Three Things: The Early Bird Got Wormed

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

The self-ownage continues at Twitter. I don’t even know where to start because there’s just so much damage in the bird app’s debris field.

Let’s go with the problems closest to deaths.

~ ~ ~

The brilliant billionaire who overpaid for Twitter, who thought his Tesla engineers were qualified to determine staffing levels on software created over 16 years they didn’t write, had another brilliant idea.

He played Jenga with code within the platform because the application was too slow.

(I haven’t heard anyone complain about Twitter’s speed in ages, and when there’ve been complaints they’re usually in tandem with a major event flooding the network and system with user requests and tweets.)

Twitter’s speed hasn’t been a bottleneck to increasing users or profitability.

In the process of unplugging stuff to see if the platform would speed up, a worker who actually knew something about all the legacy code criticized Musk’s absurd efforts.

Free speech absolutist Musk fired him, egged on by his fanboi trolls.

And then users began to experience problems with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) over Short Message Service (SMS), otherwise know as text messages.

The security system which allows users to ensure their account can’t be accessed by unauthorized persons was broken, preventing users from accessing their accounts.

This also prevented users from checking their accounts to make sure they weren’t hacked and their verification worked.

~ ~ ~

Which is why during Sunday’s night’s mass shooting at University of Virginia, students as well as the public following the story were reportedly confused about UVA’s emergency message. They couldn’t be sure after Elon Musk’s back-and-forth changes to its verification system whether the message they read in Twitter from UVA-Emergency Management was legitimate.

Fortunately students used their own student-developed thread in a mobile app called Yik Yak to validate the emergency. Yik Yak has been problematic in the past, pulled from app stores because of unmoderated toxic behavior, but it was relaunched in 2021 and valuable to students during the shooting lockdown at UVA because Yik Yak limits reach to five miles. In other words, the students knew whoever was using the app was local to campus.

It’s possible the students could have deduced the UVA-Emergency Management tweet was legitimate because it displayed the source of the message – Rave Mobile Safety, an emergency messaging system. Had UVA-Emergency Management’s account been spoofed, a phone or desktop might have appeared instead of Rave.

This detail may not be available for much longer. Musk thinks identifying the source of tweets by device or application is just inconvenient bloatware.

Should we ask UVA students and their parents about Twitter’s bloatware problem?

~ ~ ~

As I noted in my previous Twitter acquisition timeline post, the company has been subject to a Federal Trade Commission consent decree since 2011 because of its failures to assure users’ personal data was secure.

From the FTC’s 2011 statement:

…The FTC alleged that serious lapses in the company’s data security allowed hackers to obtain unauthorized administrative control of Twitter, including both access to non-public user information and tweets that consumers had designated as private, and the ability to send out phony tweets from any account.

A $150 million penalty had been levied by the FTC only a month after Twitter and Musk agreed on terms for the acquisition.

And yet Musk noodled around with Twitter Blue and the blue check verification system, affecting the verification status of organizations as well as individuals – none of the changes done with documentation prepared in advance, or with red team testing for quality assurance.

Musk’s ham-handed mucking around in microservices temporarily affecting 2FA SMS – some accounts are apparently still affected – was likewise done without advance preparation, and in the face of criticism by seasoned employees who understood the system.

It’s worth noting in that same statement by the FTC these last two paragraphs:

NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the respondent that the law has been violated. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. “Like” the FTC on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter.

Though the FTC might want to rethink that last Follow, persons who felt their personal data was at risk over the last three weeks might want to drop the FTC a note.

~ ~ ~

After reading about the acquisition and the subsequent mass terminations along with the manifold fuck-ups like verification and 2FA SMS, I wonder if Musk and Twitter executives ever notified the FTC of the change in ownership as required by the consent decree.

90 replies
    • Hairy Chris says:

      I’ve heard rumours that GDPR may be an issue as well. If so, then some more hilariously huge fines could be potentially in the offing.

      • Libration Point says:

        Musk seems to have fired the people responsible for GDPR compliance, which was based out of Twitter’s European center in Ireland. As I understand, the way Twitter set up their operations, the compliance staff there were able to handle all EU-wide GDPR issues under just the Irish regulatory body. However, Musk has broken that structure and seems to be doing his best to destroy it completely by demanding everyone in Ireland immediately move to Dublin (where there is no housing to be found), and in doing so may have lost that Ireland-only coverage. Combine that with the fact that he’s ordered engineers in America to just make whatever changes he wants and ‘self-certify’ compliance with the FTC’s consent agreement, meaning they definitely aren’t thinking of GDPR impact on those changes, and Twitter is probably breaking things very quickly without anyone to tell them that they’re even doing so.

