[ExI] what would any of us have done differently?

John Klos john at ziaspace.com
Wed Dec 14 17:28:56 UTC 2022

> Is there an active block feature?  You are right, I am not an 
> experienced Twitter user.  The dramatic transition is not so much in 
> content but rather in openness.  Elon is confessing everything, probably 
> in hopes that his company doesn’t get its corporate butt sued off.

Your optimism is refreshing, but unfortunately it's misplaced.

Elon gets butthurt at the slightest things. He reacts in ways that show he 
has no understanding of others and no empathy. He does not see other 
humans as in any way equals to himself.

But if we ignore the fact that he's simply a shitty person and separately 
evaluate the idea that Twitter is somehow more open, is it?

No. Flatly, no. People have had more account suspensions without 
explanations, all sorts of content has been made unavailable, and there 
are too many examples to simply say it's a "coincidence" or unintentional.

For instance:


Scroll down just a wee bit, and you'll see a screenshot of Elon's own 
tweet contradicting the actions mentioned in that tweet. Also note his 
rather childish assertion that it's "a direct personal safety risk", which 
illustrates his complete inability to see other humans as equals in any 
way (for those without imaginations, it's because he says that people 
harassing other people is "protected" and concerned people should contact 
the police, but that's another discussion).

Or see my own post about how Twitter is screwing around with search terms:


> Cool, let’s investigate, shall we?  Let us start with why this Ray 
> Epps (or whoever framed him) isn’t in prison, even though we have the 
> bastard on multiple videos inciting a riot in which people died.

Selective prosecution has always been an issue, as is the fact that 
certain investigations literally take years. But that's another 

>> …Overall I am mostly just kind of shocked that there really is a 
>> belief out there that Twitter has changed much at all or that it even 
>> could change so much so quickly…
> The payroll has changed much and changed quickly.

That has nothing to do with the content aside from the negative effects of 
laying off whole moderation teams. But if you're asserting that the 
moderation teams were the issue that's being fixed, you should say that.

> Will, for some time now I have ridden a hobby horse about the use of 
> machines in elections.  Now I have two of them: first, replace the 
> machines in elections with humans, and second, replace the humans with 
> machines in Twitter.

This is why I had to reply, when I don't respond to so many other 

If you think Twitter, particularly led by Elon Musk, should be involved in 
elections, I'd have to say you've drank the Flavor Aid.

> So we count votes with human volunteers and do moderation by open-source 
> public-available software.

How is that in any way related to "machines in Twitter"? Do you think 
Twitter is open?

Computers are wonderfully complex, and that leads to a glaring problem 
when considering how they could be used to keep an election honest - 
complexity makes hiding nefariousness easy.

Take, for instance, Ken Thompson's legendary writeup, "Reflections on 
Trusting Trust":


The point is that we can't, and shouldn't, trust that which we can't 
directly test for ourselves, whether or not we actually do test ourselves. 
The option should always be there, and it clearly isn't in any way with 
anything at Twitter.

A computerized voting system that is above reproach is possible, but only 
if everyone has full access to every part of it, and all the data that 
goes in to it. This would be great for another discussion, but in essence, 
if every part of it is broken down to where each piece could be 
implemented on a Commodore 64 in BASIC in ways that people with high 
school level math skills could understand, then hundreds of ways of doing 
each step would be made, and if none are in disagreement, it'd be next to 
impossible to manipulate those parts. Do the same with putting the parts 
together, and, well, you get the idea.

None of us have access to Twitter's servers. Even if they published the 
source code for everything, we still couldn't trust their servers. They 
(Twitter) could be running code that's different from what they published. 
They could manipulate data in real time. Twitter could be running their 
software under hypervisors that are used to manipulate data in flight, and 
any of a number of groups could be manipulating that - Twitter employees, 
datacenter employees, the NSA...

The point is we can't, and shouldn't, ever trust the output of code that 
we can't run ourselves, or rewrite ourselves, on our own hardware.

Twitter will never, ever be that.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list