🧵 The Facebook Oversight Board will announce its decision on whether to uphold the platform’s post-January 6 ban on President Trump tomorrow.

It will have momentous consequences for political speech around the world. But for countering disinfo, it’s somewhat of a distraction.
A few years ago the main thoroughfare near my neighborhood got realigned, and the county put in some nice landscaping, which quickly got neglected and overgrown with weeds.
A little sapling started growing and by the fall, had grown into quite a plucky, woody weed tree, thriving amidst a bed of poison ivy that Jake, to my dismay, relishes walking through on our morning strolls.

(This story has a point, I promise.)
Being the good citizen that I am, I reported the unsightly weeds to the county. They dispatched an industrial lawn mowing crew that buzzed over the whole area, leaving a stump where our weedy sapling once stood and chopping up the poison ivy.
Needless to say, the next spring, the weed tree came back with a vengeance. The poison ivy got more ropey. And adding insult to injury, the sad little evergreen shrubs they put in got a bag worm infestation. (Do yourself a favor and don’t look up what bag worms are before bed 🤢)
I continue to report the overgrowth, now spilling onto the sidewalk. The sapling is now about 8 feet tall. The work it will take to get the area cleaned up is now significantly greater than previous years: the tree will have to be dug up, the weeds ripped out, new landscaping...
....planted and maintained. Gardens don’t just grow; they require upkeep. The same is true of a social network.

In this scenario, Trump is the weed tree that is lobbed off on the surface but has a network of roots underground that will keep him (and his rhetoric) coming back.
We’re going to be paying a lot of attention to what the Oversight Board decides tomorrow, and autocrats around the world will be especially interested.

But we should be clear that the networks that gave rise to Trump & allowed January 6 to happen are much broader than one man.
The systemic issues that got us to this point—such as the monetization of attention and emotion and the use of psychographic targeting in political ads—aren’t going to evaporate because the 45th president can no longer post on Facebook.
Disinfo may not get as easy a lift from him, but will still exist. We need more systemic fixes to the problems we’re facing, otherwise we’re going to keep playing whack-a-troll with every major informational crisis we encounter. It’s not sustainable or scalable. It’s dangerous.
Those are my bedtime thoughts. See you at 9am! Jankowicz out. ✌🏻

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More from @wiczipedia

25 Jan
Today we release “Malign Creativity: How Gender, Sex, and Lies are Weaponized Against Women Online.”

Yes, we're breaking glass ceilings, but our study shows how far we have to go before women have a truly equal voice, online or off.


Top lines follow:
Gendered abuse and disinformation are terrifyingly widespread. Of our 13 subjects, 12 faced gendered abuse, and 9 faced gendered disinfo. The overwhelming majority of abuse was posted on Twitter, and targeted @KamalaHarris (78% of our data!).
Here are the most prevalent keywords supporting gendered disinformation targeting the subjects in our study, including @KamalaHarris, @IlhanMN, @GovWhitmer, and @AOC. Women were targeted with abuse across party lines.
Read 16 tweets
24 Jan
Good morning! Lots of men among my followers were giving me suggestions about how to deal with online misogynists in responses to this thread yesterday.

Here are a few reasons why it's not particularly helpful or constructive.
1. If you're a man telling a woman how to deal with online misogyny: nope. Just stop. You may as well be giving me tampon advice. Intellectually, you may think you understand what online (or real life) harassment is, but you can't understand the effect it has on the target.
2. It's highly personal; everyone deals with this differently. Not every target will choose to react the same way. Responses can range from righteous indignation to disengagement to direct response to trolls, and that's the target's choice, not yours.
Read 7 tweets
23 Jan
Another example of the normalized, engrained misogyny that women in public life have to deal with.

Objectification shouldn't be part of the job for any White House Press Secretary; it's what they say that should matter.

That's clearly unimportant to Brandon. ImageImage
More on this Monday when our report comes out: wilsoncenter.org/event/report-l…
My head is going to explode. Image
Read 7 tweets
23 Jan
Andrew is reporting from the unsanctioned protest in Moscow in support of oppositionist Alexei Navalny, arrested last week upon his return to Russia after the FSB tried to poison him.

Events like this happening all around Russia today, and police are beginning to crack down.
Hard to imagine a timely tweet like this getting out just a week ago. Trump's State Department famously stifled communications from posts.

A friend in St. Petersburg writes, "I haven't seen such a huge group of people since 1991. A lot of people have come out [to protest] for the first time."

Read 7 tweets
17 Jan
"A Russian politician can only be a Russian politician in Russia," says Vladimir Kara-Murza of Navalny's decision to return to Russia after recovering from the Kremlin's attempt to poison him.

Video stream of this remarkable event on @tvrain:
@tvrain now streaming the arrest of a young female Navalny supporter at Vnukova Airport. Police dragging her away by her limbs, reporting that arrests are happening "periodically" every few minutes as Navalny supporters chant "Russia will be free"
Read 8 tweets
17 Jan
I have received more scrutiny and been treated less politely entering the Capitol building on official business than these men who planned executions and the overthrow of our democracy.

The most damning, nauseating footage yet, IMO

It bears repeating over and over and over again: how many POC would have died in this circumstance?
I've also said this over and over, but it's what I keep coming back to:

Congress is a remarkably open institution. You can watch proceedings. You can literally walk into your Rep's office on any given day. It enrages me that has been jeopardized because these individuals...
Read 4 tweets

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