04MAY2022 – OCF Update – A Week on Twitter

So I’ve been “tweeting” for about a week now.  I think I begin to get the attraction.  I think it’s the ease of putting an idea in front of a large audience very quickly and easily.  And also the speed with which you can see results.  Seconds after I put up a photo it’s been clicked on.  The downside is that there’s so rarely much feedback.

Another facet of the experience is seeing people you know or you’ve heard of putting up their thoughts.  Maybe you even interact with one of these well-known characters.  There is an attraction to that.

So the experiment continues.  Elon Musk hasn’t invited me over to share my thoughts on improving Twitter yet but I’m sure he will in a day or so.

Larry Correia Blogs That Since Musk Bought Twitter His Account’s Been Unthrottled

Larry Correia wrote a post on the unthrottling of conservative accounts on Twitter this week.

“So everybody knows about Elon buying Twitter, and we all know that Twitter has been a bunch of biased, censorious assholes.

What we did not know however was just how bad they really were. For years when conservatives/libertarians/non-progs complained, we got gas lit and told it was in our imagination. When our followers vanished, said they didn’t see our tweets, or our follower counts seemed to freeze and never grow, we were told that was just because we suck, and nobody wanted to listen to our evil right wing lies.”…

But now that Musk bought Twitter they unthrottled his account

“Then I started getting tweets from followers who are like, whoa, Larry is back on Twitter!

So I got curious and started asking about this, and then the posts started coming. Dozens of them. Oh yeah, I thought you weren’t on here! I thought you only posted like once a month! I never see you post. So on and so forth. It was remarkably consistent.

I knew I was throttled, but I had not realized just how bad it was. It was way harder than I thought.”

Well, it sounded so hopeful that I opened an account on Twitter.  I’m @orionscoldfire and I’ve posted one of my pictures and of course added my website address and the link to my photo account at Fine Art America (gotta make the donuts after all).

 

Free Speech or Not

Watching the various talking heads screech and howl about Musk’s purchase of Twitter has been immensely amusing.  The lack of self-awareness (or the absolute lack of honesty, whichever it really is) has been breathtaking.  All of the things they are accusing Elon Musk of planning to do are all things they have been doing to conservative Twitter users for years.  Projection.

But all of this is happening at the same time that psychopaths in the administration, the Europeans and lying hypocrites like Obama are calling for even more restrictions on free speech.  Their smokescreen around misinformation and disinformation is a pretext for ending free speech.  They want to completely control the narrative around government actions like the COVID lockdowns and the BLM riots.

The timing of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter may be quite inconvenient for the Democrats.  I’m guessing they were depending on staging some shenanigans around the election to try and steal some seats.  If Twitter can’t be completely controlled it might interfere with their illicit operations.  And with Rumble now as an alternative to YouTube it seems possible that millions of people could be reached with information on all the dirt that is coming out on Hunter Biden, the election fraud investigations, the COVID disaster and all the bad news for the economy.

We’re living in interesting times.  The outrageous abuses that have occurred in the last two years, the lockdowns, the riots, voter fraud, the breakdown of law and order and now the stagflation crisis have shocked the usually complacent population into realizing just how radical the Left has become.  But at the same time the Left now owns all the power centers in the United States, and indeed the whole western world.  Because of this it may no longer be possible to fix our system.

We will have to watch from now to election day to see if the voter outrage will provide a powerful rejection of Democrat rule.  And then if it does occur, we have to watch what the Republicans can do with their new power over Congress to shape the actions of Biden’s policies.

Perhaps Twitter could play a role in helping people survive the rest of the Biden presidency.  If Musk can figure out a way to protect the Right from the crazies that run Twitter, then it really will be that public square he’s always talking about.  And without the crazies putting their thumbs on the scale, who knows, it might even be a place where little fish like me could get heard.

We’ll hear more about all of this soon enough.  Some early signs to watch for will be if Musk reinstates all the thousands of conservative accounts that were cancelled during the COVID pandemic and during the election fraud dust ups.  The next thing to watch after that is how much flak he gets from the government agencies trying to prevent free speech.  The Europeans are erecting barriers to free speech.  Twitter might have to build a wall isolating them from “disinformation.”  If he doesn’t then the European standards will destroy Twitter as a free speech site.

Twitter, Musk Redux

Well, it appears that Elon Musk will get to buy Twitter and bring it private.  I hope it works out for him.  It seems like a crazy risk of a ton of money.  But what the hell do I know about any of this stuff?  There are two extra commas involved in his net worth versus mine.  So, kudos, you magnificent nerd and may you turn Twitter into some kind of futuristic electronic town hall where even Deplorables feel like they have a corner to congregate in.

