Enjoy this bizarre, spacey, amateurish Breitbart interview with Sean Spicer

For eight minutes, Breitbart's Charlie Spiering interviewed Sean Spicer, looking into the wrong camera, stumbling over his words, spacing out, sitting silently for long, awkward stretches -- all with CNN running on the large flatscreens behind the President's spokesliar. Read the rest

Restaurant owner acquitted after foiling police sting

Restauranteur John Horvatinovich refused to serve beer to two undercover teenagers, then let his followers know about the failed sting by sharing a picture of the underage police informants. Next thing he knew, he faced a year in jail for his tweet. Read the rest

Milo Yiannopoulos speech at UC Berkeley canceled after campus protests

Milo as “Ivana Wall,” speaking at Louisiana State University on Sep. 21, 2016. Say the name out loud and you'll get the joke. “Right about now your dick is probably confused,” read one of the slides on stage during the performance. Image: Reddit.

Pro-Trump and extremist right wing/white supremacist personality Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to deliver a speech at U.C. Berkeley, but his appearance was canceled by university officials tonight after big protests on campus that got out of hand with some people setting some objects on fire. No arrests or injuries reported.

Yiannopoulos is doing a speaking tour on college campuses to promote his male "Privilege" scholarship fund.

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How to keep your secret activist Twitter account a secret

Despite his widely read criticism of Tor, The Gruqq -- a legendary, pseudonymous security expert -- uses it as first and last line of defense in keeping your secret, activist Twitter account a secret. Read the rest

At least twice, Sean Spicer has accidentally tweeted the password to his official White House spokesman Twitter account

Day six! It's also a pretty shitty password. Let's hope he's got 2-factor auth turned on! Also, Trump's still using his insecure personal Android device. Read the rest

Amnesty reveals gigantic Mexican Twitter troll-bot mob that threatens journalists, hawks products, and hoaxes trending topics

Amnesty International has published a damning report on the organized networks of Mexican Twitter trolls and botmasters for hire who orchestrate massive harassment campaigns against investigative journalists, including death threats and misinformation/slander; they also hawk products and fake out Twitter's trending topic algorithm, operating with relative impunity -- thanks, in part, to Twitter's underinvestment in Spanish-speaking anti-harassment staff. Read the rest

It's awesome to see all these "rogue" government agency Twitter accounts, but what about hoaxes?

In the immediate aftermath of the Trump administration's gag orders on government employees disclosing taxpayer-funded research results, a series of high-profile "rogue" government agency accounts popped up on Twitter, purporting to be managed by civil servants who are unwilling to abide by the gag order. Read the rest

Researchers discover hundreds of thousands of unsuspected, Star Wars-themed twitterbots hiding in plain sight

Twitter is a great place for bots. Botherders like Shardcore produce amazing, politics, artistic bots that mine Twitter, inject useful information into Twitter, or just frolic on Twitter, making it a better place. Twitterbots produce entries in imaginary grimoires, conduct sociological research, produce virtual model railroads, alert the public when governments try to make bad news disappear, and much, much more. Read the rest

Help this half-onion in a plastic bag beat Trump's Twitter-follower count

@HalfOnionInABag has one goal in life: to exceed Trump's follower-count, proving that such numbers are a plebiscite on precisely nothing. Read the rest

Trump to take over official @POTUS Twitter account

Adding a sheen of legitimacy to his Presidency, Trump will soon begin to tweet uncontrollably from the @POTUS account.

Recode shares the story:

Starting Friday, @POTUS, the official Twitter account created by The White House and reserved for the sitting president, will change hands from Barack Obama’s team to Trump’s administration.

Included in the exchange: @POTUS’s 13.6 million followers.

That means that if you currently follow @POTUS under the Obama administration, you’ll continue to follow the account as it moves under Trump’s control. The stream of tweets will be wiped clean so Trump and his team can start fresh.

