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Charlie Kirk

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Charles J. Kirk is an American conservative activist and radio talk show host. He founded Turning Point USA with Bill Montgomery in 2012, and has served as its executive director since.

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9 Dec, 2022

The Twitter Files 2: Twitter’s Secret Blacklists

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Musk, through Weiss, releases The Twitter Files Part 2, subtitled ‘Twitter’s Secret Blacklists (also called, as a joke, ‘Part Deux’ by Musk), detailing how Twitter executives and staff used internal committees and tools to blacklist and restrict access to certain Twitter accounts in secret.

Such actions were called Visibility Filtering (VF) and included blocking searches of individual users; limiting the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; blocking select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page and from inclusion in hashtag searches. In internal messages, Twitter employees also spoke of using technicalities to restrict the visibility of tweets and subjects.

Users did not know about these techniques. In 2018, Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said:

We do not shadow ban.

Twitter employee:

Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool. We control visibility quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do,

Weiss details several accounts that were restricted, including conservative activist Charlie Kirk, who was set to “Do Not Amplify”; Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children, was put on a “Trends Blacklist”; and the right-wing talk show host, Dan Bongino was restricted using a “Search Blacklist”.

The Files include details about two internal committes: The first group, known as the SRT-GE (Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team) decided whether to limit the reach of certain users. It often handled up to 200 “cases” a day. The second, which was only for the largest, most politcally-sensitive decisions, was known as SIP-PES (Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support), which included Gadde, Yoel Roth (Global Head of Trust & Safety), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others. This group operated outside of Twitter’s normal abuse ticketing system,

This latter group restricted the account of @libsoftiktok, subjecting its owner to six suspensions for ‘Hateful Conduct’, despite the committe knowing that LTT has not directly engaged in behavior that violated the Hateful Conduct policy. Weiss contrasts this with Twitter taking no action over posts that revealed the account owner’s home photo and address.

7 May, 2015

Bloomberg profile

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Kirk and Turning Point are profiled by Bloomberg. The article says that the group’s paid workers are each supposed to make at least 1,500 student contacts per semester. and that about 20,000 people have attended a Turning Point event, posted on social media, or volunteered for the group’s events. The organization claims it registered 10,30 voters in Florida in April 2015, and is looking to recruit at least 1000 activists in key battleground states each month. Kirk says he is following the Moveon.org model to grow the group:

I don’t think I agree with them on a single issue. But I have nothing but respect for how successful they’ve been.

27 Sep, 2014

We, The People convention speech

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Kirk gives a speech at the We, The People convention is Columbus Ohio.

I get to communicate with a lot of young people, I get to meet with a lot of college students and a lot of high school kids, and I can tell you that after voting for this President twice there is a lot of… they are reconsidering their decision in more ways than one. And it’s up to us to paint an alternative and be able to construct a vision for them to plug into.

Charlie Kirk Turning Point USA

7 May, 2014

Student loan forgiveness interview

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Kirk joins The Willis Report to discuss Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to forgive student loans.

I think it’s totally absurd. What this really is, is a populist push by the base of the Democrat party to punish success and rich people in this country. If you really read the language of this bill, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The focus point of what Elizabeth Warren is trying to do is, she’s trying to say, “These evil Republicans, they don’t want to help students, they would rather help big Republican donors”…I think this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

12 Jan, 2013

Value of college education interview

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Willis interviews Kirk about the value of a college education:

Kids are waist deep in debt, and waht it does is disallows for entrepreneurial innoc=vation, and kids wont be able to follow their dreamsand they’re in some kind fo servitude for the next 20-30 years.

Charlie Kirk on The Gerri Willis Report

27 Aug, 2012

Meet at convention

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Kirk is about to leave the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa when he spots Friess in a stairwell and pitches him on his idea of starting a grass-roots organization to rival liberal groups such as MoveOn.org. Kirk receives funds from Friess three weeks later. Freiss:

He impressed me with his capacity to lead, intelligence, and love for America. I instantly knew I wanted to support him.

5 Jun, 2012

Founding

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Kirk founds Turning Point just after leaving high school. The organization’s mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.