Twitter stock is falling as I write, and I know at least one reason why. It is a thoroughly unstable, politically loaded environment and not at all the open-minded marketplace of ideas it pretends to be.
Stockholders cannot be happy. In fact, they have every right to be upset. The day after Christmas Twitter was trading at very nearly $75 a share. Today it is trading at $31 a share.
For those groomed on Common Core math, this means that if you had invested $10,000 in December, you would have already lost more than $5,800.
Although a fan of Facebook, I never much trusted Twitter and have used it only sparingly. So I was surprised about a month or so back to find my “Notifications” box cluttered with cryptic messages that seemed to be attacking me from the right.
A little naïve, I sent a polite email to the sender asking what he was hoping to accomplish and received a snippy, cryptic response in return.
Doing just a little digging, I stumbled into a sad, nasty little underworld of whose existence I had been only dimly aware.
As best I could figure, a small corps (pronounced “corpse” in Obama-speak) of liberal trolls had concluded that I was the co-leader of an extremely effective group called the Tea Party Fire Ants (TPFA) who had been tweeting under the name “Frank M Davis JR.”
For reasons of his employment, that individual remains anonymous. As I have since learned, he is a very bright, media-savvy guy from the East Coast who goes by the name “Proe.”
Through effective use of Twitter, Proe and his brave co-leader, Kathy Amidon, played a major role in getting 192 congressmen to co-sponsor House Resolution 36, the bill establishing a select committee to investigate and report on the Benghazi attack.
Their success invited a series of relentless, coordinated false-flag attacks from the trolls. By pretending to be conservatives, they attempt to discredit the TPFA and confuse its followers.
This is an old Marxist trick. As I reported last month, the KGB and its homegrown allies – Jim Jones of Jonestown fame for instance – made a practice of sending hate messages to African-Americans and other minorities on conservative letterhead to incite a reaction against the right.
The trolls do much the same now, and they obviously have time on their hands. On one day last week, a certain troll sent me more than 25 uniquely illustrated tweets along the lines of “Dear Jack, when are you going to step out of the@FrankMDavisJR closet? Stop playing stupid!”
One tweet used an illustration of me with comic balloons whose commentary mentioned my apolitical wife by name and implied a relationship between me and Amidon, whom I’ve never met. That’s the way the trolls roll.
Given the quality of the trolls’ graphics and the volume of their attacks, Proe and Amidon are convinced that someone with deep pockets is funding the trolls’ operation. Either that or these trolls are some really sick puppies.
For me the trolls are a minor nuisance. For people like Proe and Amidon, they can all but block the Tea Party Fire Ants’ ability to communicate.
Were Twitter policing the universe it created fairly, its security apparatus could shut down this mischief in a heartbeat. What the trolls are doing is arguably criminal. But from all appearances, Twitter is playing anything but fair.
Indeed, one of the women providing graphics for the trolls boasts on her personal site of having “worked for Twitter.” This may speak to the mindset of the San Francisco-based corporation.
As a testament to the same, a certain “Clarence Silkwow” spent months defaming and cyber-bullying Amidon with impunity despite requests for intervention by the Fire Ants.
An allied troll posted a map to Amidon’s home on Twitter and listed personal information available nowhere else. Another posted an image of a gravestone with the names of Proe and Amidon on it. They, too, continue to post without consequence.
A female troll, a self-described Wiccan, has called Amidon at home and left any number of disturbing messages. She, too, continues to tweet in good standing.
When Amidon responded at one point, “CLARENCE’S TROLLS ATTACKING # TPFA ARE LIKE NAZIS: psychotic sadists. SEE science article on internet trolls,” Twitter suspended Amidon.
To get Amidon suspended, the trolls appealed directly and publicly to a “@Delbius,” a woman named Del Harvey, who is the senior director of trust and safety for Twitter.
According to Harvey’s Linked-In posting, “Trust and Safety’s mandate is to ensure user trust, protect user rights, and craft and enforce policies for areas with legal components.” From all appearances, Harvey is protecting user rights very selectively.
“The trolls cry to her all the time for suspensions of conservatives over comparatively nothing, and suspensions happen,” says Proe.
“TPFA member accounts are suspended routinely,” Proe continues, “while the trolls who do things like post Kathy’s unlisted current address online with maps how to get there have never been suspended by Twitter despite endless complaints.”
Harvey apparently never graduated from college and before Twitter had worked only as a paid activist at a dubious anti-predator enterprise called “Perverted Justice.”
Among the causes “Del cares about” are children, civil rights, social action and human rights. Among the causes she does not seem to care about is free speech.
“If nothing else,” says Proe, “it is plain the Twitter administration is pretty arrogant as well as utterly irresponsible.”
Twitter shareholders have got to start asking how Harvey got her job and whether her apparent facilitation of potentially criminal leftist cyber-bullying will lead to a congressional investigation. One may very well be in the works.
“If something isn’t done,” says Proe, “hundreds of thousands of lives will likely be ruined by Twitter. In my opinion, that is in no way an exaggeration.”
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