New Twitter Files Thread on Christmas Eve – It’s As Bad As We Thought

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It’s Christmas eve, and Matt Taibbi dropped another Twitter files thread titled, The Twitter Files TWITTER AND “OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.”

After weeks of “Twitter Files” reports detailing close coordination between the FBI and Twitter in moderating social media content, the Bureau issued a statement Wednesday.

They must think us unambitious, if our “sole aim” is to discredit the FBI. After all, a whole range of government agencies discredit themselves in the #TwitterFiles. Why stop with one?

The files show the FBI acting as doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA.

The operation is far bigger than the reported 80 members of the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), which also facilitates requests from a wide array of smaller actors – from local cops to media to state governments.

A chief end result was that thousands of official “reports” flowed to Twitter from all over, through the FITF and the FBI’s San Francisco field office.

The government, FBI, CIA, DHS, NSA, et al:

The government was in constant contact not just with Twitter but with virtually every major tech firm.

These included Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, even Pinterest, and many others. Industry players also held regular meetings without government… [also, Yahoo!, Twitch, Clouldfare, LinkedIn, YouTube, even Wikimedia]

…There were so many government requests, Twitter employees had to improvise a system for prioritizing/triaging them:

[Nothing to see here, you conspiracy theorist]

The FBI tailored searches to look for Twitter violations. They had people just doing searches for Twitter violations. That was their job.

“The New York FBI office even sent requests for the “user IDs and handles” of a long list of accounts named in a Daily Beast article.”

[Would Christopher Wray say this is just “typical?”]

These agents were constantly looking for Russians in tweets and not finding them. They were always looking for pro-Maduro, pro-Cuba accounts.

Taibbi concludes:

The line between “misinformation” and “distorting propaganda” is thin. Are we comfortable with so many companies receiving so many reports from a “more aggressive” government?

The CIA has yet to comment on the nature of its relationship to tech companies like Twitter. Twitter had no input into anything I did or wrote. The searches were carried out by third parties, so what I saw could be limited.

Watch @bariweiss@ShellenbergerMD@lhfang, and this space for more, on issues ranging from Covid-19 to Twitter’s relationship to congress, and more.

The entire thread is here. It’s as bad as we thought.


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