To Elon Musk: Why Not Buy Bots?

Photo by Alex Knight Pexels.com

The Elon Musk and Twitter saga keeps me entertained these days. From the initial outrage that a billionaire would dare buy a media company (not that this is unusual)…to the threats of lawsuits…to Twitter’s board’s insistence that Musk must indeed buy Twitter now…do you get the sense that somebody knows how to play this game?

Musk has put his purchase of Twitter on hold until he gets accurate information on bots on Twitter. For anyone who doesn’t know what bots are, well, they are “robots” essentially. In other words, not real people. The way I see it, someone might create 20 “fake” accounts, bots in other words, and then spam Twitter. What is the impact and why would anyone do this? The result is that it looks like some people have way more followers than they actually do, and that some ideas are much more popular or disliked than is the actual case. Why would anyone want to do this? You might be able to come up with a few reasons.

I’ve noted that certain more right wing figures, like for instance Tim Pool and Stephen Crowder, reported on their YouTube channel that within days of Elon Musk requesting information from Twitter about bots, they suddenly had a significant increase in Twitter followers, to the tune of tens of thousands. I’m pretty sure Twitter didn’t create more bots to follow them, because that is not what you do when you are trying to sell a business. Investors don’t want to learn there are more bots, maybe not even that there are bots. Is it possible that Twitter suddenly reinstated accounts it had closed? I don’t know. This would offset bot numbers, I would think, making it look like there was a lower percentage of bots. I’m just following a trail of information breadcrumbs as I try to understand this.

Twitter bosses and employees had a literal melt-down when Elon Musk began to pursue the purchase of Twitter and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Twitter has a lot of power. After all, it de-platformed a sitting president of the USA. To be forced to hand over this power to a billionaire, whose political views might not agree with theirs, well…you can imagine. You can also imagine that the decision to boot Trump off Twitter was not made in a Twitter vacuum. A lot of pressure was put on Twitter and other social media to influence the election in favor of Democrats. As this opinion piece says, “Controlling this public square of political debate has been of immense benefit to Democrats, the media, globalists, and the government bureaucracy.”

Here is a sample of what is going on, taken from a May 16 article by the New York Post, entitled, Elon Musk says Twitter claims ‘bot check’ broke NDA

Elon Musk on Saturday tweeted that Twitter’s legal team accused him of violating a nondisclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for the social media platform’s checks on automated users was just 100 accounts.

“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” the Tesla CEO tweeted. “This actually happened.”

Shares of Twitter were down by nearly 10% in pre-market trading on Monday.

Musk Musk on Friday tweeted that his $44-billion cash deal to take the company private was “temporarily on hold” while he awaited data on the proportion of its fake accounts.

He said his team would test “a random sample of 100 followers” on Twitter to identify the bots.

When a user asked Musk to “elaborate on process of filtering bot accounts,” he replied: “I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate.”

I chuckled.

With power potentially shifting it is becoming necessary to shore up media control. CNN found a quote by Tom Wheeler who wrote on Tech Tank at the Brookings Institution where he is a visiting fellow, “The idea that a handful of platforms can continue to make their own behavioral rules even when those decisions harm the public interest is no longer sustainable.”

Until now, the Trump ousters at Twitter have been fairly successful in making decision they consider to be in the “public interest.” But with power slipping out of their hands they are doubling down on efforts to control “misinformation.”

Even Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now obsessed with controlling information, in the style of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Here is another link. Did you know that Ukraine is the first country, according to Wikipedia, to have a Jewish head of state and head of government? I find this interesting because the countries supporting Ukraine against Russia have shown some ambivalence towards Israel, particularly when the American embassy was moved to Jerusalem as recently as 2018, under Trump’s presidency. I know this has nothing to do with bots, but it does have a lot to do with who is influencing who. This one remains a mystery as it doesn’t quite fit the mold, particularly since Ukraine has typically been a Nazi safe haven.

A Yahoo News report states that in addition to shutting down his opposition in parliament, Zelenskyy is “combining all national TV channels, the program content of which consists mainly of information and/or information-analytical programs, [into] a single information platform of strategic communication” to be called “United News.” This is in order to combat Russian misinformation and “tell the truth about the war.”

It amazes me that when the Freedom Convoy of truckers arrived in Ottawa to protest newly implemented vaccine mandates targeting truckers, Prime Minister Trudeau immediately falsely presumed and reported that the Convoy was funded by Russians. He tried to convince Canadians we had an insurrection on our hands, funded by foreigners, and froze the bank accounts of those who donated to truckers who lost their livelihoods as a result of the mandate.

Maybe Trudeau didn’t get the memo that there was no truth to the Russia collusion campaign Hillary Clinton instigated against President Trump. It does make you wonder what will happen if these people muscle their way into information control.

