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Elon Musk Drops Bombshell: ‘Government Paid Twitter Millions of Dollars to Censor Info from Public’ and Paid Google, Facebook, Etc. To Attack Whistle-Blowers
Twitter boss Elon Musk has just dropped a massive bombshell by revealing that the U.S. federal government “paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.”
Musk made the explosive claim while sharing the latest installment of the “Twitter Files.”
“Twitter Files: Part 7” is the latest in the series of secret internal communications between the company’s former executives and other employees.
The “Twitter Files” releases have been exposing unprecedented efforts by the company – in collusion with government officials, Democrat politicians, federal law enforcement, and the intelligence community – to censor public information on social media.
The latest installment was detailed by journalist Michael Shellenberger, who was tasked by Musk to report on his findings.
Shellenberger reveals the staggering efforts by the FBI and intel community to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story to protect Joe Biden’s election campaign.
He delves into how the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and intelligence community “discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.”
The files show a direct effort by America’s taxpayer-funded federal agencies to suppress negative press on the Democrat candidate during the 2020 election.
The latest release also reveals that the intel community has taken action on a domestic level to influence Twitter’s content moderation.
Shellenberger reports: “PART 7 The FBI & the Hunter Biden Laptop How the FBI & intelligence community discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings both after and *before* The New York Post revealed the contents of his laptop on October 14, 2020
“In Twitter Files #6, we saw the FBI relentlessly seek to exercise influence over Twitter, including over its content, its users, and its data.
“In Twitter Files #7, we present evidence pointing to an organized effort by representatives of the intelligence community (IC), aimed at senior executives at news and social media companies, to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published.
“The story begins in December 2019 when a Delaware computer store owner named John Paul (J.P.) Mac Isaac contacts the FBI about a laptop that Hunter Biden had left with him.
“On Dec 9, 2019, the FBI issues a subpoena for, and takes, Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“By Aug 2020, Mac Isaac still had not heard back from the FBI, even though he had discovered evidence of criminal activity.
“And so he emails Rudy Giuliani, who was under FBI surveillance at the time.
“In early Oct, Giuliani gives it to @nypost.
“Shortly before 7 pm ET on October 13, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, emails JP Mac Isaac.
“Hunter and Mesires had just learned from the New York Post that its story about the laptop would be published the next day.
“At 9:22 pm ET (6:22 PT), FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan sends 10 documents to Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth, through Teleporter, a one-way communications channel from the FBI to Twitter.
“The next day, October 14, 2020, The New York Post runs its explosive story revealing the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
“Every single fact in it was accurate.
“And yet, within hours, Twitter and other social media companies censor the NY Post article, preventing it from spreading and, more importantly, undermining its credibility in the minds of many Americans.
“Why is that? What, exactly, happened?
“…It’s not the first time that Twitter’s Roth has pushed back against the FBI.
“In January 2020, Roth resisted FBI efforts to get Twitter to share data outside of the normal search warrant process.
“Pressure had been growing: “We have seen a sustained (If uncoordinated) effort by the IC [intelligence community] to push us to share more info & change our API policies.
“They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff).”
“Time and again, FBI asks Twitter for evidence of foreign influence & Twitter responds that they aren’t finding anything worth reporting.
“[W]e haven’t yet identified activity that we’d typically refer to you (or even flag as interesting in the foreign influence context).”
“Then, in July 2020, the FBI’s Elvis Chan arranges for temporary Top Secret security clearances for Twitter executives so that the FBI can share information about threats to the upcoming elections.
“On August 11, 2020, the FBI’s Chan shares information with Twitter’s Roth relating to the Russian hacking organization, APT28, through the FBI’s secure, one-way communications channel, Teleporter.
“The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.
“’I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!’ reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021.”
46. The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.
“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021. pic.twitter.com/SmNse97QxK
Mark Hemingway states the according to the latest drop of “Twitter Files” from Michael Shellenberger, “As of 2020, there were so many former FBI employees — ‘Bu alumni’ — working at Twitter that they had created their own private Slack channel and a crib sheet to onboard new FBI arrivals.” It appears that Twitter still has 14 employees on the payroll who worked at the FBI and CIA.
In addition to covering what was happening at Twitter, Weingarten details a broader number of suspicious links between Silicon Valley and U.S. intelligence agencies. Given the near-constant string of deep-state scandals and social media censorship we’ve endured in recent years, a big question we should all be trying to answer right now is, “What exactly are all these spooks doing at tech companies?”
So far, the answer appears to be: “They’re almost certainly up to no good.” After the first batch of “Twitter Files” dropped, it was revealed that Elon Musk fired Twitter Deputy General Counsel James Baker. Prior to going to work at Twitter, Baker was a top lawyer at the FBI from 2014 to 2017. In that capacity, he played a significant role in shepherding FBI’s baseless and illegal Russiagate investigation.
In fact, it’s probably safe to assume one of the reasons Baker exited the FBI was to dodge any accountability for the FBI’s reckless and politically motivated attempt to investigate the president of the United States. Twitter was a pretty soft landing.
