Twitter recently received praise for being the only of nine prominent tech companies to publicly refuse to assist the Trump administration in building a Muslim registry. While certainly a feel-good piece of news if you briefly glance at the headline, the reality is anything but. An enormous red flag is flapping away in the blog post Twitter included with its “No”:
Recent reports about Twitter data being used for surveillance, however, have caused us great concern. As a company, our commitment to social justice is core to our mission and well established. And our policies in this area are long-standing.
Read that quote again. While Twitter absolutely adores social justice for its marketing and PR help, their “long-standing” “well-established” “core mission” has more to do with white supremacy, gentrification and violent abuse of users than anything resembling social justice. As for “reports about Twitter data being used for surveillance,” Twitter should expect them after not only allowing, but part owning, Dataminr, which surveils Twitter’s “fire hose” in real time and grants customers access to this surveillance. Earlier this year, Twitter loudly banned US intelligence agencies from using the service, though Dataminr recently added the FBI to its roster of clients. The same FBI already surveilling Muslims, profiling Muslim youth and always pushing for new surveillance powers. Who needs a registry when the entire “fire hose” is available to be tapped? Assuming the client’s account is paid in full, of course.
In addition to giving the FBI keys to the kingdom, Twitter today, along with Facebook, Google and Microsoft, announced a partnership to “help curb spread of online terrorist content.” The danger lies in the fact that there is no agreed-upon definition of “terrorist content”:
Because the companies have different policies on what constitutes terrorist content, they will start by sharing hashes of “the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos” as they are most likely to violate “all of our respective companies” content policies, they said.
Twitter may have publicly refused to help build a Muslim registry, but Facebook, Google and Microsoft all refused to give a yes-or-no answer, leaving their doors open. Why would Twitter need to build such a registry if it were partnering with three other companies who were willing to build one? Also, saying these four companies will “start” by sharing data of the “most and extreme and egregious” implies that as time passes, they will share data on less extreme, less egregious content. So while this information could initially be used to erase any and all ISIS propaganda, to great MSM fanfare, the definition of “terrorist content” could easily be perverted by the tech-state union to include COINTELPRO surveillance such as that carried out by the FBI and Homeland Security against Black Lives Matter activists. Especially with the FBI’s hand on the fire hose.