HomeArticleScandal-Ridden OPCW Now Using Twitter’s “Hide Replies” Function

Scandal-Ridden OPCW Now Using Twitter’s “Hide Replies” Function

When Twitter first implemented its “hide replies” function last year I published an article warning that it could be used by establishment narrative managers to marginalize dissident voices and diminish the relatively egalitarian nature of the platform. When I wrote it I was imagining the function being used by overt manipulators like cable TV pundits and Washington Post columnists, and think tank operatives like Neera Tanden who vocally supported the implementation of the function.

What I absolutely was not expecting, as paranoid and conspiracy-minded as I am, was a highly regarded UN-associated international chemical watchdog group using the function for that purpose.

As of this writing, if you go to the Twitter account for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), you’ll see this tweet at the second from the top:

If you log on to Twitter and go to that tweet and click this little button, it will take you to a section of “hidden replies” which aren’t visible on the main tweet.

You will not be surprised to learn that the tweet which the OPCW’s Twitter account has chosen to hide is critical of the organization:

That “#wikileaksdoumareport” hashtag in the hidden tweet refers to the leaks which have been pouring out from the OPCW adding to the mountain of evidence that the US, UK and France bombed the Syrian government in 2018 as a retaliation for a chemical weapons attack in the town Douma which did not occur. Whoever is in charge of the OPCW’s Twitter account does not like the lowly commoners talking about this on their page.

Here’s an OPCW tweet from a week ago which has the same issue:

Click the same little button to view hidden replies and you’ll see three of them on this one, again all discussing the scandal-ridden Douma investigation:

It doesn’t seem to happen if you’re not logged on to your account, and seems to express differently on different browsers, but if you log in and scroll through the OPCW Twitter page you’ll find many tweets with hidden replies, almost all of which directly pertain to the Douma scandal.

The OPCW tweet which appears to have the largest number of replies is the smear job they released earlier this month attacking the whistleblowers whose leaks poked giant holes in the official Douma narrative. This smear job has been ripped to shreds in an article by Grayzone‘s Aaron Maté, who in his trademark style systematically debunks the organisation’s attempts to spin the whistleblowers as incompetent outsiders who tried to manipulate the Douma investigation for no clear reason.

If you go to that OPCW tweet and scroll down you’ll see dozens of spaces where replies ought to be, with the message “This reply was hidden by the original Tweet author,” meaning hidden by the author of the initial top tweet by the OPCW. I’ve archived screenshots of the entire thread here as it looks from my account as of this writing, but here’s a small sample of what the top of the replies section looks like on that tweet:

I myself posted the reply that got the most likes and retweets back when the OPCW first shared its smear job, but in a strange twist on Twitter’s “hide replies” function it doesn’t show up in the main thread or in its “hidden replies” section. Other users also say they can’t see it in either section. So as things are right now it looks like some posts in threads with a large number of hidden replies are just disappeared entirely, which is all the more incentive for narrative managers to use it.

There are already many users in the comments objecting to the OPCW yet again making use of opacity to silence dissident voices, and understandably so. Ever since the first Douma leak in May 2018 this organisation has been stonewalling journalists, refusing to answer crucial questions, smearing its own investigators and denying them a platform to speak, all after hiding from the public the fact that there had been large amounts of internal dissent regarding its Douma investigation. This dissent included unanimous agreement between four toxicologists that no chlorine attack occurred in Douma, and reports that some 20 OPCW inspectors had voiced objections to the way the Douma investigation was taking place.

The OPCW had no business hiding all this information from the public about an event which led to an act of war against a sovereign nation, and it has no business hiding the public’s attempts to demand more information be brought into the light.

These deliberate acts of obfuscation make no sense if you look at the OPCW as an independent international investigative body whose sole interest is truth and the elimination of chemical weapons, but they make perfect sense if you see it as a narrative management apparatus of the US-centralized empire. The US government already has an established history of manipulating the OPCW into facilitating the advancement of pre-existing regime change agendas in the Middle East, and not one but two whistleblowers have separately attested that US government officials were brought in by OPCW leadership (in violation of the organisation’s supposed independence) to persuade them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical weapons attack.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is acting like a narrative management operation because that is what it has become: a tool to help the US-centralized empire spin narratives favorable to pre-existing regime change agendas like the one it has long had for the Syrian government. That’s how it behaves, so we should ignore all narrative spin and assume that that’s what it is until its behavior changes. As long as it continues walking like a duck and quacking like a duck, we should continue to assume that it’s a duck.

