For Fintwit the big news last night was not that the Senate voted not to call witnesses (I don’t think anybody was surprised by that) nor that markets had dropped hard following over more uncertainty about the spreading coronavirus, no, it was the bombshell that popular blogger Zerohedge’s twitter account was suspended.
Friday night massacre.@zerohedge 😳 pic.twitter.com/xzv56Jrdlv
— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) January 31, 2020
This morning Bloomberg, after getting confirmation from Twitter, is suggesting the suspension is permanent.
Zero Hedge, which had more than 670,000 followers, was permanently suspended from Twitter https://t.co/WcxE17vOWD
— Bloomberg (@business) February 1, 2020
My general view is that a permanent suspension is too draconian, a mistake and should be reversed.
As to the substance for the suspension Zerohedge doesn’t need me to speak for them. Their site is up and running and they have spoken for themselves. What triggered the suspension was this controversial article last night in regards to the coronavirus: Coronavirus Contains “HIV Insertions”, Stoking Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon.
Twitter doesn’t comment on the specific reasons for suspension, but the suspected trigger may have been this sentence:
“Something tells us, if anyone wants to find out what really caused the coronavirus pandemic that has infected thousands of people in China and around the globe, they should probably pay Dr. Peng a visit”.
Buzzfeed apparently reported the post tweet linking to the article suggesting targeted harassment. Twitter is a private company and has the right to enforce its policies. No dispute about that.
Did the posting of publicly available information constitute targeted harassment? Debatable. Zerohedge didn’t threaten violence or encourage violence, they encouraged information seeking on a hot topic. Is there a substantive basis to the base question on the virus being manipulated? I can’t say. But Zerohedge didn’t just make up the allegations, they sourced the twitter account of a public health scientist and Harvard scholar not a dorm room conspiracy theorist.
Look, I get it, some people hate Zerohedge, some think they peddle in conspiracy theories and find they’ve been relentlessly bearish and critical of the status quo. But ironically many of the same people that profess hating Zerohedge also follow them on twitter and read their information.
Most mainstream media journalists I follow also follow Zerohedge for the same reason I follow them: They publish a lot of accurate, pertinent and yes, often times controversial information.
And full disclosure: Many of my public articles have appeared on Zerohedge. Besides publishing their own articles they are also an aggregator publishing voices and opinions that many times would not be heard in any other way, so they give exposure to these voices.
Many times I don’t agree with these voices, yet my own articles have appeared on the site. So what? I don’t need to agree with everything that’s out there and neither does anyone else. We’re supposedly sentient beings with critical thinking faculties and we can make up our own minds.
Now I get it, “May pay him a visit” may be construed in some eyes as potential harassment or a veiled threat. I didn’t take it that way, but I can see where others may disagree. It’s not a phrase I would ever use.
And nobody should feel threatened or harassed and yes, if I had a major publication suggest people may pay me a visit at my place of work I would be none too pleased. Yet Zerohedge didn’t publish private information, they published publicly available information.
So if “pay him a visit” was the trigger Zerohedge may want to apologize and retract and on that basis a temporary ban may have been justified from Twitter’s perspective, but from my perch a permanent ban is an overreach and draconian.
Everybody makes mistakes and Zerohedge is a publishing monster, they put out a ton of information with a respect deserving work ethic, much of it being very useful and pertinent for many of us in the Fintwit community. And this one sentence, if it was the trigger, doesn’t justify a permanent ban.
Zerohedge has been in business since 2009 and has published thousands of articles and hundreds of thousands of tweets. There is no pattern I can discern of targeted harassment. Controversial opinions yes, factual data yes, but no targeted harassment.
Of course there is a twitter account that does indeed engage in targeted harassment on a consistent basis, even putting individuals in danger: @realdonaldtrump.
Calling the press repeatedly enemy of the people has resulted in myriad of death threats to those in the media. Calling certain people ‘traitors‘ suggestive of thinly veiled threats of execution, or asking an audience to “beat the crap out of them” from the power pulpit of the presidency is evidence of a much more ominous, consistent and pattern of targeted harassment then one sentence encouraging the seeking out of more information.
