Latest ‘Twitter Files’ reveal U.S. gov. flagging of COVID and Ukraine narratives

A new release of the “Twitter Files” shows that Twitter’s former management frequently received intelligence reports from U.S. agencies that pressured the social media platform to take action against anti-Ukraine and anti-COVID vaccine narratives. 

This release comes from Substack writer Matt Taibbi.

“It didn’t refute allegations”

Taibbi began by contradicting the FBI’s recent statement – the defensive statement the agency made after previous “Twitter Files” exposed the FBI’s close relationship with Twitter.

Taibbi noted that the FBI’s statement “didn’t refute allegations.” But, it only “decried ‘conspiracy theorists’ publishing ‘misinformation,’ whose ‘sole aim’ is to discredit the agency.'”

Taibbi continues:

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.

Taibbi went on to write that “Twitter had so much contact with so many agencies that executives lost track.”

In this “Twitter Files” release, Taibbi focused on how “thousands of official ‘reports’ flowed to Twitter from all over,” including from these government agencies.

“Twitter did”

Later on in his thread, Taibbi writes:

Many people wonder if Internet platforms receive direction from intelligence agencies about moderation of foreign policy news stories. It appears Twitter did, in some cases by way of the [Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) and] FBI.

Taibbi goes on to provide examples.

Taibbi went on to provide other examples. And, he revealed that, while Twitter didn’t always block the accounts flagged by the FBI and other government agencies it sometimes did.

A key question

Before ending his report, Taibbi raised an important question:

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?

If the answer is “no,” then the question becomes “what ought to be done to prevent this?” The government already appears to have grown beyond control.

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