But I fully expect that the Justice Department and the FDA will be plaguing Musk over every tweet that calls Fauci or Garland fascists.  But first things first.  Musk should immediately invite POTUS 45 back to his natural environment.  Trump needs to be tweeting 24/7/365 about all the things that were unfair and wrong.

The only problem is Trump is trying to tout his own social media site, Truth.  How is he supposed to replace Twitter if he goes back on it?  And how about the Gab guys?  What happens to them if Twitter becomes a viable option for social media for the Right.  It’s all very confusing.

And what about me?  Does this mean I have to start tweeting and hawking my products; my photos and my books on Musk’s free speech paradise?  Well, I don’t know.  I’ve never really figured out how to have my stuff discovered on mainstream platforms.  I’ve always done better in a rightwing ghetto.  It’s so much easier to be a slightly less small fish in a small pond.

I wonder how long it will take to find out if Musk can make this thing work.  Will he have to fire thousands of the blue-haired wine aunts and cat ladies that work for him in order to stop them from banning anyone who says that old bald fat men in wigs and dresses aren’t women?  Will the government shut him down if he allows scientists and medical doctors to speak the truth about what really happened during the COVID fraud?

Honestly, I have serious doubts whether he won’t regret throwing away that obscene amount of money for a company that doesn’t produce any tangible product and caters to a generation of crazy people who believe in things that even a village idiot thinks are too way out there.  I mean what happens if this is a scam and now Musk discovers after a few months that he just pays useless people to run a mad house that no one needs or even likes?  I mean, wouldn’t that make him the stupidest rich guy in the world?  I guess he’d still have the satisfaction of firing Jack Dorsey and fumigating his old office to cleanse it of the bedbugs that must infest that ratty looking beard of his.  And maybe if he fires 95% of the staff there, he could get the thing working efficiently.

So, as you can probably tell I’m conflicted about Musk’s Twitter play.  But in the back of my mind, I’m a little bit hopeful that a guy as smart as Musk is supposed to be, sees the diamond in the rough that Twitter represents and has a plan to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

But somehow, I think he would have been better off buying a 49% stake in Orion’s Cold Fire.  I would have settled for one billion.

Elon Musk and Twitter

Everyone’s heard that Elon Musk has made an offer to buy Twitter and convert it into a privately held company.  And if you asked me my opinion about this situation I’d have to say, “What the hell is Twitter and why should I care?”  I looked up Twitter and what I learned is that it’s a social media website that allows any idiot to post a message up to a maximum of 288 characters long (but somehow this doesn’t count any enormously larger attached video clip).

But the proviso is that the poster has to be a brain-dead doofus.  For non-doofuses your every utterance will be scrutinized by uber-leftist social justice warriors who will report any violations against Democrat party talking points to the commissars at Twitter’s Ministry of Truth where you will be suspended either temporarily or permanently and then cast into the outer darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

So, the supposedly smartest and richest man in the world wants to buy this company.  Why?  What will be accomplished if he owns this weird network?  Will he somehow level the playing field?  Will his employees allow this to happen?  Will the government allow this to happen or will they instead administer a death by a thousand paper cuts?  And is Twitter really of any value to the world?  Does it have an impact?

I have to confess I’ve never really understood the allure of a 288-character snippet of information.  That’s like forty, fifty words.  So far, this post is about 250 words and I haven’t really finished the initial idea.  If a tweet is really just a headline for an attached normal sized post, I guess that would make sense.  Is it just that Twitter has such a large user base that it acts as a global bulletin board?

Okay, but if you were the richest man in the world and also supposedly one of the most technologically savvy individuals couldn’t you just build something better from the ground up?    And you wouldn’t even have to do it alone.  Peter Thiel is another tech billionaire who is interested in free speech concerns with the social media platforms.  Couldn’t these two titans of industry capitalize on the demand of a public that is hungry for a level political playing field and build something much, much better than Twitter, YouTube or Facebook?  After all, much less savvy people have begun to create alternates to Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

Surely the financial and intellectual resources that an Elon Musk or a Peter Thiel can bring to bear on this kind of opportunity must be considerable.  And if Musk is seriously considering buying Twitter, then he has identified it as a viable business opportunity.  He doesn’t need to spend tens of billions of dollars to create an exciting and profitable business that already has a large population of people who would make up its user base.  Probably one billion dollars would get the job done.  And what’s one crummy billion dollars to Elon Musk?