And yes, it’s a pattern and it’s targeting people:
Some may be accusing me of false equivalency, but the results of this pattern is real: ABC News finds 36 cases invoking ‘Trump’ in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults.
Twitter is the platform that tolerates this pattern.
Now let me be clear: I’m not beating up on Twitter. I’ve gotten harassed and personally targeted many times and Twitter has been on top of it and I’m grateful for their diligence. I just think they should reconsider and reverse the ban and be in communication with Zerohedge to come to a resolution.
Zerohedge is an important part of the twitter community. And while the site will remain standing on its own I personally would miss Zerohedge in my feed, and I suspect so would many others.
For the latest public analysis please visit NorthmanTrader. To subscribe to our market products please visit Services.
All content is provided as information only and should not be taken as investment or trading advice. Any investments, trades, and/or speculations made in light of the ideas, opinions, and/or forecasts, expressed or implied herein, are committed at your own risk, financial or otherwise. For further details please refer to the disclaimer.
ZH is a regular purveyor of fascism. This posted under the byline of it’s collective autonomous editors, Tyler Durden. The violence fetishist central character of the movie Fight Club.
It also simply steals content and might never ask permission. There might seem to be little or no editorial philosophy beyond throwing whatever they steal against the wall to see what sticks but what ends up sticking is the fascist stuff. With large dowses of love for neo Confederate Ron Paul and the father of neoliberalism Friedrich Hayek.
One simply cannot be an anti fascist and link blithely to ZH. It’s a binary choice.
It’s easy enough to understand the Twitter ban.
You are off course with little to offer except abuse. ZH is a wonderful source of valuable information which is often available elsewhere but not easily accessed. ZH gives their readers a true compilation of alternative sites which bypass the captured and paid for MSM. You must either be in their pay or sadly delusional. You should try The Burning Platform for honest comments.
Twitter is yet another arm of the globalists and their NWO agenda. I really wouldn’t bother with them as most of these sites are for snowflake Millennials who have nothing better to do than exchange photos of their latest BigMac.
I had the effrontery to criticize the rightwingnuts that hang out on ZH and was banned for life from the site. They can’t take critics.
I don’t disagree and I don’t comment on ZH but I do use them to scan relevant articles and Tyler’s reports on current financial affairs like outing Tesla accounting disinformation and window dressing etc. I don’t think I would miss ZH on Twitter as I use it very little these days and I have been banned from FB anyway – but they don’t say why. I think is what I say in my book and posted to FB some time ago – that was the last time I used them.
Liberals have a strong totalitarian streak oddly enough given their stated philosophy of “we all are free to do and think whatever we want”. This is solely about silencing voices that don’t tow to the right (i.e. left) viewpoint. I guarantee you that Twitter has been lying in wait for any reason to stop the flow of info they don’t like into the public space via ZeroHedge. This is about promoting agendas not stopping harassment.
I go to ZeroHedge a lot and use Twitter only a tiny amount. But hopefully people who use Twitter will stop using it to protest their censorship.
Agree wholeheartedly – I do the same and value ZH immensely. This guy Rapier is delusional.
I read that article when first released, and even posted on ZH’s site before the band, ” Did ZH just Doxx him?” In my mind , it was yes. It was bold, and a little uncalled for since that poor guy must have been bombarded with hundreds of emails or phone calls.
I agree with your article, ZH could/should be put on notice, but a permanent band is a nonconstructive knee-jerk reaction.
However, if Twitter was just waiting for a good accuse, this was a good one. ;(
Not sure what to say about zerohedge, other than that Twitter has a lot of false stuff on it, like this: https://twitter.com/xijingpingreal?lang=en .
They’re not going to remove the Twitter feed of the President of the US, even if he is incendiary at times.
Couldn’t you find someone other than Trump to criticize for inciting violence? How about some world leaders who are in the news and are responsible for real violence?
