Discover more from Risky Reads
Twitter Is Looking Strong for 2023
After a whirlwind two months of cost-cutting, drama, and countless media eulogies, Twitter is looking poised for an electric 2023.
A healthy Twitter is good for everyone. Right now, it’s the only social media giant that’s committed to rolling back censorship and creating a level playing field for all voices.
Let’s take a look at how Twitter is becoming a financial super-app and the world’s freest marketplace for information, and why Dogecoin will play a starring role.
Twitter is taking shape as the world's best source for financial information.
Last week, it rolled out an improved version of $Cashtags, which allow people to look up real-time financial data for select stocks and cryptocurrencies.
So far, only select assets link to financial data, but on Saturday, Elon confirmed that Dogecoin would soon have $cashtag functionality.
Elon also started following the CEOs of Shopify and Stripe, leading to speculation that the two e-com platforms will play a larger role on Twitter 2.0.
Most intriguing of all, he liked a tweet suggesting that an increase in Dogecoin acceptance is on the horizon.
If there was any doubt about his meaning, on Christmas he tweeted a photo of his Shiba Inu Floki with a Doge dressed in Santa attire.
The ultimate goal is to turn Twitter into a financial super-app, equal parts bank account, crypto wallet, Bloomberg terminal, and Reddit forum.
After a dramatic overhaul in Elon's first two months, it looks like priorities are shifting toward making that a reality.
Last week saw more good news when Elon declared that Twitter was on its way to being "roughly cash flow break-even" after being headed for bankruptcy earlier in the year. Twitter's improved financial situation puts it in a strong position to take more risks in the coming year.
Best of all, signs keep pointing to Doge playing a starring role…keep watching!
The story of the Twitter Files continues to pick up steam.
On Tuesday, Elon tweeted at outgoing House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff if he approved "hidden state censorship in direct violation of the Constitution." Schiff did not respond.
A few hours later, The Intercept's Lee Fang dropped Part 8 of the Twitter Files, about the Pentagon's psychological operations on the platform.
For years, Twitter has claimed it works to thwart government-backed propaganda.
However, the documents shared by Fang show Twitter employees working directly with Pentagon Central Command to give special protection to military PsyOps in the Middle East.
Fang wrote that "high-level Twitter executives were well aware of DoD’s vast network of fake accounts & covert propaganda," giving them special designations to prevent them from being banned.
Amazingly, Fang's thread establishes the DoD takes part in actual meme wars against its enemies, validating Robert Malone's recent claim that Fifth Generation (Information) Warfare is the best way to understand what is happening in our world today.
Now that it's been established that the US government uses Twitter to propagandize to foreign countries, the logical follow-up question is: do they do the same within its own borders?
In 2012, congress passed the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act, which made it legal for the US government to expose its citizens to propaganda. Before 2012, it was only legal to propagandize against foreign citizens.
Smith-Mundt helps explain why the press's response to the Twitter Files has been so uniformly muted: by all appearances, there's not a single outlet in the entire mainstream media who thinks it's a big deal that three-letter agencies have set up departments within Silicon Valley tech companies to police the speech of regular Americans.
The real reason, of course, is that the revelations coming out of Twitter cast shade on the government-media establishment, whose mandate is to spin the story any way it can to minimize its impact.
Usually, when a piece of news reflects poorly on the political establishment, the first thing mockingbird media does it pretends it doesn't exist.
After knowledge spreads through alternate channels, the next step is to dismiss the story as less important than it really is.
Finally, for those who persist in raising the alarm, the media will apply the now well-worn conspiracy theory/theorist label.
Right on cue, last Wednesday the FBI issued a statement in response to growing discontent over the debacle, blaming "conspiracy theorists" for "feeding the American public misinformation."
It's not clear what specifically the FBI statement meant by "misinformation," given that the Twitter Files is based on primary source emails.
Similarly, the use of the term "conspiracy theorists" seems calculated to distract from the increasingly damning evidence against the Bureau.