Or at least it was, until it was revealed that Baker, who was still employed at Twitter as of a few weeks ago, got fired after he intercepted the internal company communications Musk was giving to journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss to expose the censorship and misdeeds of the company’s previous management. Nobody has quite figured out what he was doing, but there’s widespread speculation Baker may have removed Twitter communications with the FBI or other damning info before it could become public.
Yes, large global corporations need high-level, discreet corporate security, and potentially for benign purposes the particular skillsets that former law enforcement and intelligence personnel provide. However, the situation with Baker makes the problem plenty obvious. If you’re inclined to automatically trust the professionalism and integrity of the FBI and CIA, please have your head examined.
I want to know how many of these FBI and CIA agents are “sheep dipped.” In the intelligence world, “sheep dipping” is a term of art. It describes a tactic whereby a member of the military is “officially discharged from service” to do covert work. In secret, they are still eligible for rank promotions and military benefits.
I first learned the term from my father, because he was “sheep dipped.” He worked for the CIA in Laos in the early 1960s lead-up to the Vietnam War. He was a young Marine officer. During his year in Laos, his normal service records were replaced with records saying he was separated from the Marine Corps, to allow the government to deny any responsibility if anything happened to him. When he returned from Laos, they swapped out the files saying he’d left the Marine Corps with his regular service record, all as if nothing unusual had happened.
Suffice it to say, during this episode, dad witnessed the CIA’s involvement in drug smuggling and other unsavory behavior. The whole episode left a very bad taste in his mouth.
Fun fact I learned earlier this year: The man in charge of CIA operations in Laos when my father was there was the legendary spymaster Ray Cline. One Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory relates that Lee Harvey Oswald, who was still serving in the Marines when he briefly defected to the Soviet Union, didn’t really defect. He was sheep dipped and working for the CIA on an intelligence-gathering mission inside the Soviet Union.
The whole crazy escapade, according to the tale, was possibly organized by Cline, the local CIA station chief at the same time and place as one of Oswald’s previous overseas deployments. For what it’s worth, Cline also happens to be the former father-in-law of Stefan Halper, the dubious paid informant who was the FBI’s source for much of their bogus Trump-Russia investigation.
In case, you’re keeping track, why yes, I did just draw a line, albeit not a particularly straight one, that connects the Kennedy assassination and the Russiagate scandal. (It would have been too digressive to mention Cline and Halper’s connections to Watergate and Iran Contra, but I think you get the drift.)
Now, as clarification, I should say that “sheep dipping” seems to apply mostly to the intel community’s use of military personnel and isn’t necessarily an all-purpose phrase for CIA or FBI undercover work. One of the most annoying things about being subjected to years of completely credulous Russiagate and Steele dossier coverage was every pundit suddenly becoming an armchair expert on espionage and throwing around phrases such as “SIGINT” when we all know they just learned what signals intelligence was 15 minutes ago.
But the point here isn’t to offer up conspiracies about the Kennedy assassination. It’s to make the point that one reason conspiracy theories are so easy to believe is that it’s well-known the Deep-State Industrial Complex employs a lot of tactics such as sheep dipping that are expressly about manipulation and deception.
Combined with so many official denials over the years that turned out to be lies, this makes it impossible to believe intel agencies when they say they aren’t doing something. It was very much denied that American soldiers were in Southeast Asia when my dad was in the jungle learning how to eat soup with chopsticks. More recently, we have very dishonest denials about domestic spying by Obama intelligence officials John Brennan and James Clapper that in a just society should have led to criminal charges.
The FBI response to “Twitter Files” revelations that they were working behind the scenes with the social media network and encouraging censorship is about the furthest thing from reassuring. “The FBI regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities,” an FBI spokesman told journalist Jon Nicosia. “Private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any, action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.”
Based on what we know, there’s absolutely no reason not to assume that, of the numerous former FBI and CIA employees at Twitter, some weren’t either informally or directly working for intel agencies. Further, it is incredibly alarming that the watchdogs that are supposed to protect us from rogue government agencies eroding our rights can’t be bothered to investigate this.
For most of my life, the corporate media, and the activist left in particular, treated these agencies with extreme skepticism. Revelations such as these would formerly have set off klaxons in newsrooms.
But now? “People’s brains are so drowning in partisan muck that the Bernie/AOC left — which still pretends to find the CIA and FBI nefarious if you force them to take a stance — refuses to care about the grave dangers in what [Matt Taibbi] reported about FBI’s role [at Twitter],” says Glenn Greenwald. Worse, Greenwald observes that their shared partisan obsessions mean that the left has completely surrendered to the corporatist imperatives of liberal institutions such as the media. “The only real enemies they see are the Trump movement and GOP. That’s why I use ‘left-liberal’: their core worldviews have merged,” he further observes.
With the exception of an under-resourced conservative media and a few independent lefty journalists such as Taibbi and Greenwald — who have dared to stay true to ideals that most of the journalists now trying to discredit them claimed to hold six years ago — no one is interested in solid evidence suggesting intel agencies have been secretly curbing Americans’ First Amendment rights, and possibly doing so to explicitly influence elections.
