I just published a piece comparing the statistics on far-right extremist violence vs. far-left extremist violence. It's not a "both sides" problem, and it's dangerous to put forth the false balance of pretending it is. weaponizedspaces.substack.com/p/violent-extr…
Sometimes data visualizations help make statistics more tangible and real. So here's one that might help put into context the threat of far-right violence compared to far-left violence. This data, from the New America Foundation, shows a breakdown of extremist attacks since 9/11.
Nov 27 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
It’s interesting to see a mainstream reporter‘s description of the extremist landscape that myself & others have spent the last decade studying intensively. Mainly, it’s interesting that they’re aware of it — & its links to the politicians they cover — yet they rarely mention it.
Personally, I find it newsworthy that one of two major political parties in the US is relying on a strategy of fostering extremism for votes so they can maintain power without the support of the majority of Americans.
Nov 26 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
You can just call Nick Fuentes a Nazi. He is a Nazi, so I’m not sure why you’d call him anything else.
Nick Fuentes is a Nazi.
This is the right take. I’ve been on many of these lists before and I’m on the list being circulated now, too. They make these lists to identify targets for harassment and threats, and they’re looking for a reaction. Specifically, they want a reaction that can get you banned. 1/
This is not new. And it’s not the only tactic used to try to get you to engage in behavior that can be mass-reported for the purpose of getting your account banned. I’ve written numerous times about outrage trolls & outrage bait — it’s the same basic concept. 2/
I had a discussion about Twitter’s verification system with a senator’s office recently, and I told them that one of the fundamental challenges here is that the system has *never* been reliable nor has it ever been clear what verification actually signifies. 1/
The blue checkmark started as a marker of notoriety. Then it became a marker of being a public figure of any statute — but the criteria were never applied in a standardized way, so people who met the criteria were denied verification, and vice versa, with no explanation. 2/
Nov 25 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
I told you guys — “antifa” is whoever they want it to be at any given time. It’s totally detached from reality.
“The World Health Organization is antifa” is the type of galaxy brained delusion that only the far-right could come up with. No one else thinks like that. Or doesn’t think, in this case.
Nov 25 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
As Twitter makes some historically bad decisions under Elon Musk’s leadership, a lot of “alternatives” to Twitter are going to pop up. Some of these platforms will be meant for social good. Others will be set up specifically to harvest your data and sell it. So be careful.
My advice would be to look at the people behind the new platforms. First of all, if it’s *a* person, not *people*, I’d view that as a red flag. Most good tech projects are team efforts, and we’re seeing what happens when one person has too much control at a social media company.
Nov 25 • 15 tweets • 5 min read
I’m not sure how writing an article in opposition to fascism is a “gotcha” given that far-right extremist violence is the single greatest domestic terror threat in the nation, but ok. I guess you’re on the other side of this, which is … not a great place to be?
It’s a really good, article, too. It’s entirely based on the evidence documenting where the threat of extremist violence is coming from, which isn’t the left. It also dives into topics that disingenuous ideologues try to avoid, like the fact that murder is worse than graffiti.
Nov 24 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
I mean say goodbye to your remaining advertisers. I will personally mail them print-outs of the rape threats, death threats, and photoshopped pictures of me with a bullet hole in my head if I have to. This is just negligent.
I will admit that I think Twitter went too far in recent months/years and banned accounts for things that they shouldn’t have been banned for. But very few people would argue that people who use Twitter to send rape threats should be on this platform — yet that’s what he’s doing.
Nov 24 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
During my talk yesterday, I spoke about how Russian state propaganda shaped the broader coverage of the far-right Canadian truck convoy, and I showed these two charts mapping media coverage of the convoy. RT is the orange line with the earliest and highest spike in volume. 1/
Basically, what these charts show is that Russian propaganda outlet RT produced a higher volume of convoy-related coverage than other international media outlets during the critical early weeks of the convoy. This gave them a chance to set the narrative for others to follow. 2/
Nov 22 • 14 tweets • 7 min read
I want to engage this question earnestly, b/c it’s a legit question. The answer is yes, I do look at left, too.