The OPCW has been hiding replies on Twitter, yes. But at least it has stopped hiding what it is.

_______________________________

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Latest comments

  • I believe that Tucker Carlson was the only media personality that doubted the official version and suggested it might have been staged by the white helmet people who many allege have al-Qaeda connections. At the time Trump floated the idea of withdrawing troops from Syria and then BINGO Assad uses chemical weapons thus necessitating the extended stay of America troops. Who can not see through that?

  • I believe that Tucker Carlson was the only media personality that doubted the official version and suggested it might have been staged by the white helmet people who many allege have al-Qaeda connections. At the time Trump floated the idea of withdrawing troops from Syria and then BINGO Assad uses chemical weapons thus necessitating the extended stay of America troops. Who can not see through that?

  • Dear Caitlin,
    It’s been obvious for decades, the U.S. government, in league with “western powers” has been manipulating everything, well including any sort of assassinations, leveraging any force, any opening, to conceal its criminal intent and actions, and avoid causing a civil insurrection.
    We aren’t going to gain “the upper hand” by power, but any regime, even one such as ours, requires the faith and belief of the majority, to continue. I have had a “facebook page” for a decade or so, once in a while, I “friend” everyone who’s requested, but never look at my page. I don’t do “twitter”, social media is about feelings, and beliefs, not facts, despite the effort to make it appear a way to “tweet” small, bits and pieces, and let the whole picture be filled in by the compendium of “tweets”, filling in all the gaps.
    The most intelligent reply to your work has consistently been the guy who keeps recommending leaving mainstream search engines, and going with the little guy.
    I voted for Trump in the last election, solely because he was “the only non-politician” available for election. Given his failure to fulfill his stated plans, I’m not voting at all, there are no “worthy candidates”, and joining the growing number who “won’t vote, it has no meaning or value” is the very least I can do, to remove my “consent to be governed” by these criminals.
    We allow “twitter” to do what its owner likes, by using it. We allow facebook to own a narrative, by thinking we’re avoiding mainstream, echo chamber for state, when its just a new one, aimed at a different crowd.
    We must establish narratives, make our news, and make the State, respond to our statements and actions. One can’t win, just returning the jab, as well as is allowed. You, in Australia, me in the U.S., others in UK, France, Germany, the whole EU, most of the middle east, most of the world, doesn’t buy a word of the narrative, however, we are not being effective in countering it.
    I put the BDS movement, and it’s criminalization, as a good example of how we change the narrative. I’ve watched this all my life, since about eight, and while it’s been fought, sword and knife from the start, even the NYT has to cover the “blow-back” from the fact every effort to kill it is un-Constitutional, and must be argued for “the mere readers”. The NYT has been considered “paper for the bird cage” by most intelligent people, all my life, it was worthless in the “great depression”, and the war which followed, and is for amusement “by the People” as much as any other purpose.
    We all need to stand on the facts we each find, and simply call the liars, liars, and stand tough. We, colonists, fought the Empire fifty years, before we rose up against, making their “narrative” unrespectable, by exposing all their plots.
    We, who hate the empire, must simply play “the long game”, and outlast mere politicians, and oligarchs. We can do so, only by never ending the calling out of lies, demanding heads roll. I’ve watched several movements gain good traction, and make changes, only to be abandoned by many, when a few concessions were made. We have to stay hard on it, until the system collapses, for lack of support.
    “We’ve” always failed, because we quit while we were ahead, and didn’t go the distance. We have to believe we have to hold the line, until the whole ball of wax is broken, shut down, indicted, tried, and convicted. If we do, we can regain a culture, and restore the possibility of rational government. Otherwise, we are wasting energy, to no avail. It truly is an “all or nothing game”, we either play to win, accepting the risk of total loss, or we are defeated already.
    No one is standing stronger than you, and Julian Assange, and his criminal indictments, intended to prevent the truth from outing, and many others are finally realizing, it would effectively end free speech, here in the U.S. media. You are making a difference, because you address the facts the same each time, with patience, (mostly).
    The fact they have to hide the truth with great effort, demonstrates how effective you, and all of us denying the narrative, are. We are winning, but its a long war, we must hold out to the end.
    Semper Fidelis,
    John McClain
    Vanceboro, NC, USA

