What Would YOU do with Twitter?

Suppose that instead of Elon Musk being about to take control of Twitter, it was YOU.

Your mission…

–you want to establish Twitter as a true free-speech ‘town square’

–you need to make enough money to repay the substantial debt that you are incurring for the acquisition

–you would LIKE to make a lot more money than that necessary minimum, just for scorekeeping purposes if nothing else

What would be the best path to follow in terms both of information flow (who sees what posts), revenue sources, and other attributes of the platform ?

57 thoughts on “What Would YOU do with Twitter?”

  1. Truthfully? I’d take up a collection to enable burning it to the ground, and then I’d salt the earth it was on.

    All of the “social media” are far more divisive and destructive than they are positive things that enhance public life. I have no idea how to fix them, and I’m not even sure it is possible. I watch all the crap surrounding this stuff, from the early days of MySpace to today’s latest “Meta” BS, and all I can think is that the human race is essentially beclowning itself with this stuff. There’s so much damn potential in the internet, and we’re using it for such trite trivialities? And, enabling a 21st Century Big Brother the likes of which would keep Orwell spinning in his grave for the next few eons?

    Burn. It. To. The. Ground.

    Besides, there’s something hinky with this whole deal. I cannot believe that they just rolled over that easily for Musk. There’s got to be something they’re not telling us, or it’s a poison pill they want him to swallow. I suspect that the SEC has it in for him already, and it’ll remain to be seen if this whole thing actually goes through. I’d prefer it if Musk just concentrated on SpaceX, TBH… He’s a mad genius, probably a bit of a sociopath, but I don’t mind so long as he gives us the stars…

  2. Sometime ago, there was an interesting op-ed in the WSJ about what to do with social media institutions that put their thumbs on free speech.

    That is, rather than have some ponder some govt rule with more bureaucracy, treat it like the ADA – release the lawyers.

    I had an interesting experience on Facebook in the last few weeks – was actually suspended for 24 hours from making comments for 2 “incendiary” things I said (separately).

    For one, the subject came up on those terrible thin plastic bags found at the produce depts of any supermarket – you are constantly trying to separate them to make it a bag.

    I suggested that the inventor should be shot, and apparently the programming gurus there said that I was inciting violence.

    Naturally the “AI” algorithm did not interpret the context right.

    In the other instance, someone made the assertion that Hitler spoke Italian, to which I said that it would be a comical image to imagine Adolf excitedly scream Italian while waving his arms.

    Mustn’t do that, the bot told me.

    But where they are really bad is their claim that only they are the arbitrators of “truth”. We know how they hushed Republicans during the last election.

    In thinking about this I think the only true course is a laissez-faire approach. There is no way one can police every statement from potentially billions of users. And for really egregious things said, release the lawyers against the offenders.

    Look at political ads, for example. They generally omit facts that are contrary to their assertions.

    There is no govt “truth police” that checks political ads.

  3. “Truthfully? I’d take up a collection to enable burning it to the ground, and then I’d salt the earth it was on.”
    Which would accomplish exactly nothing. It’s like the A-bomb, one of the twits or somebody would just deploy enough money and engineering to recreate it with their rules. I suspect plans for that are already moving forward anyway. All it takes is money.

    “And for really egregious things said, release the lawyers against the offenders.”
    And who decides what’s “really egregious”? The answer is whoever feels like hiring the most lawyers. Care to spend a few tens of thousands of dollars and years of your life defending some remark someone else takes offense to?

    The inexorable rule of the internet is any platform that allows porn becomes flooded by it. Any platform that allows all speech will become flooded with the most vile speech imaginable and worse.

    Different platforms have tried to delegate the gate keeping to unpaid moderators which only works as long as the moderators are willing and able to devote their time and gag reflex. Our present hosts are an example. Redit tries to industrialize it with mixed success. The problem comes when the moderators start to feel exploited, they’re not the ones making money, or are just overwhelmed.

    As always, building something takes much more thought and ingenuity than destroying it. Anything that works will have to have rules and some way of enforcing them at scale. You can debate what the rules should be but not their existence. Not if you want something that advertisers will use.

    The real problem is that enforcement doesn’t scale. this means that every tweet on average takes up some amount of a human’s time. We have testimony that for every politically controversial tweet that gets the treatment, there might be a thousand, mostly images, that would turn the stomach of a vulture.

    Maybes Elon can square that circle, I’m not smart enough to.

  4. 1. Everyone on, stays on.
    2. Everyone kicked off, comes back.
    3. Everyone must be verified as human and all names must be the same as their ID.
    4. No more anonymity.
    5. Bots banned.
    6. Don’t want to be verified and use your real name, then you can only directly message or receive messages that are sent to you directly.
    7. Public settings only available to verified accounts.
    8. Spammers banned.
    9. Pay side: pay for subscription and see no ads. Everybody else sees ads.
    10. Pay side can post videos.