        So, at best he may be looking at fines of 4% global take from just Ireland. If he’s broken the Irish branch badly enough, Twitter can be hit with that by the GDPR regulators of every EU state, to the tune 108% of all global income. This is, as I understand, considered a Bad Thing in the business world, but Elon probably thinks he can just pretend the EU doesn’t exist. This will work as well as pretending the Chancery Court of Delaware wasn’t a thing.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “Move to Dublin!” Like moving from Iowa to Manhattan, without a bump in salary. Compliance with the GDR is key to operating both in the EU and anywhere outside the EU to which EU data is sent. It’s also important to the US safe harbor. Transnational regulatory and bankruptcy lawyers must be salivating.

          To paraphrase Sen. Thomas Jordan’s view of Sen. John Iselin:

          “If John Iselin were a paid [Fascist] agent, he could not do more to harm [Twitter] than he’s doing now.”

  1. Bobby Gladd says:

    I am now in Elmo‘s Twitter jail for ToS violation—“advocating self-harm” for mocking the GOP during TFG’s “announcement.” “Go ahead, incinerate yourselves.”

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      I once repeated a line I had heard at an AA meeting: “hold your breath and die in your sleep” and got suspended.

      But as Rayne points out, misogyny and hate speech are tolerated.

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      “One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”

      Balls out troll!

  2. Troutwaxer says:

    I’m working on creating a Linux class for a local computer center, and was thinking about how I could explain Open Source software. So I was rereading Eric Raymond’s* seminal paper “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” and ran across the following line: “Further, the SNAFU principle predicts in authoritarian organizations a progressive disconnect between decision-makers and reality…”

    …and I immediately thought, “That’s Twitter!”

    * “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” was written well before Raymond jumped the shark.

    • Rayne says:

      Yup, Raymond nailed it. We’re watching the conflict between the Cathedral and Bazaar playing out between Twitter and Mastodon, with much of of the flight in the last 48-72 hours related to the increasing authoritarianism at Twitter.

      Anyone interested in reading Raymond’s theory can find it at on line, in XHTML, XML, or Postscript.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Last time I went to Raymond’s site Firefox said not to trust it. A search for “Cathedral and the Bazaar” will locate numerous PDFs.

    • nedu says:

      Some time before I first read the CatB paper(*), it was already accepted net.abuse wisdom that—

      On the ‘net, everyone occasionally comes across as a kook.

      ((*) The paper came out before the book. IIRC, I myself came across it via First Monday.)

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Unfortunately Raymond doesn’t just appear to be an occasional kook. After 9/11 he jumped into the right-wing fever swamps and has not, to this date, returned, which is a shame, because I was looking forward to more work of Cathedral and the Bazaar’s quality.

        At the same time he’s continued his career as an important Open Source programmer. Just don’t ask him about politics.

        • Rayne says:

          I can’t recall who said it, but there’s an adage worth keeping in mind: All your faves are problematic.

          Raymond is the one person who laid out the theory of differentiation between corporatized, hierarchical, centralized software and free/open source software. Whatever else he is/does, his work on F/OSS remains important. He rattled both MSFT and IBM.

          • Troutwaxer says:

            Agreed completely! The dude was a giant back in the day! (This is where I confess my utterly problematic love of H.P. Lovecraft.)

    • Badger Robert says:

      The Perun guy from Australia published a Youtube video on the same subject. It seems to be an inherent risk of armies and authoritarian structures.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        This is an interesting lens for viewing. Thanks for the links. Makes me think of the “We create our own reality” Republican party. It should be no surprise that forcing people to accept as fact things for which there is no evidence–stolen elections, e.g.–will result in a drift away from reality. It’s hard enough to know what is real when one applies skillful analysis based on carefully gathered evidence. If one’s connection to reality is based on the whims of a narcissist, the drift is more of a sudden swerve into la-la land. What is astonishing is how many companies survive for years in the face of such disconnects.

        It turns out that releasing intentionally skewed polls predicting you’re going to win does not necessarily lead to winning.

        • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

          “What is astonishing is how many companies survive for years in the face of such disconnects.”

