Advertisers returning to Twitter?

Gilead

Twitter


Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[1] fair use.

The capitalists may be folding:

Just this past couple of weeks we’ve seen the first signs of recovery, as a few advertisers are now talking about Twitter ads again. They’re now coming to us asking about it, rather than us asking them if they’re ready to reconsider Twitter – and them declining.[2]

What any Twitter recovery might really be a sign of is just how many white Christian nationalists and illiberals there are out there. It’s a different metric from the Confederate flags that were ubiquitous when I arrived in Pittsburgh, but a metric nonetheless.

Dan Milmo’s analysis, from which I take the foregoing passage, has a lot more bad news for Twitter than good. But Elon Musk claims user numbers continue to rise[3] and has said, though this seems unlikely, he might be able to turn a profit this quarter.[4] If advertisers indeed return[5]—and stay—a certain capitulation of advertisers who had at least in part rejected association with the disinformation and hate speech[6] now encouraged on the platform[7] could be said to have occurred.

Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman, and Jeremy B. Merrill, “A year ago, Musk asked, ‘Is Twitter dying?’ He may have his answer,” Washington Post, April 15, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/04/15/twitter-musk-bid-anniversary/

Dan Milmo, “Is the bird really freed? A look back at six months of Musk’s Twitter reign,” Guardian, April 16, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/16/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-six-months

Right-wing militias

Police White supremacist gangs


Fig. 2. “In this file photo, [Pittsburgh] City [Special Weapons And Tactics] members William Friburger and Donald Savko practice at the shooting range in Highland Park. Many Highland Park residents have been upset for decades over the noise from the shooting range.” Photograph credited to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,[8] undated, fair use.

I would encourage you to look at the photograph that accompanies the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on residents’ longstanding objections to a Highland Park white supremacist gangster shooting range (figure 2). I don’t just see training here. These guys are having a good time, very much at the expense of local residents.[9]

Jordan Anderson, “Highland Park residents worry about nearby open-air gun range,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 17, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2023/04/17/highland-park-pittsburgh-residents-open-air-gun-range/stories/202304160125

Donald Trump

Coup attempt


Fig. 3. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Dominion [Voting Systems] has been seeking $1.6 billion in damages but appears to have softened its claims. An April 14 email from Dominion to Fox [News], attached to a new Fox legal filing on Sunday, indicated that Dominion wouldn’t present a jury with claims for alleged lost profits. In its original 2021 lawsuit [for defamation], Dominion sought lost-profits damages of not less than $600 million. . . .

Fox also faces a $2.7 billion defamation suit from Smartmatic USA Corp., another voting-machine company, over similar claims, and recently settled a defamation lawsuit brought by a Venezuelan businessman who alleged that he was falsely accused of having helped rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election. . . .

“This is an especially unique jury case because of the scope and scale,” said RonNell Andersen Jones, a law professor at the University of Utah. There are no comparable examples of jury trials about “an allegation from a plaintiff that there was a conscious corporate decision to repeatedly tell a defamatory lie [by hosts and guests that Dominion helped rig the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in favor of Joe Biden],” she said.[10]

Erin Mulvaney, Isabella Simonetti, and Joe Flint, “Fox News Defamation Trial Delayed Amid Network’s Push to Settle Dispute,” Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/fox-news-dominion-prepare-for-battle-in-1-6-billion-defamation-trial-fad2e9a6


Imperialism

United States


Fig. 4. “American Progress,” painting by John Gast, 1872, digital version 2006, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Ishaan Tharoor, “The ‘old Europe’ vs. ‘new Europe’ paradigm is back,” Washington Post, April 17, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2023/04/17/old-europe-new-rumsfeld-eastern-europe/


‘Juice Jacking’

Your public service announcement for the day: The threat of ‘juice jacking,’ that is, of public USB charging stations installing malware on your cell phone to steal data or do other terrible things, is much more theoretical than real.[11]

When I started seeing articles on ‘juice jacking’ recently, I thought it a bit odd because it was being hyped like a new threat. I first heard about this years ago and it turns out the original Federal Communications Commission warning apparently came out in 2019. The FCC page has indeed been updated, but I’m not the person to turn to to figure out what, if anything, is really new and, contrary to the hype, there are few, if any, known cases where this has happened.[12]

Apparently, this attack vector is much more likely to target an individual, replacing a cable in their home or office with one that will do horrible things. If you’re worried, by all means, get a “USB condom” and carry a battery backup charging device.[13]

But what this really amounts to is that physical security is often even more important than the precautions you might take online. If a bad actor gains physical access to your computing device of any sort, and you haven’t encrypted your data or you’ve left the device in a state the data is decrypted, they’ve got you.