    I have more. Those would be a good start.

  5. Bill, re the FB algorithms: a pilot wrote to thank controllers at a particular airport for expedited handling of an emergency medical flight. The algorithm, obviously picking up on the word ‘medical’, decided it need to to append a “Here’s a source of factual information about Covid” to the post.

    Just the other day, a FB friend reported that his post about the meanderings of the Mississippi river had been suppressed as ‘violent’. He tried to appeal but got nowhere.

  6. Kirk…there is a lot of garbage on Twitter, but there are also a surprising number of worthwhile people posting there. For example, Ryan Petersen (CEO of a digital freight forwarding company), posting about logistics…Marc Andreessen, creator of the original commercial web browser, writing mostly about free speech and the threats to it…lots more.

    It would be interesting for somebody to do a cluster analysis of Twitter users, who they connect to and what they’re interested in…I’m talking large clusters, maybe 5-10. I suspect that one cluster, for example, would be celebrities and the people who are obsessed with them.

  7. Twitter is the vector for the mind arson but it isnt the infection thats the ignorance that is grown in academia and media like kudzu now will the zombie finance work with musk or block him

  8. “William Tecumsah Sherman” wants Twitter users to post only under their real names.

    I suggest that the option to post anonymously/pseudonymously is highly valuable in civic and political controversies and should be safeguarded.

    Mandated disclosure too easily becomes a tool of intimidation against people who have something to lose. There is having skin in the game, and then there is having so much skin in the game that you avoid involvement in important public matters because any thug with an agenda can make your life miserable at no consequence to himself.

    The benefits of allowing anonymity exceed the costs.

  9. Let’s look at the FIRE letter.

    “Look to First Amendment law for guidance on implementing free speech-friendly policies.”
    Shall we count all the countries besides the U.S. where following that won’t land you in jail. It won’t take long, it’s a very small number. Much easier than counting the countries where just advocating it will get you jailed or killed. Not much use for a world wide platform.

    “Eliminate viewpoint-discriminatory policies and practices.”
    Sounds really easy doesn’t it? I’ll know it when I see it. Now program a computer to tell the difference between that and whatever discrimination is allowed.

    “Use categories to clearly define sanctionable speech.”
    See above. As if they haven’t been fighting about it in our courts since the beginning, or that it isn’t settled in most other places in terms of; “we’ll let you know what is sanctioned as we close your cell door”. Show me the computer code.

    I support FIRE and what they do, but that is just fatuous.

  10. Twitter was originally people sharing their random thoughts. Obviously a useless place, with the possibility of becoming more toxic than facesbook. ;)

    So a vast sharing of human triviality, has some possibilities for humour, but its too hard to put up with so much sheer stupidity, to mine for the odd giggle. ;)

  11. Make twitter a platform that other similar sites can cross-post with. I bet they will do something like that, in order to decentralize it. So you can post on gab and it will cross-post to twitter automatically, etc. Presumably there’s some way to monetize this, by charging for the API usage or something like that.
    Encourage people to “sponsor” people, a la patreon, so you can make micropayments to people you find worthwhile. Similar also to substack, I guess, where you can read for free, and with some fairly nominal amount, get additional content, and/or just support those who you like.
    Removing anonymity is a very bad idea. I doubt they’ll do that, though they probably will open up the “blue checkmark” to anyone who is willing to do so. Heck, you could probably get people to pay to do that as well.
    The “edit button” is a terrible, terrible, terrible idea by the way. If someone says something wrong, or just stupid, and get dogpiled on, and they can change it, it will make the conversation make zero sense. Better to have them have to correct it, not erase it.
    I don’t understand why their ad system is so terrible. There must be ways to improve that. Instagram ads are much superior, it seems like. I don’t know if that’s because facebook has more information on you to make better ads, or because instagram is more visual-based, but it doesn’t seem like it should be that hard to improve ads and bring in substantial more revenue that way.

  12. Jonathan: “I suggest that the option to post anonymously/pseudonymously is highly valuable in civic and political controversies and should be safeguarded.”

    Come on now! Does anyone believe that the person who posts “anonymously” is actually anonymous? The Federal Government knows who “anonymous” is — and leaks from federal bureaucrats to activist groups ensure that (if it is important enough to them) “anonymous” is known to the very people she wants not to know her identity.

    No — people should stand up and be counted. We need more spine in this country, not more people too afraid of bureaucrats & activists.

