Posted on July 15 2018
Twitter, it’s time to talk…
Full disclosure this particular post does give me immense satisfaction. I know it’s petty and I’ll totally own that. Notwithstanding it really is not personal, it’s about facts & historical events.
As many of you now know, my twitter accounts(s):
- @Spicerlies @Alt_Spicerlies and @MicLurvesSpicy were subject to protracted and targeted harassment by the Alt-Right and sadly numerous members of “the resistance”.
- Yes I know that by creating a back to a back up twitter account it can be viewed as a violation of Twitter’s TOS. That’s 100% on me.
My point is and has always been: if a twitter account is suspended due to “fratting” then I was within my right to create a new account. Again you don’t have to agree with my logic. I wanted to give you what was running through my head when I created back up twitter accounts.
This isn’t about me, Mic as a person. It’s about Twitter and their potential bias and complicity in Russia’s hybrid cyberwar. My conclusion as to why I was and a, repeatedly targeted: is it had everything to do with what info/documentation I tweeting & the corresponding non-legalese commentary.
Lucky for me, a bunch of my followers started cataloguing what was happening to my account, as well as others. See Twitter moment linked below:
Here’s a December 2017 Media Matters Article, it details how MicroChip et all successfully targeted numerous twitter accounts:
Here’s an archive of the Oct 4Chain Board where you can read for yourself this was a highly coordinated “Op”.
Again I suppose that the Alt Right and Alt Left can make a competent argument that Twitter is biased. The reality is, Twitter created a platform but they never scaled their Company’s Infrastructure much less Corporate Culture to be a proactive champion of actual free speech. This will always be Twitter’s Orginal Sin. That said I think both sides have used this “loophole” to benefit them.
Meanwhile actual authentic users end up being swarmed by automated accounts, or a coordinated attack by multiple accounts. It’s the classic one
What is “fratting”?
Twitter is SERIOUSLY failing at critical time: Repeatedly suspending legit accts, likely driven by large # of specious “reports” by enemies. https://t.co/u5u2RFPF5Q— Antone Johnson (@antonejohnson) August 29, 2017
- “Fratting” is defined as: “when paid troll groups organize off Twitter to time mass harassment. They then swarm the target, hoping to provoke any pushback. Then, they and a botnet send 1000s of reports of “abuse” – by the target.”
- This fraudlent “reporting” triggers Twitter Supports algorithm and/or their automated controls.
- The targeted twitter account typically earns: twitter jail (1-7 days), a twitter shadow ban and/or a suspension of account.
- Essentially silencing real voices.
So let’s coffee talk about:
Twitter + Milner + Yandex + SEC + Bots + Alt Left & Alt Right = a perfectly calibrated social media weapon to control & dominate the public narrative.
Literally right out of Russia’s Subversion & Disinformation playbook. Where Vladimir Putin & Russia sit back and watch Americans attack other Americans on an “American Social Media Platform”.
Let’s go back to the start, circa 2006. Jack came up with the idea of “micro blogging”. The concept: Say as much as you can in 140 characters. The “original” twitter concept was: Odeo
Tech Crunch Articles here: 2006 Odeo the Birth of Twitter
Concept and leadership change 2006-2008
The concept was simplistic yet genius. I assume that Jack’s concept was similar to the People’s Mic: The message is simple but effective
This takes us to 2008 when Jack steps down & Evan Williams takes over as acting CEO.
Twitter leadership and evolution 2008-2010
From late 2008 to mid 2010 Evan Williams was at the helm. Evan was thought of as a revolutionary thinker, he took twitter mainstream so to speak: Celebrity Endorsements, Paid Advertising…
The REAL money was the data mining. Meaning Twitter doesn’t need paid users. As a “user” you ARE in fact the “product”. As in your data, your interactions etc, generate data. That data has been monetized.
Twitter was now mainstream
Think of Jack & Evan as the ying and yang, knew they had the makings of a cash cow. Data. It’s all about the data. (I’m fairly certain news reports Twitter, SCL and Cambridge Analytica will happen in the coming weeks, so put a pin in that)
Moving right along, in 2010 Evan & Jack had a break up. Worse than a Ross & Rachel “we were on a break”. It was like 2 alpha dogs fighting to be the pack leader. And then Jack announced the new CEO, see Twitter 2010 blog announcement found here.
Enter new CEO Dick Costolo
Costolo brought Silicon Valley, Venture Capital and various investors.