Heather Tal Murphy, “Actually, Charging Your Phone in a Public USB Port Is Fine,” Slate, April 13, 2023, https://slate.com/technology/2023/04/free-public-phone-chargers-fbi-warning-bad-actors-threat-bogus-debunked.html


  1. [1]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/
  2. [2]Farhad Divecha, quoted in Dan Milmo, “Is the bird really freed? A look back at six months of Musk’s Twitter reign,” Guardian, April 16, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/16/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-six-months
  3. [3]Dan Milmo, “Is the bird really freed? A look back at six months of Musk’s Twitter reign,” Guardian, April 16, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/16/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-six-months
  4. [4]Stephen Bartholomeusz, “Elon Musk’s Twitter is on the road to nowhere,” Sydney Morning Herald, March 7, 2023, https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/elon-musk-s-twitter-is-on-the-road-to-nowhere-20230307-p5cpxp.html; Dan Milmo, “Is the bird really freed? A look back at six months of Musk’s Twitter reign,” Guardian, April 16, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/16/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-six-months
  5. [5]Dan Milmo, “Is the bird really freed? A look back at six months of Musk’s Twitter reign,” Guardian, April 16, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/16/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-six-months
  6. [6]Stephen Bartholomeusz, “Elon Musk’s Twitter is on the road to nowhere,” Sydney Morning Herald, March 7, 2023, https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/elon-musk-s-twitter-is-on-the-road-to-nowhere-20230307-p5cpxp.html; Sheila Dang, “Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show,” Reuters, October 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-where-did-tweeters-go-twitter-is-losing-its-most-active-users-internal-2022-10-25/; Clare Duffy, “More than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers stopped spending on platform, data show,” Cable News Network, February 10, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/10/tech/twitter-top-advertiser-decline/index.html; Patience Haggin, “Twitter Offers Advertisers Generous Incentives After Many Marketers Left Platform,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-offers-advertisers-generous-incentives-after-many-marketers-left-platform-11669922354; Ryan Mac, Mike Isaac, and Kate Conger, “Twitter Keeps Missing Its Advertising Targets as Woes Mount,” New York Times, December 3, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/02/technology/twitter-advertising-targets-missed.html; Naomi Nix and Jeremy B. Merrill, “Advertisers are dropping Twitter. Musk can’t afford to lose any more,” Washington Post, November 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/22/twitter-advertiser-exodus-musk/; Catherine Rampell, “World’s richest man decides to set $44 billion on fire,” Washington Post, November 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/03/elon-musk-twitter-advertisers-content-moderation/; Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman, and Jeremy B. Merrill, “A year ago, Musk asked, ‘Is Twitter dying?’ He may have his answer,” Washington Post, April 15, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/04/15/twitter-musk-bid-anniversary/; Faiz Siddiqui, Naomi Nix, and Will Oremus, “Advertisers fleeing, workers in fear: Welcome to Elon Musk’s Twitter,” Washington Post, November 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/04/twitter-layoffs-musk/; Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “Ad Giants Advise Brands to Pause Spending on Elon Musk’s Twitter,” Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ad-giants-advise-brands-to-pause-spending-on-elon-musks-twitter-11667333021; Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “General Mills, Audi and Pfizer Join Growing List of Companies Pausing Twitter Ads,” Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/general-mills-audi-and-pfizer-join-growing-list-of-companies-pausing-twitter-ads-11667507765; Suzanne Vranica, Patience Haggin, and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk’s Campaign to Win Back Twitter Advertisers Isn’t Going Well,” Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-twitter-advertisers-exodus-11671722594