Left-wing activists are responsible for 2% of murders committed by political extremists in the US over the past decade; right-wing activists are responsible for 74%.
I just published my first Substack piece about the Colorado Springs gunman’s history of domestic violence — part of a clear pattern linking violent misogyny to mass shootings. Two-thirds of mass shootings are linked to DV, and we’re still ignoring it. open.substack.com/pub/weaponized…
I keep thinking about Connor Betts, the Dayton, Ohio shooter who killed 9 people and injured 27 others. He not only had a history of abusive behavior, but his first victim was his sibling, a transgender man who was misgendered and dead-named for days after his death.
Nov 21 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
Recently I warned about the potential of losing massive amounts of data — including evidence of war crimes & human rights violations — if we lose Twitter, and I want to show why this matters by using the horrific hate crime/shooting in Colorado Springs as a mini-case study. 1/
Of course, we don’t know all the details yet and we need more info to understand exactly what happened in Colorado Springs and — just as importantly — why it happened. But guess where a lot of that info will come from? Twitter. 2/
Nov 20 • 12 tweets • 5 min read
Hours after a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, LibsOfTikTok is targeting another LGBTQ organization in Colorado Springs.
They want to get people killed. That’s really the only explanation here. This is textbook stochastic terrorism.
This has been a clear problem on Twitter for *YEARS*. I have literally been begging Twitter to do something about for at least 5 years.
More people will die as long as stochastic terrorism is allowed on this platform.
Oh dear god we’re going to have to have that whole conversation again about why Twitter polls are hopelessly biased and unrepresentative aren’t we?
Nov 19 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Here’s the thing about Twitter “going down” — based on what I know, it’s unlikely to just disappear and never come back. Glitches, outages, etc? Probably. But a sudden total and permanent blackout? Not so likely.
Yet… Twitter as we knew it is likely gone forever.
As I’ve tried to explicate over the past several days, Twitter is more than software, more than a machine. It’s a web of complex, long-term, intertwined social networks and groups and relationships bound by a system of official & unofficial norms and customs.
Nov 19 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
So the anti-vax neo-Nazis in Italy that I have been talking about? They got raided by Italian anti-terror police this week and were apparently ready to carry out violent attacks — and at least one member reportedly has ties to Steve Bannon. vice.com/en/article/4ax…
I mentioned some of this briefly in an article I wrote last year, and there’s also a connection between Steve Bannon and Canada’s “populist” anti-vaccine movement, which also has ties to far-right extremism.
I spoke with @thelindsayist for @govtechnews about why Elon Musk’s behavior — and its implications for crisis/disaster comms on Twitter — pose such a significant threat to public safety and national security. I hope you’ll read her article; it hits the nail on the head.
Twitter’s former head of global crisis response, @TomTarantino, said more eloquently what I was tweeting about earlier today — that the infrastructure at Twitter has been stripped down to the point that *when* a major crisis happens, basic functionality could be lost.
Nov 18 • 13 tweets • 3 min read
So here’s where I see Twitter going based on what I know: I don’t think it’s going to suddenly implode. I think its basic functions will largely keep working, maybe with some hiccups. But here’s the concern: Will the skeleton crew there be able to handle a crisis when it happens?
The question is not if, but when, Twitter is faced with a crisis. And the problem is, crises are great opportunities for bad actors to do things like impersonate official accounts, flood hashtags with false information, and just generally try to wreak havoc.
Nov 18 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Based on the current info about a possible Ebola case in the U.K., there is no reason for panic and it's irresponsible to suggest that the virus may be spreading in the community. One person with a travel history to Africa is hospitalized with *possible* EARLY Ebola symptoms. 1/
This it the key message about Ebola in the UK. There is no evidence of transmission, and the one *possible* case in a traveler was detected early. They have been hospitalized and part of the hospital has been closed off as a precaution. That's reassuring, not cause for panic. 2/