Tuesday saw the release of the ninth edition of “Twitter Files” by investigative journalist Lee Fang, highlighting how the social media giant quietly assisted the Pentagon’s secret online PsyOp effort.
Despite vows to shut down clandestine state-run propaganda networks, Twitter documents demonstrate that the social media behemoth directly helped U.S. military influence operations, Fang said to launch the lengthy conversation.
Elon Musk has advocated openness on Twitter’s past and present activities regarding curating content on the network, including prohibited content. The owner of Twitter has hired journalists to share proof of these acts in a series of articles branded “Twitter Files” that continue to reveal once-secret exchanges.
Twitter has claimed for years that it detects and thwarts government-sponsored platform manipulation. Here is Twitter’s testimony before Congress on its vow to swiftly identify and take down all state-sponsored covert information operations and false propaganda; Fang persisted.
Monday’s sixth episode of “Twitter Files” examined how the FBI and intelligence community disproved facts on Hunter Biden’s international business dealings.
Michael Shellenberger, an independent blogger, disclosed what he termed an “influence effort” by the FBI that “worked” when Twitter banned Hunter Biden’s controversial laptop.
For processing the FBI’s requests, Twitter was paid millions of dollars. They were happy to report they have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019! Wrote someone with Twitter’s Safety, Content, & Law Enforcement (SCALE) team in a February 2021 email, according to internal messages reported by Shellenberger.
The email, whose author has been redacted, explained that SCALE instituted a reimbursement program for its legal process response to the FBI in 2019. As a result, Twitter chose not to collect payment under these statutory reimbursements right before the program began.
In the ongoing Twitter Files project, in which new CEO Elon Musk allowed a few journalists access to internal communications and documents in exchange for stories derived from these materials being published first on Twitter, the internal email was reported as part of the ongoing project.
The first installment of journalist Matt Taibbi’s “Twitter Files” focused on Twitter’s internal discussions that led to its censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story during the presidential election in 2020, with some officials struggling to explain why it violated Twitter’s “hacked materials” policies.
Later, it was found that the initial batch of “Twitter Files” was reviewed without Musk’s knowledge by Jim Baker, the former FBI general counsel involved in the Russia investigation, but was working for Twitter before the 2020 election. Musk dismissed Baker shortly after.
The second installment of Twitter Files, previously published by Weiss, revealed Twitter’s “blacklisting” of prominent conservatives. Those backlisted included Fox News host Dan Bongino, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, and Stanford University’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a longtime opponent of COVID groupthink who opposed lockdowns.
Even though the popular account Libs of TikTok was suspended many times for purportedly violating Twitter’s “hateful conduct” policy, internal messages demonstrate that Twitter employees have admitted it never did.
These facts appear to contradict what former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated under oath to Congress in 2018: Twitter does not filter or shadowban conservatives.
The third, fourth, and fifth episodes of “Twitter Files” focused on the permanent suspension of former President Trump around the January 2021 Capitol riots. Taibbi revealed that Twitter disseminated election-related tweets from several users before the 2020 election that were “marked” as dangerous by the FBI.
Part six of “Twitter Files” highlighted Twitter’s tight relationship with the FBI. Taibbi stated that the law enforcement agency acted as a “subsidiary” of the tech company, disclosing messages indicating that as many as 80 FBI agents warned Twitter users for tweets containing “potential violative content” related to the election.
As a result of the “Twitter Files,” a spokeswoman for the FBI told Fox News that the FBI routinely collaborates with private sector businesses to give information about subversive, undeclared, or illegal activity by recognized foreign malign influence actors. She added that Private sector firms independently determine what, if any, action to take on their platforms and for their consumers.