  13. ““Eliminate viewpoint-discriminatory policies and practices.”
    Sounds really easy doesn’t it? I’ll know it when I see it. Now program a computer to tell the difference between that and whatever discrimination is allowed.”

    As I read it, this doesn’t mean that the computer has to detect viewpoint discrimination on the part of users…it means that the computer itself (and its human masters) must not engage in viewpoint discrimination.

  14. David,
    I may not have been clear. The platform will choose to block content. So how do you decide what’s unacceptable viewpoint discrimination and what’s unacceptable content? More importantly, who decides? What viewpoint-discriminatory policies? Of course not, they were protecting us from misinformation or hate speech, etc. We’ll have to see how well Elon manages to reign it in.

    Then there are all the places where viewpoint-discrimination is absolutely required by law. Twitter is a global platform after all.

  15. how did they do it before, even though very quickly they picked sides with the promotion of the journolist, pushing obama like new coke, promoting AGW, it’s not rocket surgery, unless your goal is to narrow permissable speech then it’s hard,

  16. the problem is that political bodies like the EU, seem to have Newspeak as aspirational goals,
    with all the icons of sacred crows that entails, this is true of other tech overlords as well,

  17. What would I do? First, a caveat: I have found little useful in Twitter and rarely use it. That being said, here are some brainstorming ideas, probably not all of them practical, but maybe containing the seed of something useful.
    1) Make it possible to do strong, well-moderated groups like Facebook used to and MeWe still does and allow advertisers to target specific groups, though moderators should have some control.
    2) Experiment with giving content providers and maybe group moderators a cut of ad revenue. Gather (defunct social network) did that with some degree of success for several years.
    3) Give users fine-grained control over their own feeds in terms of whose posts they see first and in what order.
    4) Allow users to choose several other parameters. (a) They can make anonymous users invisible to themselves or to see anonymous users. Their choice.(b) They choose categories of posts that don’t appear to them–politics, porn, sunglasses ads or whatever. (c) They could chose to get an unfiltered feed, or choose from any one of several moderating/filtering services, hopefully with varied political viewpoints. They could even choose to use multiple filtering services, getting stuff that only passes all their filtering services or getting stuff that passes any of their filtering services depending on their choices.
    5) Isolate by country as much as possible so the whole service doesn’t get pulled down to the countries with the worst censorship.
    6) Wild, of the wall idea (in case the others aren’t off-the-wall enough): Split Twitter into autonomous sub-companies: Twitter Politics, Twitter Business, Twitter World News. Not sure that would fly or be useful. Strong groups might do the same thing only better.

    Remember, Musk isn’t going into this with a blank slate. He should and will be looking for synergies with his Starlink service and with the AI that he is developing for self-driving cars and robotics.

  18. A key decision…maybe THE key decision…is: what determines which posts/comments a particular individual sees? At one end of the policy continuum, it could be like traditional blogs: you see only posts from those people/entities that you choose. Various optional services could be layered on top of this, allowing various ways of finding other people whose posts you might be interested in. There could even by third-party services to do this, made available on something like an app store. Pretty much like what Dale C suggested above.

    A lot of potential in more effective advertising…vast amounts of money are spent on online advertising, and I wonder how good the ROI really is. I rarely see an ad that seems relevant to me.

    Effective advertising could draw on a strong interest-groups offering. I’m a member of several FB groups, 2 of which should have strong appeal to anyone wanting to advertise relevant products to these ‘communities’….but I’ve never seen an ad on either group.

  19. No matter how well Musk does in opening up Twitter, it is very important to push back against the idea that Twitter (or any particular platform) is *the* town square. Walled gardens may be nice and comfortable, but they always come with an actual or potential serpant.

    So one good use of Twitter is to promote blogs, substack pages, etc, with longer-form posts.

  20. First, I’d recognize that actions of the company have opportunity costs. For example, why are getting blue checks of verified accounts free? Want one? Cool, we charge you to do the processing and research.

    Second, why are news organizations getting to spread their stuff on Twitter only to have me go to a paywall? Shouldn’t there be a charge for it.

    Third, I’d figure out how to take Twitter into Web 3.0 with crypto etc.

  21. “A key decision…maybe THE key decision…is: what determines which posts/comments a particular individual sees?”
    I don’t understand this–you already get to choose who you follow, etc., which determines your feed, which determines what you see. The key decision it seems to me is what is going to be tolerated, i.e., what is ANY particular individual allowed to see (or say, really).
    Are you allowed to say the 2020 election was stolen? No. Are you allowed to say the 2000 election was stolen? Yes.
    Are you allowed to say ivermectin treats covid? No. Are you allowed to say crystals cure arthritis? I believe so.
    Are you allowed to say that Penn swimmer is a dude? Nope.
    Are you allowed to say masks don’t really work? I think maybe you can today, but you couldn’t six months ago. Are you allowed to say the covid virus came from the wuhan lab? I think maybe you can today, but you couldn’t two years ago.
    Absolutely none of those things should have been banned, ever. It doesn’t even matter if any of them are “wrong” or not, they should never have been prohibited from being said. If Elon actually overturns such stupid rules, he’ll be doing a great service.

