US federal government agencies worked closely with Twitter moderators to clamp down on what they saw as “ disinformation” during the 2020 election. Executives went to great lengths in order to scrub certain content they will deemed false and harmful, following increasingly frequent sit-downs with law enforcement and intelligence orgs, according to the third payment of the “ Twitter Files. ”
Published on Friday by reporter Matt Taibbi, the trove of files includes text messages from Twitter’s former head of Trust and Security, Yoel Roth, revealing he was running out of “ generic” names to disguise his increasingly regular meetings with federal officials ahead of the 2020 election in the company calendar.
“ DEFINITELY NOT meeting with the FBI I SWEAR, ” this individual quipped in response to a friend who suggested calling it a “ Really Boring Business Meeting That Is Definitely Not About Trump. ”
One more missive speaks of Roth’s “ weekly sync” with authorities from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Movie director of National Intelligence (ODNI), suggesting he consulted along with three-letter agencies to discuss “ election protection. ” The particular message also mentions a “ monthly meeting” with the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Pressure (FITF), a unit created to “ determine and counteract malign international influence operations targeting the United States” in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential win.
23. Some of Roth’s later Slacks indicate his weekly confabs with federal law enforcement included separate meetings. Here, he or she ghosts the FBI plus DHS, respectively, to go 1st to an “ Aspen Start thing, ” then have a call with Apple. pic. twitter. com/i771hD8aCD
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 9, 2022
The FBI even went as far as to flag individual tweets thought to be problematic, in one case urging Twitter to censor a former Republican official – apparently on the basis of a Politifact article alone. The DHS, ODNI and “ some NGOs that aren’t academic” were furthermore involved in the process.
A special channel was created upon October 8, 2020 meant for senior executives like Roth, Trust and Policy main Vijaya Gadde, and best lawyer Jim Baker – who previously worked as general counsel for the F – to coordinate election-related decisions, given the name “ us2020_xfn_enforcement. ”
This “ smaller, stronger cadre” associated with senior executives made decisions “ on the fly, often in minutes and depending on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches, ” while also “ clearly liaising with federal enforcement and cleverness agencies about moderation of election-related content, ” Taibbi wrote, dubbing the group a “ high-speed Supreme Court of moderation. ”
Taibbi started submitting the “ Tweets Files” on a rolling basis in cooperation with other reporters last week, getting received direct authorization from your platform’s new owner Elon Musk. The first batch of records focused on Twitter’s decision to ban a controversial New York Post story within the foreign business dealings of then-candidate Joe Biden’s boy, Hunter, published in October 2020. “ Shadowbanning” featured prominently in the second installation , displaying that Twitter engaged in the practice despite repeated denials, while Friday’s trove largely centered on the permanent suspension system of Trump, who was at the time president of the United States.