          Not really. It’s not a zero sum game. Getting it wrong most of the time will still see you getting it right some of the time and that allows you to limp along from one crisis to the next until it all becomes too much but that takes time.

  3. BirdGardener says:

    Rayne, thank you for these articles. I don’t like to give clicks to Musk or Trump, so I was gleaning my information from headlines. Your pieces and links are exactly what I need. Thank you!

    I’m adding this paragraph in case it adds a colorful detail you can use in a metaphor. We’ve had parrots for decades, and one thing is certain: if you live with parrots, you will get pooped on. Sometimes it’s unpleasantly obvious, but other times it’s done stealthily, so you don’t realize it until much later, sometimes when you’re out in public. So—Twitter isn’t just pooping copiously over everyone, it’s also making stealth-poops that most users won’t discover until they’ve been exposed to the public eye.

  4. Badger Robert says:

    Your writin.g about the technical issues is very helpful.
    I am finding Tribel is a good transition away from Twitter. Its not as fast, not as time consuming, and not as addictive. Trible is dope, in the best way possible.
    I can understand how the Mastadon system would be preferable in Europe. There will be a good deal of experimentation

  5. rosalind says:

    i’ve been following along this morning’s hearing in Delaware re. Musk and his Tesla compensation package. fav moment so far: “In his testimony at trial over legal challenges to his Tesla compensation, Elon Musk claims Twitter’s FTC consent decree is invalid and Twitter is no longer bound by it. Musk argues ‘an agreement made under duress is not valid.'”

    the fabulous Popehat, in response to a twitter question “Could his statement be used as evidence that violations of the consent decree were willful? Does that make things worse?” replied with an amusing giff repeating “yes yes yes yes”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If Elmo believes his hyperventilating about the consequences of being forced to agree to something under duress, he just vitiated a few thousand employment termination agreements – and not just those at Twitter.

      • GeneralSternwood says:

        Elmo clearly imbibed Trump’s leadership style and decided that he, too, knew better than anyone else how to do everything. I wonder if Elmo’s glaringly public failure is in part responsible for the ease with which the Murdochsphere and others are repudiating Florida Man (in order to replace him with Florida Man 2.0).

    • SteveinMA says:

      Apparently Elon is unaware that essentially ALL consent decrees are made “under duress”. Or just whining about it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Elmo has failed to learn the same lesson Trump ignores: playing to the rubes instead of making good legal arguments in court does not lead to a good end.

    • P J Evans says:

      He was talking about the 2018 SEC consent agreement, over Tesla.

      But he’d probably say the same thing about the FTC agreement.

    • Rayne says:

      Musk’s refusal to do basic due diligence is amusing as hell. Just wish the fallout wasn’t inflicted on employees and consumers.

      From FTC’s order —

      For purposes of this order, the following definitions shall apply:
      1. Unless otherwise specified, “respondent” shall mean Twitter, its successors and assigns, officers, agents, representatives, and employees

      And for 20 years this order is operative.


  6. PieIsDamnGood says:

    I’ve downloaded Mastadon and found myself at a loss for how to find people to follow or interesting servers. The search function
    doesn’t appear to be helpful, or I’m using it wrong. Does anyone have any recommendations for servers to join? Where can I find Marcy and Rayne?

    • HGillette says:

      I am finding it confusing as well. The distributed network means that in most cases you need the full address of someone to follow them. For example, my address is:

      @HankGill[email protected] (I picked this server more or less at random).

      If you just searched on “@HankGillette” I don’t think I would show up unless you were using the same server.

      Perhaps someone will figure out a way to automatically search multiple servers and make the process more transparent.

      • HGillette says:

        Another problem with the distributed servers is that signing up on one server does not give you control of your name across Mastodon. Anyone could go to a server other than and create an account with the name “@emptywheel”. Suppose dozens of people do that; how do you know which one is the real emptywheel? Of course, we know here, because you have told us, but I see that as a real weakness of Mastodon.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s not a weakness as much as newness, a learning curve. Verification has been solved already, others are using this. We hope to address the verified identity issue – you’ll see the genuine emptywheel will be verified on emptywheel server/instance.

    • Rayne says:

      Copy and paste the addresses bmaz shared into the Search field. You should be able to find us. Just click on our names to expand our entries or in the desktop version, click on the icon at the right to follow.

      Searching for content by word or name doesn’t work; try searching by hashtags.

