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[liberationtech] Saudi Prince invests $300mn in Twitter

Parker Higgins parker at eff.org
Mon Dec 19 12:06:45 PST 2011


My sense is that IF there is any correlation between #Occupy* and
hair-trigger bans, it is very likely to be an institutional (and
unintentional one) as a result of OWS account behavior style.

Obviously, Twitter's "anti-spam" methods aren't targeting spam, as such;
they're targeting historically spam-like behavior. High frequency
@-replies which include multiple popular hashtags, sort of the hallmark
of OWS tweeting, could potentially be one of those behaviors.

So: if there's a problem, it looks like an engineering one and not a
political one. Just my 2¢.

Parker

On 12/19/11 11:53 AM, Jillian C. York wrote:
> I'm sorry, but I call bullshit on the targeting of #Occupy.  I haven't
> seen one legit incident yet, and this is something that a) I'm sensitive
> to and b) I track closely.
> 
> The Trending Topics algorithm is, in my opinion, wonky and in need of
> serious rethinking, but blatant censorship it is not.
> 
> On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM, planetary <planetary at plntry.net
> <mailto:planetary at plntry.net>> wrote:
> 
>     There are certainly fewer visible incidents one could point to with
>     Twitter, but are they really more virtuous, or better at concealing
>     suppressive behavior?
> 
>     There is considerable sentiment within the #Occupy* movement that
>     Twitter has targeted its users, with increasing reports of incidents
>     on hair-trigger account bans and the ongoing concern about the
>     trending topics representation.   Considering the difficulty of
>     substantiating any bias there, one tends to wonder, how much of that
>     difficulty really provides cover for a cleaner public image for Twitter?
> 
>     These are potentially explicable as functions of complex policies
>     and algorithms, but if it has the same effect of suppressing
>     visibility of certain grassroots movements, how intentional does it
>     have to be?
> 
>     Would love to get some real comparative data on this. A project
>     we're contributing to for #Occupy might just help...
> 
>     On Dec 19, 11, at 11:43 AM, Jillian C. York wrote:
> 
>>     Well, because Facebook has a fairly poor track record on privacy
>>     and free expression.  They've earned the scrutiny.  Thus far,
>>     Twitter has not.
>>
>>     On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM, Luke Allnutt <AllnuttL at rferl.org
>>     <mailto:AllnuttL at rferl.org>> wrote:
>>
>>         Bet there would be a lot more outrage if it was Facebook
>>         though. :) 
>>
>>
>>
>>         On 19 Dec 2011, at 20:34, "Jillian C. York"
>>         <jilliancyork at gmail.com <mailto:jilliancyork at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>>>         Oh also?  This is--on the surface--just as alarming and I
>>>         don't remember half the fuss:
>>>         http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/01/twitter-dst-confirm/
>>>
>>>         On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM, Jillian C. York
>>>         <jilliancyork at gmail.com <mailto:jilliancyork at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>>             Ha, you think that's bad, you should see how many calls
>>>             I've gotten asking what effect Kim Jong-Il's death with
>>>             have on the North Korean Internet!
>>>
>>>
>>>             On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM, Brian Conley
>>>             <brianc at smallworldnews.tv
>>>             <mailto:brianc at smallworldnews.tv>> wrote:
>>>
>>>                 I agree with Jillian. Slow news day on the markets?
>>>
>>>
>>>                 On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM, Jillian C. York
>>>                 <jilliancyork at gmail.com
>>>                 <mailto:jilliancyork at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>>                     Honestly?  I trust that this will have less than
>>>                     zero effect on Twitter's policy.  Twitter has
>>>                     stood up to a whole lot of other powerful
>>>                     players, including the US and UK governments. 
>>>                     Saudi's powerful, but we're talking about a share
>>>                     of under 5%. Try as they might, Kingdom Holding
>>>                     will likely have minimal effect.
>>>
>>>                     Is it icky?  For sure, but so are a lot of deals.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>                     On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 3:26 AM, Daniel Isaiah
>>>                     Ong <danielo at cs.stanford.edu
>>>                     <mailto:danielo at cs.stanford.edu>> wrote:
>>>
>>>                         Thoughts?
>>>
>>>                         http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/saudi-prince-invests-300-million-in-twitter/?hp
>>>
>>>
>>>                           Saudi Prince Invests $300 Million in Twitter
>>>
>>>                         BY MARK SCOTT
>>>                         <http://dealbook.nytimes.com/author/mark-scott/>
>>>
>>>                         LONDON — The Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal and
>>>                         his investment company, Kingdom Holding, said
>>>                         Monday they had bought a “strategic stake” in
>>>                         the social media site Twitter for $300 million.
>>>
>>>                         The investment represents roughly 3 percent
>>>                         stake of the company, based in San Francisco,
>>>                         which was valued at $8 billion in August.
>>>
>>>                         In a statement, Prince Walid, who owns 95
>>>                         percent of Kingdom Holding, said the purchase
>>>                         was part of a strategy “to invest in
>>>                         promising, high-growth businesses with a
>>>                         global impact.”
>>>
>>>
>>>                                 Article Tools
>>>
>>>                          *
>>>
>>>                             E-mail
