Elon Musk Might Have Just Dealt A Death Blow To NAFO
Instead of Twitter taking Kiev’s side by boosting its trolls’ accounts and hashtags, it’s now finally moving towards becoming a neutral host of civilized debate, which aligns with Elon Musk’s noble mission. Be that as it is, this is still admittedly being implemented imperfectly as proven by the continued existence of certain troll accounts that explicitly violate the terms of service but have yet to be removed. Nevertheless, the progress achieved thus far is visible and prompted senior Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhail Podolyak to publicly complain.
The SBU-backed fascist troll network known as “NAFO” appears to have just been dealt a death blow by new Twitter owner Elon Musk after senior Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhail Podolyak complained that related trends in his side’s support have seemingly disappeared from that platform. This follows Musk’s declaration of war against bots and other accounts that manipulate his company’s algorithm, which is precisely what NAFO has done through its coordinated and inauthentic behaviour all this year.
It can’t be overstated just how important this development is. NAFO isn’t just a collection of random trolls, but the most toxic network on Twitter that also regularly violates the terms of service, which it had hitherto done with impunity prior to Musk’s far-reaching reforms. His noble mission to restore a sense of civility to social media by finally enforcing Twitter’s rules without exception, coupled with the exodus of hyper-partisan pro-Kiev employees and his removal of trolls, has truly been game-changing.
While it’s true that intrepid folks can use NAFO to algorithmically amplify their own work that those trolls aggressively seek to suppress if they have the patience and time to do so, which I proved in this thread is indeed achievable, the average person would rather not be victimized by their unprovoked ad hominem attacks. Many have thus taken to automatically blocking related accounts using the free Secateur app, but this sometimes has the unintended effect of creating an “echo chamber”.
There’s a growing number of folks among the US-led West’s Golden Billion who are becoming increasingly sceptical of their side’s official narrative about the Ukrainian Conflict, but they’ve been unable to obtain alternative information from others due to being blocked by them via Secateur. That’s because the app automatically blocks everyone who follows the accounts that the user targets, in this case NAFO trolls, but some who follow them aren’t trolls themselves but just curious about their posts.
There’s nothing wrong with these outcomes if that’s what the user wants, but as was said, a lot of people would prefer to politely exchange respectfully expressed contrarian thoughts with others if given the opportunity, which is regrettably impossible since NAFO poised the debate. Therein lies the importance of what Musk has just done by seemingly removing the algorithmic amplification that his company’s prior hyper-partisan pro-Kiev employees had previously given them behind the scenes.
Instead of Twitter taking their side by boosting their accounts and hashtags, it’s now finally moving towards becoming a neutral host of civilized debate, which aligns with Musk’s noble mission. Be that as it is, this is still admittedly being implemented imperfectly as proven by the continued existence of certain troll accounts that explicitly violate the terms of service but have yet to be removed. Nevertheless, the progress achieved thus far is visible and prompted Podolyak to publicly complain.
He was so triggered by Twitter taking away the behind-the-scenes algorithmic amplification bestowed upon the fascist troll network that his intelligence agency backs, the details of which were revealed by investigative journalist Moss Robeson here, that he practically admitted to his side’s foul play. Without realizing it, he inadvertently acknowledged that NAFO can’t organically trend without the clandestine support of Twitter’s prior hyper-partisan pro-Kiev employees and his network’s army of actual bots.
Provided that Musk’s far-reaching reforms remain on track and aren’t reversed, then there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic that he’ll succeed in his noble mission of restoring a sense of civility to the online debates that his platform hopes to host. Deplatforming those NAFO accounts that violate Twitter’s terms of service, banning related bots, and removing his company’s prior behind-the-scenes algorithmic support for this SBU-backed fascist troll network will improve average users’ trust.
Not only that, but the impact on shaping global perceptions of the Ukrainian Conflict is another outcome that also shouldn’t be forgotten. The “echo chambers” that were defensively created by many users through their use of Secateur might voluntarily be dismantled or at the very least gradually opened upon Twitter successfully removing NAFO’s previously unfair narrative edge on its platform. After all, folks might be more willing to debate with others if civility finally returns via Musk’s reforms.
That would be a major development too since the respectful exchange of contrarian opinions could work to erode the false narratives that some have been brainwashed into believing. It’s precisely this outcome that NAFO is most afraid of and sought to preemptively thwart through its toxic attacks against average users, hence why it can be described as a zero-sum loss for that SBU-backed fascist troll network. Simply put, their entire raison d’être would be neutralized upon that happening.
In the event that “moderately” pro-Kiev folks are able to politely debate more with those who think differently, then there’s a credible chance that they might realize that they’ve been misled by their side’s perception managers but hitherto hadn’t realized this due to the echo chambers that were built, which were the result of NAFO poisoning discussion on Twitter and average folks massively blocking all accounts who follow those trolls in defensive response.
With NAFO having possibly been dealt a death blow due to Musk’s far-reaching reforms, folks from both sides might gradually start interacting with one another once again and importantly do so without being toxic. It remains to be seen just how much this could change average Western perceptions of the Ukrainian Conflict, but there’s reason to believe that those who were brainwashed into supporting Kiev might reconsider their views upon learning more of the truth from their contrarian interlocutors.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.