        • Rayne says:

          First, it’s not meant to work like Twitter because the app is intentionally anti-viral. Bots and trolls can’t easily hunt down users or material to attack it across the fediverse.

          Second, the fediverse is a federation of smaller servers. Not every server has the same rules.

              • bmaz says:

                Yes, I certainly do. It doesn’t not work for shit compared to the old twitter. It is clunky, confusing, and its search is not worth one red cent. Twitter may be dying but Mastodon is nowhere remotely close to a usable alternative. Maybe they will get there, but not even close yet. That may be “my problem”, but it is also the absolute truth. So that is kind of a problem for any user.

                • Rayne says:

                  You’re still implying there’s a problem with Mastodon when it’s still a you problem and not an “any user” problem.

                  I’m not having any problems (nor are most of the people I follow), but then I also understand the difference between Twitter which is designed to push shit at you, and Mastodon which is designed to make you pull what you want (and jeebus, you do actually have to learn how it works to make that happen).

                  • bmaz says:

                    Yes, I still have a problem with Mastodon. I honestly don’t care about what others say, it is still primordial shit, especially their worthless search function. Get back to me when the thing works more than half as well as the twitter of old. I’ll be waiting.

            • Christenson says:

              OK, I’ll bite, with two questions in the style of the Bazaar:
              a) What’s the single most irritating thing about search in the Fediverse? (besides the fact that it’s a herd of cats, lol)
              b) Twitter search has enabled trolling and harassment, and the current Fediverse search (dys)function is a response to that. Assuming friction in search is not the correct response, because it is a tax on all of us, how would you propose to address trolling and harassment of the vulnerable? What if it’s a government doing the harassing? And how does it work if something is eminently mockable or cringeworthy and copies go viral? (I have a certain k ff ls in mind–while knocking K wi F rms offline was likely excellent, k ff ls is nowhere near as wholesome as that wonderful picture Marcy uses for an avatar on Twitter, )

              • bmaz says:

                a) it is darned near impossible to find and access, at least on my “server”, and even when you can, it is useless. b) any search engine can lead to trolls and malcontents. That is the internet.

                Both I, and especially this blog, get trolled relentlessly all the time. That, unfortunately, is pretty much the price of our doing business. We know how to deal with it after many years of experience, but it still is tiring. Back to Mastodon, I cannot even find and connect with people I have been friends with for well over a decade, because their search function is so incredibly pathetic.

  7. Klaatu Something says:

    after Twitter dies, and is resurrected as Two-tter, I shall consider joining. For now, I’m enjoying watching Captain Elmo sink himself and sorry he’s taking others with him

    [comment 971338 – I’m gunning to be the millionth, fair warning!]

  8. Doctor My Eyes says:

    One aspect I thought of immediately but still haven’t seen discussed is that it seems that a collapse or wing-clipping of Twitter will result in more siloing, meaning there will be more than one major site with people migrating to the one with the most people (or bots) friendly to their view of things. This strikes me on the surface as not a great thing. It is not helpful when sociopaths find a circle of people to normalize their abnormal impulses. I’ve been curious to see this notion addressed by the well-informed commenters here.

    • nedu says:

      Don’t mean to claim any “well-informed” epithet… but once-upon-a-time I did eagerly await First Monday on the very day each new issue lit up. And so thus, as by chance, the current issue has a paper which provides a reference…

      Dahlgren (2021) suggests that filter bubbles are not as influential as once imagined; overestimating them means simplifying human behavior and interactions, since new forms of online communication are more likely to expose people to multiple networks, creating a routine of confrontation with distinct views.

      (Hyperlink added to reference.)

      I’ve now skimmed the Dahlgren paper, but can’t say I’ve engaged with it deeply. Nevertheless, you might find that it does address your notion.

  9. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Yikes! Sorry about the brain fart on my user name in the above comment. This is the sort of thing that CAN happen under duress (lots of illness around here the last week).
    “Doctor My Name” is not a request to be tweaked. It’s a mistake.

  10. Christenson says:

    This in after Rayne finished his post: (via ars technica)

    Elon E-mails staff: “Agree to work long hours at high intensity or quit now, click here to agree.”

    This reinforces my conclusion that the only real questions are which straw is going to break the camel’s back, when will it break, and then what?

    • Christenson says:

      And… Elon is now saying he wants to pass on the reins of Twitter… but who with the necessary emotional intelligence and wisdom would take that on? Yet another entry in my “loose cannon leads to…???” list.

