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"Amnesty Begins Next Week": Musk To Reinstate Suspended Twitter Accounts En Masse

"Amnesty Begins Next Week": Musk To Reinstate Suspended Twitter Accounts En Masse Elon Musk has given politically divided families all the ammunition they need for an epic pie fight this Thanksgiving - announcing 'general amnesty' for suspended Twitter accounts as long as they haven't broken the law or engaged in egregious spam. On Wednesday, Musk asked in a poll whether Twitter should offer "general amnesty to suspended accounts," to which 72.4% voted "Yes". "The people have spoken," Musk tweeted Friday, adding "Amnesty begins next week." "Vox Populi, Vox Dei," he said in closing - a Latin phrase meaning "The voice of the People, the voice of God." The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022 Musk's decision is sure to piss off even more advertisers, who have been pulling ad spending (as they underperform the market). Advertisers including Audi, General Mills, GM, United Airlines and Pfizer have all paused ads, leading to what Musk described as a "massive drop" in revenue. And... it looks like he gives exactly zero f**ks. (Though what of one Alex E. Jones?) Let the games begin! Tyler Durden Thu, 11/24/2022 - 16:15.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

Musk Blasts Claims That Reinstating Banned Twitter Accounts Puts "Lives At Risk"

Musk Blasts Claims That Reinstating Banned Twitter Accounts Puts 'Lives At Risk' Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk took a swipe at a mainstream media report that cited activists claiming lives were being put at risk by Musk’s decision to reinstate a number of banned Twitter accounts, including that of former President Donald Trump. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP) “Much Ado About Nothing,” Musk said in a tweet Friday, responding to left-leaning Axios’ report that carried the caption: “Activists warn lives at risk over Elon Musk’s amnesty plans for suspended Twitter accounts.” Much Ado About Nothing — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022 Musk on Thursday announced a “general amnesty” for some suspended Twitter accounts, provided that the accounts weren’t engaging in “egregious spam” or hadn’t broken the law. “The people have spoken,” Musk wrote on Twitter in response to a poll that showed the vast majority of his followers on the platform voting in favor of a “general amnesty” for banned accounts. “Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he added, which translates as “the voice of the people, the voice of God” in Latin. That came several days after Musk ran a poll asking his Twitter followers to weigh in on whether Trump’s suspended account should be reinstated, with most voting in favor. “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk said in a post. But Musk’s decision to reinstate suspended accounts has fired up critics who see unfettered speech as a danger. Axios, a left-leaning media outlet, ran a story in response to Musk’s pledge to restore suspended accounts, sharing it on Twitter with the caption: “Activists warn lives at risk over Elon Musk’s amnesty plans for suspended Twitter accounts.” The report cited a number of individuals and organizations who had a critical take on Musk’s banned account reinstatement. One of the individuals Axios cited was Alejandra Caraballo, clinical instructor at Harvard Law’s cyberlaw clinic, who told The Washington Post that for marginalized communities, the amnesty was “existentially dangerous.” “It’s like opening the gates of hell in terms of the havoc it will cause,” Caraballo said, adding that “People who engaged in direct targeted harassment can come back and engage in doxing, targeted harassment, vicious bullying, calls for violence, celebration of violence.” She added that both Apple and Google should consider removing Twitter from the respective app store offerings. The report also cited another opponent of Musks’s banned account reinstatement, Imran Ahmed, CEO of campaign group the Center for Countering Digital Hate. “Superspreaders of hate, abuse, and harassment will be the only people to benefit from this latest decision by Twitter,” Axios cited Ahmed as saying, via the Guardian. Musk’s characterization of the claims in Axios’ report as little more than a tempest in a teacup drew a range of reactions from Twitter users, both critical and sympathetic. ‘Not Freedom of Reach’ When Musk took over Twitter at the end of October, he vowed to dial down the previous management’s restrictions on free speech on the platform while pledging to maintain curbs on illegal activity and reduce the number of bots. He also announced earlier in November that Twitter’s new policy is “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” adding that Twitter wouldn’t demonetize and not promote “hate/negative tweets.” “You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet,” Musk said. Following Musk’s takeover at the end of October, there was a spike in “hate speech impressions” on the platform, Musk acknowledged in a tweet on Thursday. But those impressions have since dropped to levels lower than before the surge in negative posts, he added. Read more here... Tyler Durden Sun, 11/27/2022 - 11:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 27th, 2022

Musk says he"s going to grant "amnesty" to banned accounts as Twitter struggles to deal with hate speech

The Twitter owner said he would grant "amnesty" to almost all banned accounts after conducting a poll on Twitter. Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency On Thursday, Twitter owner Elon Musk said he will reinstate nearly all banned accounts. The move comes after Musk conducted a poll on Twitter that garnered more than 3 million votes. Twitter has taken down fewer hate-speech-related posts this year than in 2021, a new report found. Twitter owner Elon Musk has taken another step in dismantling the social media platform's mechanisms against hate speech.On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he would grant "amnesty" to all suspended Twitter accounts that haven't broken the law or "engaged in egregious spam." The decision was made after Musk ran a poll on the platform that garnered 3.1 million responses. About 72% of respondents voted in favor of reinstating those accounts, compared with roughly 28% who voted no. "The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei," Musk said in a tweet, quoting a Latin phrase that means "the voice of the people is the voice of God." The move comes as Musk continues to loosen the platform's grip on enforcement around posts with hate speech since buying Twitter for $44 billion last month. Last week, Musk revived Donald Trump's account after Twitter permanently suspended it following the insurrection at the Capitol, citing at the time a "risk of further incitement of violence." On Thursday, European Union regulators published a report that found Twitter removed fewer hate-speech posts compared with last year, according to NBC News.Twitter removed 45.5% of hate speech posts it was notified about, down from 49.8% in 2021, according to a sample analyzed in the EU report — and those numbers are worse than any other social media platform tested, which includes TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. It's not just Trump's account that has been revived. Other accounts that have been reinstated since Musk's ownership include Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, controversial influencer Andrew Tate, who has a reputation of spreading misogynistic and violent comments about women, and Jordan Peterson, a psychologist who had his account suspended after posting tweets that targeted trans people. Before taking control of the social media company, Musk criticized the platform for "failing to adhere to free speech principles." He previously announced plans to create a "content moderation council." But it might be tough for Musk to carry out any vision he has for Twitter after the recent exodus of employees. Thousands of employees have left the company in recent weeks after Musk offered an ultimatum to his workforce to either work long hours at high intensity or quit. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2022

Elon Musk launches new Twitter poll on whether to allow suspended users back after he reinstated Trump"s account based on another poll

Elon Musk's latest Twitter poll comes days after he reinstated Donald Trump's account because users narrowly voted to do so in a similar poll. Elon MuskHANNIBAL HANSCHKE /Getty Images Elon Musk is once again running a poll to make a big Twitter decision. On Wednesday, he tweeted a poll asking if Twitter should bring back suspended accounts that haven't broken the law or "engaged in egregious spam." Days ago, Musk reinstated Donald Trump's account after running a similar poll, in which users narrowly voted to bring him back to Twitter. Elon Musk brought Donald Trump back to Twitter this week following results from a user poll, and he might do the same with other suspended accounts.In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Musk floated the idea of allowing suspended users back onto the platform en masse."Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?" his new poll reads. As of this writing, more than 1.8 million users have voted, with 71.9% voting yes, and 28.1% voting no.It is unclear how many users currently have their accounts suspended and for how long those accounts have been shut down.This is Musk's second poll in a week on suspended accounts. Last Friday, he launched a poll asking whether to allow former president Donald Trump back on the platform. That poll received more than 15 million votes, with 51.8% opting to reinstate Trump.Musk subsequently restored Trump's account, but Trump has not tweeted since. He was booted off of Twitter nearly two years ago after his tweets incited his followers to storm the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. He then started using a platform he founded soon after, Truth Social, to communicate.Speaking virtually at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting last weekend before the poll results were in, Trump said he wasn't interested in going back to Twitter."I don't see any reason for it, they have a lot of problems at Twitter, you see what's going on. It may make it, it may not make it," he said.Last month, Musk said there would be no "major content decisions or account reinstatements" before Twitter formed a content moderation council. Responding to a tweet Tuesday, Musk addressed his reversal, saying, "A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition. They broke the deal."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2022

Twitter has stopped enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation policy in another change under Elon Musk"s ownership

In yet another change around content moderation since Musk's takeover, Twitter is no longer enforcing its COVID-19 misleading information policy. Chesnot/Getty Images Twitter is no longer enforcing its COVID-19 misleading information policy, per a post on its website. The misinformation policy was created in March 2020 as COVID-19 spread worldwide. This is one of many changes around content moderation that has occurred under Elon Musk's ownership. Twitter is no longer enforcing its COVID-19 misleading information policy that it put in place in March 2020, per a post on the company's website.The update to the policy was made effective on November 23 and is an indicator of how the platform's new owner, Elon Musk, is changing the company.On March 27, 2020, Twitter updated its content moderation policy to require people to remove tweets that "are intended to influence others to violate recommended COVID-19 related guidance from global or local health authorities to decrease someone's likelihood of exposure to COVID-19."The policy also targeted tweets that made misleading claims about "unharmful but ineffective methods" that "are cures or absolute treatments for COVID-19."In March 2021, Twitter doubled down, announcing it would use automated and human reviewers to find and label tweets with misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. The platform also introduced a strike system where users with five or more "strikes" for misleading posts would be permanently suspended from Twitter.Between January 2020 and September 2022, Twitter said it suspended over 11,000 accounts and removed almost 100,000 pieces of content worldwide for violating its COVID-19 misinformation policy.Musk, himself, has a history of using Twitter to spread COVID-19 misinformation and of not following COVID-19 guidelines. In May 2020, he reopened a California Tesla factory, despite local stay-at-home guidelines, and two months later, tweeted misleading theories about COVID-19 death rates. Now, he is making it so users on the platform can say whatever they want about the virus.It's one of many policy changes around content moderation that's been established since Twitter came under Musk's ownership.Musk has reversed several Twitter bans, reinstating Donald Trump's account, for example. And last week, after conducting a Twitter poll asking if he should reinstate other suspended accounts that have "not broken the law" or engaged in "egregious spam," he declared that "amnesty" for these suspended accounts would begin this week.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2022

