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Prebunking: The New Weapon

If you think China's TikTok is the only bad egg, think again. Here's a look at America's latest weapon - with YOU as the target.

If you think China's TikTok is the only bad egg, think again. Here's a look at America's latest weapon - with YOU as the target.

Imagine being censored for telling the truth.

Wait, you don’t have to imagine – it’s happening right now.

In fact, censorship has been the primary concern for social media platforms in recent years.

Remember the staggering amount of censorship on social media during the last election?

In the last quarter leading up to the vote, Facebook banned over 750,000 political ads. And it algorithmically suppressed the sharing of the New York Post’s bombshell report on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Even Facebook Overlord Zuckerberg recently admitted as much on Joe Rogan’s podcast:

But Facebook wasn’t even the worst.

Twitter suspended the journalist who wrote that story from posting it a month before the vote. It also removed or discredited over 300,000 tweets (mostly from conservatives), including President Trump’s.

As if that weren’t enough, the little blue bird banned ZeroHedge, one of the biggest publications dedicated to revealing truths and stories the mainstream media won’t publish, along with dozens of big-name conservatives.

And last — Google banned over 8,000 Republican channels. 

It doesn’t matter if you lean Left or Right, censoring half of America is wrong and will eventually backfire. It might even lead to a coup…

Which is why the White House has already been preparing something entirely different for the midterms: a stealth censorship program called “prebunking.”

And boy does it exploit loopholes…

Twitter’s Censorship Invention

In 2020, Twitter began experimenting with a new censorship tool they call “prebunking.”

Instead of banning public figures, they started arbitrarily labeling their tweets as misinformation and then providing subjective explanations that supposedly debunk their claims. 

On May 27, 2020, Twitter made history by becoming the first social media channel to discredit an American President’s words as propaganda. By November that year, Twitter had flagged nearly 40% of Trump’s tweets.

Later, Twitter didn’t just mark the tweets, it began hiding the flagged tweets behind warning labels or straight up removing them without notice:

Even if they weren’t taken down, Twitter didn’t allow anybody to reply to them or retweet them. And Twitter’s algorithm didn’t recommend them, which significantly limited their reach.

“Prebunking” proved a huge success during the last election.

There’s even empirical evidence that Twitter’s left-favoring censorship stole the last election.

In July, Princeton released a paper that found Twitter had indeed materially lowered Republican votes.

Via Princeton:

“Our results indicate that Twitter lowered the Republican vote share in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections but had limited effects on Congressional elections and previous presidential elections. Evidence from survey data, primary elections, and a text analysis of millions of tweets suggests that Twitter’s relatively liberal content may have persuaded voters with moderate views to vote against Donald Trump.”

Seeing how effective this political narrative “curation” is (for lack of a better word), Big Tech is now stepping up its game.

Big Tech Doubles Down on Prebunking

The last election was an experiment for Twitter, and many of its internal censorship policies and algorithm changes came about on the fly.

But for these midterms, Twitter has been systematically preparing well in advance – perhaps knowing darn well what would happen to them if a Republican – especially Trump – were to become President again.

For starters, Twitter redesigned “misinformation” warning labels and adjusted the algorithm so flagged tweets would reach even fewer people. 

And so far, it’s working wonders.

From Twitter’s blog about the preparation for the midterms:

“Late last year, we tested new misleading information labels and saw promising results. The new labels increased click-through rates by 17%, meaning more people were clicking labels to read debunking content. We also saw notable decreases in engagement with Tweets labeled with the new design: -13% in replies, -10% in Retweets, and -15% in likes.”

And get this, they are writing up prompts that debunk “misleading information” in advance, which will be translated to Spanish and 32 other languages supported on Twitter. 

(The irony is if all that was truly a genuine effort to fight propaganda rather than to promote progressive brainwashing, how would they know in advance what misleading information will spread during the election?)

Oh, but there’s more. 

Unlike last time, these prompts won’t just appear on flagged tweets. They’ll soon start popping up in the search field whenever someone types in related keywords. 

In other words, Twitter is preparing to engage in a well-planned, progressive brainwashing of its 90 million American user base.

After Twitter’s move, Google announced an even more subtle prebunking approach. It teamed up with scientists from Cambridge to create 90-second cartoon clips that debunk “manipulation techniques” and show them as YouTube ads.

The campaign is now piloting in Eastern Europe, tackling some of the local narratives. 

Meanwhile, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, recently confessed that it’s working with federal agencies to build a “dedicated team focused on the 2022 midterms.” (More on what Facebook can do later.) 

But none of that beats Twitter’s latest plot….

Birdwatch: Biden’s New Weapon for Midterms

Last year, Twitter launched a program called Birdwatch that attempts to crowdsource its brainwashing. In short, it’s rallying an “invite-only” army of volunteers to annotate “misleading” tweets – in essence shifting blame to its users for any censorship-type actions. 

This month, Twitter is expanding the program to the first 1,000 members. 

It all sounds like a democratic idea, right? Instead of a centralized body that makes decisions about which tweets should be busted, there’s an ostensibly diverse group of people policing Twitter. 

But as is often the case, the devil lies in the details.

The catch is how these members are selected and granted (or stripped of) the right to annotate tweets that Twitter isn’t particularly fond of. 

If you want to become a Birdwatch member, you first have to prove that you can tell the truth (whatever that is these days) from a lie. 

Here’s how it works. First, Twitter will give an aspiring birdwatcher a series of Birdwatch notes to rate. If that person’s rating falls within the consensus, they get a point. If they disagree with the consensus, they lose a point.

