Why Elon Musk calling out the media for spreading misinformation is the right move.

Cc
5 min readJan 28, 2023

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Photo by David Villasana on Unsplash

Elon Musk and journalist Matt Taibbi called out several mainstream media organizations for the spread of misinformation. What prompted this was the release of the Twitter Files part 15 by Matt Taibbi, who was given access by Elon Musk.

This latest segment of the Twitter Files takes a deep dive into the Hamilton 68 dashboard, which was first revealed in Twitter Files 14. The dashboard was the single source of information cited by several media organizations that led to a false tale of Russian Bots interfering with an American election.

Today’s release of the Twitter Files revealed that the Hamilton dashboard “falsely accuses a bunch of legitimate right-leaning accounts of being Russian bots,” which in turn led to these accounts being labeled ‘Russian.”

In his own blog, Matt Taibbi noted that the dashboard was designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure Russian disinformation and that today’s release of the Twitter files exposed the dashboard as a sham.

The dashboard hid a list of 644 accounts supposedly linked to Russian influence activities from the public; however, Twitter was in a unique position to recreate the dashboard’s sample by analyzing its Application Program Interface (API) requests. Twitter’s past leaders found out a lot when they reverse-engineered it.

The files go deeper and share insights from Twitter’s former leaders, who believed that it was wrong to label innocent American, Canadian and British citizens as Russians. Some of these citizens were media figures such as David Horowitz, Dennis Michael Lynch, and Consortium editor Joe Lauria. The list included not only Trump supporters but a variety of folks, including leftists, humorists, and even British satirist, @Holbornlolz.

“These people never knew they were used for years to drive hundreds if not thousands of media headlines about supposed Russian bot infiltration of online discussions,” Matt Taibbi wrote. Discussions include the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign, and even the Parkland shooting.

You can read Matt Taibbi’s release of the Twitter Files here and his own article about the files here. Both provide excellent context, and I suggest you read them if you haven’t.

The Media’s Role

I’ve long said that the media isn’t the enemy of the people but a tool of the enemy of the people. And that tool is consistently being used against us time and again, as was revealed in the latest batch of Twitter Files.

In this particular case, each of these organizations cited one source and ran with the story as if it were 100% the truth. That source was the above-mentioned Hamilton 68 dashboard.

The dashboard was headed by former FBI counterintelligence official (and current MSNBC contributor) Clint Watts and funded by a neoliberal think tank, the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), Matt Taibbi noted in today’s Twitter Files.

Matt Taibbi and Elon Musk called out some of the organizations on Twitter today, and these organizations are as follows:

Although, at the moment, these were just a few that Matt Taibbi and Elon Musk called out, many more media organizations, such as Politico and Fast Company, pushed this narrative. Matt Taibbi wrote:

“Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least 14 stories pegged to the group’s “research.” Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as a source.”

Elon Musk & Matt Taibbi are right to call these organizations out.

To be fair, the mainstream media has been taking out several hit-piece articles against Elon Musk and his companies. For example, they didn’t seem to really care about the child sexual exploitation that was taking place on Twitter before Elon Musk bought the platform. However, they took a sudden interest after he began addressing it and other flaws in the platform.

Another example is Tesla. I’ve witnessed this with my own eyes over the past four years. An excellent example of this is the devastating crash in Houston, where the media claimed that a driverless Tesla crashed and killed two people.

This led to headlines claiming that killer robocars were killing people. None of the outlets waited until the investigation was over before sensationalizing things. Consumer Reports even made a mockery of the incident in a quest to trick Autopilot into thinking it had a driver when it didn’t.

When the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that Autopilot wasn’t involved, the mainstream media, having made its clicks and dollars, was silent.

Elon Musk is no stranger to being mistreated by the mainstream media, which refuses to cover the Twitter Files in a non-biased fashion as true journalism requires.

He is right to call out the mainstream media but will it make a difference? Perhaps it will to those of us who are truly witnessing what’s happening. But to those swept up in the charm and seduction of the mainstream media and its brainwashing tools, probably not.

However, we must keep going. What Elon, Matt, and the other journalists are doing by releasing the Twitter Files isn’t just historic. It’s the right thing to do for humanity. And it’s Elon Musk keeping his promise about Twitter 2.0’s transparency.

Twitter Files Archival Site.

Elon Musk’s release of the Twitter Files is a gift to humanity, but the average person who doesn’t know how to use Twitter or navigate Twitter threads may get lost.

So my friend and I got together and built an archival site that is free to use. There are no cookies, no ads, and it’s not monetized. The goal is to help anyone on and off Twitter to access the information Elon Musk has given freely to the world.

The archival site includes the Twitter threads as long-form blog posts as well as direct links to each of the authors’ own articles.

You can access the Twitter Files Archive here.

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