The Emperor Elonicus

The Emperor Elonicus Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Consent Factory, Everyone is going to hate this column. Musk worshipers are going to hate it because I’m going to blaspheme against Elon Musk. Musk demonizers are going to hate it because I am not going to blaspheme against him enough. Everyone else is going to hate it because they’re sick to the gills of hearing about Musk, and Musk’s destruction of Twitter, or his salvation of Twitter, and censorship, and “hate speech,” and all that stuff. I’ll get to the blasphemy part in a minute, but first, let’s quickly review what’s happened, and where things now stand, or appear to stand. On October 27, 2022, so almost exactly a month ago, Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, US government military contractor and all-around global-capitalist oligarch with a net worth approaching $200 billion, completed his acquisition of Twitter, the notorious “hell-site” where Donald Trump, the Russian-backed literal Resurrection of Hitler, Jordan Peterson, the “lobster hierarchy” guy, Alex “the Devil Incarnate” Jones, and assorted members of the “deplorable” masses had been wantonly perpetrating acts of “hate speech,” disseminating “disinformation,” and otherwise unrestrainedly expressing themselves, until Twitter’s “content moderators” started censoring, deboosting, and deplatforming everyone whose views and opinions they didn’t like. As it turned out, most of the views and opinions they did not like, and thus needed to censor, were views and opinions that conflicted with their increasingly fanatical “woke” ideology, or allegiance to the Democratic Party, or one of its European equivalents, or which contradicted, or challenged, or playfully mocked, whatever official narrative the global Corporatocracy was pumping out on any given day. From 2016 to 2022, Twitter.com (which, let’s face it, is essentially a glorified listserv with ads) abandoned any pretense of editorial neutrality and regard for anything remotely resembling people’s right to freedom of speech (i.e., a fundamental principle of democratic society), and brazenly attempted to impose and enforce ideological uniformity on the platform under the guise of “keeping people safe” and “protecting the health of the public conversation.” This metamorphosis of a social-media company into a full-blown Orwellian Ministry of Truth was just one part of “The War on Populism” that the global-capitalist ruling classes have been relentlessly waging for the last six years, which I’ve written about extensively elsewhere (e.g., in that book I just inserted a link to, and the majority of my Consent Factory essays), so I just want to focus on Twitter at the moment and get to the part where I blaspheme Musk, or don’t blaspheme him enough, and piss everyone off. Basically, the backstory, in a nutshell, is, by circa the middle of 2021, the Twitter moderators’ censorship of views that didn’t conform to their “woke” ideology had reached the point where a lot of conservatives, and libertarians, and the approximately 15-16 old free-speech-absolutist lefties like me that still exist, were unhappy about being censored, deplatformed, “deboosted,” and demonized as “disseminators of hate speech,” “science deniers,” “election deniers,” “anti-vaxers,” “conspiracy theorists,” and an assortment of other official epithets, and were making a considerable amount of noise. The governments that nominally regulate Twitter and other social-media platforms are owned and operated by GloboCap (i.e., the global Corporatocracy I mentioned above), which has been imposing and enforcing ideological uniformity on the entire planet for the last thirty years, so, of course, they were not going to intervene in the affairs of global corporation that is part and parcel of the Gleichschaltung campaign that they are also part and parcel of. So, Emperor Elonicus to the rescue! Musk, who did not get where he is by not being able to read a market, saw an opportunity and he seized it. As I’ve been going on and on and on about monotonously for the last six years, the essential conflict of our historical epoch is the multiplicitous backlash (or insurgency) against the advance of hegemonic global capitalism. I won’t go on and on about it here. The point is, at the current stage of that conflict, there is serious money to be made by marketing to the “anti-Woke” demographic, and, if Musk is a master of anything, it’s marketing. You probably think I’m kidding. I am not. As Bill Hicks would put it if he were still around, the authoritarian anti-authoritarianism dollar is just sitting out there waiting to be harvested. “Anti-Woke” authoritarianism is the next big thing. We are talking beaucoup branding action, social media platforms, phones, you name it! And so begins the glorious reign of Emperor Elonicus the Just, the half-man/half-god savior of Twitter, and freedom of speech, and freedom itself, selfless defender of the common man, and unrivaled practitioner of the marketing stunt! The day before the deal was sealed, Elonicus swaggered into Twitter headquarters carrying an actual kitchen sink, tweeting “let that sink in!” to his 100 million followers, the first of a series of such stunts to follow. The plebeians in the digital Colosseum erupted into wild applause. A frenzy of joyous hooting and hollering and “liking” and retweeting ensued. At last, a beneficent billionaire Caesar had arrived to save the Internet from Wokeness! Elonicus loyalists flooded onto Twitter, chanting the ancient Roman obeisance, “Avē Imperātor, tweetitūrī tē salūtant!” The next day, Elonicus summarily fired Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO, and took his seat upon the throne. Other “woke” heads were soon placed on spikes. Hallelujah … the bird was freed! The Corporatocracy went absolutely apeshit. Liberal pundits rent their garments and rushed onto the Internet to histrionically denounce Elonicus the Usurper, who was going to unleash the most the stochastically-terrorist orgy of white-supremacist hate speech in the history of white-supremacist hate speech, or stochastic terrorism, or orgies, or something. Television celebrities, ageing rock musicians, bestselling philosophical podcasters, and other such influential personages began pretentiously fleeing the platform in droves, a number of them migrating to something called Mastodon, where they immediately commenced scolding and cancelling each other. Advertisers pulled their accounts. The media began a “Twitter Death Watch.” Jonathan Chait threatened to move to Canada, but then changed his mind and vowed to “stay and fight.” Meanwhile, Elonicus, who understands a public-relations war as well as anyone, did what all good emperors do when under attack from their own patrician class. He broke out the bread and circus for the plebeians … or, all right, at least he broke out the circus. Yes, he actually did the imperial Roman “pollice verso” shtick to decide the fate of Trumpus Maximus, and then, once the results came in, he imperiously tweeted “Vox Populi, Vox Dei”! And now, apparently, Elonicus, in his mercy, after running another Vox Populi poll stunt, has decreed a “general amnesty” for all political prisoners (i.e., suspended Twitter accounts). It remains to be seen whether this “amnesty” extends to the countless people whose accounts were suspended for challenging the official Covid narrative, or for mentioning the fact that GloboCap is arming and funding the neo-Nazis in the Ukraine that have been carrying out its latest counterinsurgency op, but let’s not worry about minor details. Next week is going to be a celebration … a celebration of freedom, and “anti-Wokeness,” and the god-like power of Elon Musk! All of which has been highly entertaining, but forgive me if I don’t get all worked up. For one thing, I’ve seen this movie before, the one where the handsome new charismatic sheriff (who just happens to be a major GloboCap player, or puppet, or otherwise a member of “the club”) rides into town to set things right. No matter how many I watch it, it always seems to end the same. The other thing is … well, it’s personal. For about a year now, Twitter has been maliciously defaming my business account in order to damage my reputation and income. Twitter has been doing that by concealing my tweets — the majority, but not all, of my tweets — behind fake “age-restricted adult content” advisories. Twitter has been doing that in order to trick people into believing that I am tweeting some kind of pornography. This rather weird tactic has been quite effective. It has definitely damaged my income as an author, and has presumably misled countless people into assuming I am some sort of sleazy pornographer posing as a political satirist. You can probably imagine how I feel about that. Elon Musk’s Twitter did not start this, and I realize the man has a lot on his plate, but I just assumed that, after a month or so on the throne, it might have occurred to him to issue an order instructing his “freebird” staff to, you know, stop maliciously defaming people, and attempting to damage their reputations and income, because they questioned the official Covid-19 narrative, or the official Russia narrative, or the “Emperor Elonicus” narrative. Or … I don’t know, maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe Elonicus really has come to save us from the “woke” fanatics. Maybe this is not just another iteration of the classic good cop/bad cop routine, like when Obama the Beneficent saved the world from Evil Bush and ended the War on Terror by bombing numerous countries, extrajudicially assassinating anyone he felt like, and illegally surveilling everyone, to the wild applause of millions of liberals, who had spent the previous eight years shrieking about Evil Bush doing exactly the same thing. Because conservatives and libertarians would never fall for a con job like that, would they? No, the Emperor Elonicus is probably going to issue that order any day now (i.e., to cease and desist from maliciously defaming people). Or I guess it might take a little longer than that. Not maliciously defaming people is probably a complicated, multi-stage process involving months of meticulous planning, like rocketing a car into outer space. One Elonicus fan, alarmed by the disrespectful tone of my repeated tweets to the Emperor, advised me to stop whining and wait one full year, which … sure, on reflection, that’s probably about right. So, never mind, and please forgive the foregoing blasphemy. Hail Elonicus! Long may he reign! Tyler Durden Mon, 11/28/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 29th, 2022

Elon Musk Plans to Relaunch Twitter Premium Service

Elon Musk said Twitter plans to relaunch its premium service that will offer different colored check marks to accounts next week Elon Musk said Friday that Twitter plans to relaunch its premium service that will offer different colored check marks to accounts next week, in a fresh move to revamp the service after a previous attempt backfired. It’s the latest change to the social media platform that the billionaire Tesla CEO bought last month for $44 billion, coming a day after Musk said he would grant “amnesty” for suspended accounts and causing yet more uncertainty for users. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Twitter previously suspended the premium service, which under Musk granted blue-check labels to anyone paying $8 a month, because of a wave of imposter accounts. Originally, the blue check was given to government entities, corporations, celebrities and journalists verified by the platform to prevent impersonation. In the latest version, companies will get a gold check, governments will get a gray check, and individuals who pay for the service, whether or not they’re celebrities, will get a blue check, Musk said Friday. “All verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates,” he said, adding it was “Painful, but necessary” and promising a “longer explanation” next week. He said the service was “tentatively launching” Dec. 2. Twitter had put the revamped premium service on hold days after its launch earlier this month after accounts impersonated companies including pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co., Nintendo, Lockheed Martin, and even Musk’s own businesses Tesla and SpaceX, along with various professional sports and political figures. It was just one change in the past two days. On Thursday, Musk said he would grant “amnesty” for suspended accounts, following the results of an online poll he conducted on whether accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam” should be reinstated. The yes vote was 72%. Such online polls are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots. Musk also used one before restoring former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account. Read More: What Trump’s Twitter Reinstatement Means for TRUTH Social “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted Thursday using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” Online safety experts predict the move would spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation. It’s also likely to put the company on a crash course with European regulators seeking to clamp down on harmful online content with tough new rules. Zach Meyers, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform think tank, said giving blanket amnesty based on an online poll is an “arbitrary approach” that’s “hard to reconcile with the Digital Services Act,” a new EU law that will start applying to the biggest online platforms by mid-2023. The law is aimed at protecting internet users from illegal content and reducing the spread of harmful but legal content. It requires big social media platforms to be “diligent and objective” in enforcing restrictions, which must be spelled out clearly in the fine print for users when signing up, Meyers said. Britain also is working on its own online safety law. “Unless Musk quickly moves from a ‘move fast and break things’ approach to a more sober management style, he will be on a collision course with Brussels and London regulators,” Meyers said. European Union officials took to social media to highlight their worries. The 27-nation bloc’s executive Commission published a report Thursday that found Twitter took longer to review hateful content and removed less of it this year compared with 2021. The report was based on data collected over the spring—before Musk acquired Twitter—as part of an annual evaluation of online platforms’ compliance with the bloc’s voluntary code of conduct on disinformation. It found that Twitter assessed just over half of the notifications it received about illegal hate speech within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021. The numbers may yet worsen. Since taking over, Musk has laid off half the company’s 7,500-person workforce along with an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation. Many others have resigned, including the company’s head of trust and safety. Read More: Twitter Is Collapsing, and Nothing Can Replace It Recent layoffs at Twitter and results of the EU’s review “are a source of concern,” the bloc’s commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders tweeted Thursday evening after meeting with Twitter executives at the company’s European headquarters in Dublin. In the meeting, Reynders said he “underlined that we expect Twitter to deliver on their voluntary commitments and comply with EU rules,” including the Digital Services Act and the bloc’s strict privacy regulations known as General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Read More: Big Tech Layoffs Are Hurting Workers Far Beyond Silicon Valley Another EU commissioner, Vera Jourova, tweeted Thursday evening that she was concerned about news reports that a “vast amount” of Twitter’s European staff were fired. “If you want to effectively detect and take action against #disinformation & propaganda, this requires resources,” Jourova said. “Especially in the context of Russian disinformation warfare.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 25th, 2022

