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Threads, First Ammendment, Sound of Freedom, BRICS Currency, Health Freedom
Twitter News Digest for the week of 7/5-7/11
This week’s digest covers the launch of Meta’s Threads, an important judicial ruling on Free Speech, the release of Sound of Freedom, reports of a BRICS gold-backed currency, and the latest in medical freedom. Check out the memes at the end and please subscribe!
The top story of the last week was the launch of Meta’s Twitter clone Threads.
Threads is the biggest challenge to Twitter’s dominance ever in the space of text-based social media. While Instagram already boasts a user count many multiples greater than Twitter, it is predominately photo-based platform filled with pictures of “butts, puppies, and food.”
Twitter, by contrast, rewards users for verbal and memetic wit.
Adam Mosseri, Meta’s head of Instagram, said Threads’s sgoal is to be “a less angry place for conversations” that didn’t focus on news or politics.
On the day Threads went live, Ellen Degeneres captured the mood by dubbing it “Gay Twitter.”
When it comes to online discourse, friendliness is a double-edged sword.
One user pointed out that Threads is even giving warnings to people who try to follow non-grata accounts.
On Twitter, the launch of Threads dominated the memescape.
Zuck’s history of censorship and theft makes him an easy target for ridicule, and his much-hyped cage match with Elon lent to the proceedings a combative air.
One common theme was Zuckerberg’s habit of copying people’s innovations rather than creating them himself.
Another was Meta’s aggressive data-collection policies.
On Thursday, news broke that Twitter was threatening a lawsuit against Meta.
A letter from Elon’s lawyer Alex Spiro to Meta claimed the company “has engaged in systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property.”
The letter warned Meta against scraping Twitter data and called on it to preserve any relevant documents.
Elon’s insults appear crude on the surface, but reveal the fundamental difference between the two platforms.
Zuckerberg’s non-response to Elon’s barbs is emblematic of the neutered discourse of Meta’s platforms. Things seem friendlier, but only because no one says what they’re really thinking.
Zuck’s silence left him open to being memed.
In the battle between Elon and Zuck, Twitter and Threads, free speech may be the bird app’s decisive edge. People are attracted to truth, and only one platform offers that now.
As long as Meta censors—there’s no indication it plans to do otherwise—Twitter will be tough to beat.
Last week, Twitter hit another all time high in usage, likely fueled by the hype generated from Meta’s clone, which sent people in search of the real thing.
Zuck Around (or Cuck Around) and Find Out.
Freedom of Speech
Twitter vs Threads is an important battlefront in war over the First Amendment, but it’s not the only one.
The forces of free speech secured an important victory on July 4th, when a judge issued an injunction to the Biden Administration to stop collaborating with social media companies to police information.
The lawsuit was filed last year by Attorneys General from Missouri and Louisiana.
The judge’s decision said, "If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history."
Of course, recent years have seen countless examples of “misinformation” that was censored on social media later turn out to be true.
When fact checkers, corporate news, and government collaborated to curtail discussion on these subjects, they violated Americans’ constitutional rights.
After the ruling, the Biden administration filed an emergency request to keep its censorship programs in place.
On Monday, Judge Doughty blocked the request, at which point the Biden Administration appealed the ruling to a higher court.
Whatever happens with the lawsuit, the latest events mark a change in the public debate over free speech.
Dating back to 2020’s Covid censorship bonanza, the political establishment has flatly denied it is involved in policing speech.
Now that it’s out in the open, the government is attempting to reframe censorship as a service to protect the public from disinformation.
As always, it’s worth asking who is behind the agenda to control what Americans can and can't say.
According to RFK, there are indications the program is still active. He told Fridman, “the CIA today is the biggest funder of journalism around the world.”
Online censorship is the other side of the coin of propaganda: silencing truth and spreading falsehood are part of the same program to control the public’s access to information.
The strange alliance between government and media to control the narrative is disturbing, but also highlights the value of Twitter.
As long as there is at least one platform that allows truth to be spoken, free speech persists like a candle in the dark.
Sound of Freedom
Another of the week’s top stories was the release of Sound of Freedom, a movie about child trafficking.
The movie is a dramatization of the true story of Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad, which works to save trafficked kids.
The movie trended throughout the week as several big accounts used it to raise awareness for victims of trafficking. The US is among the top three countries in the world as a destination for trafficked children, and the industry as a whole is estimated to be worth tens to hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
The film is a dramatization of real-life events, and no one is disputing its accuracy. It’s weird for all these outlets to undercut a film raising awareness about an important issue.
