The billionaire founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, is using his fortune to further shape journalism into partisan activism to help Democrats win elections. He is the nation’s leading financier of the “mis”- and “disinformation” industries and is now the largest private stakeholder in America’s legacy journalism schools.
The most recent Twitter Files released by Matt Taibbi add a deeply disturbing new layer to the story. They show Newmark is at the very heart of an incestuous web of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporate media institutions operating in concert to censor political opponents on social media. Newmark is financing the largest coordinated assault on American free speech in living memory.
On March 9, journalist Matt Taibbi outlined how pre-Elon Musk Twitter acted as “a partner to government,” working in concert with the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury, the National Security Agency, and local police. An elaborate system for reporting hundreds of thousands of accounts was set up, and Twitter obliged by deleting thousands of accounts on demand.
According to Taibbi, the grounds for reporting and deleting many accounts were “shaky.” He pointed to examples of several legitimate journalists and even leftist news outlet TruthOut appearing on internal “disinformation” lists.
However, Taibbi states the majority of requests for censorship did not come from government agencies. Instead, Twitter relied upon a coalition of machine learning, internal human review, and outside “partnerships” to detect “misinformation” on the site.
These outside partnerships played an aggressive role in pushing Twitter censorship. Taibbi calls this group the “Censorship-Industrial Complex.” A 2020 internal email from Nick Pickles, then public policy director at Twitter, set up a working group with nine disinformation non-governmental organizations (NGOs): First Draft, Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), International Republican Institute (IRI), Atlantic Council/DFRLab, Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), Brookings, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
As Taibbi points out, the NGOs should have checked the power wielded by government agencies within Twitter. In reality, members of the Censorship-Industrial Complex entered into an incestuous working relationship in which it became difficult to disentangle one from the other due to their shared drive for censorship to further leftist political goals.
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