Elon Musk Says He Will Grant ‘Amnesty’ to Suspended Twitter Accounts

Twitter's new owner said Thursday he will grant "amnesty" to suspended accounts—experts predict a rise in harassment, misinformation. SAN FRANCISCO — New Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that he is granting “amnesty” for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation. Read More: Twitter Is Collapsing, and Nothing Can Replace It The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a poll posted to his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last last weekend before reinstating the account of former President Donald Trump, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. Trump has said he won’t return to Twitter but has not deleted his account. Read More: What Donald Trump’s Twitter Reinstatement Means for TRUTH Social Such online polls are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots. In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech say it’s been on the rise on the world’s de facto public square. That has included a surge in racist abuse of World Cup soccer players that Twitter is allegedly failing to act on. The uptick in harmful content is in large part due to the disorder following Musk’s decision to lay off half the company’s 7,500-person workforce, fire top executives, and then institute a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds more to quit. Also let go were an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation. Among those resigning over a lack of faith in Musk’s willingness to keep Twitter from devolving into a chaos of uncontrolled speech were Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth. Read More: Big Tech Layoffs Are Hurting Workers Far Beyond Silicon Valley Major advertisers have also abandoned the platform. On Oct. 28, the day after he took control, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints that would consider the cases. On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he’d agreed to at the insistence of “a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their business. Read More: Elon Musk Is the Lord of Twitter. We Are the Peasants A day earlier, Twitter reinstated the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation policies. Musk, meanwhile, has been getting increasingly chummy on Twitter with right-wing figures. Before this month’s U.S. midterm elections he urged “independent-minded” people to vote Republican. A report from the European Union published Thursday said Twitter took longer to review hateful content and removed less of it this year compared with 2021. The report was based on data collected over the spring — before Musk acquired Twitter — as part of an annual evaluation of online platforms’ compliance with the bloc’s code of conduct on disinformation. It found that Twitter assessed just over half of the notifications it received about illegal hate speech within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 25th, 2022

"Amnesty Begins Next Week": Musk To Reinstate Suspended Twitter Accounts En Masse

"Amnesty Begins Next Week": Musk To Reinstate Suspended Twitter Accounts En Masse Elon Musk has given politically divided families all the ammunition they need for an epic pie fight this Thanksgiving - announcing 'general amnesty' for suspended Twitter accounts as long as they haven't broken the law or engaged in egregious spam. On Wednesday, Musk asked in a poll whether Twitter should offer "general amnesty to suspended accounts," to which 72.4% voted "Yes". "The people have spoken," Musk tweeted Friday, adding "Amnesty begins next week." "Vox Populi, Vox Dei," he said in closing - a Latin phrase meaning "The voice of the People, the voice of God." The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022 Musk's decision is sure to piss off even more advertisers, who have been pulling ad spending (as they underperform the market). Advertisers including Audi, General Mills, GM, United Airlines and Pfizer have all paused ads, leading to what Musk described as a "massive drop" in revenue. And... it looks like he gives exactly zero f**ks. (Though what of one Alex E. Jones?) Let the games begin! Tyler Durden Thu, 11/24/2022 - 16:15.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

Twitter Says It Stopped Policing COVID Misinformation Under Musk

The move was a part of Elon Musk’s mission to remake the social network as a place for unmoderated speech. Twitter Inc. said it ended a policy designed to suppress false or misleading information about COVID-19, part of Elon Musk’s polarizing mission to remake the social network as a place for unmoderated speech. By discarding the COVID rule, the company will no longer apply labels to posts containing falsehoods about the disease or provide supplemental corrective information as it did before. It will apparently no longer remove inaccurate tweets or ban offending accounts either. The company disclosed the change in a note added to a page on its website outlining the old COVID policy. It says Twitter stopped enforcing the rule on Nov. 23. Read More: Twitter Was a Lifeline for People With Disabilities. Musk’s Reign Is Changing All of That Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Sky News reported on the revision earlier Tuesday. Over 11,000 accounts had been suspended and over 97,000 pieces of misleading content had been removed from the time Twitter introduced the COVID policy in January 2020 to when it ended last week, according to data on Twitter’s website. Twitter has received frequent criticism for its lack of action against disinformation and misinformation over the last decade. The critiques were heightened during the presidency of Donald Trump due to his controversial and prolific tweeting, including ones that violated Twitter’s policies on coronavirus misinformation. Musk moved to reinstate Trump’s Twitter account this month, though the former president has yet to post from it......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 29th, 2022

Elon Musk Threatens War With Apple, Jeopardizing Vital Relationship

In a flurry of tweets Elon Musk said Apple had cut its Twitter advertising and threatened to bump the social network from Apple’s app store Elon Musk’s tumultuous month atop Twitter Inc. has already included firing most of the company’s employees, tinkering with key features and restoring banned accounts. Now he’s embarking on what could be his riskiest gambit yet: a war with Apple Inc. The billionaire attacked the iPhone maker with a flurry of tweets Monday, saying the company had cut its Twitter advertising and threatened to bump the social network from Apple’s app store. He asked whether Apple hated free speech, criticized its app fees and even pondered whether the tech giant might go after another of his companies, Tesla Inc. In taking aim at Apple, Musk is challenging a company that’s vital to Twitter’s livelihood. Apple was consistently one of the top advertisers on the social network, which had an entire team of employees dedicated to helping maintain the relationship, according to people familiar with the matter. The ad spending was well above $100 million annually, one of the people said. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “Elon Musk now represents risk, and Apple is not going to take that risk on,” said Lou Paskalis, a senior marketing and media executive who previously helped direct advertising for Bank of America Corp. Apple also operates an essential gateway for Twitter users: the App Store. If Musk’s company loses access to that, it will be cut off from more than 1.5 billion devices around the world. But the billionaire has some leverage of his own. In portraying his struggles as a fight for free speech, he can rally his millions of fans. And his disdain for Apple’s app store fees are shared by software developers, lawmakers and regulators around the world, giving him a potential advantage. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Some Twitter users said Monday that they continue to see Apple advertising in their feeds, but a person familiar with the matter confirmed that the company has pared back the ads. The Cupertino, California-based company holds meetings with Twitter to discuss various issues — roughly once a week — just as it does with other major social networking apps, including Facebook and Instagram. Apple has historically relied heavily on Twitter because it doesn’t advertise on Facebook, according to one of the people with knowledge of its strategy. Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America? — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022 Apple joins a number of large companies in scaling back their ads on Twitter since Musk acquired the company for $44 billion last month. The exodus has included General Mills Inc. and Pfizer Inc., and he previously acknowledged that the defections led to a “massive drop” in revenue. The overall online ad market is in a slump, but marketers are particularly wary about Twitter over fears that it’s becoming more chaotic. Since the takeover, Musk has cut thousands of jobs at Twitter, fueling concerns that the platform won’t be able to combat hate speech and misinformation. A new approach to verifying accounts also opened the door to trolls impersonating major brands, as well as Musk himself. Musk, 51, is trying to make Twitter less reliant on advertising by steering users toward its Blue subscription service. But ad services generated nearly 90% of its $5.1 billion in revenue last year, with a good chunk coming from Apple. Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022 The barrage of tweets criticizing Apple began with one saying that the company had “mostly stopped advertising on Twitter.” Musk asked: “Do they hate free speech in America?” He then directed a tweet at Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook: “What’s going on here?” A few minutes later, he claimed that Apple might boot Twitter from its app store “but won’t tell us why.” Read more: How Twitter’s survival as a paid service hinges on Apple Earlier this month, longtime Apple executive Phil Schiller, who oversees the app store, deleted his Twitter account. The timing raised eyebrows. It was shortly after Musk reinstated the account of former President Donald Trump, who had been booted from the platform in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol in January 2021. Musk had earlier said he would create a content council to review whether to reinstate Trump’s account, but he then made the move based on the results of a Twitter poll instead. “He says the right things, but he does the wrong things and that’s almost worse,” Paskalis said. Apple’s Cook has continued to use Twitter personally since Musk’s acquisition. He posted a Thanksgiving message last week “wishing everyone a joyful day.” Musk has previously tweeted that if Twitter is removed from the Apple and Google app stores, he will make an alternative phone that can work with the platform. Fans of the idea — and its detractors — have begun calling it the “Tesla phone,” and that term was trending on Twitter Monday. Musk, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX, has said that his mission at Twitter is maximizing free speech. He frequently uses his personal account, which has more than 119 million followers, to criticize perceived adversaries and the mainstream media. Musk has said before that Apple charges an exorbitant fees on in-app purchases, and he renewed that line of attack Monday. He posted a meme that suggested he would rather “go to war” than pay the company’s 30% commission. The meme signals that Musk could be considering taking the path of Epic Games Inc. and sidestepping Apple’s fees. When Epic made such a move, Apple removed the hit game Fortnite, sparking a multiyear legal fight. pic.twitter.com/uKEY9mVujp — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022 But if Musk wanted to start selling the Twitter Blue subscription service through the web — bypassing Apple’s 30% — he could already do so. The app store allows services available on multiple platforms to use that approach. The issue would be if Twitter advertised the workaround within its app or added a button directing users to the web payment option. That move could risk getting Twitter bumped from the app store. In another tweet, Musk suggested that Apple has made demands on Twitter’s content moderation. He also posted a yes-no survey: “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers.” In controlling the two major mobile app stores, Apple and Google are frequently referred to as a “duopoly,” a term Musk used in his tweets. US Representative Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado, took up that idea Monday. He quoted one of Musk’s tweets and said the US should end the app store duopoly before the end of the year. “No one should have this kind of market power,” he said. Apple has strict rules for its app store that limit objectionable content, including discriminatory content related to religion, race and sexual orientation. It also restricts overly realistic violence and pornographic material. Apple and Google have previously removed social networks, including Parler, from their platforms because of inadequate content moderation. In the case of Parler, the app was ultimately restored to both app stores after the social network followed a series of steps to ensure it was moderating content. After directing several barbs at Apple, Musk promised more information on free speech suppression in “The Twitter Files,” which will be published — where else? — on Twitter. “The public deserves to know what really happened,” he said......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 29th, 2022

Elon Musk says "amnesty" coming for some suspended Twitter accounts

Musk says suspended Twitter accounts will be granted amnesty next week after holding a poll in which nearly three-fourths of users voted in the affirmative......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsNov 24th, 2022