  7. [7]Stephen Bartholomeusz, “Elon Musk’s Twitter is on the road to nowhere,” Sydney Morning Herald, March 7, 2023, https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/elon-musk-s-twitter-is-on-the-road-to-nowhere-20230307-p5cpxp.html; David Frum, “Why I Logged Off Twitter,” Atlantic, November 3, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/11/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-changes/671980/; Drew Harwell, Cat Zakrzewski, and Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Twitter layoffs gutted election information teams days before midterms,” Washington Post, November 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/05/twitter-layoffs-election-impact/; Jake Johnson, “‘Dangerous for Us All’: Elon Musk, World’s Richest Man, Completes Twitter Takeover,” Common Dreams, October 28, 2022, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/10/28/dangerous-us-all-elon-musk-worlds-richest-man-completes-twitter-takeover; Natasha Lomas, “Twitter is dying,” TechCrunch, March 28, 2023, https://techcrunch.com/2023/03/28/twitter-is-dying/; Robert Mackey and Micah Lee, “Left-Wing Voices Are Silenced on Twitter as Far-Right Trolls Advise Elon Musk,” Intercept, November 29, 2022, https://theintercept.com/2022/11/29/elon-musk-twitter-andy-ngo-antifascist/; Seth Masket, “RIP Twitter’s intellectual community,” Denver Post, December 29, 2022, https://www.denverpost.com/2022/12/29/why-leave-twitter-seth-masket-rip-twitter/; Joseph Menn, “Surging Twitter antisemitism unites fringe, encourages violence, officials say,” Washington Post, December 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/12/03/twitter-antisemitism-violence-jan-6/; Dan Milmo, “Twitter trolls bombard platform after Elon Musk takeover,” Guardian, October 30, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/oct/30/twitter-trolls-bombard-platform-after-elon-musk-takeover; Zoë Schiffer, Casey Newton, and Alex Heath, “Extremely Hardcore: Twitter’s staff spent years trying to protect the platform against impulsive ranting billionaires — then one made himself the CEO,” New York, January 17, 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/elon-musk-twitter-takeover.html; Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman, and Jeremy B. Merrill, “A year ago, Musk asked, ‘Is Twitter dying?’ He may have his answer,” Washington Post, April 15, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/04/15/twitter-musk-bid-anniversary/; Faiz Siddiqui and Jeremy B. Merrill, “Elon Musk’s Twitter pushes hate speech, extremist content into ‘For You’ pages,” Washington Post, March 30, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/03/30/elon-musk-twitter-hate-speech/; Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “Ad Giants Advise Brands to Pause Spending on Elon Musk’s Twitter,” Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ad-giants-advise-brands-to-pause-spending-on-elon-musks-twitter-11667333021
  8. [8]Jordan Anderson, “Highland Park residents worry about nearby open-air gun range,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 17, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2023/04/17/highland-park-pittsburgh-residents-open-air-gun-range/stories/202304160125
  9. [9]Jordan Anderson, “Highland Park residents worry about nearby open-air gun range,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 17, 2023, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2023/04/17/highland-park-pittsburgh-residents-open-air-gun-range/stories/202304160125
  10. [10]Erin Mulvaney, Isabella Simonetti, and Joe Flint, “Fox News Defamation Trial Delayed Amid Network’s Push to Settle Dispute,” Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/fox-news-dominion-prepare-for-battle-in-1-6-billion-defamation-trial-fad2e9a6
  11. [11]Heather Tal Murphy, “Actually, Charging Your Phone in a Public USB Port Is Fine,” Slate, April 13, 2023, https://slate.com/technology/2023/04/free-public-phone-chargers-fbi-warning-bad-actors-threat-bogus-debunked.html
  12. [12]Federal Communications Commission, “’Juice Jacking’: The Dangers of Public USB Charging Stations,” April 11, 2023, https://www.fcc.gov/juice-jacking-dangers-public-usb-charging-stations; Heather Tal Murphy, “Actually, Charging Your Phone in a Public USB Port Is Fine,” Slate, April 13, 2023, https://slate.com/technology/2023/04/free-public-phone-chargers-fbi-warning-bad-actors-threat-bogus-debunked.html
  13. [13]Heather Tal Murphy, “Actually, Charging Your Phone in a Public USB Port Is Fine,” Slate, April 13, 2023, https://slate.com/technology/2023/04/free-public-phone-chargers-fbi-warning-bad-actors-threat-bogus-debunked.html

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