It's worth thinking hard about why the FBI would use those words in particular to describe a more or less straightforward release of internal documents between Twitter employees and FBI agents.
Though "conspiracy theory" sounds like a technical term, in reality, it is essentially a meme, deliberately freighted with negative connotations.
The idea of a "conspiracy theorist" exists in the public imagination as a schizoid personality prone to paranoia, delusions, and, in the worst cases, violence.
Historically, the term has been used as the media's go-to term to discredit claims that reflect unfavorably on the establishment without engaging with the substance of those claims.
The history of the meme helps shed light on its current usage. While the phrase has existed for over a century, it did not become part of everyday conversation until 1964.
That year, the government issued Warren Report claiming Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK.
The same year, The New York Times used "conspiracy theory" in five separate stories.
There is circumstantial evidence to suggest the term was deliberately inserted to the public lexicon by mockingbird media operatives, specifically to head off public inquiry into the CIA's role in the Kennedy assassination.
A 1967 document shows the CIA was concerned with countering public perception that it or the FBI played a part in what many claimed was an American coup d'état.
The document gives several pointers for "discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims."
The issue of JFK, the CIA, and so-called "conspiracy theories" was brought to fore of public debate earlier this month when Tucker Carlson reported that the CIA killed JFK.
RFK Jr tweeted out a clip of the story, calling it "the most courageous newscast in 60 years."
Whether it's true or not, RFK's j'accuse is one of the most consequential tweets ever.
Carlson's story coincides with the recent declassification of thousands of documents relating to the JFK assassination.
In 1992, Congress passed the "JFK Assassination Records Collection Act" in response to Oliver Stone's film JFK. The act required all JFK assassination documents to be made public by 2017.
When 2017 rolled around, some documents were released. Most notably, an unclassified FBI document quoted then-director J. Edgar Hoover as saying, "The thing I am concerned about [...] is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”
However, not all of the documents were released, and the Trump administration started acting shady about why.
In 2018, some remaining documents were declassed, but thousands remained private for additional review until October 2021.
Last October, on schedule, the Biden administration again delayed the release of the remaining documents until December 2022, blaming Covid-19.
Finally, earlier this month, the final batch was released...except for a few remaining documents, which were once again held back.
The meaning of the latest batch of documents is open to interpretation.
Biden claimed the release "reflects my administration's commitment to transparency."
More skeptical-minded citizens have asked: if there is nothing to hide, why not just make everything public already?
One academic JFK researcher questioned why the CIA still hasn't released documents relating to CIA agent George Joannides that, he claims, show contact between the CIA and Oswald months before the assassination.
The JFK story still has a hold on the public because it seems to offer clues about how the present came to be.
From a historical perspective, the JFK assassination was a massive inflection point.
Had he lived, everything could've been different—no leader since has tapped into youthful idealism like JFK.
If he was killed by elements within the US government, it means the country has been living in a giant lie for the last sixty years.
It's also reasonable to wonder if the current regime of information control has its roots in the JFK events. Our current-day media landscape, with an "official" account of events pitted against a battalion of marginalized citizen journalists/conspiracy theorists, seems weirdly contrived.
Truth should stand on its own merits. It doesn't required tech empires, censors, or a network of ultra-powerful spy agencies to defend it.
The mood on Twitter lately has started tilting ever-so-slightly toward the realm of conspiracy, with revelations coming to light about the FBI, FDA, DARPA, SEC, and other government agencies over the past few weeks.
It is difficult to spend any amount of time on the platform and not come away with the impression that the public is being badly lied to by legacy media and political leaders, with the CIA/FBI running herd.
Elon, who occasionally uses his Twitter account to hint he knows more than he lets on, liked a meme suggesting that a high index of suspicion is useful for interpreting current and past events.
On Saturday, he made a surprise appearance on the All-In Pod (wearing a Dogecoin shirt) where he observed that "Almost every conspiracy theory that people had about Twitter turned out to be true."