Stephen King jokes that Mike Lindell"s My Pillow will soon be the only advertiser left on Twitter

Stephen King has continued his Twitter feud with Elon Musk, this time taking aim at Twitter's advertising woes. Elon Musk and Stephen King.Britta Pedersen / POOL / AFP / Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Stephen King has slammed Elon Musk on Twitter again. The award-winning author took aim at Twitter's ongoing advertising problems. The author has sparred with Musk multiple times since the billionaire's Twitter takeover. Stephen King has continued his Twitter feud with Elon Musk, this time taking aim at Twitter's ongoing advertising problems."Pretty soon the only advertiser left on Twitter will be My Pillow," the best-selling author tweeted on Tuesday, referring to the bedding company led by controversial Donald Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.Twitter has been struggling to retain some advertisers that are nervous about Musk's new vision for the social-media platform.In less than a month Twitter has lost half of its top 100 advertisers, according to a report from media watchdog, Media Matters. According to the research, 50 of Twitter's top 100 advertisers have either announced or seemingly stopped advertising on the platform.Musk responded to King's latest jibe with a joke poking fun at the tweet: "Is My Pillow actually a great pillow? Now I'm curious."My Pillow CEO Lindell was permanently banned from Twitter in 2021 over election misinformation. He briefly reappeared on the platform in May, but was suspended again for violating Twitter's evasion policy.Despite Elon Musk reinstating some banned accounts last week, Lindell's Twitter suspension has yet not been lifted.King also mocked Musk's decision to reinstate former US president Donald Trump's Twitter account."Speaking of bad jokes, Elon Musk says Trump can get back on Twitter," the author said on Monday.King has sparred with Twitter's new owner multiple times since Musk bought the platform. The author originally criticized Musk's plans to charge users for Twitter verification and later slammed the new CEO's vision for Twitter, saying he preferred the platform in "pre-Musk days."Representatives for Musk did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2022

Elon Musk wanted to reinstate a right-wing satire account on day one as Twitter chief

In the few past days, divisive and previously banned figures like Kanye West and Donald Trump have had their accounts restored by Musk. Elon Musk sent Twitter staff a memo on Thursday confirming job cuts would be announced on Friday.Carina Johansen/Getty Images Elon Musk expressed interest in reinstating the Babylon Bee's twitter account hours after he took over. According to The Washington Post, Musk thought the right-wing satire site shouldn't have been banned. The Babylon Bee had called Biden health official Rachel Levine, who is a transgender woman, "Man of the Year."  Elon Musk had his sights set on bringing back the Twitter account for right-wing, Christian satire website The Babylon Bee on day one as Twitter's CEO in October. The account had been banned for anti-trans tweets aimed at a member of the Biden administration. The site's account was reinstated on Sunday, three weeks after his takeover of Twitter.Divisive and previously banned figures like Kanye West and former President Donald Trump have also had their accounts restored by Musk in recent days.According to The Washington Post, when Musk took over in October, one of his main directives was to reactivate the Babylon Bee account that called Biden health official Rachel Levine, who is a transgender woman, "Man of the Year." The tweet violated a 2018 rule that prohibits discrimination against transgender people related to genders or names used before transitioning.The Post reported that in the days after Musk took over he met with lawyer Alex Spiro and the head of Twitter's Trust and Safety team Yoel Roth and said that the Babylon Bee's tweet was "not cool," but that it was not a "sticks and stones" violation, like a violent threat.Weeks before Musk's purchase, ex-wife Talulah Riley texted Musk criticizing the platform's decision to ban The Babylon Bee and calling for him to reverse the decision and make the platform "radically free speech."After Musk's $44 billion purchase in October, he has whittled down the company's staff from some 7,500 employees to less than 3,000 employees as of last week. Employees who have stayed on have reported working over 80-hour weeks and sleeping at the office. Musk has encouraged workers to be "extremely hardcore" going forward.Musk did not respond to a request for comment. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 22nd, 2022

Musk Restores Trump’s Twitter Account After Online Poll

Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s account on Twitter, reversing a ban imposed after a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s account on Twitter on Saturday, reversing a ban that has kept the former president off the social media site since a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was poised to certify Joe Biden’s election victory. Musk made the announcement in the evening after holding a poll that asked Twitter users to click “yes” or “no” on whether Trump’s account should be restored. The “yes” vote won, with 51.8%. Previously, Musk had said Twitter would establish new procedures and a “content moderation council” before making decisions to restore suspended accounts. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” Shortly afterward Trump’s account, which had earlier appeared as suspended, reappeared on the platform complete with his former tweets, more than 59,000 of them. His followers were gone, at least initially, but he quickly began regaining them. There were no new tweets from the account as of late Saturday, however. Musk restored the account less than a month after the Tesla CEO took control of Twitter and four days after Trump announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race. Read More: Trump Used Twitter to Lie and Bully. That’s Unlikely to Change If He Returns It is not clear whether Trump would actually return to Twitter. An irrepressible tweeter before he was banned, Trump has said in the past that he would not rejoin even if his account was reinstated. He has been relying on his own, much smaller social media site, Truth Social, which he launched after being blocked from Twitter. And on Saturday, during a video speech to a Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, Trump said that he was aware of Musk’s poll but that he saw “a lot of problems at Twitter.” “I hear we’re getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it,” Trump said. “It may make it, it may not make it,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheavals. The prospect of restoring Trump’s presence to the platform follows Musk’s purchase last month of Twitter — an acquisition that has fanned widespread concern that the billionaire owner will allow purveyors of lies and misinformation to flourish on the site. Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive of freewheeling speech. His efforts to reshape the site have been both swift and chaotic. Musk has fired many of the company’s 7,500 full-time workers and an untold number of contractors who are responsible for content moderation and other crucial responsibilities. His demand that remaining employees pledge to “extremely hardcore” work triggered a wave of resignations, including hundreds of software engineers. Users have reported seeing increased spam and scams on their feeds and in their direct messages, among other glitches, in the aftermath of the mass layoffs and worker exodus. Some programmers who were fired or resigned this week warned that Twitter may soon fray so badly it could actually crash. Musk’s online survey, posted on his own Twitter account, drew more than 15 million votes in the 24 hours in which it ran. Musk conceded that the results were hardly scientific. “Bot & troll armies might be running out of steam soon,” he tweeted Saturday morning. “Some interesting lessons to clean up future polls.” It’s not the first time he’s used Twitter polling to make business decisions. Last year he sold millions of shares of his Tesla stock after asking his followers whether he should. Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York responded to Musk’s poll on Trump by tweeting video of the Jan. 6 insurrection. She tweeted Friday that when Trump was last on Twitter, it “was used to incite an insurrection, multiple people died, the Vice President of the United States was nearly assassinated, and hundreds were injured but I guess that’s not enough for you to answer the question. Twitter poll it is.” Trump lost his access to Twitter two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol, soon after the former president had exhorted them to “fight like hell.” Twitter dropped his account after Trump wrote a pair of tweets that the company said cast further doubts on the legitimacy of the presidential election and raised risks for the Biden presidential inauguration. After the Jan. 6 attack, Trump was also kicked off Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta Platforms, and Snapchat. His ability to post videos to his YouTube channel was also suspended. Facebook is set to reconsider Trump’s suspension in January. Throughout his tenure as president, Trump’s use of social media posed a significant challenge to major social media platforms that sought to balance the public’s interest in hearing from public officials with worries about misinformation, bigotry, harassment and incitement of violence. But in a speech at an auto conference in May, Musk asserted that Twitter’s ban of Trump was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.” Earlier this month, Musk, who completed the $44 billion takeover of Twitter in late October, declared that the company wouldn’t let anyone who had been kicked off the site return until Twitter had established procedures on how to do so, including forming a “content moderation council.” On Friday, Musk tweeted that the suspended Twitter accounts for the comedian Kathy Griffin, the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and the conservative Christian news satire website Babylon Bee had been reinstated. He added that a decision on Trump had not yet been made. He also responded “no” when someone on Twitter asked him to reinstate the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ account. In a tweet Friday, the Tesla CEO described the company’s new content policy as “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.” He explained that a tweet deemed to be “negative” or to include “hate” would be allowed on the site but would be visible only to users who specifically searched for it. Such tweets also would be “demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter,” Musk said......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 21st, 2022

Are You Ready For The Coming US Government Default?