    • I think boycotting the Democrats and Republicans is necessary (but not sufficient) to overthrow the 1%. I totally respect a principled boycott of elections. I wish I could talk more people into voting for the Green Party instead though. I have not seen any polls that try to distinguish how many people who don’t vote are boycotting, so it’s easy for establishment media to dismiss them all as lazy.
      Jill Stein is less of a politician than Trump. She was available as a write-in in your state. She has consistently and vigorously supported Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and other political prisoners. The oligarchy is so scared of her they had her arrested and chained to a chair for hours for attempting to approach the building where the sacred debate circus was taking place. The Green Party’s most likely nominee this year is Howie Hawkins, who also made clear his support for Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden. He has a history of political activism, including co founding the Clamshell Alliance and the U.S. Green Party. He is running for president for the first time now, because he just retired from his job as a teamster, and previously couldn’t get enough time off work to campaign outside New York. The Green Party is poor because they don’t take corporate money.
      Lots of people are working their asses off gathering signatures to overcome unfair ballot access rules made by the oligarchy so that you will have a choice on your ballot. Last time the Green and Libertarian parties were the only ones to achieve national ballot access. Libertarians were on the ballot in all 50 states, and the Greens in almost all 50 states, covering 97% of the population.
      At this point, I think voting Libertarian would send about the same message as voting Green, but if libertarianism is more important to you than capitalism, the Green Party will represent you better than the Libertarian Party.
      https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2020

  • Recent article in the ACS talked about how the Chinese govt is using corona virus as a means to push through their adjenda for mass surveillance, i.e. they have an app, that can show ‘who had it’ so you can avoid them. My ‘conspiracy nut’ thought was.. Hmm, did china invent this virus to enact this new law/system?

  • I find it surprising that users are able to find hidden replies at all. Someone at Twitter needs to find a way to keep those from view. /s/
    I have heard the idea expressed that Twitter has become so big that it is now struggling to keep up with the demand on its servers. If so, it could help explain why Twitter functions differently on different platforms and returns inconsistent results.

  • The OPCW’s role in manufacturing propaganda about the 2018 Douma “chemical attack” to justify America’s aggression against Syria will not go away–just like America’s massive lies about Iraqi “Weapons of Mass Destruction” will not be forgotten down the Memory Hole.

    And social media is a Weapon of Mass Deception that pretends that America’s lies never happened.

  • OPCW or any other international organisation are lapdogs of US and Western European countries

  • The primary purpose of the West’s interference in non-western affairs, including the Middle East, Africa, and South America, is the destabilization of local governments to reduce or eliminate their ability to resist the exploitation of their resources by the West. The West creates reasons out of thin air, such as non-existent gas attacks, to justify invasion, and implements sanctions on those who resist, and subsidies for those who comply. It also includes the support of a nation created out of thin air and imposed by violence, Israel, as an ongoing disruption of the region.

  • I have nothing but indifference and contempt for twitter. A tiny echo chamber that is trolled by many and scanned by media to sensationalize. The Entertainmrnt Tonight channel of trivial discourse.

  • Bonded labor at OPCW?

  • The OPCW is crooked and rotten to the core.

    The OPCW is not an independent organization but a submissive tool of Western criminal governments such as the U. S., Great Britain, France, and other flunkies of the U. S. Empire. In the Syrian case, they manipulate the report about the alleged Douma chemical attack by al-Assad to fall in line with the Western narrative. If there ever has been a chemical attack by the Assad government. Western-supported terrorists and their handlers “The White Helmets,” which are an affiliate of al Nusra and ISIS, but financed by the West, conducted the attack. Now, these crooks from the OPCW manipulate Twitter to get their lying across.

