What’s this? Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and staff repeatedly pushed Twitter to remove perfectly lawful content that they found unpleasant, according to Friday’s installment associated with “ The Twitter Files. ”
3. The real problem was Donald Trump retweeted the Biden pic. In order to its credit Twitter declined to remove it, with Believe in and Safety chief Yoel Roth saying it had obvious “ humorous intent” and “ any good observer” – apparently, not a Schiff staffer – can see it was doctored. pic. twitter. com/QJtS6s506Z
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 13, 2023
When Twitter pushed back, Schiff staffer Jeff Lowenstein pulled out the ‘ slick slope’ argument .
4. Schiff staffer Jeff Lowenstein failed to give up, claiming there was a “ slippery slope concern here. ” pic. twitter. com/qM1cJiZLFh
— He Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 13, 2023
Twitter also refused requests to ban content about Schiff and his staff , telling the congressman’s office that this may not be “ conceivable. ”
6. Even when Twitter did not suspend an account, that failed to mean they didn’t act. Schiff’s office repeatedly lamented about “ QAnon associated activity” that were often twitter posts about other matters, such as the identity of the Ukraine “ whistleblower” or the Steele file: pic. tweets. com/XKzY8AmB5R
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January thirteen, 2023
Hilariously though, Schiff’s office was concerned that when tweets were “ deamplified” that law enforcement may have a harder time tracking the offending users .
8. Schiff’s office had a concern about “ deamplification, ” even though: it might make it harder for police force to track the offending Tweeters.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 13, 2023
But discover much, much more…
The latest Twitter Data files release shows how prominent Democrats knowingly pushed a false Russiagate-related narrative about “ Ruskies bots” advertising a key House Intelligence Committee memo that detailed initiatives to spy on the Trump campaign, despite the lawmakers being told by Twitter executives that it wasn’t true.
The 14th instalment of the Twitter Files was released on Jan. 12 by journalist Shiny Taibbi, who explained in a series of posts that, at a key minute in the Trump-Russia investigation, Democrats alleged that “ Ruskies bots” were spreading an explosive report from then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Representative. Devin Nunes (R-Calif. ).
“ At a crucial moment in a years-long furor, ” Taibbi explained in among the posts , “ Democrats denounced a report about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation, stating it was boosted by Ruskies ‘ bots’ and ‘ trolls. ‘”
“ Twitter officials were aghast, finding no evidence of Russian influence, ” Taibbi continued.
In support of this consider, Taibbi shared screenshots associated with correspondence from Twitter executives to several Congressional Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif. ) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif. ), confirming that they had “ not really identified any significant activity connected to Russia with respect to Twitter posts posting original content to this particular [#ReleaseTheMemo] hashtag. ”
The #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag spread like wildfire on Twitter, topped its trending checklist starting on Jan. 18, 2018 and reflecting the particular widespread call to publicly release a then-classified memo submitted by Nunes, who during the time was the chairman of the House Cleverness Committee.
Broadly referred to as the Nunes memo ( pdf ), it was later declassified under then-President Donald Trump’s order on Feb. 2, 2018.
The memo showed how the FBI underneath the Obama administration used unverified opposition research— the infamous “ Steele Dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s usa president campaign and the Democratic National Committee— to get a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign you are not selected Carter Page as part of a study into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The claims made in the Nunes memo were confirmed by Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz in his report, released on Dec. 9, 2019 .
Push From Democrats, Media Outlets
Representative. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla. ) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) had introduced the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag on Jan. 18, 2018, and on the following day, joined a group of 65 Home Republicans phoning for the declassification of the memo. Many of the lawmakers, who along represent millions of voters, also sent out the hashtag upon Twitter.
Simply days later, on January. 23, 2018, Democrat lawmakers, including Feinstein and Schiff, wrote an open letter to then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to investigate allegations of “ Russian bots and trolls surrounding the #ReleaseTheMemo on the internet campaign. ”
The letter from Feinstein and Schiff led Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn. ) to himself issue the letter ( pdf file ) that also alleged the hashtag was a part of Russian disinformation strategies.
“ We discover it reprehensible that Russian agents have so excitedly manipulated innocent Americans, ” he wrote in a letter issued later that day— even though before the letter’s issuance, Twitter’s staff told the particular senator’s staffers they did not believe Russian bots were behind the hashtag, Taibbi reported .
Multiple legacy outlets also did the same, declaring Russian bots and trolls were behind the effort. All of had cited the same source— the Hamilton 68 dash, a project with the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), an organization that tracks six hundred Twitter accounts it promises are linked to the Russian govt or repeat its news.
In accordance to Taibbi, executives inside Twitter at the time complained that “ Hamilton 68 seemed to be everyone’s only source, and no a single was checking with Twitter” to verify the statements.
Tweets Internally Disputed ‘ Russian Bots’ Claims
Taibbi shared an email from Emily Horne, who was at the time the global policy communications director associated with Twitter. The email, shared in house on Jan. 23, stated that “ it is extraordinarily challenging for outside researchers, who do not have access to our complete API and internal accounts signals, to say with any kind of degree of certainty that they believe an account is behaving suspiciously is 1) automated plus 2) Russian. ”
Yoel Roth, who was Twitter’s trust and safety chief at the time, reportedly told colleagues : “ I just reviewed the balances that posted the first fifty tweets with #releasethememo and … none of them show any kind of signs of affiliation to Russian federation. ”
Taibbi reported that “ outside advice from DC-connected firms such as Debevoise and Plimpton” got advised Twitter to respond in order to lawmakers by using language such as: “ With respect to particular hashtags, we take seriously any activity that may represent a good abuse of our platform. ”
According to an email screenshot shared by Taibbi, Twitter was also advised to say something towards the effect of: “ Our initial assessment indicates that these [hashtag] trends are usually driven primarily by natural, non-automated activity [if true] , but we are continuing to analyze the data and … will inform Our elected representatives about what we find. ”
“ Despite common internal conviction that there had been no Russians in the story, Twitter went on to follow the slavish pattern of not really challenging Russia claims at the record, ” Taibbi wrote .
Absent any such challenge, “[a]s a result, reporters from the AP to Politico to NBC to Rolling Stone continued to sludge hammer the ‘ Russian bots’ theme, despite a total insufficient evidence, ” he reported .
“ Russians weren’t simply blamed for #ReleaseTheMemo yet #SchumerShutdown, #ParklandShooting, even #GunControlNow— to ‘ widen the divide, ‘ according to the Ny Times, ” Taibbi added .
Meanwhile, inside Tweets, staffers acknowledged that both the #SchumerShutdown and #ReleaseTheMemo hashtags “ appear to be organically trending. ”
Read more here…