  22. Y’all are trying to wargame reform of the unreformable.

    I remain suspicious that this will even go through, or that there will be change of any kind. My guess is this all gets pulverized by SEC action before there’s any real effect.

    Watch. They’re not going to give up their closed-garden platform or their control so easily.

  23. I don’t know how Twitter works – never read it (except through Instapundit, etc) let alone written. But if they make their money by ads, the idea of a without ads membership would be helpful (though wouldn’t that make anonymity, at least to Twitter, impossible). Charging something for a twitter or for a day’s twittering might make people slow down and rethink and perhaps rewrite. Rewrites almost always soften tone. Of course the cost should be so low that everybody can get in if they want to. Admittedly, the last thing twitter should encourage is a space determined by class. Traditionally letters to the editor didn’t cost anything, but they did require some literacy, some awareness of audience, and a stamp. Writing them required more than the instant response of Twitter.

  24. }}} There is no govt “truth police” that checks political ads.

    Oh, I assure you, most absolutely — the social merdia certainly “fact check” anything anyone on the Right says — particularly political stuff.

    As to the stupidity of their ban selection:

    I have a meme I posted in 2016, that has a small child sticking a fork into a socket, with “Hillary or Trump. Top Socket or Bottom Socket” (my opinion of Trump improved notably the longer he was in office).

    I got banned because it “encouraged suicide”.

    I had another one with Hillary — she’s frowning at the reader with her finger pointing down, “This is why I suicide people”. (for posting after someone says something ridiculous)

    Banned for “encouraging violence”

    Then there’s the one with a cute young girl cutting up vegetables, smiling at the reader, while a guy frowns behind her.
    Him: “There’s something wrong with the dishwasher”.
    Her: “What’s it doing?”
    Him: “Chopping vegetables”.

    Got banned for that one — “violated community standards”. It’s a fucking joke, not a serious relational suggestion.

    Then there’s another joke — A picture of Rudolph Hess, brownshirt, with a swastika armband. It noted that Hess edited “Mein Kampf”, and that made him the first “grammar nazi”.

    Didn’t get banned over that one, but it WAS blocked from being seen. Said it “encouraged Nazis”

    All of the above have been “protested”. None have been reversed.

    Beware using the term “bitch”, also. I said someone should “stop bitching about x” and I was “violated” for “bullying”. THAT one did get reversed, I ack. But near as I can see, the word being used assumes you’re calling someone one. I strongly suggest you don’t use the “c” word, for sure.

    Fact is, if you’ve never been banned on FB, you’re pretty much a complete pansy online.

    And yeah, if you say someone is a pansy on FB, it’ll probably get you…. banned.

  25. Why do you think this deal went through so fast?

    All the institutional investors said; “I get to drop this hot potato for a profit and not have to wake up every morning wondering if this is the day they finally decide to put us under some sort of regulation. Hell yes!” Or; “Hell yes! Get the money out before the advertisers finally realize that 2/3-3/4 of their “impressions” are bots.”

    Are you going to let somebody in Pakistan testify to his conversion, knowing that his violent demise is a foregone conclusion? Fencing it will cut badly int revenue.

  26. “Y’all are trying to wargame reform of the unreformable.”
    The goal doesn’t have to be making twitter into some combination of Socratic Athens and the Federalist Papers. Just making it something other than a tool by and for commies to control the political dialogue will be enough, and it seems like Elon does want to do that, so for today, we should celebrate.

  27. I follow my favorite paleontologists and geneticists on Twitter. Funny how they never get banned despite controversial postings. Different kind of controversy, I guess.

    Also my favorite podcasters, none of which are political.

    The local toll road, local utilities companies are on Twitter posting useful info.

    Everyone here seems obsessed with politics.

  28. “Everyone here seems obsessed with politics.”
    Well, actually, this place is obsessed with stuff like WWII trivia and business management practices, far more than politics. Post something mentioning Midway or IBM in the 1950s and you’ll get a hundred posts talking about every possible random detail, with a level of detail and knowledge that would shame any “professional” historian.
    And this current discussion isn’t even about politics, unless “you should be allowed to say perfectly reasonable things on twitter even if they offend the commies” is political now?