He also liked a tweet from comedian Jimmy Dore linking to an article about how exercise improves Covid outcomes, along with the commentary, "Conspiracy theorists are 7-0 on Covid."
With any luck, the Twitter Files will help bury the "conspiracy theory/theorist" meme once and for all by showing that the organizations who propagated it did so with the intent to cover their own tracks.
That certainly seems to be the direction things are heading. Over the weekend, Matt Taibbi peeled back another layer of the onion with the release of the newest Twitter Files about "a whole range of government agencies" involved with Twitter's censorship apparatus.
The latest thread shows the FBI acting as a gatekeeper for other agencies to engage with Twitter, most notably the CIA.
It also claims that the government maintained "constant contact not just with Twitter but with virtually every major tech firm" including "Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, even Pinterest, and many others."
A common theme through all the releases so far is of Twitter employees being pressured to censor information that contradicts the mainstream view of the world, such as "anti-Ukraine narratives," claims of electoral fraud, and other alleged conspiracy theories.
Over the last several years, most people intuitively sensed that big tech was eroding the quality of civic life.
However, it was only the conspiracy theorists who would've guessed that, when the curtain would be pulled back, it'd be the American government itself working the levers of power.
The question of responsibility requires some subtlety. It is too simplistic to blame "the government" in general as if all federal actors are equally culpable. When you drill down, it's the same few rogue agencies running the show.
In 2017, Julian Assange claimed a battle was going on between the Trump Administration and the Intelligence Community, who saw itself as a "permanent government."
These battle lines remain in play today. Whatever you think of Trump—who recently made free speech a signature issue of his 2024 campaign—it's important to acknowledge that his enemies in the IC are the ones responsible for the program of censorship that is being uncovered.
If the last five years are any indication, the IC is winning the battle, largely because it controls the airwaves, allowing it to set the boundaries of what can be said in public.
Of course, the underlying justification for Trump's treatment is that he traffics in "conspiracy theories" and encourages his followers to question the consensus view of reality promoted by the media.
While the feds have been steadily gaining territory in the great meme war for reality, 2022 looks like a turning point.
The Twitter Files shows how federal law enforcement has put itself in control of media distribution for the entire country.
It's amazing the arrangement has gone on this long, and hard to imagine it continuing now that it has been exposed, but who knows?
We might hope that, whatever else arrives in 2023, it will bring clarity to the tangled web of social media and government agencies.
The Marketplace of Ideas
Under Elon's leadership, Twitter is simultaneously becoming a leading source for financial data and a network for citizen-powered journalism.
In the open marketplace of ideas, there should be no artificial barriers about what counts as reality. History shows that thought-terminating memes like "conspiracy theory" are, as often as not, used to foreclose critical thinking and civic debate.
Rolling back the old regime of information control requires honesty about what's gone on over the last several years.
The Twitter Files continues to reveal a staggering level of coordination between US intelligence agencies and Silicon Valley that brings new meaning to the term “meme warfare.” As Elon pointed out, virtually every conspiracy theory people had about Twitter has already been validated.
Public opinion is starting to shift in Elon's favor: a poll released today found that 63% of respondents want the FBI's social media activity investigated. Twitter will thrive in 2023 as long as it keeps its commitment to transparency.
It’s exciting to imagine how different the world will look with the emergence of a censorship-free social media news network, maybe for the first time ever. Onward!
Finally, I wanted to send out a Thank You to readers of this column. I’ve appreciated all the love, kind words, and especially hilarious memes from readers this year.
Here’s to an amazing end to 2022 and a wild, Doge-filled 2023! Dogecoin to the moon!
Dogey Treats: News Bites
Elon said Twitter is on its way to being "cash-flow break even"
Kim Dotcom claimed that Elon is "deep state enemy #1" and CIA analysts used multiple accounts to influence Elon's Twitter CEO poll. He urged Elon to use the poll data to suspend fake accounts. Elon wrote back, "interesting. A HarrisX poll found that a majority of Americans wanted Elon to stay on as Twitter CEO, leading Elon to write, "Interesting. Suggest that maybe we might still have an itsy bitsy bot problem on Twitter … " A source told MSNBC that Elon started looking for a new Twitter CEO before he ran his recent Twitter poll. In a tweet, he said "I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams." Elon said making MrBeast Twitter CEO is "not out of the question."
