Monday, April 10, 2023

Musk Shifts To Boosting Kremlin-Linked Accounts

Chief Twit and far-right exploding car mogul Elon Musk is apparently moving to a more Kremlin-friendly position when it comes to his Twitter operation. After restricting Kremlin-linked accounts last year, Musk's Twitter is now pushing those accounts -- including the one of war criminal Vladimir Putin:

"Elon Musk's Twitter is amplifying Kremlin-linked accounts including Vladimir Putin's presidential account after restricting them last year, testing revealed.

Analysis by The Telegraph showed accounts belonging to Putin, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Russian embassy in Britain are appearing in Twitter's search results, timeline and recommendations.

The findings suggest that restrictions designed to reduce the Russian state's social media reach, brought in after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, have been softened.

When Twitter was still a public company run by former CEO Parag Agrawal, it issued a statement laying out its plans to suppress Russian misinformation."  (our emphasis)

Musk has adhered to Moscow's line on Ukraine in important matters, including pushing peace negotiations on Moscow's terms, and threatening to cut off the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine, vital to its battlefield communications. 

Musk, who has re-opened Twitter to far-right politics, misinformation and tolerance of hate speech, has driven advertisers by the score off of Twitter, which is flailing financially and looking to raise funds through a "blue check" tax on users. His petulant behavior has recently led him to target such media organizations as NPR, and the BBC, labeling them on Twitter as "government funded media." Musk recently removed the blue check mark for the New York Times indicating it's a verified site, which is refusing to pay for it. There's no question that these decisions are driven personally by Musk and his appointed lackeys:

"A former Twitter executive, who wasn't named, told The Telegraph it was likely a change in policy had occurred for those accounts to be amplified again.

'It would be exceedingly unlikely that this change would have happened accidentally, or without the knowledge and direction of the company's staff,' the source said."

His erratic and authoritarian behavior won't win many customers for Twitter, as they go to Substack Notes and other alternatives.

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