HomeArticleTwitter Rolls Out New Wikipedia-Like Program To Narrative Manage Tweets

Twitter Rolls Out New Wikipedia-Like Program To Narrative Manage Tweets

Twitter has announced that it will be employing “a new community-driven approach to help address misleading information” called Birdwatch which news media are comparing to the model of content moderation used by Wikipedia.

“Twitter unveiled a feature Monday meant to bolster its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation by tapping users in a fashion similar to Wikipedia to flag potentially misleading tweets,” reports NBC. “The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis.”

“We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this — from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensuring it isn’t dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors,” Twitter’s official statement says. “We’ll be focused on these things throughout the pilot.”

Such claims provide little reassurance for anyone who’s familiar with the establishment narrative control operations which take place on Wikipedia in exactly that way. The Grayzone‘s Ben Norton did a great two-part report last year on the way concerted, aggressive efforts by a small group of shady-looking Wikipedia editors has succeeded in dominating the site’s articles which relate to western imperialist agendas and the reporters who support and oppose those agendas, including getting outlets like WikiLeaks and The Grayzone banned from use as sources despite their having no history of false reports.

“The internet encyclopedia has become a deeply undemocratic platform, dominated by Western state-backed actors and corporate public relations flacks, easily manipulated by powerful forces,” wrote Norton. “And it is run by figures who often represent these same elite interests, or align with their regime-change politics.”

Since 2018 alternative media voices like The Canary and Media Lens have been reporting on the frenetic editing behavior of a Wikipedia account by the name of “Philip Cross” which works an inhuman number of hours without ever taking a day off, largely targeting the accounts of those who criticize the western empire and voice skepticism of its dominant narratives.

This kind of aggressive narrative management campaign is why when you look at any Wikipedia article about an internationally disputed issue on the world stage, say for example the article about the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, you’ll see the word “Bellingcat” no fewer than 20 times as of this writing and a heavy bias toward the western narrative that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack, but won’t find information about the gaping plot holes in the story like the ones documented in this excellent article by The Nation‘s Aaron Maté, nor will you see any links back to this article.

So it’s already established that this sort of “community-driven approach” to information control can easily be exploited by well-funded groups which have a vested interest in doing so. The fact that Twitter has already been functioning as a propaganda arm of the US government with regard to its willingness to deplatform accounts from imperialism-targeted nations like Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China means we can only expect this bias to go one way with regard to imperialist narrative management.


The fact that this “Birdwatch” program will most likely be used to determine the dominant narrative on disputed events like potential false flags and what’s happening in nations like China and Syria means it’s obnoxious that Twitter’s post promoting it features an imaginary account saying “Whales are not real! They’re robots funded by the government to watch us!!” As though that sort of indisputable falsehood is the sort of post this program will actually be targeting rather than people expressing doubts about things like Russian hackers and the White Helmets.

Twitter chose to use “whales aren’t real” as its example of the “misinformation” its new program will be “fighting” not because it is cute and funny, but because using any of the actual narratives it will wind up manipulating would have set off people’s alarm bells. Imagine the reaction if they’d chosen something like Covid vaccinations for example, even though this could very well end up being one of the issues Birdwatch winds up exercising narrative control over.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. That’s all you’re ever seeing in all the efforts to manage information via censorship, algorithm changes, “fact” checking, Russian propaganda panic, etc. Humans are story-driven animals, so if you control the stories you control the humans.

The US-centralized oligarchic empire will be doing a lot of evil things in the near future, and it will be necessary to control the narrative about those things. That’s all we’re really looking at here.


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  • Time to flip the bird to Twitler.

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  • It seems like the ideal way to increase censorship and eliminate personal blowback risk is to crowdsource it to a vast unpaid army of minders. Some people are just wired to tell everybody else the rules all the time. You’ve probably noticed somebody like this in your very own life.
    Just give them a little guidance and maybe a little pat on the back for good-citizenship and you can turn the dial as far as you want on this baby. “11” is like “cultural revolution” for instance.

