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Sunday, April 23, 2023
MRC Turns On Musk Over Twitter Suspending Anti-Trans Accounts
Topic: Media Research Center

The past year of sucking up to Elon Musk in order to encourage him to buy Twitter so that it and its fellow right-wingers would not feel the consequences of spreading hateful and extreme views -- which it misleadingly frames as "censorship" -- seems to have backfired a bit on the Media Research Center, because it appears there are still some things Twitter finds offensive. A March 29 post by Luis Cornelio was outrage that right-wingers (whom he misleadigly described as "pro-free speech") saw consequences (or, in Cornelio's parlance, were "censored") for spreading anti-transgender hate:

Despite Musk’s promises to protect free speech, Twitter silenced the Media Research Center and other free speech advocates who simply commented on the leftist ‘Trans Day of Vengeance’ event.

Twitter locked 11 pro-free speech journalists, politicians, and leaders out of their Twitter accounts for reporting on the infamous ‘Trans Day of Vengeance’ protest organized by Our Rights DC set to happen between March 31 and April 2. The censorship targeted accounts like The Media Research Center, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), The Federalist CEO Sean Davis and The Daily Wire podcast host Michael Knowles, among others. The platform’s active censorship appears to reveal that free speech is still being muzzled on Twitter.

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell blasted Twitter for its blatant censorship of a major news story. "Does Elon Musk know what his team is up to? Reporting on a 'Trans Day of Vengeance' right after the Nashville tragedy is important news,” he said. “Twitter should immediately remove these suspensions and explain what happened."

Twitter’s Vice President of Trust and Safety Ella Irwin explained the sweeping censorship related to tweets promoting the Trans Day of Vengeance. However, Irwin neglected to explain why those calling attention to the disturbing protest were also censored. “We had to automatically sweep our platform and remove >5000 tweets /retweets of this poster,” she wrote. “We do not support tweets that incite violence irrespective of who posts them. ‘Vengeance’ does not imply peaceful protest. Organizing or support for peaceful protests is ok.”

MRC Free Speech Vice President  Dan Schneider ripped apart Twitter’s excuse:

“Twitter’s blatant hypocrisy is breathtaking. Just last week, liberals were on Twitter attacking Donald Trump for calling for protests in New York if he got indicted, but Twitter is now freezing accounts of conservatives who are simply reporting on planned protests by the left in Washington.”

Twitter locked the account of the Media Research Center’s video production division, MRCTV, after it called attention to the radical event.

Schneider overloooked the fact that these accounts posted a flyer promoting the event -- which was just a protest and not a call to violence -- not just "reporting" on it. The even ended up being canceled after the group putting it on was targeted with threats of violence, something the MRC never noted.

(Cornelio's post was updated to not that MRCTV's account was restored later that day.)

Cornelio went on to huff: "MRC Free Speech America will soon release a study that suggests that the rank-and-file employees at Twitter are in open revolt against the vision Musk articulated for the platform. Rather than building an environment where free speech is allowed to flourish at Twitter, employees continue to silence conservatives and censor opinions that run contrary to the woke agenda supported by so many in Silicon Valley." Indeed, Joseph Vazquez folled up the next day with this alleged study:

Despite public statements in support of free speech, censorship on Twitter has surprisingly increased since billionaire Elon Musk purchased the platform according to data from MRC Free Speech America's database. MRC Free Speech America found that Twitter censorship has been on the rise under Musk's leadership in comparison to the old regime. Musk once tweeted that he saw Twitter as the “de facto town square” and wrote that “failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.” It appears that a lot of work needs to be done to achieve Musk’s vision. 

Here are MRC Free Speech America’s findings:

Twitter censorship has been on the rise under Elon Musk. MRC Free Speech America found 293 cases of documented censorship since Musk took control of the platform and began terminating the previous regime’s employees from Nov. 4, 2022 through Mar. 4, 2023. That’s 67 more than the 226 documented cases in from the old regime during the same time period a year prior (Nov. 4, 2021 - Mar. 4, 2022). 

The severity of the censorship since Musk took over has been harsher. In 245 of the 293 (84%) documented cases of censorship on, Twitter locked users’ accounts, and in nearly all cases users were required to delete the content to regain access to their accounts. Under the old Twitter regime, by contrast, only 136 of the 226 (60%) documented cases of censorship consisted of locked accounts.

The previous Twitter regime targeted the biggest, most politically sensitive user accounts. However, Musk’s moves that led to the firing and resignation of key leaders in the elitist team in charge of the effort to target high follower accounts has not resulted in a reduction of censorship practices by the remaining rank-and-file staff involved in content moderation. The implication? The remaining staff at Twitter are revolting against Musk’s efforts to foster a free speech environment on the platform. Some high-profile users censored under the old regime during the analyzed period included Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), conservative radio host Dan Bongino, Just the News founder John Solomon, and the American Heart Association.