      • P J Evans says:

        he’s finding out he doesn’t have the time to run three companies, and can’t manage a software-dependent company for sh1t. (Remember, his degrees are bachelors in physics and economics. He’s not doing well at either one.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Easy for Elmo to say: a) it’s what the market wants to hear, b) he demonstrates daily his inability to manage his way out of a paper bag, and c) he keeps his promises about as often as Trump.

      The next CEO of Twitter will need to be an expert on bankruptcy. If, say, the EU fines it a few billion or freezes it out of the EU, owing to intentional and across-the-board non-compliance with the GDPR, that’s pretty much game over.

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      “So boss, let me get this straight. You want me to work like you did when you were doing it for equity but you want me to do it for salary? Give me 2% and we’ll talk.”

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Reminiscent of the opening scenes in Gone With the Wind, in which the gallant southerners are eager to distinguish themselves heroically in battle. Sad that things never turn out that way. Beyond idiotic to be excited about “the big one”, but being serially and catastrophically wrong has never resulted in useful self-reflection among warmongers.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What I want for Christmas: A press corps that focuses on more than horse race coverage, and focuses on, say, the plethora of reasons why Donald Trump would be a horrible candidate and a worse president. And on more than the race for president.

    If you think the Don crimed a lot his first go round, your head will spin the second time, especially if the GOP has one or both houses of Congress to ride protection for him. Personally, I think more than one agency would go under, what with being deluged with political commissars and demands to over-politicize its work.

  12. Jared Shoemaker Jr says:

    Is there a possibility Elmo is doing this to destroy Twitter as cover to just let the Saudis make off with personal data?

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      That’s EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking about lately. What if this is really about destroying Twitter b/c it’s the only outlet for progressives? Yes, this is tin foil hat territory.

      • BassDrummer says:

        I’m not sure it’s the progressives. Has Elmo considered that his pal Trump probably can’t run a campaign, let alone another term (shudder) without Twitter?

      • Rayne says:

        I don’t think it’s tinfoil considering who some of the investors are — money from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE. It’s not progressives so much as politics counter to the interests of these investors.

        They’ve been mucking about in Twitter for a long time already, they just hadn’t bought enough of it to be overt. For more than a decade when I’ve talked with others on Twitter about climate change, CO2 reduction, leaving fossil fuels, I’d get followed by PR companies who were employed by fossil fuel companies, added to lists. I’d get fossil fuel companies’ promoted ads pushed into my timelines. Of course I blocked them all but who does this regularly, combing through all their followers to vet them and blocking all ads they don’t want to see? Most Twitter users don’t, leaving their usage data open to fossil fuel entities.

        And then there’s the Saudi assets who’d been working for Twitter while spying — not in the timeline from my previous post on Twitter. Were there other spies not identified who may even now still be collecting intelligence?

        • Jared Shoemaker Jr says:

          Is that all they would get out of it? Flood your feed with API adds? There couldn’t be more to it?

          • Rayne says:

            No, of course not, since the Saudi agent was helping identify dissidents. Twitter has real phone numbers combined with all the DMs dissidents might have exchanged. How does a mole port knowledge of that? Treat it like a microtargeting list for ad sales.

            Perhaps you should think about how an asset would make spying look legal.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        In the world Trump foisted upon us, many things I would’ve consigned to the realm of conspiracy theory I now think are plausible. That’s scary when it’s not simply the reality-denying nut jobs who believe dangerous nonsense, but skeptical people who aren’t sure what is real and what is not.

        I had to check several news feeds to be sure the Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference was a real thing and not a “made you look” troll, because it was so impossible to believe. How will we explain that to people who weren’t yet born? “Well, the President of the United States had a lawyer, …” and it goes downhill from there.

