American News Feb 8, 2021 7:25 PM EST

New app blocks The New York Times to prevent spread of disinformation

A new app called "Block The New York Times" allows Twitter users to block 800 corporate journalists for free with just one click in the "fight against disinformation."

New app blocks The New York Times to prevent spread of disinformation
Mia Cathell The Post Millennial
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A new app called "Block The New York Times" allows Twitter users to block 800 corporate journalists for free with just one click in the "fight against disinformation."

"It's time to block," the app's official Twitter account tweeted Monday for the first time on the platform. "Twitter users have begun mass-blocking New York Times-linked accounts to control the flood of corporate disinformation online. Now, a new app automates the process."

A link accompanies the post, directing disaffected New York Times readers to the mobile application's landing page. The site itself mocks the publication's digital layout. Clicks anywhere on the listed categories or cover story lead curious users to blockNYT's authorization page, which requests access to their Twitter accounts.

One such Twitter user asked: "Great idea but why do you need THIS much access to our accounts?" To which, the blockNYT account pointed to the right-hand side of the tweeted screenshot: "Twitter's API makes us ask for all these permissions. All the app does is block these accounts: http://blocknyt.com/list.csv. You can uninstall the app right after using it. The accounts will stay blocked!"

"Long marketed as the 'paper of record,' the New York Times Company now faces an economic and reputational reckoning," the app's creators wrote in an embedded abstract of the project's description. "Employees are revolting, traffic is plummeting, colleagues are scathing, and readers are blocking."

Articles on the pseudo-front page that appear below the header source archived stories that either debunk previous reports published by the newspaper or unearth the real world people wounded in the aftermath of the outlet's cutthroat investigative journalism.

One such headline reads: "Attempting Doxxing of Popular Blogger Causes Backlash." The lede exposes New York Times senior employees Cade Metz and Pui-Wing Tam for their hellbent mission to reveal the identity of private citizen "Scott Alexander" against his will. The summary links to an open letter that implored the company's leadership to not "de-anonymize" the psychiatrist.

The undersigned urged the editorial department to respect the Slate Star Codex blogger's request to not disclose his real name, which would've threatened his personal safety, his career, and "by extension the care of hundreds of his patients" due to recurring harassment and death threats. His work depends on his ability to write under the pseudonym, the petitioners argued. The outcry ensued and the paper backed down, but the damage was done.

Another rebuttal challenges the controversial 1619 Project, citing "[b]acktracking, silent changes, and distortions [that] continue to plague" the Pulitzer Prize-winner. The revisionist work attempts to attribute the founding of America to slavery and suggests that the nation's "true" founding occurred in 1619. Emerging circumstances have since discovered that that staffers of The New York Times disregarded their own fact checkers, resulting in criticism by prominent historians "dismayed" at such "factual errors."

After the described "slew of disastrous scandals," the app's developers explained that "fed-up" Twitter users are now "taking matters into their own hands" by mass blocking New York Times-linked accounts. Media outlets struggling to understand this phenomenon call the movement a "blockchain revolution."

"I don't even trust the @nytimes food section anymore," remarked Fox News producer Kyle Becker with the hashtag #blocked. "It's poisoning conservatives."

"Do CNN next," commented One America News Network's Jack Posobiec.

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