I hold out the possibility that Musk is hoping that Twitter rejects his offer and that he plans to build his own platform.  Maybe this whole bid is a publicity stunt to advertise his own entry into the social media business.  I hope it is.  Places like Gab and Truth don’t have the clout needed to compete with the established social media platforms.  And, honestly, it’s not enough to just provide a similar product.  Twitter and Facebook aren’t providing a satisfying product.  They thrive merely because they currently enjoy a monopolistic stranglehold on the niches they created.  What’s needed is something that provides a healthier environment for people on-line.  A truly honest marketplace of ideas would be that healthier environment.

So, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel and any other entrepreneurs out there who see an opportunity in Twitter’s partisan methods; don’t try to fix Twitter.  Instead, bury it with a superior platform.  And make obscene amounts of money doing it.

Outcompeting The Left

Millennials aren’t patriots.  And they aren’t individualists.  They’re mostly sort of like grade-school children.  In fact, grade-school children that went to a really artsy-fartsy grade school.  There’s no way we are going to turn them into revolutionaries, ready to storm the barricades in search of liberty.  They don’t want liberty.  They want a latte.

But millennials will someday soon be the majority of voters in this country.  So even if they don’t believe in what we believe in we can get them to follow us if we can outcompete the woke option.  “What the hell is photog talking about?” you’re probably saying to yourself.  Let me explain.

Currently Silicon Valley is almost entirely composed of woke companies that have been telling millennials for twenty years that they are not only smart but also good.  Google famously had a motto “Don’t be Evil.”  Facebook, Twitter and all the other social sites spend half of their time just banning anyone who won’t acknowledge the need to worship the cult of pronouns.  Undoubtedly that sort of mean girl social selection activity has a definite demographic cohort that will relish that environment.  We call them Karens.  And right now, they seem to be the dominant life-form on planet Earth.  But as powerful as they are, I think there is a very large chunk of the millennial population that would like something more interesting to look at and talk about than Karen’s latest battle against accidental misgendering.

So how hard could it be to come up with a site that’s more interesting than that.  Look at what Substack has recently done.  They provide a platform for (among other things) journalists who are too normal to survive in the woke media environment.  Guys as liberal as Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi were hurled into the outer darkness by the likes of Rolling Stone and The Intercept because they thought that journalism should be factual.  Not unbiased mind you, but just not completely fake.  Now they’re making more money than they did previously by committing actual journalism and providing a service to readers who are tired of being lied to.

Other social sites have slowly begun to appear to compete head-to-head with the likes of YouTube and Facebook.  Rumble, Gab and BitChute are tiny players but they provide a service that isn’t available from YouTube.  The market for their product is growing and will continue to do so.  And it is attracting people with deeper pockets like Peter Thiele.

These are the beginnings of competition.  They barely register on Big Tech’s radar.  But that will change.  Better product will draw customers.  And honestly the entertainment value of Facebook and Twitter is pretty low.  I can easily imagine someone monetizing the audience that exists for reality-based news and entertainment.  It will happen and when it does it will attract more than just a right-wing audience.  It will attract everyone except for the left-wing ideologues.  A good example of that is the recent news that Greg Gutfeld was now the “King of Late-Night Comedy.”  Greg Gutfeld isn’t a conservative.  But he’s a libertarian who doesn’t alienate the conservatives who enjoy his humor.  He is vague enough about his own personal beliefs that Trump fans and normies think of him as their guy.  And that’s good enough.  I’d like it better if there were an even more right-wing guy who came on after Gutfeld on Fox News.  Someone a little more edgy but it’s a beginning.  If Fox News were smart, they’d give the Babylon Bee guys their own show too.  Of course, they currently have a YouTube channel of their own but I wouldn’t be surprised if YouTube eventually shut them down.  They’re that funny I assume they’ll be considered a threat.

And that’s my point.  The Left has become “all fake all the time.”  In the long run that becomes quite boring.  It can be outcompeted in a marketplace of ideas.  So, all we need to do is create that marketplace and let reality do the rest.

Being Right on the Net

Google, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, PayPal, Apple, Microsoft, Kickstarter, etc., etc., etc.  The internet giants will be doing everything in their power to shut down the opposition to Dementia Joe.  They will de-platform, ban and demonetize everyone on the right they can think of.

Will this work?  No, not really.  What it will do is change the basis of how things will work going forward.  Conservatives won’t be able to free ride on the social network platforms and monetize their popularity through Google’s monolithic stranglehold on the flow of information and internet advertising.  The Right will be forced to set themselves up as Mom-and-Pop shops doing their advertising in places like Parler and Gab.  Well, so what?  That’s probably a good idea.  Being under the thumb of the Tech Giants means having to pass their ever more biased speech codes until you’d end up either sounding exactly like the Left or completely silent.

