The Twitter Files keep showing the American people the ugly side of social media.
It’s worse than anyone thought.
Elon Musk revealed the secret FBI plan to censor the internet.
As Black Eye Politics reports:
The new batch of the Twitter Files released by Matt Taibbi on Tuesday revealed that the FBI used the media in order to pressure Twitter into censoring information.
“By 2020, Twitter was struggling with the problem of public and private agencies bypassing them and going straight to the media with lists of suspect accounts,” wrote Taibbi.
Taibbi noted that with the outbreak of Covid the pressure on Twitter got even greater.
“In February, 2020, as COVID broke out, the Global Engagement Center – a fledgling analytic/intelligence arms of the State Department – went to the media with a report called, ‘Russian Disinformation Apparatus Taking Advantage of Coronavirus Concerns.’”
“The GEC flagged accounts as ‘Russian personas and proxies’ based on criteria like, ‘Describing the Coronavirus as an engineered bioweapon,’ blaming ‘research conducted at the Wuhan institute,’ and ‘attributing the appearance of the virus to the CIA,’” Taibbi wrote. “State also flagged accounts that retweeted news that Twitter banned the popular U.S. ZeroHedge, claiming the episode ‘led to another flurry of disinformation narratives.’ [Zero Hedge] had done reports speculating that the virus had lab origin.”
This report created an environment where then-Director of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth was pushing researchers with alleged government connections to come to Twitter before going to the press.
“We’re happy to work directly with you on this, instead of NBC,” said Roth.
“The delta between when they share material and when they go to the press continues to be problematic,” wrote a Twitter communications official.
“The GEC report appeared based on DHS data circulated earlier that week, and included accounts that followed ‘two or more’ Chinese diplomatic accounts,” Taibbi continued. “They reportedly ended up with a list ‘nearly 250,000’ names long, and included Canadian officials and a CNN account.”
“Roth saw GEC’s move as an attempt by the GEC to use intel from other agencies to ‘insert themselves’ into the content moderation club that included Twitter, Facebook, the FBI, DHS, and others,” Taibbi continued.
Twitter saw the GEC as so overtly political that bringing them in would be a risk.
“After spending years rolling over for Democratic Party requests for ‘action’ on ‘Russia-linked’ accounts, Twitter was suddenly playing tough. Why? Because, as Roth put it, it would pose ‘major risks’ to bring the GEC in, ‘especially as the election heats up,’” Taibbi said.
“Eventually the FBI argued, first to Facebook, for a compromise solution: other USG agencies could participate in the ‘industry’ calls, but the FBI and DHS would act as sole ‘conduits,’” Taibbi continued. “Roth reached out to Chan with concerns about letting the ‘press-happy’ GEC in, expressing hope they could keep the ‘circle of trust small.’”
Chan suggested that the industry could “rely on the FBI to be the belly button of the USG,” meaning it would get the information from Twitter and report it to others as they saw fit.