Are You Ready For The Coming US Government Default? Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com, The vast herd of investors are a deluded crowd.  Following the Federal Reserve’s much anticipated 75 basis point rate hike on Wednesday the major stock market indexes jumped upward. Optimistic investors keyed in on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement and, in particular, the remark that the Fed, “will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation and economic and financial developments.” Somehow this was perceived as being the precursor to a policy pivot.  Yet during the post-FOMC statement press conference, Powell clarified that, “It’s very premature to be thinking about pausing.” Stocks then fell off a cliff.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closing out the day with a loss of 505 points. Will there be a pivot, pause, or no pivot?  This is the wrong question to be asking.  The reality is the major stock market indexes have much farther to fall before the bear market is over, regardless of if the Fed pivots anytime soon. If you recall, the Fed began cutting interest rates in September of 2007.  Yet the stock market didn’t bottom out until March of 2009.  Similarly, the Fed began cutting interest rates in January of 2001.  Still, the stock market didn’t bottom out until October of 2002. Thus, using these two most recent bear markets as a guide, once the Fed finally begins cutting interest rates, which would come after inflation has begun to abate and a period of interest rate pause, the stock market will continue to fall for another 18 to 22 months. In other words, this bear market may not bottom out until well into 2025.  What’s more, the entire dollar based financial system will likely blow up sometime beforehand. How’s that for a grim outlook? Investors, as you can see, are incredibly twisted up by the Fed’s money games, and how they’ve enhanced the peaks and valleys of the stock market.  As for workers and voters, many don’t have a clue as to the ramifications for the real, Main Street economy.  Here’s why… No Clue Fiscal policy, as opposed to monetary policy, is more readily understood by workers and voters.  Income taxes, budget deficits, the national debt.  These are all real things the average person of moderate means and mental capacity can grasp a hold of, should they care to. The effects of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) or quantitative easing (QE), however, are less apparent to the casual observer.  Politicians may make superficial remarks about consumer price inflation if they think it will score points with voters.  But actual currency debasement policies are rarely mentioned. Certainly, workers experience the wild booms and busts of central bank caused price distortions.  Still, few ever trace the genesis back to the Federal Reserve.  Instead, they see what appear to be extreme price increases and place the blame on producers. For example, workers may falsely condemn capitalism for rising prices, especially when provoked by populist politicians.  Yet they never scratch below the surface where the Fed’s money and credit games are lurking.  If they did, they’d find a system that stacks the deck against them. Take the industrious wage earner.  As he goes about his day-to-day business, he may find that, despite working harder and harder, his lot in life never improves.  In fact, it may even regress. But many won’t recognize heavy handed monetary policy as reasons for their disappointment.  The erosion of purchasing power can be subtle over long periods.  Moreover, the effects of currency debasement policies extend to all corners of the economy. Take the recent college graduate, making a subsistence wage at a franchise coffee shop, buried under $50,000 in student loan debt.  He may be deeply aware that something is radically wrong.  He may even ask, ‘How come the cost of school is at such disparity with the value it provides?’ Nonetheless, many college graduates won’t correlate the bubble in student loan debt, or the massive building boom on college campuses, to the Fed’s mass credit creation machine.  Nor will they contemplate the broken promises that led them down such a futile path.  Rather, they look to the President, like an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, to cancel their debts. Gimme My Stimmy Similarly, voters may celebrate a new stimmy check, while disparaging greedy capitalists for making their daily cup of coffee so expensive.  Some will even use their free government money to buy a “GIMME MY STIMMY” T-Shirt.  Yet few will bother to ask, ‘Where’s the money coming from?’ The answer, of course, is as hollow as it sounds.  That is, it’s created out of thin air. Still, the majority of Americans are incapable of putting two and two together.  In fact, this week spectacular evidence was given proving that the majority of Americans are, indeed, mildly retarded. What are we talking about? The following Newsweek headlines will leave you questioning the enlightenment of democratic rule… “Majority of Americans Back New Stimulus Checks To Combat Inflation” The Fed’s ruse, no doubt, works exceedingly well when consumer prices are suppressed over a multi-decade experiment in globalization and increasing international trade.  The Fed can get away with debasing the currency to juice financial markets and finance bloated government spending programs when cheap, imported goods fill the shelves of Costco and Walmart.  Workers are none the wiser. But after flooding the economy with upwards of $5 trillion to combat the effects of despotic coronavirus lockdowns, the Fed has produced a problem that won’t simply go away.  The money is out and about, chasing prices higher.  But the majority of Americans want more stimmy checks to somehow combat this. At the same time, a geopolitical shift is reversing the 50-year trend in globalization.  This structural change in the economy will propel prices higher for decades to come.  Hiking interest rates several percentage points won’t cut it. Obviously, one can’t assign all liability for the broad population’s financial malaise to the Fed.  Lethargy and sloth remain principal culprits for many folks’ immobility. Poverty, remember, for a majority of people that live with it, is more of an attitude than a financial condition.  Giving someone free money does nothing to adjust their attitude of poverty.  To the contrary, it reinforces their dependence. We’ve seen how industriousness and ingenuity can still overcome ZIRP.  Though for wage earners this is an increasingly difficult task.  What good is a 3 percent pay raise when the official rate of consumer price inflation is 8 percent, and the real inflation rate is over 16 percent? Are You Ready for the Coming U.S. Government Default? The point is, more than anyone else, Fed Chair Jay Powell has his fingerprints all over today’s raging consumer price inflation and the now destructive rate hiking means for containing it.  The Fed’s efforts to smooth out the peaks and valleys of the business cycle and keep the gravy flowing to its private member banks have had the ill effect of magnifying them. The consequences to workers, savers, and retirees alike are remarkably harmful.  Furthermore, as the current financial order strains to preserve the status quo, the level of intervention into the economy and financial markets will continue to mushroom like mold spores on wet drywall.  Radical policies will be hatched to cover the shortcomings of prior blunders. The U.S. national debt has topped $31.2 trillion.  Tack on the debt of households, businesses, state and local governments, and financial institutions, and you’re looking at a total U.S. debt over $92.9 trillion. As the Fed hikes interest rates to contain the raging inflation of its making, the cost of servicing government debt increases.  Total U.S. tax revenue is approximately $4.9 trillion.  Total U.S. interest paid is over $3.4 trillion.  Before long it will take 100 percent of tax revenue just to service the debt interest. Then what? The popular American myth is that the U.S. government has never defaulted on its debt.  Quite frankly, that’s an unadulterated lie.  The U.S. government has (unofficially) defaulted on its debt twice within the last hundred years. Executive Order 6102 of 1933, which forced all American citizens to turn in gold coins and bars, was, in fact, a default.  Gold ownership in the United States, with some small limitations, was illegal for the next 40 years. Under EO 6102, Americans were compensated $20.67 per troy ounce of gold.  They were paid with paper dollars.  Immediately following the government’s gold confiscation, the price of gold was raised by the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 to $35 per ounce.  Just like that, American citizens were robbed of over 40 percent of their wealth. The second default occurred in 1971, when President Nixon “temporarily” suspended the convertibility of the dollar into gold. Prior to 1971, as determined by the Bretton Woods international monetary system, which was agreed to in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in July 1944, a foreign bank could exchange $35 with the U.S. Treasury for one troy ounce of gold.  After the U.S. reneged on this established exchange rate, when foreign banks handed the U.S. Treasury $35, they received $35 in exchange. In both instances, the U.S. government didn’t overtly default on the debt.  Instead, it changed the fundamentals – the terms and conditions – of the dollar.  By all honest accounts, these are defaults. What dirty trick does Uncle Sam have up his dirty sleeve this time? One possible swindle is the issuance of a digital dollar – a Fed or government issued central bank digital currency (CBDC) – which is traceable and programmable.  When it is introduced, your accounts will be credited one for one, as in one federal reserve note for one digital dollar.  But what you’ll be able to buy in return with your digital dollars will be far less. You see, the digital dollar roll out will provide elaborate cover. Make no mistake.  This is a default.  And it is coming much sooner than you think. Are you ready? *  *  * Quite frankly, it’s maddening.  But you must not be a victim.  For this reason, after nearly two decades of research, I damn near killed myself putting together the Financial First Aid Kit.  Inside, you’ll find everything you need to know to protect your wealth and privacy as the U.S. government defaults for the third time in the last 100-years. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/07/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 7th, 2022

While Elon Musk said "comedy is now legal" following his acquisition of Twitter, jokes about the new owner and criticism over his takeover are getting users blocked and suspended

A slew of accounts impersonating the billionaire prompted Musk to tweet that similar accounts posting without a parody label will be "permanently suspended." Tesla founder Elon Musk attends Offshore Northern Seas 2022 in Stavanger, Norway August 29, 2022.NTB/Carina Johansen via REUTERS The day after he purchased Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk posted "comedy is now legal" on the platform. In the days since, parody accounts impersonating Musk and joking about the acquisition have been removed. Musk tweeted on Sunday that unlabeled parody accounts will be "permanently suspended" without warning. While comedy might be "legal" on Twitter following Elon Musk's $44 billion acquisition, parody accounts could receive a "permanent suspension" with "no warning," Musk tweeted on Sunday — which several users told Insider has happened to their accounts after joking about the billionaire.The day after he purchased Twitter, Musk posted a tweet saying "comedy is now legal" on the platform, but in the days since his takeover, parody accounts impersonating Musk have cropped up across the site, riffing about the new owner, and getting banned in the process. Fake Elons suspended"There is nothing better than waking up and enjoying a fresh, steaming cup of my own urine," Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe tweeted from his verified account after changing his account details — including photo, name, and bio —  to match Musk's profile. "Such a tangy way to start the day, and it's scientifically proven to help brain cells grow. If you want to be like me, drink your pee." —Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) November 4, 2022 "Okay, time to employ plan b since they're MAKING me keep twitter," read one of a series of tweets by actor Rich Sommer of "Mad Men" fame, parodying Musk: "Does anyone know any advertisers who are, like, kind of 'into' racism NOT ACTUAL RACISTS!! just ad ppl who are, y'know, curious about what it's all about (racism).""The remaining staff at twitter are actively bullying me now," cartoonist Jeph Jacques tweeted from his verified account, which featured a profile photo of Musk from his PayPal era prior to suspected hair transplant surgery. "Jed from accounting called me 'little baby bitchboy' to my face and nobody even said anything. I mean obviously I fired him and I'm having my goons break his wife's legs, but still. it hurts :("Since posting the joking tweets, each of the verified accounts — as well as others, including the account of comedian Kathy Griffin — have been restricted on Twitter or removed entirely.—Jesse Hawken (@jessehawken) November 4, 2022 "I had absolutely, let me be very clear, no intention of anyone truly believing that I was Elon Musk," Sommer told Insider. "I wanted to, I guess go down in flames. I knew I was headed for the exit door probably. But I also, just while I had that blue check, wanted to show that anyone could say they were anyone." The future of parody accountsMusk, who has described himself as a "free speech absolutist" with intentions to make Twitter akin to a digital town square that allows all constitutionally protected speech, on Sunday modified his previous comments to include only posts clearly designated as parody. "Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying 'parody' will be permanently suspended," Musk tweeted. "Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning. This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue."Musk added that going forward, any change in name at all from a verified account would result in a "temporary loss of verified checkmark." His tweets came after accounts like Kluwe's, Sommer's, and Jacques' were suspended without warning.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2022 "That is like just trying to put a band-aid on a forest fire, essentially," Kluwe told Insider about the plan to prevent abuse of the verification system. Kluwe said he aimed to draw attention to how easy it is to abuse the verified check mark by impersonating Musk and encouraged other verified users to do the same."It's especially rich coming from him, the 'champion of free speech' that he is," Kluwe added. "Like, if they're cracking down on parody then that actually would be a violation of free speech if this was a governmental public forum." Verified impersonatorsThe existing Twitter policy on parody, commentary, and fan accounts specifically prohibits users from using language like "real" or "official" on accounts not associated with the person or organization they are parodying, but accounts that specify they are parodies are not an inherent violation of Twitter's existing impersonation policy. "You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, nor use a fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on Twitter," the existing parody account policy reads.In discussions with Insider, Kluwe, Sommer, and Jacques each clearly indicated they knew their posts were in violation of Twitter terms of service and each anticipated a warning or suspension of some kind, but wanted to prove a point about the potential for abusing the verification badge to fool other users, especially in light of planned changes to the process."Really the whole point was that I knew I was breaking the terms of service — like if they're perfectly within their rights to kick me off because you're not allowed to impersonate people, it's bad for disinformation — but under this new plan of trying to monetize the verified status, that's exactly what's going to happen," Kluwe told Insider, adding that scammers using verified accounts could post links to malware or scam sites while impersonating others."All it takes is one person clicking on that link and then falling for it," Kluwe said. "From the scammer's perspective, it's a huge return on investment."Musk last week announced planned changes to the verification system, including an $8 monthly subscription to Twitter Blue to unlock verified status, which critics — including Kluwe, Sommer, and Jacques — worry will lead to scammers paying for verification only to pose as a more credible person to take advantage of others."One of the things the email [about my suspension] says is that 'significant changes to a verified profile can lead to confusion and erode the meaning of the badge,'" Jacques told Insider, adding that he believes Musk is a "chronic bullshit artist." "I'm thinking reading this email, like 'Yes the badge that you're going to be selling for $8 to anybody. That definitely has a lot of meaning.' It has been very funny. Elon has reacted exactly as I would have expected. And I'm very proud of everybody who took part in this amazing sequence of events," Jacques said.Musk and representatives for Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 7th, 2022