  • Tulsi went on Fox News, and in response to John Brennan’s salivation for sweeping new domestic “terrorism” laws she stated that [this is something everyone should be] “extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends. When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominates in the Biden Administration who are already starting to look across our country for these type of movements, similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words make up this ‘unholy alliance’ of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and names at the end, even libertarians….I mean, where do you take this?”
    Tulsi Scolds Schiff and Brennan, Speaks Against Surveillance

  • They’re using their control of the narrative to sell us “the great reset,” the fourth industrial revolution,” or, as Biden apparently prefers, “build back better.” They’re all the same thing.
    They’re using things like “domestic terrorism,” and the Covid pandemic to create the conditions for a very grim future. They’re propagandizing “sustainability,” socialism, “minimum basic income” and “the green new deal” as a way to sell their dystopian plan to the public.
    The same people most responsible for our economic and ecological problems are now claiming they will save us from the devastation they created if we just give up everything we own and don’t dissent? Really?
    All the while they just keep profiting, getting richer and more powerful by the second. As we get poorer and weaker.
    “Schwab describes how new generation technologies, already being rolled out by Google, Huawei, Facebook and countless others, will allow governments to “intrude into the hitherto private space of our minds, reading our thoughts and influencing our behavior…Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us — they will become part of us,” said Schwab. “Today’s external devices — from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets — will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains.”
    Seems obvious, to me, this is where all this is leading. I wonder what most people think about this? Do they think that the technology doesn’t exist? Do they think there’s no way these people would go that far?
    “This all seems too surreal until you read from their own descriptions. The fact that the cabal of the world’s most influential corporations and billionaires sit on the board of WEF with Kissinger’s student, Klaus Schwab, along with the head of the UN and of the IMF, with the CEOs of the world’s largest financial giants including Blackrock, BlackStone, Christine Lagarde of the European Central Bank, David Rubenstein of Carlyle group, Jack Ma, richest billionaire in China, is proof enough this Great Reset is not being done with our true interests at heart, despite their silky words. This dystopian agenda is 1984 on steroids. COVID-19 was merely the prelude.”
    Anyone who thinks there is not an unelected, deep state cabal/global crime syndicate . . . planning the future of our planet is not paying attention.

    • Ahh, grasshopper, we already have 1984 for the working class and the brave new world for the managerial professional classes with the ruling classes above the fray. Resistance is futile you will be assimilated. The East is authoritarian totalitarian regimes and the west is inverted totalitarian regimes.. only the bomb keeps peer level war away. Resistance is futile you will be assimilated but I said that already. Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think…

      • I don’t think resistance of totalitarianism is ever futile.
        Submission is futile.
        . . . master.

  • Caity, you might be interested in Perry Barlow’s Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace from 1996 and how it relates to the current state of internet censorship.

    “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”

    It’s really quite heartbreaking to read. We have lost so much.


  • Their agenda… “Order Ab Chao”. Edward Bernays, author of “Propaganda”, believed that propaganda was essential for creating order out of chaos. Why? It works. “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.” However, what he fails to mention is that our Founding Fathers never sought to create a democracy in the U.S. That word doesn’t appear in even one of our founding documents. To the Founders, democracy meant “mob rule.” Which increasingly is what we have… the Republic is falling, just as did Rome.

    For all likeminded readers of this article, consider this video as a supplement to the above opinion.

    • Ah but how many amerikan people even heard of Bernays? How many amerikan people have read Harari where he explains how big cyber understands you better than you understand yourself or that you really have no free will. Harari writes NYT best seller’s but how many amerikan working class amerikan people have read Harari? The mind control of today is so perfidious so imperceptible so insidious so omnipresent few people have any idea it even exists which of course is the idea.

  • It looks to me like Twitter and Wikipedia are headed for the same fate as Stars and Stripes- censored and kept afloat by the powerful but not taken seriously by the target audience.

