May 26, 2024

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How Elon Musk Helped Spread Misinformation After Hamas Attacks

How Elon Musk Helped Spread Misinformation After Hamas Attacks

A sewer, a mess, a mess. There are no words to describe the paradox

Read the decryption: Israel-Hamas war: False images and videos circulating since October 7

A picture Son of Donald Trump, the bloody video was shown to its 10.5 million subscribers as coming from Israel, although it has been circulating since 2015. Donald Trump Jr.’s message is not rated. Even more embarrassing, because of its blue sticker, which was a certified source before the Musk era and now only indicates that its user has paid, is pre-placed by messaging algorithms. This is just an example for many. “For many reasons, this is the worst crisis I’ve ever had to cover here.”, Complaint, Sunday October 8Justin Peden, American investigative and online verification journalist (Open Source Intelligence).

The war-related development in Ukraine is obvious. When Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border in February 2022, many accounts from sophisticated observers using open-access sources, either professional (such as Media Bellingate) or amateurs (such as the Little Think Tank Collective). Their audience grew tenfold as they established themselves as valuable secondary sources for following the conflict despite the misinformation of the belligerents. Despite such failures Accidental temporary suspension Some of that or endless competition from the Kremlin’s propaganda relays.

“Social Tips” is a security

Twenty months later, the landscape has changed dramatically. Meanwhile, Elon Musk bought Twitter in October 2022, and each of his decisions weakened the already dangerous balance of information. One of his first decisions was to overhaul the information hierarchy. Do not highlight certified accounts – celebrities, media, states, journalists, should be responsible for their word. The revolution of “blue” accounts, a subscription that ensures better visibility, now sees an algorithm promoting accounts by seeking audience or influence, with sensational, misleading and hateful posts by Donald Trump Jr.

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read more: On Twitter, the decision on “verified accounts” begins in confusion

At the same time, the site has downsized its staff and now sticks to “social notes,” responses deemed to provide context for an offensive tweet, to moderate discussions. But the number of participants doesn’t always compensate for amateurism, and some of the context notes themselves are poorly sourced or erroneous. When they are. X He congratulated 500 of them have been written since October 7. But they are not enough to capture the level of abusive content. According to one account NBC NewsOf the 120 posts repeating the rumor that Joe Biden has voted for $8 million in aid to Israel, only 8% linked to the correct text.

Read the report: The article is reserved for our subscribers Twitter “Social Notes”: A Week “Arbiter of Truth”

In early October, Elon Musk also approved an interface overhaul that would prevent the headlines of shared journal articles from being displayed in Messaging. The logic is economic – faced with a steady flight of active users, Tesla’s boss is looking to bridge the gap with other networks. But the effect on the veracity of the information can be disastrous: verified articles posted online on the old Twitter no longer appear in the form of a simple photo without any text, thus losing their authenticity, less click on it. Taken together, these measures have created the perfect ecosystem for exaggerated, rushed and manipulative content to thrive.

Exit of active users

To make matters worse, the misinformation comes from a higher level of X. Officially, Elon Musk does not defend this. “As always, try to be as close to the truth as possible, even in things you don’t like.”, he asked On the first day of the Israeli response. But several billionaires themselves promoted leveraged accounts. “Good for @WarMonitors and @sentdefender to follow the war in real time”, he tweeted on October 8, before deleting his post. The first shares anti-Zionist and conspiracy messages – he For example subsidy from debt The Ethics of the Elders of ZionA popular anti-Masonic and anti-Semitic hoax from the early 20th centurye century The second bombards its hundreds of thousands of subscribers with short, baseless claims.

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Faced with a deluge of rumours, journalists and observers are now unofficially assuming a moderating role that Elon Musk doesn’t appreciate, and has no means of getting paid. For Internet users who want to protect themselves against abusive content, today’s smart approach is to: as Slate calls him, to simply leave the stage. That’s what many climatologists did over the summer, fed up with climate skepticism.

Read the survey: The article is reserved for our subscribers Climate: Scientists, first targets of army of global warming skeptics

Every day, the number of flaws from X to Bluesky created by Twitter veterans grows a little more. In September, Tesla’s boss bought the site fell below 400 million Active users, the lowest level in a decade, are far from over Out of three billion From Facebook. In early October, According to official statisticsOnly 245 million remained.