Good article.. but these days we have something that is kind of like, “common knowledge”. And if you go against that, then it’s considered quite wrong it seems. There’s plenty of this common knowledge that is incorrect.. and some of it is at the core of this society, such as the effect of electromagnetic fields on the human body. But, good luck to the scientist and anybody trying to convince anyone, and those scientist voices are not in the news of course and they get fired if they try to speak. I see this ZH ban as a very similar problem.. common knowledge has to prevail. I had to fight with multiple people just to add this sentence to Wikipedia “In Sweden, some municipalities provide disability grants to people who claim to have EHS in order to have abatement work done in their homes even though the public health authority does not recognize EHS as an actual medical condition; towns in Halland do not provide such funds and this decision was challenged and upheld in court.” Of course they accepted it only if the “even though” is added, otherwise it was not acceptable to publish such a fact.
If something is not widely recognized, a million people will suddenly find it their job to say you’re wrong, not because they have the evidence for it, but because they have nothing else to do it seems.. The critical thinking as Northman points out, seems to be more and more disallowed.
Keep up the good work Northman, you’re one of the few still open to critical thinking.
Excellent discussion Chris and you have crystallised my thinking about ‘Common Knowledge’ and which you are surely right. I hadn’t thought about critique in quite this way, so thanks a lot.
Twitter censorship gone amok.
It’s stunning how easily people embrace censorship when someone, anyone publishes something that doesn’t fit their worldview.
Keep up the good fight, Sven.
Zerohedge often writes on topics with which I am intimately familiar. And just as often they are full o of shit.
They allow unfettered hate speech in their comment sections.
And sometimes they post my work without permission. Great. It usually generates a few subscriptions, so who’s complaining. However, they also claim that the posting was “Courtesy of…” Not true. They never asked. They just post.
But by all means, here’s my permission. Post more. I like to correct the record where more people will see it.
The problem is that they cherry pick only those posts that fit their world view. My job is to find and report the facts. That usually doesn’t fit their worldview.
They are an unscrupulous propaganda machine, I suspect of Russian disinformation, fomenting hate and division.
And when they get into my area of concentration and a measure of expertise, their so called analysis is not just misinformed. It’s often just plain wrong.
I’ve called them on their “mistakes” once too often I guess. So they banned me from following their Twitter feed a number of years ago. Apparently, they’re pretty thin skinned, just like most of the mainstream media shills they criticize, most of whom have also banned me from their feeds.
So what goes around comes around. Bwahaha.
“The problem is that they cherry pick only those posts that fit their world view.”
I’d say that statement applies to everyone (even if not intentionally so). We need ALL voices out there, regardless of viewpoint.
I go along with that – I do get some good stuff in between the fluff.
It’s the hypocrisy of sites like Twitter that get me. They don’t flinch when NYT editor Sarah Jeong uses their platform to send strings of racist rants but she’s got the blue checkmark and works for the Times so she’s one of the good ones.
ZH is an aggregator with its own slant. Take it or leave it. The comments section is full of mean-spirited morons. Don’t waste your time with them. The fact remains the site provides an increasingly valuable service as far as putting a spotlight on stories and information that the mainstream press (consumed with its own narratives and biases) won’t touch.
I suspect Twitter was only waiting for a reason to suspend ZH’s account. Let’s hope they review and reverse the decision in effort to maintain some semblance of impartiality when it comes to enforcing their rules.
Yes, agreed all you say – my view entirely – well said
Whilst i find the ZH website carries some highly intelligent and insightful articles from people like yourself, alongside a curious mix of pro Russia and US far right editorials, the comments section contains an overwhelming number of appalling anti semitic abuse. Despite their published policy of not allowing the usual categories of comments, they have never enforced it. I don’t follow their Twitter feed, but assume that the same commentators are also posting there. Surely people like you, Northy can threaten to withhold your articles unless ZH complies with its policy and bans abusive and blatant anti semitic posters?
Doesn’t matter to me if I like ZH or don’t like ZH. Doesn’t matter to me if they are factual or not. It’s just one more voice in the wilderness. Let me listen (or read) and draw my own conclusions. What I can’t accept is a bunch of intellectual infants who take it upon themselves to decide what I should and shouldn’t read. That’s pretty much all tech companies, but especially the twats at Twitter. I get it. They’ve already lost the argument. They don’t know how to respond so they ban. It’s all they have in their arsenal. The funny part of it is that they don’t know that we know, but we do. That’s fine. They will eventually get what they have coming to them. It’ll all work out in the end. It always does.