January 29, 2023

Twitter Files revealed growing federal government control – Matt Taibbi

US federal agencies’ impact over the platform was increasing as the 2020 election drew nearer, the investigative reporter has told RT

During his examination of the Twitter Files, investigative reporter Matt Taibbi discovered a pattern of maximizing government control over the social media platform, he told RT’s John Kiriakou on Saturday’s episode of ‘ The Whistleblowers ‘.

Since purchasing Twitter for $44 billion in October, Elon Musk has released batches of documents shedding lighting on the platform’s previously opaque censorship policies, enlisting self-employed journalists to break each document dump. Independent journalist Matt Taibbi was the first chosen, publishing communications that revealed a company-wide effort to suppress reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop – the contents of which implicated the particular Biden family in numerous foreign corruption schemes.

“ I was not very interested in that tale per se, ”   Taibbi told Kiriakou.   “ The question I was really interested in answering had been what level of communication and coordination exists between… Twitter and federal law enforcement, and maybe agencies beyond the FBI, Department of Homeland Protection, or the White House. ”

While researching Twitter’s decision in order to ban then-President Donald Trump’s account in early 2021, Taibbi said that he began noticing immediate messages between Twitter executives  “ where you would see little indentations on top of the messages that said ‘ this is flagged by DHS, this is flagged by the FBI. ‘”

“ And that right away told all of us something very significant, that will Twitter was in the business associated with processing requests that came from federal law enforcement agencies, ”   he said.

Taibbi learned that in the runup to the 2020 election, Twitter would receive lists of thousands of balances to suspend. These listings were handed to the firm by the FBI, CIA, NSA, Pentagon, State Department, Treasury and others, and sometimes came in the form of excel spreadsheets, which employees were anticipated to ban without question.

“ There were so many requests, they got one batch one day so when they completed it there is a round of applause in the chat, ”   Taibbi told Kiriakou.

At one particular point, when Twitter employees received a list of accounts from your State Department to prohibit for spreading so-called Russian  “ disinformation, ”   they argued that they should take no action, as the department acquired provided no evidence. However , a Twitter executive who seem to previously worked for the CIA told them to flag the accounts anyway, as the site’s  “ government companions are becoming more aggressive”   with their censorship needs.

“ That decision was significant, because it was one of the moments when Twitter basically realized ‘ We can’t say no any more, ‘”   Taibbi explained.

In the time since Taibbi released his first story on the Hunter Biden laptop, further reporting has revealed that Twitter  aided   the US military’s online influence campaigns,   censored   “ anti-Ukraine narratives”   on behalf of several US intelligence agencies,   suppressed   “ legitimate content”   on Covid-19 on behalf of the White Home, and  participated   in the  “ Russiagate”   hoax.

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