>>>                             <http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/saudi-prince-invests-300-million-in-twitter/?hp>
>>>                           * Print
>>>                             <http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/saudi-prince-invests-300-million-in-twitter/?pagemode=print>
>>>                           * Recommend
>>>                           * Share
>>>                               o TUMBLR
>>>                               o DIGG
>>>                               o LINKEDIN
>>>                               o REDDIT
>>>                               o PERMALINK
>>>                          o
>>>                           * Twitter
>>>
>>>                         Despite ongoing volatility in the financial
>>>                         markets, investors have shown continued
>>>                         interest in Internet companies. Last week,
>>>                         the social network gaming company Zynga
>>>                         raised $1 billion in an initial public
>>>                         offering, while Groupon, the daily deals
>>>                         site, raised $700 million from the markets in
>>>                         early November.
>>>
>>>                         Kingdom Holding stock was up about 6 percent
>>>                         in midday trading in Riyadh.
>>>
>>>                         Prince Walid, who also own stakes in U.S.
>>>                         blue chip companies such as Citigroup,
>>>                         General Motors and Apple, is the nephew of
>>>                         Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. He also is one
>>>                         the of the Arab world’s richest men, with
>>>                         assets worth an estimated $21 billion,
>>>                         according to Arabian Business magazine.
>>>
>>>                         The investment in Twitter comes after the
>>>                         company’s co-founder Biz Stone announced in
>>>                         June that he would be stepping back from the
>>>                         fast-growing social media. Twitter’s other
>>>                         co-founder, Evan Williams, was replaced by
>>>                         the current chief executive Dick Costolo last
>>>                         year.
>>>
>>>                         Despite the management shake-up, Twitter has
>>>                         continued to gain traction, particularly in
>>>                         the Arab world, where it was credited with
>>>                         playing a role in the recent popular
>>>                         uprisings across North Africa and the Gulf.
>>>
>>>                         Arabic is now the fastest growing language
>>>                         used on Twitter, according to the data
>>>                         intelligence company Semiocast.
>>>
>>>                         The volume of Arabic messages, for example,
>>>                         has multiplied by 2,146 percent in the 12
>>>                         months ending in October, according to
>>>                         figures from Semiocast. That makes Arabic the
>>>                         eighth most used language on the site.
>>>
>>>                         “We believe that social media will
>>>                         fundamentally change the media industry
>>>                         landscape in the coming years. Twitter will
>>>                         capture and monetize this positive trend,”
>>>                         Ahmed Reda Halawani, Kingdom Holding’s
>>>                         executive director of private equity and
>>>                         international investments, said in a statement.
>>>
>>>                         The website currently has over 100 million
>>>                         active users, and raised approximately $400
>>>                         million of new capital last summer. That
>>>                         investment was led by DST Global, the
>>>                         investment firm headed by the Russian
>>>                         billionaire Yuri Milner.
>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>>                     -- 
>>>                     jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> |
>>>                     @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
>>>                     <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice:
>>>                     +1-415-562-JILL
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>>                 -- 
>>>                  
>>>                 Brian Conley
>>>                 Director, Small World News
>>>                 http://smallworldnews.tv <http://smallworldnews.tv/>
>>>                 m: 646.285.2046 <tel:646.285.2046>
>>>                 Skype: brianjoelconley
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>             -- 
>>>             jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> |
>>>             @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
>>>             <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice: +1-415-562-JILL
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>         -- 
>>>         jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> | @jilliancyork |
>>>         tel: +1-857-891-4244 <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice:
>>>         +1-415-562-JILL
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>>
>>     -- 
>>     jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> | @jilliancyork | tel:
>>     +1-857-891-4244 <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice:
>>     +1-415-562-JILL
>>
>>
>>
>>     _______________________________________________
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>>
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> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com> | @jilliancyork | tel:
> +1-857-891-4244 | google voice: +1-415-562-JILL
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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-- 
Parker Higgins
Activist
Electronic Frontier Foundation
https://eff.org



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