pirate wires #82 // elon musk invents racism (according to the Washington post), misinformation experts vs. reality, and nostalgia for the deep state censorship regime
This lie identifies as true. Last week, as storm clouds gathered, authoritarian media personalities, state propagandists, and radical ideologues looked up at the sky and screamed. It was their dreaded Day Zero — the billionaire shitposting god of tech had finally taken Twitter private. At the time, I made a few predictions, one of which almost immediately came true: within hours of taking control of the company, every abusive comment on the platform abruptly became the property of Elon Musk, Twitter’s new commander-in-chief, who single-handedly invented racism sometime late last week. In this regard, deranged commentary from the media was, and remains, no idle bit of mud-slinging, but rather an integral piece of a roughly coherent strategy to starve Twitter of advertising revenue.
With the influence of our authoritarian ruling class so publicly challenged, even if only in this single space, even if only in theory, authoritarians have naturally escalated the information war. If they can’t control the platform, they will do everything they can to destroy it. And the one thing uniquely within the scope of their talents? A widespread dissemination of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal had only been fired a couple hours when Ben Collins, NBC’s chief “misinformation expert,” retweeted a thinly-veiled charge from popular activist Alejandra Caraballo:
The point was obvious, if left just slightly ambiguous to evade accountability: racial abuse, ran the thrust of the sentiment, was now allowed on Twitter. The charge was not true. The charge is still not true. But truth has never been the interest of self-identified “misinformation experts,” who have only ever been agents in what amounts to a classically-presenting struggle for power.
Allies were quick to pick up the meme.
Anil Dash, a popular left-wing activist amplified to fame by reporters looking for quotes from an ‘insider’ tech guy who hates tech guys, provided one of the more viral tweets supporting the conspiracy theory that Elon greenlit the use of racial slurs on Twitter. Anil’s tweet was amplified by Taylor Lorenz, a reporter for the Washington Post, a once-respected press outlet that has since descended into a perpetual state of embarrassing clown car shit. Thirsty for a taste of the fresh beat, Taylor covered the fake story with what was clearly an argument terms of service were in some significant sense altered.