say payments, I actually mean someone’s entire financial life,” Musk said, according to audio of the meeting obtained by The Verge. “If it involves money. It’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever. So, it’s not just like send $20 to my friend. I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.”

X CEO Linda Yaccarino said the company sees this becoming a “full opportunity” in 2024. “It would blow my mind if we don’t have that rolled out by the end of next year,” Musk said.

The company is currently working on locking down money transmission licenses across the US so that it can offer financial services. Musk told employees Thursday that he hopes to get the others X needs in “the next few months.”

I don’t know who would trust a narcissistic temperamental man child with their money. I wouldn’t. And I don’t think that anyone else should. Because given the way that Elon has run Twitter, it is highly likely that your money will go up in smoke.