On its July 4th opening, Sound of Freedom beat out Disney’s Indiana Jones at the box office by grossing $14.3 million in ticket sales. The film sold $41M worth of tickets in its first week and scored well with audiences.
Interestingly, the film was produced in 2018. Disney purchased its rights but refused to release it.
In March of this year, it was acquired by Angel Studios, which used equity crowdfunding to raise $5M for marketing. Ads for the film have been ubiquitous on Twitter in the lead-up to its release.
Last week, lead actor Jim Caviezel and its subject Tim Ballard gave a fascinating interview with Jordan Peterson about the events that inspired the movie. Caviezel, best known for playing Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, has been active on the interview circuit, repeatedly insisting, “God’s children are not for sale.”
SOF may soon go viral again. Ballard told one interviewer the film will be released on Twitter later this month.
Oddly, the movement to fight trafficking seems to experiencing pushback from the left. This week, California’s state assembly blocked a bill that would have made trafficking a minor a serious felony, while the Biden DOJ removed three “areas of concern” from its website: “International Sex Trafficking of Minors,” “Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors,” and “Child Victims of Prostitution."
The last time Hollywood ran up against the topic of trafficking in such a public way was Ricky Gervais’ 2020 Golden Globes monologue, when the comedian joked that the actors in attendance were all friends with Jeffrey Epstein. Many famous actors in attendance appeared visibly dismayed at the punchline.
Whatever its ultimate political and social impact, Sound of Freedom is notable for breaking the taboo of silence around trafficking by pushing it into the spotlight once again.
Gold-Backed BRICS Currency
On July 3rd, the Twitter account for the Russian Embassy in Kenya tweeted that BRICS nations will introduce a gold-backed reserve currency this August.
The news was picked up by Russian state media outlet RT.
Gold has served humanity as money for millennia, but today, there is not a single country that tethers its currency to gold.
This arrangement is relatively new. In 1971, the United States went off the gold standard and transitioned to the petrodollar. The rest of the world followed.
Since then, worker productivity continued to rise, but inflation-adjusted compensation has remained flat.
In other words, by demolishing the gold standard, banks and other moneyed interests have captured the overwhelming share of new value created in the last fifty years, while regular people have gotten comparably poorer.
The last world leader to attempt a gold-backed currency was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 2009.
Gaddafi’s plan was to create a pan-Africa gold-backed Dinar. Africa has been badly abused by banking agreements with France and other European countries, a state of affairs that continues today.
A gold-backed currency was seen as a way to escape neo-colonialist rule.
In 2011, Gaddafi was overthrown by a US-led regime change operation. Hillary Clinton famously declared, “We came, we saw, he died.”
The intervention was undertaken on supposedly humanitarian grounds to promote (like the current war in Ukraine) “democracy.” Human rights organizations have since questioned whether evidence exists for this justification.
In 2015, a hacked email from Hillary Clinton’s private server suggests a different motivation:
"Qaddafi's government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver ... This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA)."
"According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.
Since Gaddafi was killed, the country has descended into political chaos, with various armed groups vying for supremacy. The Second Libyan Civil War lasted from 2014 to 2020.
The episode is a preview of the kind of resistance a new BRICS currency will likely meet from the American banking cartel, media, and hawkish foreign policy establishment.
At this point, it is reasonable to ask if the US’s effort to instigate regime change in Russia is motivated by a similar desire to stymie a challenge to the dollar’s dominance.
The BRICS gold-backed currency is not a done deal: it has yet to be confirmed by news sources outside of Russia. On Saturday, a report claimed India (which arguably possesses the most prosperous economy in BRICS) is reluctant to move forward with the idea out of concern it would harm relations with the US and Europe.
De-dollarization among China, Russia, and other nations has been a gradual trend over the last several decades, though there have been hints of the process picking up in recent months.
Nothing is certain, but if a gold-backed currency is introduced, it could shake the global financial system to its core.
Health Freedom Update
The great vaccine debate, kicked off by RFK Jr’s appearance on Joe Rogan, is out of the spotlight for the moment.
However, momentum for an open public debate about vaccine safety keeps building.
This week, two philanthropists took up the fight: Bill Ackman and Steve Kirsch.
Ackman, a hedge fund manager and prominent Biden donor, said RFK has raised “important issues about vaccines and other issues that were worth learning more about.”