Sixty-two percent of documented cases of censorship during Musk’s leadership involved tweets critical of the left’s transgender narrative. At least 182 of the 293 (62%) documented cases of censorship recorded in the database for Twitter under Musk involved users being censored for speech critical of the left’s woke “transgender” narrative. Twitter’s censorship on this issue stands in stark contrast to the theorized pretext for Musk launching his $44 billion bid to acquire the platform. 

The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon shared in a tweet that “Musk reached out to us before he polled his followers about Twitter’s commitment to free speech. He wanted to confirm that we had, in fact, been suspended. He even mused on the call that he might need to buy Twitter. Now he’s the largest shareholder and has a seat on the board.” The Babylon Bee was banned under the previous regime for a humorous tweet declaring transgender Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine its “Man of the Year” in 2022.

Note how Vazquez framed right-wing anti-transgender hate as being "critical of the left’s transgender narrative." Also note that the only "censorship" the MRC cares about are of it and its fellow right-wingers -- never mind that the Twitter algorithm already had a right-wing bias before Musk or that liberal-leaning accounts have also been targeted by Musk -- and how Vazquez hyped that Musk "reached out" to right-wingers like the Babylon Bee to see that they got special treatment, something we're not aware Musk ever did to non-right-wing accounts.

Despite all of that, Vazquez avoided actually blaming Musk himself, insisting the "censorship" was coming from "woke staff" at Twitter that Musk hasn't fired yet:

While the departure of Roth, Gadde, Agrawal and Dorsey appears to have helped Musk reduce the censorship of larger accounts, some believe that the censorship culture they fomented in the elitist SIP-PES [Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support team] has only grown stronger among the rank-and-file Twitter staff who are still moderating user content. 

“Based on our analysis it is clear that there is  an internal revolt going on among the woke staff at Twitter. I’m sure they don’t like that their new boss has dissolved the high-level censorship team, but Musk’s actions appear to have motivated the remaining staff to be even more aggressive toward regular conservatives on the platform. They are undercutting Musk’s plan to foster a free speech environment on the platform,” MRC Vice President for Free Speech Dan Schneider said. “Musk has a good history of fixing problems that are brought to his attention. But it is clear that the censorship police are still on the beat at Twitter. Musk still has a lot more housekeeping ahead of him.”

Vazquez did not explain what kind of "analysis" Schneider did that made him reach that concludion exonerating Musk, or wy Musk wasn't to blame for not firing these people, and no explanation was offering as the why SIP-PES is supposedly "elitist."

Meanwhile, neither Schneider nor anyone else at the MRC mentioned one of Musk's big failures in personnel management earlier that month: he openly mocked the disability of an employee who had asked Musk if he was still employed there because he had received no actual layoff notice despite having lost computer access and falsely accused him of not doing his job. He later had to apologize to the guy for spreading falsehoods and invited him to stay at Twitter.

The whining continued in a March 31 post by Cornelio:

Former U.S. athletes are slamming Twitter’s hypocrisy for censoring tweets reporting on the “Trans Day Of Vengeance” and not protecting them against the onslaught of Twitter harassment and death threats they faced when they spoke out against biological males in women’s sports.

In an exclusive interview with MRC Free Speech America, Riley Gaines, a 12x All-American swimmer and Stand with Women spokeswoman at the Independent Women’s Forum, and Taylor Silverman, an accomplished competitive skateboarder, pushed back against Twitter’s assault against free speech.

Both called out the platform’s hypocrisy for not protecting them against an onslaught of threats.

Cornelio again censored the fact that there was no call for violence, and he also misleadingly claimed that the protest was called off due to "facing scrutiny in the wake of the Nashville school shooting," even though the tweet he linked to specifically claimed there was a "credible threat to life and safety" and mentioned nothing about "scrutiny." He also failed to explain why it was apparently OK that transgender people face an onslaught of threats on Twitter.

Catherine Salgado served up even more whining and victimhood in an April 3 post:

In an all-too-familiar fashion, Twitter locked the New York Post out of its account for a story about the deletion of thousands of tweets relating to violent transgender activism. Twitter owner Elon Musk defended the supposedly accidental censorship on Twitter.

The Post said it tweeted an article about Twitter deleting more than 5,000 tweets with content about a planned (now canceled) “Trans Day of Vengeance.”  Twitter went on a wild censorship binge by indiscriminately targeting accounts that promoted the “Trans Day of Vengeance” along with those that condemned the scheduled event.


It’s pathetic that the Post is still being targeted for committing journalism. The Twitter Files revealed Twitter censored the Hunter Biden story in 2020 after a priming campaign by the FBI. A Media Research Center poll found that Big Tech censorship of the Hunter Biden scandal helped steal the 2020 election for Joe Biden. 

Salgado omitted the fact that the article reproduced the alleged flyer for the event, which Twitter pointed out was prohibited no matter who posted it.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 PM EDT

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