Via TechCrunch:

“Twitter will assign each potential contributor a “rating impact” score. This score begins at zero and must reach a “5” for a person to become a Birdwatch contributor — a metric that’s likely achievable after a week’s work, Twitter said. Users gain these points by rating Birdwatch notes that enable the note to earn the status of “Helpful” or “Not Helpful.” They lose points when their rating ends up in contrast with the note’s final status. (There’s no upper limit to how many points a person could earn.)”

In other words, if a member’s views, be they political or otherwise, don’t align with the largely progressive status quo, they’re out. 

And that’s how Twitter is banding together an army of leftist trolls to silence the opposition in the upcoming election.

But here’s the most interesting part. 

When you’ve got thousands of volunteers marking up tweets, how do you decide whose not to show?

It turns out Twitter came up with what it calls a “bridging algorithm.” It’s designed to show only those annotations that statistically have the best shot of swaying people who hold different views.

Via Twitter blog:

“In order to be shown on a Tweet, Birdwatch notes need to be found helpful by people who have tended to disagree in their past ratings. This means the algorithm takes into account not only how many contributors rated a note as Helpful or Not Helpful, but also whether people who rated it seem to come from different perspectives.”

Of course, Twitter has to protect itself and appear to play fair – likely why this program was designed in the first place. But who decides who the “testers” are of this Birdwatch program?

You see, Twitter already has and is still receiving regulatory heat for removing and shadow-banning content that doesn’t align with its ideologies. This would, in essence, make Twitter a publisher of information instead of a platform for user-generated content. From a regulatory perspective, being a publisher means Twitter would be responsible for anything anyone posts. 

Of course, Twitter can’t be that. 

This is why, in addition to Birdwatch, it has been testing – and has now officially launched this year – the ability to downvote tweets and comments. 

Only, these downvotes aren’t available for anyone to see. 

Via USA Today

 “Twitter describes the button’s purpose as meant to let the platform know when a reply “isn’t adding to the conversation.” Under the heading “help us make Twitter better,” the company says downvote feedback will help the platform prioritize higher quality content.”

In other words, if someone were to challenge Twitter in court for suppressing their tweet, Twitter could respond by saying they never did – it was the audience. 

And given that we now know that a considerable portion of Twitter users are bots – thank you, Elon – this essentially gives Twitter de facto power to suppress speech on its platform without recourse. 

The question now becomes, who controls Twitter?

Twitter’s Puppeteer

There have been a lot of rumors that the White House and FBI are leading Twitter’s censorship policies.

But now we’ve got some hard evidence.

Last July, Twitter banned famous journalist and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson over this fact-based tweet about Covid vaccines:

 “mRNA vaccines don’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. Think of it—at best—as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS. And we want to mandate it? Insanity,” he tweeted.

The suspension surprisingly came right after Biden’s public address in which he equated social media not censoring vaccine critics to “killing people.*”

(*Oddly enough, when we posted many of our COVID-related predictions and untold truths (all of which have now been proven to be true), we were not only banned on social media, but comments started piling up on those now removed feeds blaming us for “killing people” – as if there was a bot army posting the same comments in droves.)

So, Berenson sued Twitter, who later settled the lawsuit and brought him back. 

But the story doesn’t end there. 

As part of legal procedures, Twitter had to share its internal documents, which exposed Twitter’s links to the FBI and the White House that Berenson is now bringing to light.

For example, here’s a chain of emails that proved Twitter’s own reviewer team confirmed Berenson’s tweet was a well-grounded opinion and didn’t warrant a suspension:

berenson email
Source: Berenson’s Substack

Yet, a month later, Twitter employees discussed the meeting with the “WH” (White House) over Berenson:

Source: Berenson’s Substack

And there’s another leaked conversation floated by WSJ that shows Twitter is systematically reporting the flows of “misinformation” and how they affect the “persuadable public.” 

Via WSJ:

“Any high level takeaways from the meeting? Anything we should keep an eye out for?” an employee asked. (Employee names are redacted from the documents.) 

“Yes, they really wanted to know about Alex Berenson,” said another comment. “[White House Covid adviser] Andy Slavitt suggested they had seen data viz that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public.”

If that’s not proof that federal agencies are engaging in a systematic, massive-scale alienation of conservatism in America, what is?

Authoritarianism in a Democratic Wrapper 

I’m genuinely surprised at how good we are at pointing fingers at people living in authoritarian regimes elsewhere, yet so blind to it on our very own soil.

Just a few weeks ago, I exposed China’s tyrannical plan to regulate social media algorithms to keep a tight grip on public discourse. 

Are we really any different?

I don’t think there’s a better way to wrap this letter than with an excerpt from my letter about CBDCs:

The irony is we often look down on autocracies with a patronizing grin. Yet, when our policymakers toss around the same despotic measures, the declared weapon of authoritarians suddenly turns into a “convenient” democratic idea.

Perhaps the Twitter deal was a ploy by Elon Musk to expose not only the many bots on the platform but also reveal how it has been suppressing and manipulating the algorithm to be against all things Republican. 

And, after exposing it, he backed out. 

Or perhaps Musk realized it’s not Twitter’s employees or shareholders who are in charge of it, but rather the White House or the FBI. 

We don’t know.

But the truth always has a way of coming out – are you willing to look the other way?

Obviously this Letter will never get through the algorithms of Big Tech. It’s up to you to spread it.

We hope you will.

Seek the truth and be prepared,

Carlisle Kane

The Equedia Letter is Canada’s fastest growing and largest investment newsletter dedicated to revealing the truths about the stock market.