  29. Unfortunately, the left and its like-minded brain-dead zombies make everything about politics. Even knitting and needlepoint. If they haven’t gotten to your corner of interest, just yet? You have but to wait, my friend. They’ll get there, and the pogroms will follow.

    What’s darkly amusing is observing how it goes, and how consistent it is. Initially, a community is blind to what is going on with all the nattering, as they see it, about things that sound nice and reasonable. Then, the natterers “somehow” maneuver themselves into positions of power, and start implementing their programs of “tolerance” and all that jazz… Followed by the pogroms, and the cleansings.

    The left is full of these people. You can identify them easily–Karens, one and all. The ones who come up to you to tell you your own business, and how to manage it. Or else.

    Watched it happen multiple times. Science fiction/fantasy was one of their first and easiest targets. They’ve gone on to other realms, other interests… But, the same root cause is down at the bottom of it all: Telling other people what to do. They get their little endorphin hits off successfully controlling others in petty ways, just like your typical Karen.

    Combatting it isn’t easy, because there has to be a tipping point in the consensus that these people are both batshit-crazy, and dangerous. If the majority still thinks them reasonable, they’ll get away with it. Once the majority decides enough is enough, which may take generations of annoyance, well… All bets are off. I’ll just observe that they usually get back what they dished out, and as things ratchet up in violence, it just gets exponentially worse.

    The only communities they’re able to take over, however, are those that “care”. The ones who don’t? LOL… They just keep on keeping on, being motorcycle club members, or whatever. After they get shrugged off or ignored, the Karen-parasites go elsewhere.

    Generations ago, these people would have been the town gossips or the pogrom-starters. Nowadays, the internet amplifies it all. We still haven’t adapted to that, as of yet. I question whether it can be adapted to, without dumping the whole mess.

  30. the top headline on twitter, is ‘vaccines are more effective than herd immunity, experts say, which experts, the usual suspects which should be boiled in oil, and then splayed, there are scads of contrary studies that prove the opposite, is it political, it’s the basis for the mandates, which are still crippling our military, as we gallop toward war on the Russian steppes, so you tell me,

  31. twitter is a symptom of the problem, it celebrates the most inane idiocies, and it makes it look like anywhere close to a consensus, see howard dean, the bike path obsessed doctor from the boon docks, like sherman mccoy on acid, he becames the dnc chair,

  32. Twitter was almost designed from the outset to be divisive; it exploits a flaw in human character that is vulnerable to the demagogue and outrageous. It also serves as a vast echo chamber for the idiocracy, who only see their own thoughts echoed over and over again, reinforcing them.

    Personally, I think it’s beyond “reform”. Because of its inherent nature, it can’t be “fixed”.

    What they really need is something that’s virtually impossible: A means of capturing the actual opinions of the rank-and-file normies, the ones who don’t comment on things until things become intolerable. With that sort of deal, instead of listening to themselves, the “elites” could have something that might give them a clue as to the actual heartbeat of real opinion. As is? Twitter isn’t adequate, and any attempt to reform it might actually be counterproductive to the actual interests of the “rest of us”. So long as it is a self-reinforcing echo chamber, the idiots on it will keep right on pissing off the normies and driving them out of their comfort zone, to the point where said normies start actually taking action. If Twitter somewhat reforms, then the normies aren’t going to have what goes on there as a warning of that which the laptoperati think and plan for them.

    If anything, I think that Twitter ought to be left alone, to become what it and its employees wish it to be. With their actual thoughts on display, it’ll only speed up the process of prodding the normies to get off their apathetic asses and do something about it all.

    Of course, that’s likely to result in a wholesale pogrom on the left, but at this point, I really don’t care. They deserve everything they’re going to get. They’ve been planning the demise of the normal, right out in the open, since the 1960s. When the vast middle finally realizes what’s going on, it’s going to get massively ugly. Lots of folks out here in the land of the sane are carefully taking notes about the intents and predilections of the perverse radicals that think they’re on top of it all, these days. They’re actually a much smaller minority than they realize, because they think that all the noise they’re making means they’re dominant. Reality is going to have a bit of a wake-up call for them, and likely within the next generation or so.

    Every swing of the social pendulum has a backswing; harder and farther you push it one way, the faster and deeper it goes the other way. The LGBTWTFBBQ types need to recognize that the things their “activist” brethren are doing in their name are things that the “normies” are going to hold against them when the time comes, as well as all those miserable people they’ve brainwashed into their mold, once they realize the reality of it all. Thing to remember: The most vicious are always converts, to whatever cause. And, the converted are usually the most susceptible to having their minds changed about anything. My guess is that about the time the majority of these brainwashed kids who’re professing to the LGBTWTFBBQ lifestyle hit middle adulthood and realize just how badly they’ve ‘effed up their lives at the behest of the faddish sexually confused, things are going to get hot and heavy so far as the society-wide response to it all.