Twitter will also automatically follow a new account for you — @POTUS44 — where Obama’s stream of tweets live. The same process will take place for a number of other high-profile accounts, like @FLOTUS (First Lady Michelle Obama) and @WhiteHouse.

So we know how the accounts will change hands, but we don’t know how Trump will use @POTUS, if at all. Earlier this week, Trump suggested he’d continue to use his personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, which has more followers (more than 20.3 million at last count).

But he also suggested that he’d soon have 280 characters to tweet, double Twitter’s 140 character limit, an apparent nod to using both accounts. So who knows.

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Obviously fake "paid protester" site sets right wing media aflutter

Demand Protest, a service that bills itself as providing "deliver[ing the appearance of rage] at scale while keeping your reputation intact" purportedly pays protesters $2500/month plus $50/hour for left-wing protesters to take to the streets, and claims to have run 48 campaigns, despite having only registered its domain last month (it also displays a copyright notice that spans 2015-2017). Read the rest

Political leaks disrupt Ecuadoran election

Opponents of Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa -- himself a prolific and shrewd social media campaigner -- have had their social media accounts hacked and used to dump embarrassing transcripts purporting to show their party in disarray and romantic scandals in their personal lives. Read the rest

What happens when your political photo goes viral in 2017

Sean Bonner's posted his share of viral images over the years, but the most recent time was a little different: he tweeted a picture of an anti-Trump political sticker he spotted in Tokyo, created by street artist 281_Anti nuke. Read the rest

Send Chelsea Manning a hug with #hugsforchelsea

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Chelsea Manning saw injustice and stood up for what's right. Now, she's serving a 35 year sentence in an all-male military prison, and has faced systematic abuse. But now there's hope! President Obama has reportedly put her on a "short list" of candidates for a possible commutation. we need to show how much support Chelsea has right now, so people are posting photos with their arms outstretched, to tell POTUS they want Chelsea Manning free, so we can all give her a hug. Post your own photos to #HugsForChelsea and we'll add them to the gallery!" Read the rest

Bernie Sanders uses poster-sized screengrab of a Trump tweet to remind us of promises on health care and social security

Remember when Donald Trump tweeted that there would be no cuts to "Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid?" So does Bernie Sanders, and he wants us all to bear this in mind as the Republic Congress prepares to gut all three. Read the rest

What is the future of Twitter?

Great article by Nick Bilton in Vanity Fair about the future of Twitter.

Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton reports on the state of Twitter, writing that the rise of its most famous user—Donald Trump—and the defection of its top executives, would seem to spell doom for the company. Early Twitter employees tell Bilton they regret their involvement in a company that became a tool of the alt-right, while a former developer says he regrets not building a tool to fight trolls.

“If anything,” Bilton writes, “Trump has become another headache for Twitter. Some in Silicon Valley have relayed to me that they wouldn’t work at Twitter precisely because of the platform it has afforded the incoming president. Early employees at Twitter have also said to me that they regret being involved in a company that would become a vessel for an army of alt-right trolls. One early Twitter developer recently told me that one of his biggest regrets in his career was not building some sort of design mechanism that could have helped Twitter extinguish its troll problem. If he had, we most certainly would be living in a different sort of world.”

Read the rest

Why Lindy West quit Twitter

Writer Lindy West is done with Twitter. From her essay in The Guardian:

Twitter, for the past five years, has been a machine where I put in unpaid work and tension headaches come out. I write jokes there for free. I post political commentary for free. I answer questions for free. I teach feminism 101 for free. Off Twitter, these are all things by which I make my living – in fact, they comprise the totality of my income. But on Twitter, I do them pro bono and, in return, I am micromanaged in real time by strangers; neo-Nazis mine my personal life for vulnerabilities to exploit; and men enjoy unfettered, direct access to my brain so they can inform me, for the thousandth time, that they would gladly rape me if I weren’t so fat.

Image: Faruk Ateş/Flickr Read the rest

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