Biden Misled Public On Afghanistan; New GOP Report Finds

Biden Misled Public On Afghanistan; New GOP Report Finds Authored by Susan Crabtree via RealClear Politics (emphasis ours), The frantic and deadly U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan was so disorganized that 1,450 children were evacuated without their parents, and senior leaders in Vice President Kamala Harris’ and first lady Jill Biden’s offices, as well as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asked private veteran groups for assistance evacuating certain people from the country. In the waning days of the evacuation, more than 1,000 women and girls waited more than 24 hours on dozens of buses, desperately circling the Kabul airport and trying to avoid Taliban checkpoints. Many of them were told multiple times they were not allowed to enter the airport. Now, nearly a year since the Taliban took control of the country, fewer than one-third of them have managed to flee the country. These are just some of the findings in a new report by Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee one year after the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital of Kabul, almost instantly rolling back more than two decades of U.S. and NATO military support and nation-building efforts. More broadly, the report, which RealClearPolitics obtained late last week, asserts President Biden and top officials in his administration repeatedly – and perhaps intentionally – misled the American people when they said the fall of Kabul came as a surprise and there was no alternative other than depending on the Taliban for security in the Afghan capital as the U.S. military evacuated hastily.   The report asserts that the chaotic withdrawal that left more than 800 American citizens stranded in the country was completely avoidable if Biden and his national security team had listened to the warnings and advice of military leaders, U.S. diplomatic officials operating on the ground, and international allies. It adds that one of the most tragic outcomes of the evacuation – the death of 13 U.S. servicemembers and 160 Afghans in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport – could have been prevented if the administration had accepted the Taliban’s Aug. 15 offer for the U.S. to control the capital city’s security until the end of the withdrawal. Such an arrangement would have allowed American forces to extend the airport’s security perimeter, creating more space for evacuating Afghans and a far more orderly process. It also would have prevented U.S. servicemembers from being penned in amid the frantic crush of Afghans desperately trying to board U.S. military planes, leaving them vulnerable to the suicide attack, several former officials told committee Republicans, according to the report. “There were many sins if you will – there was a complete lack of and failure to plan,” Rep. Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the panel told CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday. “There was no plan executed.” In a new memo over the weekend, the White House started defending its decision to withdraw troops, arguing that the move strengthened U.S. national security by freeing up military and intelligence agents and assets. The memo, written by National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson and first reported by Axios, is a direct response to the House Republicans’ interim report outlining their view of the administration’s withdrawal failures. It assails the House Republicans’ report as a partisan exercise “riddled with inaccurate characterizations, cherry picked information, and false claims…. It advocates for endless war and for sending more troops to Afghanistan, and it ignores the impacts of the flawed deal that former President Trump struck with the Taliban,” the memo states. Republicans are standing by their findings, arguing that a failure to plan left the State Department with only 36 consular officers at the airport trying to process hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of days. These officials were overwhelmed, McCaul said, but the lack of resources for a withdrawal of this magnitude was just one of the many mistakes involved in failing to plan for Kabul’s fall despite multiple warnings. United States of America fled Afghanistan leaving behind innocent Afghans. These shocking visuals from Kabul today describe the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Betrayal. Escape. Lack of empathy. No clarity. Failure. Chaos. pic.twitter.com/UCDMC7CffT — Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 16, 2021 Several top U.S. military leaders for months had warned the president that the Afghan government would likely collapse if the U.S. left fewer than 2,500 troops stationed there, the report states. The report also cites “more realistic assessments on the ground,” including a July 13, 2021, embassy cable from 23 U.S. personnel assigned to the embassy in Kabul, which reportedly contained “a stark warning” about the potential collapse of the Afghan state. The cable, which the Wall Street Journal first reported a year ago, and was sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Director of Policy Planning Salman Ahmed, called on the State Department to respond more urgently to the Taliban’s offensive. Although Blinken acknowledged the existence of the cable, he has refused to share it or disclose his response to it with congressional committees, including the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The biggest mistake of all, McCaul argued, was Biden’s rejection of the Taliban’s offer for the U.S. to take control of Kabul’s security until the evacuation was over. “Think about what that would have changed,” McCaul said. “We had to rely on the Taliban to secure the perimeter of [the airport], that led to the chaos, and it also led to the suicide bomber who killed 13 servicemen and women and injured hundreds of people.” The Biden administration also rebuffed other offers that could have helped prevent the frantic crush of Afghans at the airport and preserve America’s reputation abroad, the report states. U.S. leaders ignored a proposal from Guam for the U.S. territory to serve as an interim processing center to help evacuate interpreters and other at-risk allies. It similarly declined an offer from Pakistan to have a facility there serve as a transit center for evacuees, despite other facilities in Qatar and Germany reaching capacity. The report, which will serve as a roadmap for several lines of inquiry if Republicans win back the majority in either chamber this fall, is based on open-source information, along with interviews with U.S. officials and civilians involved in evacuating U.S. citizens and Afghan allies. Several whistleblowers who requested anonymity also played a key role, along with sworn statements by U.S. military personnel who were part of the investigation into the August 26, 2021, suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. The State Department did not comply with requests for documents and transcribed interviews with 34 administration officials involved in the Afghanistan evacuation effort. The report also criticizes the full House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Democratic Rep. Greg Meeks of New York, for holding just one full committee hearing with senior Biden administration officials on the Afghanistan withdrawal even though it’s widely recognized as one of the worst U.S. foreign policy failures in decades. While the report says more State Department resources would have helped ease panic and confusion, it faults the agency for basic communication miscues that further exacerbated the chaos. By ignoring early warnings that they were not moving quickly enough to evacuate Americans and at-risk Afghans who had worked directly with the U.S. government, they left American citizens, green-card holders, and Afghan allies approved for departure stranded outside airport gates with no assistance. “Attempts by members of Congress and their staff to help their constituents or other would-be evacuees were often stymied by out-of-office replies to email requests and broken links to web pages mean to submit information,” according to the report. It also criticizes U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson for going on a two-week vacation as Afghanistan was falling apart. Wilson took his summer break immediately after accompanying then-Afghanistan President Ghani to a late June meeting with Biden who promised the Afghan envoy, “We’re going to stick with you, and we’re going to do our best to see to it that you have the tools you need.” “There were no decisions made in the embassy until [Ross] returned in mid-July. This made action impossible,” a U.S. military officer told Army investigators. “Ground could have been gained at this time if the embassy had been able to do anything.” A couple of weeks later, it was Biden and Blinken who were on vacation at Camp David and the Hamptons, respectively, when alarms began sounding at the Pentagon for the need to relocate all of U.S. embassy personnel to the Kabul airport. Before the move, the personnel were being ordered to destroy sensitive documents in response to new fears of an immediate Taliban takeover of Kabul. All these hasty actions left no time for the State Department to speed up the processing of immigration applications for the Afghan allies Biden had promised to protect. There were no plans made to evacuate tens of thousands of U.S.-trained Afghan commandoes and other elite units who possess sensitive knowledge about American military operations. Also left behind: women leaders and soldiers whom Americans had promised sanctuary, along with more than 10,000 Afghans who had been employed by Embassy Kabul since it was re-established in 2001 and thousands more who worked with U.S. Agency for International Development. Nearly one year after the last U.S. troops left Afghanistan, the Biden administration still lacks a plan to help these at-risk Afghan allies who fought and worked alongside U.S. forces, even though the administration has admitted that the Taliban and other terrorist groups have subjected these U.S. allies to killings and forced disappearances. And, despite Biden’s assurances that the U.S. had accomplished its original goal of expelling al Qaeda and other terrorist groups from the country, the report points to the recent U.S. strike against Ayman al Zawahiri, a top al Qaeda leader, who was living freely in downtown Kabul, as proof of the group’s presence in Afghanistan. “Thankfully, al Zawahiri was killed by a U.S. drone strike last month, but officials warn that al Qaeda and ISIS-K continue to grow their presence in Afghanistan,” the report states. Meanwhile, the withdrawal has wreaked havoc on the country’s economy, with some estimates that 95% of the country needs emergency assistance to avoid hunger. With the Taliban back in control, there are reports of targeted revenge killings against those who worked with the U.S. government or military. U.S.-based volunteer groups seeking to aid Afghan evacuees have reported nearly 500 reprisal attacks, including beheadings, hangings, severed limbs, lash marks, and car shootings. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported in July 2022 that these killings are often carried out “execution style – for example, when an individual is taken out of their house and shot almost immediately,” the report notes. One of the worst casualties of the U.S. withdrawal from the country is the dramatic regression of women and girls, who are now ordered to wear burqas and are prevented from attending school or universities or even from walking unaccompanied in public places. Child marriage is also reportedly on the rise with girls as young as nine years old being sold into marriage to pay off debts, or families being forced to marry off their young daughters to Taliban fighters, the report states, quoting PBS documentary filmmaker Ramita Navai’s comments earlier this month after two visits to Afghanistan. The report also cites a finding by Amnesty International that “many women protesters” in Afghanistan who demonstrated against the Taliban’s repressive policies “have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance and torture,” including Taliban-administered beatings and electric shocks with tasers. Although Blinken acknowledged reprisal attacks and killings earlier this year, the report points out that the secretary played down the Taliban leadership’s responsibility for the deaths. “We are of course seeing retribution, attacks by Taliban against those who are part of the former government,” he told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on April 28. “These seem to be, for the most part, not centrally directed, that is they – they tend to be happening at a local level, but they're happening.” Many of these allies are still sheltering in safe houses, afraid that the Taliban informants will expose their previous work with the U.S. government or NATO allies. Each passing week, they have fewer resources to purchase basic items such as food, fuel, and shelter. With the State Department unable to aid these people, the task of clothing, feeding, and sheltering tens of thousands of Afghans has fallen to outside veteran or humanitarian groups or sympathetic individuals. With almost no support from the U.S. government, some of the personnel running these groups, many of them comprising military veterans, have drained their personal retirement accounts, quit jobs, and suspended their small businesses in order to raise the funds to operate these networks of safe houses. “But these funds are not limitless, and the resource strains incurred have endangered the continued existence of these safe houses which many Afghans and Americans rely on for their very survival,” the report concludes. Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics' White House/national political correspondent. Tyler Durden Sat, 08/20/2022 - 22:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 21st, 2022

Trials, pardons, prison time: How Trump"s legal woes could play out and what it means for 2024

