Discover more from Kanekoa News
Why is Twitter censoring my Substack?
Elon Musk should release all of the files on how algorithms, blacklists, and censorship were used to promote specific ideas and suppress others.
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, recently made a bold move by releasing the Twitter files for the social media platform.
Twitter has been plagued by accusations of censorship and bias, with the company under fire recently for its censorship of the Biden laptop and many users feeling their voices were not being heard.
This censorship sparked outrage among many, who accused Twitter of silencing voices that didn't align with the company's far-left agenda and unfairly placing their thumb on the scales of politics, culture, and society.
Louisiana and Missouri’s landmark lawsuit against the Biden administration has also raised concerns about Twitter’s close relationship with government officials, who circumvented the First-Amendment protected speech of American citizens by asking the company to censor certain political ideologies on the platform.
In an age where social media platforms have become an increasingly important source of news and information, and in a world in which algorithms shape people’s perspectives, Elon Musk should release all of the Twitter files on censorship to restore trust and transparency in the platform.
Many believe that Twitter's algorithmically-driven news feed and trending topics promote left-leaning corporate media outlets and establishment viewpoints while often marginalizing independent journalists and counter-narratives.
Users deserve to know how the platform operates, including details about algorithms and blacklists used to determine what content was shown to users.
Political beliefs and world views are inseparably linked to big tech algorithms, and humanity will significantly benefit by learning how Twitter promoted specific ideas and suppressed others.
Join the 49,000 subscribers who read my newsletter!
In 2019, Senior Google engineer Zachary Vorhies made headlines after he leaked 950 pages of internal documents that provide evidence of the company's use of blacklisting, censorship, and machine learning algorithms.
From Vorhies’ perspective, when Google launched a crusade against so-called “fake news,” what it meant, in actuality, was censoring the ideas and arguments of former President Donald Trump and his nationalist-populist supporters.
Vorhies searched for “fake news” in the company’s internal database — and the documents that showed up showed a clear pattern — anything that was “pro-Trump” and anything that was “anti-Hillary” was being labeled as “fake news.”
According to Vorhies, the documents show that Google has been using blacklists and machine learning algorithms to flag certain websites and content as "inappropriate" or "low-quality," causing them to be removed entirely or pushed down in the search rankings.
Vorhies released one Android news blacklist that flagged hundreds of conservative websites to be censored.
For example, Daily Caller, Western Journal, RedState, Gateway Pundit, Steven Crowder, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative websites, were censored.
In 2019, Project Veritas released footage of Google executive, Jen Gennai, discussing “preventing the next Donald Trump situation.”
She remarked, “We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”
In another leaked video, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki described how Google re-wrote its algorithms to bury the narratives that didn’t support the company’s left-leaning political agenda, “we're pushing down the fake news and demoting it, and we are increasing the authoritative news and promoting it.”
“We have a whole system, we’re keeping up with trashy news where we have built classifiers, we identify it, we look for salacious, clickbait content that isn’t – that we don’t think is, you know, the authoritative news,” she continued.
Wojcicki revealed that the company was using “machine learning” and “classifiers” to filter the company’s search results.
Machine learning is when algorithms are fed real-world information – like humans' decisions – and learn to make decisions based on the patterns they find.
What were these classifiers?
In a leaked document entitled "Fringe ranking/classifier: Defining channel quality," Google ranked ABC News, CBS News, and CNN as more “authoritative” than what Wojcicki would call the “trashy” Fox News, Russia Today, and Breitbart.
The leaked documents have sparked widespread concern and outrage, with many people accusing Google of using its immense power and influence to manipulate public opinion and shape the political landscape.
Suppose Musk is wholeheartedly committed to restoring trust and transparency in Twitter. In that case, he should release all of the files, including details of how machine learning algorithms, blacklists, and censorship were used to limit the free exchange of ideas on the platform.
Free speech is a fundamental human right that is essential for protecting all other rights and freedoms. One of the critical reasons why free speech is so important is that it allows individuals to hold those in power accountable.
Without the ability to speak out and express their views, people would have no way to challenge or criticize the actions of those in positions of power.
This is why I was incredibly disappointed to learn that Twitter has blocked users from sharing links to my Substack, where I have primarily written about big government, big pharma, and big tech corruption.
Many voices that big tech platforms have silenced have moved to Substack, where they can freely communicate, challenge, or criticize the actions of their government and other institutions without fear of retaliation or censorship.
Twitter did not follow its warning-strike policy when the company permanently suspended my account @kanekoathegreat, which had about 150,000 followers in January 2021. Still, the platform has taken the extraordinary step of blocking users from sharing my independent journalism.
As big tech censorship has increased, Substack has become a cornerstone of free speech on the internet.
Many prominent independent journalists have flocked to the platform, which allows individuals to hold those in power accountable, promotes the development of new ideas and progress, and is critical for protecting human rights.
Why is Twitter censoring my Substack, and is Twitter silencing other independent journalists?
Musk has the opportunity to offer a rare and revealing look into the inner workings of how one of the world's most influential social media companies stifled free speech.
People deserve to know how unaccountable Twitter executives determine what content users see and what content users do not see.
Like many others, I have never doxxed anyone, harassed anyone, called for violence, or broken the law. Yet, Twitter suspended me and blocked links to my Substack as “harmful” for voicing political opinions that differed from the ideological bias of the company’s executives.
Without a diverse and independent media landscape, our ability to hold those in power accountable and engage in informed public debate is severely compromised.
Therefore, free speech must be protected and defended at all costs.
I sincerely hope Musk releases all the files without a filter and sticks to his word about restoring suspended accounts. Many are incredibly grateful that Musk is committed to restoring trust and transparency on Twitter.
This is a step in the right direction for free speech, the protection of human rights, and the development of a healthy and vibrant society.
To turn this passion into a career, I need your support: subscribers who sign up for $5 a month enable me to work full-time as an independent journalist. For the price of a cup of coffee, you become my largest benefactor, and my work continues to be beholden only to truth, freedom, and the American people.