The most recent report on Twitter bots is that bots now represent in the neighbourhood of 20% of Twitter accounts. Oh, dear.

This is Worse Than Jail for Tamara Lich

Tamara Lich, who was imprisoned on a charge ‘to counsel to commit mischief’, has been released from prison on bail this week but her lawyer describes her bail conditions as worse than jail. Her bail conditions “would make Putin envious,” Keith Wilson states. “She is not allowed to criticize the government. She is not allowed to criticize or speak against covid-19 restrictions or do anything in support of the Freedom movement. She is not allowed to be on social media. She is not allowed to directly or indirectly communicate or support with anyone in those things.” Even Putin’s strongest critic can do more from his prison cell than she can, Willson says.

Watch here.

Watch the Western Standard interview of Tamara’s lawyer, Keith Wilson, who spent nineteen days on the ground in Ottawa during the protests, working on behalf of the truckers to free GoFundMe funds. Wilson is on contract with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom. He is also currently representing Brian Peckford in his challenge of the constitutionality of the government of Canada’s travel mandates. Brian Peckford helped draft the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights in 1982 so he is arguably the best living authority on the rights of Canadians as set out in our Constitution.

Tamara Lich’s lawyer describes her as the “average concerned, honest Canadian,” and adds that she was was never going to put anyone at risk, so her treatment is entirely unwarranted. When she set up the GoFundMe, Lich anticipated raising a few thousand dollars but ended up receiving an overwhelming show of support with the total donations exceeding ten million dollars. This was very nearly matched, later, on GiveSendGo, after GoFundMe was shut down under pressure from the government of Canada. Americans took note that they could be the next victims, as this article reveals. GoFundMe’s claimed to shut down the funding for the truckers because of “reports of violence and other unlawful activity,” yet these reports remain unsubstantiated. Meanwhile, as has been pointed out, actual violent protests in the U.S. were never in violation of GoFundMe policy. All of the targeted shutting down of accounts happens from one end of the political spectrum.

The level of misrepresentation of what happened in Ottawa is startling. For example it is a blatant lie that the RCMP contacted people before their bank accounts were frozen. People who donated as little as $20 to the truckers ended up discovering their accounts were frozen, meaning they couldn’t pay for their mortgage, their gas, their food, their daycare. It is incredulous that this happened in Canada and the whole world is shocked. Cory Morgan says it well in the interview, “The blanket punitive approach that this government has taken on this has been horrific.”

Wilson’s analysis of the past weeks is that the government of Canada, meaning the Prime Minister and his support team, just could not accept that a large number of Canadians disagreed with what the government has been doing and that Canadians are deeply troubled by government over-reach. Trudeau found this so threatening that he threw everything in his arsenal at the convoy, including invoking the Emergencies Act.

The donations to GoFundMe and GiveSendGo represented an undeniable opinion poll and were were evidence of the Canadian support behind what the truckers wanted–the removal of vaccine mandates and travel restrictions.

A literal witch hunt ensued, tracking down anyone remotely supportive of the Freedom Convoy. Gerald Butts, a former highly influential staff member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, shared hacked donor information from GiveSendGo publicly on Twitter. There ought to be legal repercussions for that. Even the lawyer, Keith Wilson felt he might be victimized by the government. We are in a serious place when legal representation is threatened.

The announcement by Deputy Prime Minister, Chyristia Freeland, that the government would be going after donors to the Freedom Convoy meant the possible targeting of roughly 200,000 people with average donations around $35, according to Wilson. I am thinking that these donors each represent a lot of Canadians who did not donate. The Prime Minister really should take note. The donations to GoFundMe and GiveSendGo represented an undeniable opinion poll and were were evidence of the Canadian support behind what the truckers wanted–the removal of vaccine mandates and travel restrictions. The significance of this is not lost, even if the truckers never receive any of the money.

The interview of Tamara Lich’s lawyer, Keith Wilson, appears to have less than 2000 views on Youtube. I think every Canadian citizen owes it to themselves to watch this and become aware of the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves and the direction we are headed as a country.

It was pressure from the banking sector that caused Trudeau to wake up and reconsider going forward with the Emergencies Act after he had already intimidated Liberal and NDP members of parliament into voting for invoking the act only two days earlier. They must feel like they have been played. Remember, too, that the Prime Minister slighted politicians by announcing his invoking of the act to the media before presenting it to parliament and he then enforced the act before any vote whatsoever.

When people began to withdraw their money from banks, the banking conglomerates, legitimately, began to become nervous. Yes, there were bank runs, and understandably so. Bankers saw they were losing the confidence of the public. In their case, and Trudeau’s, money talks.