    There are reasons that every successfully competing society in history has marginalized these people. Sex and gender roles are not at the center of civilization; confusion on such basic essentials as “Who has the kids and nurtures them…” does not bode well for the future of any such society that develops confusion on the matter. This ain’t going to end well, and I can foresee things like the “Handmaid’s Tale” actually turning out to be best-case scenarios.

    As we hit the other end of the “Birth Dearth” curve, where the actual implications of things like below-replacement rate fertility are hitting home, well… It’s gonna get real ugly, real fast. I would not be surprised to see reproductive mandates of a truly draconian nature becoming law in some countries, once all the effects start to hit home. “Be a baby factory, or we’ll tax you to death…” is only the more humane taste of what’s likely coming. I could easily see them locking down women into broodmare compounds in places like China, especially with the gendercide they’ve conducted since the One Child policy went into effect. Same-same in India, likely expressed differently.

    Ah, well… Nobody ever listens to Cassandra.

  33. this is why they taken the commanding heights, finance media, academia, insinuated themselves into the security services, the regulatory bureaucracy, they don’t intend to give up what the Gramscian road has yielded,

  34. greenwald explained to tucker, all the powers that be, that elon is antagonizing, not just the american media, but the pharmaceutical companies, we see what an iron hold they have, the security structure, etc etc,

  35. Yeah, well… Here’s the thing that the Gramscians don’t realize: Their conquest of these institutions is a fleeting thing, because as they go about “conquering” them, they also render them ineffective and meaningless.

    Think about the automatic value a Yale or Harvard degree used to confer upon the credentialed; I can think of several companies that automatically reject people holding those diplomas these days, considering them essentially worthless.

    Gramsci failed to consider the actual long-term effect of taking over the institutions and then discrediting them. There is a narrow window for leveraging that takeover, and I’ll submit to you that even when you work within that window, the effect isn’t going to be what you think it is. By discrediting the institutions, they also discredit the elites, and that means that their primary tool for takeover is irreparably damaged by the very nature of what they accomplished. What utility is it to have successfully taken over the newsrooms of all the various outlets, when those selfsame outlets have utterly discredited themselves?

    Gramsci was another one of those Marxist ideologues who never thought much past the first-order effects of their programs. Second- and third-order effects, like the utter destruction of the credibility of the institutions they took over by turning them into ideology centers, never occurred to him.

    Long-term, I don’t know what the future holds, but I strongly suspect that the entire current paradigm is basically “dead elites walking”, with some as-yet unknown set of institutions taking their effective place. What don’t work, don’t last. And, the elites ain’t working; all you have to do to discern that is look around at the world at your feet. Literally. Can you remember having to scrape feces off your shoes, after a walk through downtown Seattle or San Francisco, before these a**holes took everything over?

    The idiots think they’ve taken over the heights of civilization. What they fail to realize is that what doesn’t work, gets routed around. Law enforcement is lax? Criminal justice system fails to provide “justice” and discourage law-breaking? Guess what, baby! Ya gonna see you some serious vigilantism coming to the fore. Thus, rendering all those high-thought “reforms” to the criminal justice system meaningless. When the George Floyds of the world are getting their Johannesburg necklaces for petty theft and other criminal activity, ya think things are going to be any more humane than they are under even the bad old days…?

    I dunno; personally, I’d prefer a solid lynching to having someone set my ass on fire. Your choice, though… Society will have its controls, and if you render the civilized ones moot, be prepared for a bit of a shock when “the People” decide to take things into their own hands. I doubt you’ll see trials or defense lawyers for the criminal, under the coming reality that they’re making happen.

  36. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams both supposedly used pseudonyms in published opinion pieces prior to the revolution. I think from this we can conclude that the ability to post anonymously is an assumed part of the 1st amendment. There is no limit on free speech that requires the speaker to be identified.

  37. “I would not be surprised to see reproductive mandates of a truly draconian nature becoming law in some countries, once all the effects start to hit home.”

    Big Wheel keeps on turning. Cousin Eddie may be able to provide some more details, but reportedly in the dying days of the Roman Empire when the elite Patricians had decided that young boys were more fun than women and the population of the right kind of Romans was declining, Patricians were enjoined by law to get married (to a female) by a certain age. Yet the Empire still fell.

    Mark Steyn is very big on the issue of demographics, pointing out that most of the West is faced with population declines. The future belongs to those who show up. Africa ends up ruling the world by the end of this century — maybe sooner, if the DC Swamp Creatures’ continued aggression triggers a nuclear war which depopulates North America, Europe, and Russia.

