Twitter’s Neighborhood Notes promoted Kanye West’s antisemitic interview with Alex Jones

The Chief Twit’s favourite Twitter function would possibly now be the positioning’s Achilles’ heel.

Since Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, he has continuously promoted the platform’s Neighborhood Notes function. Previously often known as Birdwatch and first launched in Jan. 2021, Neighborhood Notes enable customers with out coverage violations who’re accepted into this system to embed context on different customers’ tweets. Previously, the function — which existed properly earlier than Musk — was used to debunk viral disinformation regarding election fraud or COVID-19 vaccine security.

Now, just a bit over a month into Musk’s reign, Neighborhood Notes are getting used to unfold antisemitic content material.

On Thursday, controversial rapper Kanye West appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars program, together with Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes, as a part of his media tour to advertise a supposed upcoming 2024 presidential run. Throughout the now-infamous look, West proclaimed his “love” for Nazis and admiration for Adolf Hitler. 

On the time of the present’s taping, West was the one one on Jones’ present who didn’t have a banned account on Twitter’s platform. To skirt these bans, West handed his smartphone round to Jones, Fuentes, and panelist Ali Alexander so every of them may tweet utilizing his account.

The tweets posted to West’s account by the group of far-right conspiracy theorists have been pretty trivial. Jones, Fuentes, and Alexander mainly put out calls to Musk to face for “free speech” and unban their accounts.

Alex Jones' Kanye West tweet

Alex Jones’ tweet from Kanye West’s account with a Neighborhood Word selling a banned hyperlink. ( has edited out the hyperlink deal with.)
Credit score: Screenshot

But, these tweets from West’s account have been the one ones to have Neighborhood Notes added. Embedded on these tweets have been notes from customers — customers who have been accepted by Twitter into the Neighborhood Notes program — denoting which of the three extremists posted them together with a hyperlink to Alex Jones’ Banned Video web site.

Ali Alexander's Kanye West tweet

Ali Alexander’s tweet from Kanye West’s account with a Neighborhood Word selling a banned hyperlink. ( has edited out the hyperlink deal with.)
Credit score: Screenshot

Nick Fuentes' Kanye West tweet

Nick Fuentes’ tweet from Kanye West’s account with a Neighborhood Word selling a banned hyperlink. ( has edited out the hyperlink deal with.)
Credit score: Screenshot

West, whose account was banned by Musk shortly thereafter for selling antisemitic imagery and “inciting violence,” by no means really tweeted out a hyperlink to his Alex Jones interview. Actually, the Banned Video web site is banned on Twitter and customers are unable to even publish a tweet linking to the web site. But, these Neighborhood Notes have been in a position to act as a workaround, straight linking to and selling Jones’ web site that includes West’s antisemitic interview. And that hyperlink was embedded on a number of tweets posted by West’s account as they went viral with lots of of 1000’s of likes and tens of millions of views.

On this occasion, the inclusion of Neighborhood Notes was pointless as there was no debunking of any content material contained inside West’s tweets. If these notes had been required, customers may have linked to respected information sources describing the occasions that unfolded. The notes for every of those tweets, nevertheless, have been clearly copy and pasted verbatim by the identical person(s) making an attempt to sport Twitter’s moderation system.

It is evident the Neighborhood Notes function was being abused as a workaround particularly to share these banned hyperlinks to West’s interview. And it labored. These Neighborhood Notes stayed energetic on West’s tweets because the posts continued to go viral. They have been by no means eliminated, no matter the truth that different customers are in a position to “fee” Neighborhood Notes and take away ones that do not really add any actual context. Solely when West’s whole account was banned from the platform have been the Neighborhood Notes linking out to Jones’ present not viewable. 

Since Musk acquired Twitter in late October, he has repeatedly sought enter from distinguished right-wing customers concerning the path of the platform. Musk has lately reinstated quite a few previously banned controversial figures on the fitting, comparable to Donald Trump, whereas additionally suspending various left-wing customers, like researcher Chad Loder who continuously reviews on the far-right.

Longtime Neighborhood Notes members have additionally reported a change in this system since Musk took over, noting the function has been utilized extra typically by right-wing customers. Musk has laid off key Twitter workers concerned in this system, leaving the function unchecked at the same time as he continues to put it on the market.

“Since [Musk] took over, we don’t have a moderator anymore,” one Neighborhood Notes person informed the Washington Publish within the weeks after Musk acquired the corporate.

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