  13. mospeck says:

    Elon’s BFR coming up next month is going to smoke Artemis and $ULA$$$. Though one has gotta give a big congrats to their 1st rate engineers — was on pins and needles 1:47 AM that she wouldn’t blow the stack from an H leak. Musk should just do what he does best — attract smart young gals (smarter than him) and make babies and rockets. Agree his buying twitter is simply incomprehensible.
    In other news, sry breaking NYT paywall protocol —
    Navalny says he is now in permanent solitary confinement.
    By Neil MacFarquhar, Alina Lobzina and Valeriya Safronova
    Nov. 17, 2022Updated 12:32 p.m. ET
    The Russian opposition leader has been jailed since March 2021 after surviving an assassination attempt that American intelligence agencies blamed on Russian security agents.
    Aleksei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader jailed after surviving an assassination attempt, said on Thursday that he has been transferred permanently to a solitary confinement cell that would limit his contact with other prisoners and the outside world.
    “They’re doing it to keep me quiet,” Mr. Navalny said in posts on his verified Twitter account, adding that staying in the small, cramped cell was typically limited to 15 days as a punishment. The rules also bar “long visits” from relatives, he said.
    The order came just four days before his family was expected to come see him, according to a post on Twitter from Team Navalny, the core organizers behind his opposition movement, who have all fled Russia.
    Mr. Navalny was incarcerated in the notorious Penal Colony No. 2, just east of Moscow, in March 2021 after he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been recuperating. White House officials said that American intelligence agencies had concluded Russian security police agents had poisoned Mr. Navalny. There is substantial evidence the Kremlin was behind the poisoning.
    He knew that he was facing possible arrest and a prison sentence for violating his parole by going to Germany, but he returned anyway. He had become Russia’s most prominent opposition leader by exposing high level corruption and by challenging President Vladimir V. Putin at the polls.
    At least nine years have already been added to his initial two-year sentence, and few expect him to emerge from prison while Mr. Putin is still president.
    “The general tendency has been to pressure him constantly, to make every day even worse, to keep pressuring him so that he breaks, to suppress him,” Lyubov Sobol, a key member of Navalny’s team, said in an interview, adding that a renewed effort to cut him off from the outside began around the end of September, about the same time that the Kremlin ordered a general draft for the Ukraine war.
    “These have been conditions of severe isolation; now he is isolated even more,” she said.
    Ms. Sobol said there were concerns about Mr. Navalny’s health, even though he was not one to complain about that.
    In a long thread on the social media network, Mr. Navalny wrote with his characteristic dry humor that his new cell was a “regular cramped cell, like a punishment cell” but that he was allowed to bring two books instead of one and that he could use the prison commissary for a limited amount of money.
    Mr. Navalny said that he had already been locked up in solitary confinement seven times in the last three months, having spent two-thirds of his time there since August.
    Aside from attempting to start a labor union among the prisoners, other “infractions” that landed him there included not buttoning his collar and not cleaning the prison yard well enough, he said. Another time he had addressed a prison official by his military rank rather than the more respectable name and patronymic.
    Mr. Navalny had previously described the cells as among the worst punishments. “I’m not going to lie — it’s a hellhole and an unpleasant place in every way possible,” he wrote. “But there are more important things in life than comfort.”
    Mr. Navalny said his new conditions would not prevent him from speaking out against the war and the ruling party. “That’s what I call on everyone to do,” he wrote “At every opportunity, campaign against the war, Putin and United Russia.”
    In the foreign news, an S-300 fell down on Poland, but nothing much.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      Thanks, mospeck! Have been thinking about Navalny lately as I read all the breathless reports of Putin’s pending departure, along with his ill-gotten gains, to CAR.

  14. WilliamOckham says:

    I don’t think Musk is destroying Twitter on purpose. I say that because if I took all the worst management decisions I’ve seen in software development projects over the last 30 years, distilled them into their purest essence, and made them all in the space of three weeks, you would get Musk at Twitter. The thing is, I understand why software development managers make those mistakes. They’re picking easy solutions to problems they don’t understand. And that’s exactly what Musk is doing. In public. Starting with overpaying for Twitter, every mistake he’s made has been driven by his prior mistake. I don’t think it will stop until he loses control of Twitter.

  15. Molly Pitcher says:

    Daily Beast has posted this as a breaking story:

    “Musk Boards Up Twitter Offices as Staffers Flock to Quit: Report”

    After giving employees a deadline of this afternoon, it appears that 75% of the remaining employees, including “several critical engineering teams in their entirety” have quit.

    …Twitter “alerted employees that effective immediately, all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended.” “Twitter’s offices are expected to reopen to whatever is left of its workforce on Monday…”

    They say that Elmo is ‘terrified” that the departing former employees will sabotage the company. Seems to me Elmo is doing that just fine all by himself.

    • viget says:

      Yeah…this is beyond incompetent. It’s willful sabotage. Too much near-realtime important data is exchanged on Twitter. Authoritarians just simply cannot have that.

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