This is ALSO the same time that Twitter relaunched after a rebranding. This was Costolo’s Statement to Tech Crunch.
Link to the 2010 Tech Crunch Article here
Focus on the numbers Costolo cites
Circa 2010, CEO states 1.65that will come in handy in
Twitter pre IPO 2011-2012
Twitter and the Tech Industry really do NOT like their dirty laundry aired in public. Why? Becauses thaf requires them to answer questions Oh so dirty, Russian filthy dirty So we are now into 2011 (<19 mos pre IPO), this is the precise moment Twitter users exploded.
Twitter grew too fast to keep up.
They sold out for profit
IMO. Twitter spent an exorbitant amount of money tp beefed up the “technology and infrastructure”, but their support, compliance and corporate governance remained like it was circa 2007. In December 2012 Twitter officially announces it had blasted through the ceiling and reported 200M “unique” users, see Mashable Article here.
A LOT of you missed this tiny yet oddly relevant nugget. In 2012 Twitter officially inked a deal with…wait..for…it:
Yandex & Twitter,
yes I said Yandex.
See Reuters Article Twitter & Yandex sign a BIGLY Data/Search Deal
At the time this was equivalent to a giant middle finger salute to Google. Why? Well duh Yandex is Google’s nemesis, yet Twitter inked a deal with Yandex. Perhaps it was a savvy business decision to tap in to a NEW consumer market.
See Tech Crunch Article
Yandex/Twitter Deal Twitter & Yandex ink real time search deal.
- 165M in 2010 per CEO
- 100M in 2012 per Tech Crunch Article
- 2M Russian Users, 2012 per Yandex Press Release
Read it…specifically paragraphs 2-4 But the very last paragraph was somewhat of an aha moment. Yandex 2/21/12 Twitter PR
March 2013 Twitter and Yandex announce Twym:
a partnership to transfer funds via Micropayments for microbloggers. See March 2013 Press Release, found here. Archived link found here. From my research I was unable to discern if there are any limits on transactions. The only limitation I found was a transaction cap of 100,000 rubles ($3,300 USD).
Twym was created on the API of two projects: Twitter and Yandex.Money.There is protection from both sides – without a user’s command, Twym doesn't have access to either service. It doesn't save any passwords or remember anything about payments.
Yandex.Money is the largest electronic payment service in Russia offering easy, safe and reliable methods of paying for purchases online. As of early 2013, the system had over 13 million accounts (wallets). The platform handles more than 9,000 new accounts that are added daily and processes more than 120,000 customer payments for products and services. Yandex.Money is accepted in more than 3,500 online stores.
March 2013 Yandex & Twitter launch WONDER:
Wonder supports natural language, which is English so far, and features a voice user interface built using the speech recognition and text-to-speech conversion technologies provided by Nuance Communications, Inc.
If you are inclined, I’d suggest you take a good look at the patents Twitter has acquired. It gives you a decent idea of where twitter has been and what direction Twitter plans to go.
I ran an open source search for you:
It’s the in-message, television keywords, internetwork operability, cross platform content ..that gives me considerable pause.
Twitter Pre-IPO and Post-IPO
And now the moment you’ve been waiting for…Twitter’s 2013 IPOMIt was like popping a ballon only to realize the balloon was a scam. Here’s a Forbes 2013 IPO Post Mortem.
Wednesday evening, November 6, Twitter set its offer price at $26 a share for the fortunate few subscribing investors. The next morning, Twitter’s stock opened at $45.10, peaked at $50.09 a share, and closed at $44.90, slightly below the opening price. No investor who bought the stock yesterday and held it to the end of the day came out ahead.
Twitter’s $800M Circa 2011
It was late July of 2011, that’s when Milner via DTS Global, that Twitter received a $400M investment.
Twitter’s earliest investors
- Marc Andreessen, Navil Ravikant & Ron Conway $5M July 2007.
- May 2007 first institutional money $15M from Union Square Ventures, Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions and Spark Capital.
- GigaOm reported an $80 million pre-money valuation
- Bezos, Union Square’s Fred Wilson and Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet probably bought about 10-15% of Twitter.
- February 2009, the same investors came back with $35 million more, adding Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners to the round.
- That Series C investment AFTER Facebook’s failed attempt to buy Twitter.