  38. And today we have news that the Homeland Security Department is going to start a “Disinformation Governance Board”, so we can see that the regime is taking the loss of twitter well. One would hope that the GOP would send letters today, made public, stating that this “board” will be fully investigated starting day 1 of the next session, will be completely obliterated, and anyone who possibly can will be thrown in prison. Then ideally they’ll abolish DHS, as well as all federal law enforcement agencies, but that’s probably a bit too much to wish for.

  39. Brian, what on earth makes you think that the establishment GOP isn’t already on board with this? Just like with the Patriot Act?

    Hell, I’ll lay you long odds that they’re already frothing at the mouth to vote this in, in order to protect their grift from any outside criticism.

    Frankly, from the recent record? I’d say they’re all in on it. All of them. “Party affiliation” is a sad joke; all you need to know is that they’re in DC, and that tells you that they’re part of the scam.

  40. and since all roads lead to ukraine, the zampolit, is a fulbright scholar who worked there, and we know how in this new democracy, the only ones who count are the uniparty,

    cawthorne, greene, bobert, gaetz, a few others are reliable, the rest are firmly on the gravy train,

  41. Watch what the establishment GOP actually does with regards to this clearly unconstitutional and entirely illegal “Governance Board”: Precisely nothing.

    They all need to be put out of office, forensically audited, tried for any crimes found, and then imprisoned without pity, mercy, or remorse.

    This is actually how “democracy dies”: At the hands of the “connected”. If we tolerate this, then we’ll tolerate anything as they slowly boil the frog.

    Used to call myself a Republican; no more. If they’re not defeatists, and useless? They’re actively on the other side, like Murkowski. State level isn’t any better; they crow about how much loot they bring back to the district, but say nothing at all about stopping the idiocy like the 10-round magazine limit and the ban on ICE coming in 2030. Where’s the electrical generation going to come from, pray tell…?

    They’re not only crooked, they’re stupid as hell.

  42. “Brian, what on earth makes you think that the establishment GOP isn’t already on board with this?”
    What on earth makes you think I think otherwise? Good grief, every day is groundhog day around here…

  43. Oh, I dunno… Maybe when you post credulous things like this?

    “One would hope that the GOP would send letters today, made public, stating that this “board” will be fully investigated starting day 1 of the next session, will be completely obliterated, and anyone who possibly can will be thrown in prison. Then ideally they’ll abolish DHS, as well as all federal law enforcement agencies, but that’s probably a bit too much to wish for.”

    If you don’t actually believe the crap you say, why the hell do you say it and expect anyone else to have the clairvoyance to apprehend your “true meaning”?

  44. this is clear, with scalise apparently thinking that gaetz words about an antitrump caucus, was violence, for pointing out the truth, well he doesn’t want to get shor by another bernie bro,

    they had it in their power, to stop all this destruction upon this country, and yet they failed to do their duty, now ‘we’re on the eve of destruction’ cue barry mcguire,

  45. They’re in on it, right along with their peers “across the aisle”. You can tell that because they’re so ineffective at actually doing anything to stop the slide into tyranny. The Republican Party in DC and most states are like that protesting debutante, saying “No, no… Don’t do that…” while silently encouraging “that” to happen, because that’s what they really want.

    The word “complicit” only touches on the edge of things. They’re several layers deeper, in reality. I suspect, from the outward signs of things like with McCain and his campaigning on a repeal of Obamacare that was followed by “Oh, no, we can’t do that…”, that the reality is that the Republicans are thrown off of their stride whenever the electorate actually puts them into power. If you think about it, they’ve never, ever done anything effective about rolling back the expenditures or the entitlements. And, I venture to predict, they won’t do sh*t this time around, either.

    Which really pisses me off, because I’m going to wind up voting for those assholes again, out of the knowledge that they’re the only alternative, sorry as they are. It’s Hobson’s Choice; vote for the guy who’s going to bankrupt you the day after tomorrow, or the guy who’d do it tomorrow…

    Day comes, I swear to God, I’m not going to feel an iota of sympathy for any of them going up against the wall, Democrat or Republican. And, it will come; they’re eventually going to run out of money and scapegoats in their perpetual game of musical chairs, which means whoever is on the hotseat in DC will take the blame for it all going south. Actual responsible parties will all be dead and buried, long ago, when it finally happens.

    Assholes. One and all, assholes. Irresponsible, feckless, useless assholes.

  46. Kirk, come on, man. Tell us how you really feel.

    Biden and Putin, for instance represent the essences of the insularity and corruption of their respective crony-state nomenklaturas.

