Twitter says no sign of interference ahead of Canadian election
Today Twitter gave Canadians positive news regarding election interference, stating that we are all-clear of major election manipulation, so far.
The social media platform assured that despite the large-scale political and often polarizing discussion about the election, little attempt at large scale misinformation/disinformation has been made.
UPDATE: A Twitter spokesperson responding to The Post Millennial advised that Cernovich, Ngo, and Hegseth had been suspended for posting the shooter’s manifesto. However, neither Cernovich nor Hegseth’s tweets included the manifesto. Twitter declined to answer any further questions on the justification for their suspensions.
Following the Pensacola Navy Base shooting having been deemed a terror attack, multiple journalists and media personalities have been suspended from Twitter for reporting details on shooter Mohammed Alshamrami.
Filmmaker Mike Cernovich, The Post Millennial editor-at-large Andy Ngo, and Fox host Pete Hegseth are among those who have been suspended from Twitter for utilizing Alshamrami’s manifesto or social media excerpts to speculate on his motivation for carrying out the deadly attack.
Both Cernovich and Hegseth were suspended for posting excerpts from Alshamrami’s social media, which included disturbing posts indicating the shooting was motivated by anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments.
Andy Ngo was suspended pending he delete a tweet which included a copy of Alshamrami’s manifesto, the copy of which was made public by SITE—a non-governmental organization that monitors white supremacist and jihadist terror threats.
While Cernovich’s account was restored following the removal of the offending tweet, Pete Hegseth and Andy Ngo’s accounts remain suspended, appeals unresponded to by Twitter as of yet.
According to the Twitter Terms of Service, promoting or providing media intended to further a terrorist organization’s goals is a violation of the platform’s policies, leading to an immediate, permanent suspension. However, the terms of service also state that discussion of terrorism for “clearly educational or documentary purposes” does not constitute a violation.
The Post Millennial reached out to Twitter for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.
UPDATE: On December 6th, a Twitter user reported to The Post Millennial that two of Michaels’ tweets had violated the Twitter Terms of Service. Michaels then locked his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Twitter to verify if disciplinary action had been taken against Michaels since his harassment of Andy Ngo was reported on, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The Post Millennial has learned that a Twitter account that has been engaged in targeted harassment of TPM Editor-at-large Andy Ngo appears to belong to none other than a Twitter employee.
Max Michaels, who goes under the Twitter handle Manchild, is an Operations Infrastructure Analytics Engineer at the Twitter Command Center. According to his Linkedin, he has worked at Twitter for over 7 years.
Michaels’ abusive behaviour towards Ngo began in June of 2019 after Ngo was bloodied while reporting from an Antifa riot in Portland. Beneath a tweet calling for information which might lead to the arrest of those involved, Michaels wrote: “It’s almost like there are repercussions for being a piece of shit.”
Under another tweet by Ngo, Michaels replies “you should just get fat again and hangout on reddit acting sad. I liked fat, sad Andy better.”
Michaels also replied to journalist Peter Hasson, who was reporting on Ngo’s brain bleed as a result of his beating at the riot, calling the hemorrhage a “lifelong, pre-existing condition from garbage Andy.”
Michaels was featured in a 2016 Vice article describing the important functions of the Command Center. In the piece, Michaels is quoted as saying he and his team are responsible for “keeping the lights on at Twitter.”
A recent job posting for the Twitter Command Center suggests staff have a great deal of insight and control over the intricate details of Twitter’s technical infrastructure, calling into question what impact potential biases in the staff might have over users’ personal information and security on the platform.
Ngo was recently suspended from Twitter for tweeting a truthful claim that “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.” Ngo was forced to delete the verifiably truthful claim in order to regain access to his account.
The Post Millennial reached out to Michaels for comment but has not heard back by the time of publication. He did, however, confirm on Twitter that he still works in Operations for Twitter.
Targeted harassment is explicitly against Twitter’s Terms of Service. A Twitter spokesperson said, “Abuse and harassment have no place on Twitter. We take enforcement action against any content that is violative of our rules, regardless of the account involved.”
On “Trans Day of Remembrance” this year, numerous politicians and celebrities used the occasion to virtue signal on social media. They repeated the claim-turned-mantra from LBGT activist groups that there is an “epidemic” of trans homicides motivated by transphobia and racism in the U.S.
