After a series of “Twitter Files” showed Twitter’s widespread coordination with the FBI and other agencies to regulate public conversation prior to Elon Musk’s takeover of the digital giant, the FBI attempted to recover its reputation on Wednesday by portraying the discoveries as standard procedure.
The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter is an example of a long-standing, ongoing collaboration, according to a statement made by the FBI to Fox News. According to the FBI, these engagements involve numerous companies across multiple sectors and industries. As indicated by the communication, the FBI sends vital information to the private sector so that they may safeguard themselves and their clients. The statements were issued following the publication of Parts 6 and 7 of the “Twitter Files.”
Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, two independent journalists, reported on these events, respectively. “The Twitter Files” is the leak of internal business papers by numerous independent journalists with political leanings to the left, such as Bari Weiss and Lee Fang.
The coverage by Taibbi describes the FBI’s extensive private communications with Twitter. The records reveal that the FBI used pressure on Twitter to delete political content, typically under the pretense of “election integrity” or “misinformation” concerning Covid-19.
Shellenberger’s investigation demonstrates that the FBI provided Twitter officials falsehoods to explain its censoring of The New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story only weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Later polling revealed that communication restrictions swung the race in favor of Joe Biden.
FBI agents marked particular content and persons for Twitter workers to suppress, according to the confidential papers divulged in these allegations. Then, Twitter staff would obey, allowing U.S. intelligence services to affect public discourse and political results and restricting the constitutional right to free expression in the public arena for Americans. And it wasn’t simply the FBI censoring politically unpalatable material using Big Tech.
As reported by Taibbi, an email dated September 15, 2020, from a Twitter legal executive to then-Twitter attorney Jim Baker discussed Twitter employees’ “weekly” meetings with the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, National Intelligence, and “industry peers” regarding “election threats.” The emails indicate that U.S. intelligence agency administrators met weekly with the nation’s Internet communications monopolies to advise them on what to suppress on their platforms in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
Although this should be a smoking gun (and it is), it is made worse by the FBI’s admission that this type of “collaboration” with private sector organizations is standard practice for U.S. intelligence services. The FBI attempted to portray their censorship demands as voluntary ones that Twitter may theoretically disregard, despite the fact that such “requests” look like mandates, and courts have long recognized that “requests” from government authorities can be coercive due to the power difference.
Now, the question is, how many so-called “private” organizations, such as Facebook, Google, Fortune 500 companies, and others, do the bidding of U.S. intelligence agencies that are notorious for using outrageously politicized and unfair standards? According to this latest FBI statement, a large number of them.