The harder challenge will be the banks and credit companies.  PayPal and some of the other e-commerce payment processors have also been cancelling out the accounts of people whose politics they don’t approve of.  The last I heard there are some alternate processors who will serve instead.  There are probably problems associated with the alternatives but right now those are the breaks.  It can be expected that the Left will continue to put pressure on these alternate providers to close ranks to try to starve out the Right.  And for that reason, in the future it should be a priority of any organized front on the Right to build up financial platforms of our own to protect us from the Left’s blockade actions.

Up until now I haven’t monetized my site at all.  I really want to find out if I have anything worth selling.  But I have noticed a few folks making the first moves to putting in paywalls around some content and accepting a few reasonable ads on their sites.  I like what the ZMan is doing.  He gives a plug for businesses that are owned by conservatives.  That makes a lot of sense.  We’re going to have to have a lot more of exactly that.

And I’ve been threatening to finish a book I’ve been working on for months.  Well, the excitement of the last couple of months has set me back at least that long but one day I’ll be peddling my opus magnum and I’ll have to decide whether I will use Amazon exclusively or try some other venue.  Maybe I’ll even have a store of my own.  We’ll see.

But the thing about all this is that it would go a lot faster and easier if we had a billionaire who had the wherewithal to set something up that catered to us.  A combination Facebook, YouTube, PayPal and Kickstarter just for the Right.  No more deplatforming, no more banning no more doxxing.  Basically, a place of our own.  And meanwhile the billionaire would make money hand over fist doing it.  Think of the merchandising and other opportunities available from having almost a monopoly over about 150 million Americans.  Now that really is worth the trouble of setting up.

If you’re reading this Mr. President think about it.  Building that would feel like a revolution all by itself.

Here’s some links for web hosting for conservatives and social media for us.

Is a Million Dollars a Tweet Too Much?

The Senate is debating whether they should remove the Section 230 protection from the internet.  No, I would leave that status available to sites that warrant it.  What I would do is specifically prosecute Twitter, Facebook and Google for violating the equal protection rights of their users.  These companies run actual monopolies for the services they provide.  And the users who have political or social positions that do not align with those of the management of Twitter, Facebook and Google are being treated differently from everyone else based on these political and social opinions.

And to those who give the lame argument that Google, Facebook and Twitter are for profit companies and would never do something that was against their financial interests like disrespecting a large proportion of their user base, I’d say well let’s find out.  How about fining these companies a million bucks each time they delete a tweet or shadow ban a post?  Or how about a billion dollars when they de-platform a conservative channel for a supposed offense that isn’t actually illegal?  That would be a real test.  For that kind of money even I’d create a YouTube channel and try to get them to de-platform me.

No, forget all that.  These tech giants are an existential threat to all of us.  Declaring each of them a monopoly and crippling them is a better idea.  I’d have one of the judges that isn’t against us carve these creeps into little tiny pieces.  Or how about nationalize them.  Turn them into a utility that is heavily regulated by the government just like the phone companies are.  And that will allow us to rein in some of their worse excesses like harvesting our data and spying on us.  And anyone complaining about content would have to get a lawyer and try to sue in court to have content removed.

Of course, the much-vaunted algorithms would need to be opened up and exposed to the light of day.  All of the built-in bias against conservatives and Republicans would be there to see.  Can you imagine how great it would be to see a search on Donald Trump not have the top results be CNN and MSNBC?  It would be a revelation.

Let’s face it.  If you make money through e-commerce being banned by Facebook and Google is devastating.  It’s like what would have happened fifty years ago if AT&T would have been allowed to prevent someone from having a telephone line based on their political or religious affiliations.  It’s as if today the interstate highways could be closed to you just because you called the Bidens a treasonous crime family.  It would be as if the television and cable channels were allowed to restrict campaign ads based on which candidate they favored.  Oh, wait a minute, forget that last one.  They’re actually doing it now.

And finally, I want this done because I know that both the President and I would spend at least a month crowing about it on the internet.  I would celebrate by going on all three platforms and mocking the management relentlessly.  I would welcome back all the re-platformed right-wingers and perform virtual victory dances in the most obnoxious and annoying ways I can think of.  And I’m sure the President will do the same.  So please President Trump, get the Justice department on the hop.  Make this a priority and makes these bastards sweat like they’ve done to countless people on the Right.  Here’s another great Christmas present for all of us.  Even before they get carved up make them stop the abuse.  Beat them like an army mule and make them say uncle and then beat’em again just for good measure.