    And here in late-imperial DC, the Ds and the Rs are in a similar relationship. The Permawar Uniparty/Deep State/Blob/Whatever outed itself in 2016 and as great old cynics like Vidal and Vonnegut told us, the owners of the country would sooner see the rest of us starving on the streets than give up their wealth and power-tripping.

  47. }}} I suggest that the option to post anonymously/pseudonymously is highly valuable in civic and political controversies and should be safeguarded.

    Mandated disclosure too easily becomes a tool of intimidation against people who have something to lose.

    I’m with Jonathan on this one — the ability to post things anonymously is important to free speech, and the Founders recognized this.

    First and foremost, it protects from backlash for what is said. There is a reason “Whistleblower” laws try and protect anonymity. It’s the inverse reason for liberals “doxxing” others so often.

    The downside of it is, of course, “are you lying because you don’t fear a backlash?”

    Perhaps the CORRECT way to handle it would be a very clear signal to the reader: Unverified.

    Second, the Founders also utilized anonymity in a different way — The Federalist Papers, authored by three of the founders (Hamilton, Madison, and John Jay, iirc) arguing for the adoption of the newly written Constitution, were published anonymously. The authors could see two problems — one, people taking their names as important to accepting the content, and, of course, the other, the cynical notion that the arguments were specious because they were arguing for their own ideas.

    By posting anonymously, it encouraged the ideas to be examined and accepted or rejected on their own merits, regardless of the authorship.

    Part of the argument for removing anonymity is actually to combat SPAM. The obvious option is to make unverified accounts more susceptible to being blocked as SPAM, and to encourage reporting spam by users — with substantial penalties for deliberately false identifications (i.e., liberals claiming “spam” just because they did not like it).

    This would involve getting “tick marks” anytime you identified anything as spam that clearly was not spam — and the more tick marks you had the less your “that’s spam!” report would carry.

    Most of this could be automated or semi-automated — you might have an individual checking stuff that was identified as spam, but most of the time it would be a clear glance and pass or glance and reject.

    I’m sure they could get a lot of people to do this, and then have a certain number of people examine it to check off on it.

  48. For those that don’t look at the video, their thesis is that China has a beef with Twitter. Specifically, Twitter has been diligent tagging Chinese propaganda as just that. And you thought there was nothing good about Twitter.

    The video points out that Elon has numerous hostages in China for the Chinese to hold over him. China is a big Tesla market and then there’s the Chinese Giga factory that exists as everything else in China at the pleasure of the CCP. Both could go away tomorrow.

    It would be good to remember that there might be bigger issues on the line than whether Babylon Bee gets their Twitter account back. It’s not as if Chinese propaganda would go unnoticed, they generally exhibit all the subtlety that is the hallmark of the CCP. Nobody will be fooled whether they are tagged or not.

  49. Announcement today from the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz:

    1/First some news, we are joining Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter and investing $400MM into the company.

    2/We invested, because we believe in Ev and Jack’s vision to connect the world and we believe in Elon’s brilliance to finally make it what it was meant to be.

    3/While Twitter has great promise as a public square, it suffers from a myriad of difficult issues ranging from bots to abuse to censorship. Being a public company solely reliant on an advertising business model exacerbates all of these.

    4/Elon is the one person we know and perhaps the only person in the world who has the courage, brilliance, and skills to fix all of these and build the public square that we all hoped for and deserve.


  50. Marc Andreessen has been clearly red-pilled, his twitter feed for the last few months is pretty amazingly impressive. He and Elon and some of that generation of internet leaders are canonical cases of classic liberals who have nothing to do with any sort of “conservatives” but even less to do with today’s leftist loonies.
    I’m not sure where Horowitz stands personally. I don’t see any interaction with Andreessen on his twitter feed.

  51. “Being a public company solely reliant on an advertising business model exacerbates all of these.”

    Changing from a public company to a private company does not change the sole reliance on an advertising business model. So privatized Twitter will need to find additional sources of revenue, per the VC.

    Maybe Musk’s intent is to charge Soros’ bots for pumping out messages on Twitter? Basically, transfer the contents of Soros’ bank account to Musk?

  52. Musk has said something along the lines of charging people who have a lot of followers…the value-pricing argument would be that they are reaching more people so getting more value so should pay more.

    One could also think in terms of charging more for obsessive tweeters (‘twits’) than for people who occasionally tweet.

  53. My guess is they re-open the twitter data content via external APIs, like it was in the past, and charge developers for access, almost immediately. Charging users doesn’t seem viable at all. But who knows. There’s a lot going on here, and twitter itself is valuable to many entities as is, for reasons having nothing to with money, at least not directly…

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