- Twitter’s Series D (Sept. 2009) and F (Jan. 2010) raised $100 million and $200 million via funders like T. Rowe Price and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
- Twitter raised another $800 million in venture roundsAugust and September 2011. The investors were DST Global and DFJ Growth.
In September of 2017 the New York Times published this article, it was an in-depth report for just how much Russian money has poured into Silicon Valley. You really should read the NYTs article.
In November 2017 Yuri Milner published this Open Letter, essentially denying any and all ties to his companies and financing of Facebook and Twitter. Milner’s Open Letter is remarkable in its content AND context, for example:
In recent weeks, questions have been raised about me and DST Global, the investment firm that I founded, in connection with Russian attempts to influence the US election. Because of our investments in Facebook and Twitter, and early investment in our fund by a state-owned Russian bank, our integrity has been publicly doubted. The implication is that – being Russian – my motive for these investments was not to make a financial return, but to gain influence over social media. I have even been grilled as to how many times I met with Mark Zuckerberg, and what we discussed – as if every exposure to Russianness put him at risk of infection.
And yet in the following paragraph Milner addresses the Jared Kushner Cadre investment, again both remarkable in context and content:
Another transaction that has attracted attention is my personal investment in Cadre, a company associated with Jared Kushner. But the stake in question was very small – a fraction of 1% of the total funds raised. This investment, like any other, was made on a purely commercial basis. It no more implies a personal relationship with Mr. Kushner than buying some shares in Walmart gets you invited to Thanksgiving with the Walton family.
You can read Yuri Milner’s entire Open Letter via this Recode link. Recode originally published Milner’sc Letter in November 2017. To be fair Milner discloses his company DTS Global had fully divested from Twitter in 2014
Twitter’s 2011 Record Breaking
Venture Capital Deal
Here’s a 2011 Ad Week article that does in fact confirm the $800M 2011 Ad Week Article regarding Twitter’s $800M
“Twitter has confirmed it has received “significant funding” from Yuri Milner’s DST Global....Twitter published this Announcement on their Blog in 2011. Link to Twitter’s Corporate 2011 blog entry found here. Archived link found here.
In retrospect, the $800M from Yuri Milner sort of makes the 2012 Yandex agreement noteworthy…but then again what do I know? But I would be curious to find out if the hard working men and women of the FBI have tracked down the Yandex & Twitter crypto currency product:. I haven’t heard a single member of Congress ask twitter if any payments from @twymru were made to any Americans wittingly or unwittingly. It might be a worthwhile question for Congress to ask Twitter & Yandex to certify that not a single foreign crypto-penny entered our electoral system. Particularly given last Friday’s Indictment, as detailed in this thread...
what do you MEAN they used Bitcoin and rented a server & vpn in Malaysia— SpicyFiles (@SpicyFiles) July 13, 2018
what do you MEAN at least 2 US based reporter received info from Guccifer and OFFERED to write an article?
Who ARE the reporters and WHY didn’t the contact the FBI about the approach😤
Who’s the Congressman? pic.twitter.com/FcHPxlzgdf
In April 2016 Yandex Money announced they expanded by enabling NCF payments. See FinExtra April 2016 article found here.
To enable NFC payments, users can simply update the Yandex.Money app on their phones. A virtual MasterCard will be issued to their account automatically; its balance is the balance of the user's Yandex.Money e-wallet.
NFC payments by MasterCard are currently being accepted by more than 4 million merchants in 74 countries. In Russia, that number is up by 138% in the last year. By 2015, NFC payments were available on more than 600 million smartphones globally, according to the annual report by Deloitte.
In July of 2016 Yandex announced it launched Yandex.Money Releases Apple Watch Payments App. And yes this app is also integrated with @twymru
This could be a dead end but, I would be curious if investigators have researched or scrutinized any House of Representatives and/or Senate member (understand I am not singling out any political party), who’s campaign accepted crypto currency and if any donations were accepted by @twynru
Also a good time to for a refresher course on this May 2014 FEC Opinion, to date I’ve been unable to locate a Superseding Opinion so its safe to say this 2014 stands. FEC link found here.
While you're here, throw us a bone.
Mad Dog is thrilled to have Spicy in our PAC(k). We are proud to provide a space for her tireless, hard hitting, in-depth investigations. But we can’t do it without you.
Our numbers are growing. Our voices are being heard. Our campaigns are making a difference. Help us, and Spicy, continue to fight the good fight. Consider a donation to help support the work of Mad Dog PAC today.