In response to a claim that Elon was once a World Economic Forum Young Leader, Elon said he had been invited and declined an invitation to the WEF.
Trump, expressed vindication at the latest news from the Twitter Files, telling an interviewer that Elon is a "hero" and that he expects more explosive information to be released. Andrew Tate said, "Elon Musk is truly a hero of free speech."
Monday morning, Dave Zweig released the first installment of the much-anticipated Twitter Files about Covid censorship. Zweig revealed that both Trump and Biden administrations pressured Twitter to moderate content. The Trump admin was concerned about "conspiracies about 5G towers, runs on grocery stories, and misinformation that could stoke panic buying," while the Biden admin focused on "anti-vaxxer accounts" like Alex Berenson.
Elon posted a photo of a Doge-meme Santa riding Floki for Christmas. Dogecoin was searched nearly six million times a month in 2022. Barry Silbert, who shorted Dogecoin in 2021, was recorded as having a net worth of $0 by Forbes.
Brazil passed a law legalizing cryptocurrency for payments. The bill goes into effect in 180 days.
Former FTX co-CEO Ryan Salame donated $700k to a GOP Super PAC that defeated America First congressman Madison Cawthorn.
Elon made a surprise appearance on the All-In podcast wearing a Doge shirt. He predicted a recession in 2023 and said, "I would really advise people to not have margin debt in a volatile stock market.
Starlink gained 750,000 subscribers in the last nine months.
Tesla's Model Y broke the bestselling car record in Norway
Elizabeth Warren threatened an investigation into Elon's role as CEO of both Tesla and Twitter.
Global Financial System
Elon said the recent rate hike by the Federal Reserve could go down as the "most damaging ever." He also tweeted that the "data I'm seeing says we're already in deflation" and a "smart investor I spoke to today said he's shorting S&P." He also responded to a tweet warning of the emergence of CBDCs with a nervous-face emoji.
Elon biographer Ashlee Vance tweeted, "We're kinda due for a chill year, right? RIGHT?!" Elon responded, "kek."
Thanks for reading! Consider sending a tip or Super Following on Twitter to help keep the newsletter going!
Memes of the Week
It's ALL Risky!
Thank you, kind reader, for reading and subscribing to this newsletter. I really appreciate it!
If you haven’t already, please sign up to this email newsletter for more weekly articles like this one. Also, please share it with a friend or on twitter if you enjoyed this article.
What do you think? What do all conspiracy theories contain a grain of truth? Let me know!
Remember, Dogecoin is risky. But then again, it’s all risky!
Follow on twitter at @itsALLrisky
Send an email to itsALLrisky@gmail.com
Send a Doge tip: DJ2zTEdHBD3guHLfVaNBaypr6bHFG5Nwfw
This article was written in collaboration with @CryptoDogDivine, give them a follow!
Don't forget to subscribe to this newsletter!
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice and I am not a financial advisor. The article above references an opinion for entertainment purposes only and it is not investment advice. Always assume that the author of the article is actively trading and that the opinions expressed may be biased towards the author’s holdings. Do your own research and consult with a licensed financial adviser before making any investment decision. Do not treat any opinion expressed in this newsletter as a specific inducement to make a particular investment. Content, news, research, tools, and securities symbols are for educational and illustrative purposes only and do not imply a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security or cryptocurrency or to engage in any particular investment strategy. The information provided is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy and is subject to change without notice. The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, are not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. All investments involve risk, losses may exceed the principal invested, and the past performance of a security, industry, sector, market, cryptocurrency, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Dogecoin is a speculative and highly volatile asset susceptible to pump-and-dump schemes.
At the time of publication, Dogecoin is around $0.07 per coin.