In a long-form Twitter post, he argued that pharmaceutical companies are being financially incentivized to minimize safety risks and expand the vaccine schedule as fast as possible. He questioned why he has been labeled “a Qanon conspiracist” and “member of the alt-right” for pointing this out.
Entrepreneur Steve Kirsch has emerged as another voice calling for more robust debate about vaccines. In his own Twitter post, he called on pro-vaccine scientists to engage in a public dialogue about safety.
Kirsh is not a new to vaccine skepticism—he was vocal critic of the US government’s public health policies throughout the pandemic.
In subsequent posts, he framed the debate as a “GOLDEN opportunity” for the pro-vaccine side to “publicly expose us all, as a group, as charlatans.”
RFK, meanwhile, continued to push the boundaries of what you can say about vaccines on TV.
In an interview on Fox News, he said, “I do believe that autism does come from vaccines, but I think most of the things people believe about my opinions about vaccines are wrong. All I’ve said about vaccines is that we should have good science.”
In a bizarre and tangentially related development, on Monday MSNBC posted an article linking physical fitness to far-right extremism.
The article, written in 2022, is another example of how media needlessly politicizes basic health issues. Why MSNBC decided to repost it now is anyone’s guess.
The article is utterly ridiculous, and was relentlessly memed on Twitter after drawing the attention of Joe Rogan, Elon, and others.
Dogey Treats: News Bites
Israeli whistleblower Gal Luft released a video accusing Joe Biden of accepting bribes. In the video, Luft claimed that in 2019 he gave the FBI evidence that the Biden family took money from people with ties to Chinese military intelligence. On Monday, Luft was indicted by the DOJ for not registering as a foreign agent. Senator Ron Johnson proposed Luft be granted diplomatic immunity to testify before Congress.
Epoch Times ran an article about the possibility of a Trump-RFK ticket. RFK attended Big3 on Saturday and met with Ice Cube. Ice Cube called out NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for promoting BLM while “trying to squash the only black league in America.” He predicted a competitor league would emerge that would “purge the NBA of top talent like LIV GOLF did to the PGA.”
Tucker Carlson did an interview with Russell Brand in which he discussed January 6th, the emergence of Trump, the Ukraine war, Twitter, and RFK. After Carlson said the DC chief of police told him there were several federal agents in the crowd at J6, Elon tweeted it would be interesting to hear from him again. Carlson will host the first GOP debate on BlazeTV.
The US began steps to send cluster bombs to Ukraine. Elon explained to Jason Calacanis why there has been no Ukrainian counteroffensive so far. Joe Biden said Ukraine will not join NATO in the near future. President Zelensky expressed dismay.
Several Twitter accounts identified a strange trend of media outlets attacking moderate and conservative racial minorities as “white supremacist.” Data is showing the Democratic party’s most progressive voices are not minorities but college-educated white people.
Joe Rogan said the media “for sure” worked to rig the 2020 election. Rogan and Donald Trump shook hands at a UFC event Saturday night. Big3 player Royce White shaved “Trump Won” into his hair for last Saturday’s matchup.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon expressed concern about the possibility that Trump’s 2024 election would curtail American military intervention around the world.
Global Financial System
An FDIC report claimed the top four American banks are sitting on $200B in unrealized losses.
Vladimir Putin warned of increased risk of financial crisis
Hong Kong set up a task force to increase Web3 development
The US national debt increased by one trillion dollars in the month since the debt ceiling was lifted.
Elon commented on economic weirdness in the used car market: “One day it seems like things are bad, but the next day they seem good. These are strange times.”
A peer-reviewed study found that particular batches of Pfizer’s Covid vaccines caused the majority of vaccine injuries.
The All-In podcast debated sunscreen.
How does grounding effect your blood?
A House subcommittee found evidence that NIH scientists downplayed the lab leak theory out of fear of inflaming political tensions with China.
A popular video examined the relationship between gender affirming care, trans ideology, and human trafficking.
Elon tweeted, “Phones are not safe” in response to a report that French police now have the ability to activate microphones and cameras on cell phones for surveillance purposes.
Jack Dorsey said he agreed with RFK Jr that JFK was killed by the CIA.
In a fascinating segment from this interview with Lex Fridman, RFK discussed how he came to believe in God.
Tucker Carlson’s ninth episode of “Tucker on Twitter” is a two hour-long interview with Andrew Tate.
Memes of the Week
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