  • Caitlin’s accurate criticism of Wikipedia’s political censorship (ostensibly via a small but frenzied group of self-appointed “editors”) applies with equal force to Wikipedia’s entries concerning the paranormal, all of which are examples of slanted, selective “debunking” by proponents of scientific materialism. Do Caitlin’s readers know, for example, have even the remotest idea, that the only group of prominent, hardnosed scientists and scholars who set out to debunk the spiritualism craze of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, exposing numerous frauds in the process, ALSO FOUND THE REAL THING: concrete, objective, compelling evidence of the existence of an afterlife? Don’t believe me? Please do your own research and reading; dig into the decades of painstaking, professional work performed by the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). Unlike Wikipedia, Michael Tymn’s accurate, informative, and entertaining books are great places to start, especially “Resurrecting Leonora Piper.” Yes, my friends, despite what’s been drummed into us by our social conditioning, despite what most of us have been led to believe science has shown, it turns out we have something like souls after all, apart from any traditional religious doctrine or dogma or creed.

    • Wikipedia is as fallible as any other discourse or script. I don’t know why people don’t get this. If you want to research something using the Net, Wikipedia may be a good place to start, at least for some subjects, but it’s only a start.

    • Oh please! If we have something resembling souls so does everything that ever lived.

      • I agree.

  • Just wondering: would something like the following be flagged as “misleading?”:

  • Maybe we should give twitter our “help” by pointing out all the lies and propaganda in the typical “establishment” narrative. However, I doubt that’s what they’re looking for.

    We’ll most likely see the same “phillip cross” types doing what they’ve done to wikipedia. The Biden administration will waste no time in attempting to put a smiley face on the war machine so the latte sippers can go back to peaceful slumber after their TDS nightmare. Twitter will be a useful servant.

  • “The US-centralized oligarchic empire will be doing a lot of evil things in the near future, and it will be necessary to control the narrative about those things. That’s all we’re really looking at here.”
    Standing up, speaking out and asking questions can make a difference. Good on Caitlin and the commenters here.
    According to the World Socialist Website, facebook did restore the pages. Unclear if it’s all of them though.
    “On Monday, following widespread protests, Facebook restored the page of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) at the University of Michigan, along with the accounts of leading members of the IYSSE and the Socialist Equality Party (SEP).”

    Still, this seems like they were testing how far they could go, further conditioning us to the idea of censorship of Constitutionally protected speech.
    Some more questions from WSWS:
    “The World Socialist Web Site demands that Facebook explain why the company purged the accounts of the UM IYSSE and the accounts of leading SEP members.

    “What individuals were involved in making this decision to remove the pages of members of the SEP? What was the involvement of US government agencies in Facebook’s decision? Did Facebook ever discuss the activities of the SEP or any of its members with the US government? Did Facebook come under pressure from the US government to take actions against the SEP?
    “Without such an explanation, there can be no assurance that further arbitrary and politically motivated actions will not be taken. And Facebook’s apology has no meaning unless it can provide assurances that it will not do it again.”

  • Caitlin Johnstone wrote:
    > The fact that Twitter has already been functioning as a propaganda arm of the US government . . .
    “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
    — Albert Einstein, letter to Jost Winteler, July 8, 1901
    Quote by Albert Einstein: “Blind belief in authority…”

    • Ha, ha. This is, of course, an argument from authority.

    • Anarcissie wrote:
      > Ha, ha. This is, of course, an argument from authority.
      Of course, and any human authority — Einstein and everyone — can be right or wrong, with different degrees of reliability, some more reliable than others, never 100% — except maybe WikiLeaks so far. 🙂
      So everything needs to be verified, even what authorities say, with multiple relatively reliable sources, studies, etc. not only one side. Experts, press, governments, intelligence agencies, etc. all have been often wrong.
      That’s why in my experience, and surely in the experience of all of us, Einstein is right in this case, warning agains “blind belief”.
      For instance, even doctors are human, not divine:
      “Study Suggests Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. . . .
      “10 percent of all U.S. deaths are now due to medical error. . . .
      “Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S.”
      Study Suggests Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. — Johns Hopkins Medicine — May 3, 2016
      From a Ron Morgan cartoon…
      Doctor: “I do not think I’m God. God-like, yes, but not God.”