    Caitlin Johnstone has described the OPCW accurately. “The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is acting as a narrative management operation because that is what it has become: a tool to help the US-centralized empire spin narratives favorable to pre-existing regime change agendas like the one it has long had for the Syrian government. That’s how it behaves, so we should ignore all narrative spin and assume that that’s what it is until its behavior changes. As long as it continues walking like a duck and quacking like a duck, we should continue to assume that it’s a duck. The OPCW has been hiding replies, yes. But at least it has stopped hiding what it is.”

  • The online censorship has been escalating exponentially over the last 14 months. Jewish groups like the ADL have been given the power to police the Internet by Google, YouTube, and others to erase “hate speech”, a euphemism for anything they hate to see in print. And guess what they hate to see in print? The truth. It will get worse, and free speech will become a thing of the past if the trend continues.

    • One trick is to avoid Google (and YouTube is a part of Google).
      I do like YouTube for being able to go from having a song in my head to hearing it played expertly in just a few moments. But I wouldn’t trust it as a channel for political speech. Whatever Truth might be found today can be gone tomorrow at the flash of a whim of a soulless corporate manager.
      And even when I’m dancing to music, I don’t sign in to Youtube and I hide my VPN so the Google-Monster can’t track me (easily)

    • And, there is always free speech. The only question is whether you do it within earshot of the thugs from the castle on the hill.
      —————
      Which brings to mind a story. Once, I was off camping deep in the woods, miles from cell-phone range, and with a group of close friends I trusted. The conversation around the campfire turned to politics one night. I started to self-censor out of habit. Then I realized there was no need and that for a rare time I could actually say what I felt. And I did. And it felt good. Me and my friends had a wonderful evening.
      It is moments like that that make you realize that except in such rare circumstances that you are not free. Not even close.

      • “Those that make peaceful change impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”
        — John F. Kennedy, President of the United States
        (also quoted by Dr. King is his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church)

  • “What I absolutely was not expecting, as paranoid and conspiracy-minded as I am, was a highly regarded UN-associated international chemical watchdog group using the function for that purpose.” <– Thank you.

  • Texas A&M University settled a lawsuit recently and paid PETA’s legal fees in the case where Texas A&M blocked PETA activists’ postings on the A&M Facebook page:

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-105-petas-first-amendment-victory-in-texas-m-dog/id1345723714?i=1000464672926

    This was a First Amendment issue, because Texas A&M is a public institution, and selectively blocked posts to their Facebook page based on political content only.

    Seems like the same issue with OPCW hiding Tweets, except the Tweets can be found, and maybe OPCW is outside U.S. jurisdiction.

    • Hmmm, note to anyone who tries to create a League of Nations 3.0 (if we survive this mess without a civilization ending nuclear war). Need to include an international court with independent jurists outside political control where any citizen of the world can sue if a world organization is not honoring the basic rights of world citizens.

  • I don’t have a Twitter account, but I read several accounts without logging in (and I cross pollinate outside Twitter with links to choice tweets).

    I clicked around some of the OPCW links in this article, to see if I could find hidden tweets, and they seem to be visible to me. I’m using Firefox. I found the symbol to show hidden tweets, and I see what looks like hidden tweets visible when I click it. The tweets in the hidden tweet place appear to also be with the not hidden tweets. I didn’t check super carefully though.

    • Interesting, as of the big three browsers, Firefox is the only one not written by a mega-corp that has major contracts with the US military, intelligence and police agencies. And the other two mega-corps who’s names I will not say (because there is power in names) make their mega-profits by spying on you and then using that info against you – including in politics.
      Different browsers do sometimes take the same code of a webpage and implement it differently, especially if the code deviates from the approved standards. And of course, what Twit does in their own app is entirely up to them.
      Reading the Twits in Firefox is thus quite possibly subject to less manipulation.

  • As horrible as these White Helmet false flags are, they’re nothing compared to >
    “Breathtaking: Solving Nuclear 9/11”
    “Exposing NIST Jenga Game”
    VeteransToday(.)com > finally,
    WTC vaporization declassified

    • I wouldn’t believe Veterans Today if they said the sun was going to set in the west. I used to read them and their articles on radiation were psuedo-science gobbledygook that could only be designed to manipulate the gullible.

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