Now that we know Trump is the target of an active criminal investigation, what comes next, and how might this end for the former president? Former President Donald Trump.Scott Olson/Getty Images The FBI waded into uncharted waters when it executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Trump is the target of an active criminal probe. What comes next, and how might it end for him? The inquiry could wrap without charges, Trump could cut a deal to avoid indictment, or he could end up behind bars — but still be able to run in 2024. The FBI waded into uncharted territory when it executed a search warrant last week at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club and personal residence in Palm Beach, Florida.According to the unsealed warrant and an accompanying FBI manifest of items seized, the feds recovered 20 boxes from Mar-a-Lago and at least 11 sets of classified documents, including some that were marked top-secret. The warrant also indicated that the Justice Department is investigating if Trump violated three federal laws, including the Espionage Act, related to the handling of national security information.The raid — and its continued fallout — sparked a national firestorm as the public grappled with the reality that there is an active criminal investigation into the former president of the United States.It also opened up a slew of questions given the unprecedented nature of the probe. Chief among them: what happens next, and how might this end for Trump?Here are some potential scenarios:The investigation concludes with no charges filedIn the US's 250-year history, no ex-commander-in-chief has ever faced criminal charges. And while the FBI's raid indicates that its investigation has entered an aggressive phase, the inquiry could very well wrap without an indictment against the former president. For a somewhat similar example of this option playing out (albeit not involving a former president), look to Trump's ex-personal defense attorney Rudy Giuliani. The FBI raided Giuliani's home and office last year and seized more than a dozen of his electronic devices as part of a criminal investigation into whether Giuliani broke foreign lobbying laws.Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference in Miami in July 2021.Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News ServiceBut earlier this month, the feds returned Giuliani's devices to him and The New York Times reported that he's unlikely to face criminal charges related to his work in Ukraine.Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, also cautioned against assuming that the Mar-a-Lago raid will lead to an indictment and said it's possible the Justice Department only wanted to recover the sensitive records Trump had at his Florida property."I think that's one aspect of what's going on and perhaps the dominant aspect," Richman told Insider's Camila DeChalus.In this scenario, Trump would have a clear path to running for president in 2024 — as he's repeatedly indicated he'll do — and landing in the White House again.Trump agrees not to seek public office to avoid an indictmentOn the other end of the spectrum, prosecutors could pursue criminal charges against the 45th president in connection to his handling of official government records. If they do, it could go one of several ways.One option with some historical precedent: A deal in which Trump would agree not to seek public office to avoid being indicted.In 2001, on his last day in office, then President Bill Clinton cut a deal with the Whitewater special prosecutor Robert Ray: give up his license to practice law in his home state of Arkansas for five years and the Whitewater team wouldn't pursue criminal charges against him for lying under oath about his sexual relationship with the former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.Whitewater investigators also imposed a $250,000 fine on Clinton, which he paid, and the Supreme Court suspended him from arguing cases before it. The court gave Clinton 40 days to explain why he shouldn't be disbarred after the Arkansas Bar Association suspended him, but rather than face disbarment, Clinton resigned his membership on the Supreme Court bar.Monica Lewinsky worked as a White House intern under former President Bill Clinton.Getty ImagesAlthough the Justice Department's investigation into Trump's handling of government records is the most public-facing since the FBI's raid, it isn't the only ongoing federal probe connected to him. The department is also conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, and several former high-ranking White House officials were subpoenaed in recent weeks as at least two grand juries investigate events leading up to the attack.Prosecutors are said to be zeroing in on Trump's actions surrounding the riot and his lawyers have reportedly grown more concerned about Trump's legal exposure as the attorney general publicly emphasizes that "no person is above the law."Then there's Congress' separate investigation into January 6, which so far has highlighted five federal laws lawmakers think Trump may have broken in connection to the riot.Trump's defense lawyer, Alina Habba, recently appeared to allude to the possibility of him agreeing not to seek office again in exchange for avoiding criminal charges."I've sat across from him every time he gets frustrated and I say to him, 'Mr. President, if you would like me to resolve all your litigation, you should announce that you are not running for office, and all of this will stop,'" Habba said on Real America's Voice.Trump is indicted, convicted, and ends up behind bars — but he can still run for presidentIf Trump is charged with a crime — or crimes — but forgoes a plea deal, the case would proceed to a criminal trial. According to the FBI's search warrant, prosecutors are looking into whether Trump violated three federal laws:18 USC § 793, a key facet of the Espionage Act relating to the removal of information pertaining to the US's national defense. Conviction on this count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.18 USC § 2071, which bars the concealment, removal, or mutilation generally of government records. Conviction on this count carries a maximum penalty of three years and disqualification from holding public office.18 USC § 1519, which prohibits the destruction, alteration, or falsification of records. Conviction on this count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.In all, the former president would be looking at potentially being incarcerated for 33 years, according to legal experts.If Trump is in prison, can he still run for president in 2024? The short answer: yes, and it's been done before.As Insider previously reported, there's nothing in the Constitution that blocks someone from mounting a presidential run if they're behind bars. The socialist candidate Eugene Debs had been convicted of treason under the Espionage Act when he ran for president in 1920. And Lyndon LaRouche, who was convicted of mail fraud in 1988 and imprisoned, ran for president in 1992.If he's convicted for violating two of the three laws mentioned above, Trump could theoretically launch a 2024 presidential campaign even if he's incarcerated. If he's convicted for violating 18 USC § 2071, however, he would be disqualified from holding office again.AP PhotoBiden grants Trump executive clemencyPresident Joe Biden could elect to grant Trump executive clemency — in the form of a pardon, commutation, amnesty, or reprieve — if Trump gets indicted, convicted, or even if he's under threat of indictment while Biden is in office. The most famous historical example of this was when President Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor, Richard Nixon, after Nixon resigned from office amid the Watergate scandal.Congress dropped its impeachment investigation into Nixon following his resignation but he still faced the risk of criminal prosecution on both a state and federal level. In September 1974, Ford granted Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he may have committed while president.While the move was seen as a step towards helping the country heal in the wake of Watergate, it's also widely believed to be one of the main reasons Ford lost his own bid to serve a full term in the 1980 election against Jimmy Carter.Now, more than four decades later, legal experts suggest it's highly likely Biden would grant Trump a pardon or a commutation if he's convicted, indicted or under threat of indictment in order to avoid further inflaming political divisions in the country."My 100% is really that there is no way that a former POTUS is going to spend time in jail, or that Biden (or any normal POTUS) would allow that," Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent and a dean at Yale Law School, tweeted.Aziz Huq, a law professor at the University of Chicago, made a similar point.A narrow pardon for offenses related to the mishandling of classified information, as opposed to a blanket pardon like the one Ford granted Nixon, "might minimize damage to the rule of law, while shoring up our democratic norms," Huq wrote in Politico. "While hardly perfect, it might well be the least bad option to protect our constitutional democracy."But it's worth noting that a presidential pardon wouldn't shield Trump from possible state charges.The Fulton County district attorney's office is currently investigating if Trump and his allies violated Georgia laws in their quest to nullify Biden's election victory in the state — and some legal experts say this investigation is a bigger risk to Trump than the DOJ's. The inquiry kicked into high gear this week, when prosecutors informed Giuliani, who spearheaded Trump's legal effort to overturn the election results, that he is a target of the probe.Local prosecutors in Georgia have targeted Rudy Giuliani in their investigation into efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the state's 2020 election results.Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesGiuliani appeared before the special grand jury investigating the matter on Wednesday. If Trump himself becomes a target of the investigation and faces state criminal charges, his only hope for clemency upon conviction would be from a Georgia pardons and parole board.Trump gets indicted and acquitted following a trialIt's also possible that Trump could be criminally charged and opt not to cut a deal, and that Biden wouldn't step in with a clemency grant. If the case goes to trial, a 12-person jury would have to reach a unanimous decision in order to convict, and Trump would be off the hook if just one juror broke from the others.If he does sidestep the legal minefield he's currently in and makes it back into the White House in 2024, Trump and his allies have made clear that they intend to exact revenge on the Justice Department and the FBI.It wouldn't be the first time Trump has interfered with the department's work.He made headlines during his presidency for wondering why he couldn't have "my guys" at the "Trump Justice Department" do his bidding. He famously fired James Comey, the FBI director in charge of the investigation into the Trump campaign's links to Russia. Then he ordered the firing of the special counsel appointed to investigate Comey's firing (and only backed off when the White House counsel threatened to quit).When he lost the 2020 election, Trump tried to enlist the Justice Department to overturn Biden's victory and attempted to oust the acting attorney general before backing off when top DOJ officials threatened to resign en masse.On Wednesday, the former president took to Truth Social to post a Wall Street Journal op-ed by the pro-Trump columnist Kimberly Strassel titled, "The Payback for Mar-a-Lago Will Be Brutal.""What went around [last week] will come around hard for the Democrats when Republicans control the Justice Department and FBI," Strassel wrote, before speculating about how the rule of law will hold up "when a future Republican Justice Department starts raiding the homes of Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, James Comey and John Brennan."Michael Caputo, the former top communications aide at the Department of Health and Human Services and one of Trump's most loyal lieutenants, also alluded to what could come next if Trump is reelected."At the end of this thing the FBI is going to be four different departments spread across the federal government like seeds to the wind and probably based in Wichita," he told Insider in an interview.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 17th, 2022

Elon Musk and Twitter are set to face off in court. Here"s everything that"s happened in the chaotic takeover saga so far.