Chelsea Clinton, doing what the Clintons do best, weighed in vapidly on Nov. 20: “Since 2013, more than 150 trans people have been murdered in the U.S., the majority Black transgender women. On #TDoR2019, we remember and honor the lives lost, hold their loved ones in our hearts and must commit to doing all we can to end this epidemic of violence and hate.”
Though the sentiment is valid, the claim she repeats is not. There is no “epidemic” of violent homicides against trans people in the U.S. How do I know? From data released by the Human Rights Campaign and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I responded to Ms. Clinton: “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.”
Five days later, I was informed by Twitter that I had violated its policy against “hateful conduct.” For stating a verifiable empirical claim, Twitter determined that I “promote violence against, threaten or harass other people” based on protected characteristics. I was given the option of deleting the tweet and facing a timed suspension, or appealing the decision while remaining indefinitely locked out of the platform. I chose the latter option.
My appeal was rejected.
Twitter’s decision to force me to accept a false reality in order to use its platform is chilling to those who value truth above dogma, as uncomfortable as the truth may be. The dogma of our day is the trans ideology—an authoritarian worldview replete with science and evidence denial. Among many things, it claims that sex is a construct and that trans people are being hunted down across America
So far this year, there were 22 homicides in the U.S. where trans or gender non-conforming people were victims. That number has held relatively steady since the HRC, America’s largest LGBT lobbying group, started releasing annual reports four years ago. According to the HRC, there were 26 homicides in 2018, 29 in 2017, 23 in 2016 and 21 in 2015. The HRC provides the most comprehensive data set for trans homicides in the country. The FBI does not release numbers of trans people who are killed.
Though every homicide is a tragedy and victims are due justice, lying about the scale is politically exploitative and reckless. It prevents the public from accessing real problems honestly in order to advocate for real solutions. Worst of all, it harms the very people who need protection.
The average homicide rate of cis males in the U.S. is around seven per 100,000 from 2015–2018, according to FBI figures. The rate for cis females during this timeframe is 1.9. The rate for trans homicides since the HRC began tracking in 2015? About 1.7. (This rate was calculated based on the 2016 UCLA Williams Institute estimate of there being about 1.7m trans adults in the U.S.)
For a developed country, the U.S. has high homicide rates. That is undisputed. But if the rates of cis men being killed isn’t spoken about as an “epidemic,” then neither should the rates for trans homicides, which is significantly lower compared to the cis population.
And while much attention is focused on the victims being mostly black trans women, no attention is given to the fact that the majority of known homicide suspects and convicts are also black. This intra-racial violence is consistent with other homicides in the U.S.
Additionally, there is no evidence to support the narrative that trans people are being killed because they are trans. The overwhelming majority of trans homicides involve victims being killed in the course of high-risk behaviours like street prostitution and drug dealing. Cis women and cis men involved in these activities face similar risks.
While it may feel good to earn praise by hiding uncomfortable truths, those who ultimately suffer in this instance are trans people themselves. They are told to fear people around them, that they could be killed at any moment and are helpless in the face of omnipresent hatred. This is not compassion or empowerment.
I’m now back on Twitter, but only because I was forced to accept that on this platform, a journalist will be punished for telling the truth.
Conservative MP Ed Fast has rejected Andrew Scheer’s invitation to join his shadow cabinet as the leader needed someone who “fully supports” his leadership, according to the Globe and Mail. Fast is a prominent member of the Conservative caucus, having served in Prime Minister Harper’s cabinet.
Ed Fast is a well-respected figure within the Conservative Party having served as the trade minister. Fast made his decision public only a few hours after Scheer’s cabinet announcement.
Speaking to the Globe and Mail, Fast said, “Mr. Scheer and I recently had a conversation about where I could fit into his shadow cabinet, and I expressed my desire not to be included at this time.”
Fast went on to say that “Mr. Scheer is entitled to surround himself with a team that fully supports his leadership.”
Fast’s comments were interpreted by many in the party as a rebuke of Scheer’s leadership and strategy during the election campaign.
Since Justin Trudeau’s re-election as PM, Scheer has faced increasing pressure over his decision to remain as leader. This pressure, originally coming from former Conservative politicians, has transitioned to disapproval from both the moderate and the social factions of the Conservative Party.
This week, a third-party organization was created by a group of prominent figures within the Conservative movement. This group, Conservative Victory, is devoted entirely to ousting Scheer.
Others in the party pushed back on the recent media reports, saying Scheer has overwhelming support from his caucus and pointing out he won the popular support.