  • The recently developed technocracy makes the robber barons of the late 19th and early 20th century look like saints compared to the current crop. It isn’t satisfied with stealing your wealth, it wants your mind as well. In fact, it insists you give it to them. Or else cease to exist. Meanwhile stealing your privacy and selling it to the highest bidder. There is no sane rational reason to continue facilitating them.

  • The original Encyclopaedia in revolutionary France was a political tool too.

  • Now for some feel good news to rejuvenate our souls, a must read for those feeling depressed about the world.


    • Thank you so much, Roy, for the uplifting and thought-provoking article. Understandably, there’s so much negativity these days. Thus it’s heartening to read something or hear something which points to the possibility that a better, more beautiful world may somehow emerge from all this madness. After watching “The New Normal” video, I happened onto the below-linked website and realized I was far from alone in dreaming about a great reset that fosters the flourishing of human societies and all living things. Who would have dreamt that a group from the advertising industry, of all places, would be pushing for precisely such a reset?

    • As I sort of understand it we are all nooshperoids, but we forgot that we are, and we just have to wake up and go “Whew, bad dream!”.
      I can at least feel people’s suffering on my bike rides, and it really tires me out when somebody is hating on me and plotting against me.
      I guess I’m progressing…

      • oops, “noospheroids”
        Blew It…

  • “Expect Push for Censorship Under Biden
    Black Agenda Radio with Margaret Kimberley and Glen Ford
    Under the new administration, the State will attempt to “constrict political analysis and alternative information, to impose on us an ideological conformity,” said Ajamu Baraka, national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace, speaking at a Dissenters online event. UCLA history professor, author and activist Robin DG Kelley said the movement must “do a better job of fighting on behalf of our prisoners of war,” some of whom have been incarcerated for three generations. These prisoners defended their actios under international law, “and that’s why judges hate them,” said Kelley.

  • Microsoft patent would let us chat with the departed

    A chilling episode of the Twilight Zone that first aired 60 years ago focused on a young boy (played by Bill Mumy) who frustrated his parents by insisting he speaks to his grandmother daily on the toy phone she had given him just before she died. When his grieving and exasperated mother finally grabbed the phone to toss it away, she was startled to hear her mother’s voice on the line.

  • I wonder what percentage of the “philip cross”- bellingcat- type propaganda wonks ( and the msm journos also, albeit theyre the next tier down quoting top tier garbage a 12year old could see through once the pattern is pointed out) joke about turning to the dark side in their private lives? The propaganda is unfailingly predictable and obvious at this point, there are plenty of disasters where it actually worked, only to create hell on earth. Are they simple sociopaths? Social darwinists? Otherwise unemployable fuckups? Are they slaves being held by blackmail? How does one get trapped into a life where if you do your job correctly millions suffer? I cant imagine them being true believers because wouldnt you have to be aware of what youd be covering up to make this shit up?

  • Anyone who believes alot of the politically slanted facts on wikipedia gets what they deserve. Leave it to a community driven encyclioedia to rewrite history. Take whatever facts you get from that authority with a grain of salt

  • Reminds me of “Hot potato”.
    Not going to play.

  • Wiki employs an army of ‘ Winston Smith’s ‘ – Twitter do the same and it is getting worse !

    The ‘thumbs up – thumbs down’ are just a tool to manipulate public opinion !!

    Get off these social media platforms – they are bad for your mental health !

    I think Twatter users have fled en masse since they banned the ‘Don’ – never to return !

    • There are unedited, unfiltered alternatives to Twitter. Some are peer-to-peer, so, no server where filters and spies can be located.

      • Yeah like talking for example

  • “The United States-centralized oligarchic empire will be doing a lot of evil things in the near future, and it will be necessary to control the narrative about those things. That is all we are really looking at here.” -Ms Caitlin Johnstone
    That Ms Johnstone is the bottom line of the owners and the masters. Keep the ” peons ” in a coma with disinformation and hateful exploitations. Your articles are ” home runs ” Ms Johnstone and a great pleasure to read; Thank You!

  • Twitter “wants our help.” Stuff it, twit. There. Was that helpful, Jack?

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