Since the deal was announced in April, the back-and-forth has cast doubt on whether it would go through. Now, Twitter is suing Musk to close. CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, TexasSuzanne Cordeiro/Getty Images In early April, Elon Musk became Twitter's largest shareholder. Three weeks later, Twitter accepted Musk's $44 billion takeover over.  Now he wants out of the deal, and Twitter is suing Musk to hold him to his word.  When the news broke in April that one of Twitter's power users, Elon Musk, had become the company's largest single shareholder with a 9.2% stake, expectations for his increased involvement in shaping the platform shot up like a SpaceX Falcon rocket.Within a chaotic month of reactions and predictions, new features, policies, and strategies were speculated upon, a board seat was declined, and a $44 billion offer was accepted.Developments since April have been slower, but no less volatile, as share prices for both Twitter and Tesla took beatings and Musk searched for a way to renegotiate the deal, ultimately telling the company on Friday he was terminating the deal.Here's how it went down.A bit of backstoryThe saga begins in January when records show Musk began purchasing shares of Twitter on an almost daily basis.By March 14, he reached a 5% stake, representing a threshold that the US Securities Exchange Commission deems large enough to require public disclosure.But instead of revealing his stake by March 25 as required, Musk said nothing and continued quietly amassing shares at what experts told the Washington Post were artificially low prices. The following week, Musk implied that Twitter was undermining democracy by "failing to adhere to free speech principles.""Is a new platform needed?" he asked on March 26.Later that day, he said, "Am giving serious thought to this." He would go on to buy millions more shares of Twitter stock.Monday, April 4Musk revealed his ownership of 73,486,938 shares, worth 9.2% of Twitter, in a Monday 13-G filing with the SEC. The market and social media reactions were immediate.The stock price surged more than 25% on the news as investors began pricing for a potential sale of the company."Some investors are certainly hoping for a sale, but we believe the stock move is likely an overreaction for this broadly speculative possibility," Bernstein analysts led by Mark Shmulik said in a note.That evening, Musk tweeted a poll asking his followers if they "want an edit button."Tuesday, April 5The next day, Twitter notified the SEC of its intent to appoint Musk to its board of directors "as promptly as practicable," so long as he not own more than 14.9% of the company's shares.The stock shot up another 10% following the announcement, and Musk tweeted that he was looking forward making "significant improvements" to the service.Twitter's founder, Jack Dorsey, said he was "really happy" about the idea of Musk joining Twitter's board.A 13D (distinct from 13G) financial filing on Tuesday revealed that Musk had been on a Twitter buying spree nearly every day since early January.Wednesday, April 6On Wednesday, the Washington Post estimated, based on calculations, that Musk netted savings of $156 million by skipping the deadline to disclose his 5% stake back in March. By keeping his ownership quiet, Musk was able to buy shares at a 30% discount, finance experts said.Thursday, April 7Employee reactions continued to gather steam, with with one staffer calling Musk "a racist," and others expressing concerns over potential interference in the company's content moderation.Saturday, April 9On the day he was set to begin serving as a board member, Musk spent a fair amount time rattling off a list of changes he would like to see on the platform, including dogecoin payments, price cuts, and authentication checkmarks for its Blue subscription service.Sunday, April 10On Sunday, he tweeted — then deleted — a suggestion that Twitter's San Francisco headquarters be converted to a homeless shelter and a poll asking whether the company should "delete the w in twitter."Late on Sunday evening, Agrawal tweeted a note saying that "Elon has decided not to join our board," and explained that Musk had shared his decision the day before."I believe this is for the best," Agrawal added. "Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input."Monday, April 11Unconstrained by an agreement that he own less than 14.9% of the company, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Insider's Isobel Asher Hamilton, that "this now goes from a Cinderella story ... to likely a 'Game of Thrones' battle between Musk and Twitter."Thursday, April 14Musk offers to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share in a deal valuing the company at $44 billion."Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company," he said in a letter to chairman Bret Taylor. "Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it."Twitter confirmed it recieved Musk's offer and said the board would review it, while Musk threatened to "reconsider" his 9.2% stake in the company if the board rebuffed him.Monday, April 25Twitter's board accepts Musk's offer, valuing the company at a 38% premium over its closing stock price on April 1, 2022, before his initial stake was disclosed.Under the deal, a shell company formed by Musk would acquire Twitter entirely, making it a privately held firm roughly nine years after its initial public offering.Friday, May 13Musk tweets that the Twitter deal is "on hold" while he investigates the company's statement that less than 5% of its accounts are spam or bots.Shares in Tesla, which Musk is using as collateral to finance the deal, had fallen by roughly 25% since the agreement was announced.Monday, May 16Twitter shares returned to the $38.31 price they had before Musk announced his stake — far below the $54.20 offered in the deal — as investors appeared to have their doubts about whether it would go through.Thursday, May 28The US Securities Exchange Commission weighed in, asking Musk to explain why he was late in disclosing when he reached a 5% stake in Twitter, as is required by law.Monday, June 6Lawyers for Musk filed a complaint with the SEC arguing that Twitter was "actively resisting and thwarting [Musk's] information rights," and threatening to jettison the deal.Ordinarily a prospective buyer would conduct this due diligence ahead of signing an agreement, but Musk elected to skip that process.Wednesday, June 8Days later, the Washington Post reported that Twitter would give Musk's team full access to the "firehose" stream of more than half a billion daily tweets.A source told Insider's Kali Hays that Musk would "mine it to make wild accusations" about bots or automated accounts on Twitter's platform.Thursday, June 16Musk virtually joins an all-hands meeting with Twitter for the first time to answer questions from employees.Among the revelations: layoffs would be likely, remote work would be limited, and aliens aren't likely to exist.Tuesday, June 21Twitter's board unanimously approved the merger agreement, moving the deal one step closer to its conclusion.Thursday, July 7The Washington Post reported that sources "close to Musk" described the deal as in "serious jeopardy," claiming that Musk's team has not been able to verify Twitter's spam and bot estimates.Meanwhile, a third of Twitter's recruiting team was laid off amid a hiring freeze that was implemented in May.Friday, July 8Lawyers for Musk notify the SEC that he plans to terminate the merger, citing "material breach of multiple provisions" of the agreement.Twitter's board quickly shot back saying they intend to pursue legal action to enforce the deal: "We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery."Sunday, July 10Twitter taps one of the world's top corporate law firms that specializes in merger litigation, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, to make good on its pledge to close the deal.Musk responds with memes.Tuesday, July 12Lawyers for Twitter drop a 62-page lawsuit after the bell accusing Musk of "refusing to honor his obligations," and that he is backing out "because it no longer serves his personal interests."The suit was chock full of fiery lines, including calling Musk's exit strategy "a model of hypocrisy."It also claims Musk admitted to have not read a detailed report provided by Twitter about its bot calculation methodology — the very issue Musk says is his reason for backing out.The story isn't over yetIt's unclear exactly how all of this will play out in the coming days, but legal experts tell Insider that Musk is inching closer to a legal nightmare and a billion-dollar fee if the deal doesn't go through.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

Everything that has happened so far with Elon Musk"s chaotic Twitter saga

Since the deal was announced in April, the dizzying back-and-forth cast doubt on whether it would go through. Here's how it went down. CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, TexasSUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images In early April, Elon Musk revealed a 9.2% stake in Twitter, becoming the company's largest shareholder. Three weeks later, Twitter accepted Musk's commitment to buy it in a deal worth $44 billion. On Friday, Musk's lawyers informed Twitter in a letter that he intended to terminate the deal. When the news broke in April that one of Twitter's power users, Elon Musk, had become the company's largest single shareholder with a 9.2% stake, expectations for his increased involvement in shaping the platform shot up like a SpaceX Falcon rocket.Within a chaotic month of reactions and predictions, new features, policies, and strategies were speculated upon, a board seat was declined, and a $44 billion offer was accepted.Developments since April have been slower, but no less volatile, as share prices for both Twitter and Tesla took beatings and Musk searched for a way to renegotiate the deal, ultimately telling the company on Friday he was terminating the deal.Here's how it went down.A bit of backstoryThe saga begins in January when records show Musk began purchasing shares of Twitter on an almost daily basis.By March 14, he reached a 5% stake, representing a threshold that the US Securities Exchange Commission deems large enough to require public disclosure.But instead of revealing his stake by March 25 as required, Musk said nothing and continued quietly amassing shares at what experts told the Washington Post were artificially low prices. The following week, Musk implied that Twitter was undermining democracy by "failing to adhere to free speech principles.""Is a new platform needed?" he asked on March 26.Later that day, he said, "Am giving serious thought to this." He would go on to buy millions more shares of Twitter stock.Monday, April 4Musk revealed his ownership of 73,486,938 shares, worth 9.2% of Twitter, in a Monday 13-G filing with the SEC. The market and social media reactions were immediate.The stock price surged more than 25% on the news as investors began pricing for a potential sale of the company."Some investors are certainly hoping for a sale, but we believe the stock move is likely an overreaction for this broadly speculative possibility," Bernstein analysts led by Mark Shmulik said in a note.That evening, Musk tweeted a poll asking his followers if they "want an edit button."Tuesday, April 5The next day, Twitter notified the SEC of its intent to appoint Musk to its board of directors "as promptly as practicable," so long as he not own more than 14.9% of the company's shares.The stock shot up another 10% following the announcement, and Musk tweeted that he was looking forward making "significant improvements" to the service.Twitter's founder, Jack Dorsey, said he was "really happy" about the idea of Musk joining Twitter's board.A 13D (distinct from 13G) financial filing on Tuesday revealed that Musk had been on a Twitter buying spree nearly every day since early January.Wednesday, April 6On Wednesday, the Washington Post estimated, based on calculations, that Musk netted savings of $156 million by skipping the deadline to disclose his 5% stake back in March. By keeping his ownership quiet, Musk was able to buy shares at a 30% discount, finance experts said.Thursday, April 7Employee reactions continued to gather steam, with with one staffer calling Musk "a racist," and others expressing concerns over potential interference in the company's content moderation.Saturday, April 9On the day he was set to begin serving as a board member, Musk spent a fair amount time rattling off a list of changes he would like to see on the platform, including dogecoin payments, price cuts, and authentication checkmarks for its Blue subscription service.Sunday, April 10On Sunday, he tweeted — then deleted — a suggestion that Twitter's San Francisco headquarters be converted to a homeless shelter and a poll asking whether the company should "delete the w in twitter."Late on Sunday evening, Agrawal tweeted a note saying that "Elon has decided not to join our board," and explained that Musk had shared his decision the day before."I believe this is for the best," Agrawal added. "Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input."Monday, April 11Unconstrained by an agreement that he own less than 14.9% of the company, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Insider's Isobel Asher Hamilton, that "this now goes from a Cinderella story ... to likely a 'Game of Thrones' battle between Musk and Twitter."Thursday, April 14Musk offers to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share in a deal valuing the company at $44 billion."Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company," he said in a letter to chairman Bret Taylor. "Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it."Twitter confirmed it recieved Musk's offer and said the board would review it, while Musk threatened to "reconsider" his 9.2% stake in the company if the board rebuffed him.Monday, April 25Twitter's board accepts Musk's offer, valuing the company at a 38% premium over its closing stock price on April 1, 2022, before his initial stake was disclosed.Under the deal, a shell company formed by Musk would acquire Twitter entirely, making it a privately held firm roughly nine years after its initial public offering.Friday, May 13Musk tweets that the Twitter deal is "on hold" while he investigates the company's statement that less than 5% of its accounts are spam or bots.Shares in Tesla, which Musk is using as collateral to finance the deal, had fallen by roughly 25% since the agreement was announced.Monday, May 16Twitter shares returned to the $38.31 price they had before Musk announced his stake — far below the $54.20 offered in the deal — as investors appeared to have their doubts about whether it would go through.Thursday, May 28The US Securities Exchange Commission weighed in, asking Musk to explain why he was late in disclosing when he reached a 5% stake in Twitter, as is required by law.Monday, June 6Lawyers for Musk filed a complaint with the SEC arguing that Twitter was "actively resisting and thwarting [Musk's] information rights," and threatening to jettison the deal.Ordinarily a prospective buyer would conduct this due diligence ahead of signing an agreement, but Musk elected to skip that process.Wednesday, June 8Days later, the Washington Post reported that Twitter would give Musk's team full access to the "firehose" stream of more than half a billion daily tweets.A source told Insider's Kali Hays that Musk would "mine it to make wild accusations" about bots or automated accounts on Twitter's platform.Thursday, June 16Musk virtually joins an all-hands meeting with Twitter for the first time to answer questions from employees.Among the revelations: layoffs would be likely, remote work would be limited, and aliens aren't likely to exist.Tuesday, June 21Twitter's board unanimously approved the merger agreement, moving the deal one step closer to its conclusion.Thursday, July 7The Washington Post reported that sources "close to Musk" described the deal as in "serious jeopardy," claiming that Musk's team has not been able to verify Twitter's spam and bot estimates.Meanwhile, a third of Twitter's recruiting team was laid off amid a hiring freeze that was implemented in May.Friday, July 8Lawyers for Musk notify the SEC that he plans to terminate the merger, citing "material breach of multiple provisions" of the agreement.Twitter's board quickly shot back saying they intend to pursue legal action to enforce the deal: "We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery."The story isn't over yetIt's unclear exactly how all of this will play out in the coming days, but legal experts tell Insider that Musk is inching closer to a legal nightmare and a billion-dollar fee if the deal doesn't go through.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 8th, 2022