The Emergencies Act still had to pass a vote in the senate but it never came to that. However, the senators’ debate on the matter began and we can be thankful for the thoughtful remarks. I encourage every Canadian to listen to a sampling of the speeches of the senators as part of their civic duty. Two particularly impressive speeches are the ones by Donald Neil Plett and Denise Batters.

Key to all of this, as Wilson says, is the “sort of narrative that the government created and is acting out on it, despite the evidence of what really happened on the ground.” Wilson believes we must have a public inquiry.

In the meantime, Lich’s bail conditions are going to be appealed to address her restrictions on travel and mobility, her right of association and her right to freedom of expression.

Trudeau Taught The Truckers A Lesson They Will Never Forget

Trudeau may have revoked the Emergencies Act this week, under local and international pressure, but only after all the damage was done in his “crackdown” on truckers. Below is an article, in full, from this website, describing what the truckers face now: Nearly 40 Trucking Businesses Involved in Canada’s Freedom Convoy Protests Have Been Shut Down. The truckers have been vilified in the news in Canada and particularly by our Prime Minister. Prime Minister Trudeau has done everything he could to tarnish their name and to malign their motives. It is truly shameful. In Canada we feel we no longer have a democracy due to the draconian measures Trudeau has taken against the Freedom Convoy of truckers. Their big ask? To be able to work and freely cross the border. What did they get? Permanent shut-down. I have no words.

By Katabella Roberts

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) confirmed that it shut down nearly 40 businesses during its crackdown on Freedom Convoy protesters opposing COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

In an email to Global News on Feb. 23, Dakota Brasier, a spokesperson for Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, said the ministry had issued 12 seizure orders to Ontario-based large truck operators which suspended them from being allowed to operate within Canada.

The ministry also issued an order to seize all plates registered to them, Brasier said.

Outside of Ontario, the ministry also issued 27 seizure orders to out-of-province large truck operators, which stopped them from operating any commercial motor vehicles in Ontario, Brasier said.

The MTO would not reveal the name of the businesses that were issued with the seizure orders when asked to comment by Truck News.

“In an effort to preserve future police investigations into the illegal occupation in Ottawa, the ministry will not release the names of affected businesses at this time,” a ministry spokesperson told the publication when asked.

The Epoch Times has contacted an Ontario Ministry of Transportation spokesperson for comment.

The confirmation from MTO regarding businesses being shut down came just hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford lifted the province’s state of emergency.

Ford declared the emergency on Feb. 11 to address the impact of the ongoing protests against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions by trucker conveys who arrived in Ottawa on Jan. 29.

However, Ford’s office said in a statement on Feb. 23 that the “emergency tools” provided to law enforcement would still remain in place for now, “as police continue to address ongoing activity on the ground.”

“We remain grateful to all front-line officers and first responders that contributed to peacefully resolving the situation in Ottawa, Windsor, and in other parts of the province,” the statement said.

Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he was revoking the use of the Emergencies Act, which he originally invoked on Feb. 14 to deal with the protests and blockades, stating that the situation is no longer an emergency.

Trudeau defended utilizing the act in the first place after he faced fierce criticism from opponents, including Canadian politician Mark Strahl, who claimed that the act had resulted in a single mom with a minimum wage job having her bank account frozen after donating $50 to the Freedom Convoy.

Invocation of the act granted the federal government powers to freeze protesters’ and supporters’ bank accounts without a court order.

GettyImages-1238211565-600x400 Nearly 40 Trucking Businesses Involved in Canada’s Freedom Convoy Protests Have Been Shut Down Business Featured Top Stories World [your]NEWS
Thousands gather around Parliament Hill in support of the Freedom Convoy truck protest in Ottawa on Feb. 5, 2022. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Trudeau said invoking the act initially was “the responsible and necessary thing to do” and that there was evidence that individuals wanted to “undermine and even harm Canada’s democracy.”

However, prior to the Emergencies Act being invoked, Ambassador Bridge, the busiest Canada-U.S. border crossing which transports products between the two countries, had already reopened.

Meanwhile, blockades at the border crossings in B.C. and Alberta had also ended shortly after Feb. 14, and the biggest protest still ongoing was in Ottawa, yet the government insisted it was still necessary to use the act because there was an ongoing threat that new protests or blockades might pop up again.

After Trudeau’s announcement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that it was reaching out to financial institutions to unfreeze accounts.

“As of February 21, 2022, the RCMP has gone back to financial institutions with some updated information about certain entities whose status may have changed pertaining to the illegal protest activity,” RCMP said in a statement.

“This new information can be assessed alongside all other information to help inform decisions to unfreeze certain accounts.”

In total, RCMP had frozen at least 206 accounts due to support of the Freedom Convoy, totaling $7.8 million, according to Isabelle Jacques, assistant deputy minister of finance.