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Billionaire Republican buys major Twitter stake, may oust CEO amid GOP concerns of bias, reports say

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By Gregg Re | Fox News

A billionaire Republican megadonor has purchased a “sizable” stake in Twitter and “plans to push” to oust CEO Jack Dorsey among other changes, according to new reports, raising the prospect of a shocking election-year shakeup of the social media platform that conservatives have long accused of overt left-wing political bias.

Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. has already nominated four directors to Twitter’s board, a development first reported by Bloomberg News, citing several sources familiar with the arrangement. The outlet noted that unlike other prominent tech CEOs, Dorsey didn’t have voting control over Twitter because the company had just one class of stock; and he has long been a target for removal given Twitter’s struggling user growth numbers and stock performance.

Singer, who opposed President Trump’s campaign in 2016, has since changed his tune, raising the prospect that some of the changes to Twitter could make the platform a friendlier place for pro-Trump users. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Singer donated $24 million to Republican and right-leaning groups in the 2016 election.

DOJ UNDERTAKING ANTITRUST REVIEW OF FACEBOOK, GOOGLE

“As you know, Paul was very much involved with the anti-Trump or as they say ‘Never Trump,” and Paul just left [the White House] and he’s given us his total support and it’s all about unification,” Trump said in 2017. “So, I want to thank Paul Singer for being here and coming up to the office. He was a very strong opponent and now he’s a very strong ally and I appreciate that.”

Twitter has long rankled not only conservatives but also independent-minded commentators and left-of-center activists. In 2018, feminist Meghan Murphy slammed Twitter for the “dangerous” banning and silencing of users who didn’t follow the platform’s guidelines. Murphy was banned after writing that “men aren’t women,” in defiance of Twitter’s stated views on gender.

“I don’t want to draw a line that ends up silencing people who have political ideas, or who are talking about ideologies, or who are challenging popular discourse that has been deemed offensive,” Murphy told The Hill.

HOWARD KURTZ: IS TWITTER CORRUPTING JOURNALISM, OR EXPOSING ITS UTTER UNFAIRNESS?

Twitter did not immediately reply to a request for comment. “We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” Twitter’s website read.

Meanwhile, Jordan Peterson, the Canadian professor who famously protested legislation that would punish professors for refusing to use students’ custom pronouns, began development recently on a “free speech” alternative to Twitter called Thinkspot.

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And, California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes last year filed a major lawsuit seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and a handful of its users, accusing the social media site of “shadow-banning conservatives” to secretly hide their posts, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints, and totally “ignoring” lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.

“Twitter is a machine,” Nunes’ personal attorney, Steven S. Biss, told Fox News. “It is a modern-day Tammany Hall. Congressman Nunes intends to hold Twitter fully accountable for its abusive behavior and misconduct.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/twitter-paul-singer-republican-jack-dorsey.amp?__twitter_impression=true

An Incident Impacting your Account Identity

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Twitter Privacy Center
February 03, 2020
An Incident Impacting your Account Identity

On December 24, 2019 we became aware that someone was using a large network of fake accounts to exploit our API and match usernames to phone numbers. We immediately suspended these accounts and are disclosing the details of our investigation to you today because we believe it’s important that you are aware of what happened, and how we fixed it.

During our investigation, we discovered additional accounts that we believe may have been exploiting this same API endpoint beyond its intended use case. While we identified accounts located in a wide range of countries engaging in these behaviors, we observed a particularly high volume of requests coming from individual IP addresses located within Iran, Israel, and Malaysia. It is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors. We are disclosing this out of an abundance of caution and as a matter of principle.

When used as intended, this endpoint makes it easier for new account holders to find people they may already know on Twitter. The endpoint matches phone numbers to Twitter accounts for those people who have enabled the “Let people who have your phone number find you on Twitter” option and who have a phone number associated with their Twitter account. People who did not have this setting enabled or do not have a phone number associated with their account were not exposed by this vulnerability.

After our investigation, we immediately made a number of changes to this endpoint so that it could no longer return specific account names in response to queries. Additionally, we suspended any account we believe to have been exploiting this endpoint.

Protecting the privacy and safety of the people who use Twitter is our number one priority and we remain focused on stopping abuse of Twitter’s API as quickly as possible. You can learn more about our efforts to protect Twitter from platform manipulation and state-backed activity in the Twitter Transparency Report.

We’re very sorry this happened. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day. You can reach out to our Office of Data Protection through this form if you have questions.
© 2020 Twitter, Inc.

https://privacy.twitter.com/en/blog/2020/an-incident-impacting-your-account-identity