The fact that so few people are curious about the nexus between intel agencies and Big Tech, even when the evidence is staring them in the face, should be a national scandal. Americans deserve to know the truth about whether our intel agencies are being used against citizens. We should be concerned that the full extent of what they’ve done — and what they likely continue to do — to us will never be known.
FBI paid Twitter $3.5M ‘to do its bidding’: Taxpayers’ money was used to suppress Hunter Biden laptop story and process agency’s requests to silence GOP voices – as fury mounts over secret state censorship of the American people
The most recent batch of Twitter files show that the FBI paid off staffers at the tech giant to the tune of $3 million
The money was paid as a thank you as Twitter continued to dedicate staff to doing the bidding of the feds
Emails show that Twitter’s deputy counsel Jim Baker met with feds to discuss suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story
In response to the latest Twitter files dump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said: ‘This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize’
Earlier it was revealed that former FBI lawyer turned Twitter general counsel Jim Baker helped to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story
Elvis Chan denied in a deposition that he warned Twitter’s then-security chief about a supposed Russian operation to leak false information about Hunter Biden. He insisted, under questioning by Solicitor General John Sauer late last month, that the FBI never specifically mentioned the Hunter Biden laptop story when discussing potential threats to the 2020 election with content moderation officials at Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo!, Reddit and LinkedIn. Chan’s claims contradict those made by former Twitter security chief Yoel Roth, inset, that the FBI convinced him to censor any mentions of Hunter’s laptop on Twitter.
The FBI handed nearly $3.5 million of taxpayers money to Twitter to pay its staff to handle requests from the bureau to ban accounts.
A Twitter employee wrote in a February 2020 email that the company’s Safety, Content & Law Enforcement (SCALE) had ‘collected $3,415,323’ in less than two years from the FBI for ‘law-enforcement related projects.’
The email, which was revealed by journalist Michael Shellenberger, stated that SCALE had instituted a ‘reimbursement program’ in exchange for devoting staff hours to ‘processing requests from the FBI’.
The emails was entitled ‘Run the business – We made money!’.
The accounts the FBI asked Twitter to ban were largely linked to conservatives and ‘foreign influence operations’.
Twitter initially believed the Hunter Biden laptop story was ‘Russian disinformation’. It was revealed Monday that Jim Baker, Twitter’s top lawyer and ex-FBI general counsel, personally intervened to say it should be banned.
Baker told Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security, that the laptop story should be blocked – a day after getting a top secret briefing from his former FBI colleagues.
He wrote: ‘There are some facts that indicate the materials may have been hacked. We simply need more information.’
We went on to write: ‘I’m guessing we are going to restrict access to their article as violation of our Hacked Materials policy.’
An investigation into Twitter’s behavior around the 2020 presidential election by the incoming Republican majority in the house has been promised with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy telling Fox News this week: ‘This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.’
One of the many lurid images that was found on Hunter Biden’s forgotten laptop
Current Twitter CEO Elon Musk said of the emails: ‘Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.’
In a previous dump, journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted: ‘Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.’
In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: ‘We’re going to do more than just subpoena them. We’re going to change the course of where the FBI is today.’
He went on: ‘Every day we learn something more.’
Michael Shellenberger says FBI knew Hunter laptop was real in 2019
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The congressman from California continued: ‘Why are they [the FBI] able to do this? Working together, using private businesses to go after individuals right before an election, denying the American public the truth?’
McCarthy is one of the many Republicans who will be calling for a more thorough investigation of the FBI’s relationship with social media when the GOP takes control of the house in 2023.
McCarthy added: ‘This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.’
A damning email sent to Twitter’s legal counsel confirming the payment of nearly $3.5 million made to the company for services rendered by the FBI
In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: ‘We’re going to do more than just subpoena them. We’re going to change the course of where the FBI is today’
Jim Baker, who before serving as deputy general counsel for Twitter held a similar role for the FBI
Shellenberger’s dump on Monday showed how the FBI pushed Twitter staffers to receive top-level security clearance in July 2020.
Following the release, Shellenberger retweeted a quote from Ohio GOP congressman Jim Jordan: ‘I have concerns about whether the government was running a misinformation operation on We the People.’
The reporter added: ‘Anyone who reads the Twitter Files, regardless of their political orientation, should share those concerns.’
The feds went on to pressure Twitter staffers to ban accounts that they were not fond of and to target alleged ‘foreign influence’ peddlers.
They wanted to grant the firm’s staffers that access to show what they claimed were threats posed to the November 2020 presidential election by foreign interference.
Roth conceding that he thought the Hunter Biden laptop story may have been faked in some way
At one point, FBI agent Elvis Chan acted surprised at being reminded that Twitter’s general counsel Jim Baker was the FBI’s former general counsel, and held that very clearance.
On September 15 2020, another FBI agent, Laura Dehmlow, requested she be allowed to give Baker a top secret briefing with no other staff present.
Baker’s shameless attempts to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story – which has since been proven to be accurate – where also shared by Shellenberger.
Monday’s Twitter Files release also showed that so many ex-FBI staffers had joined the social media network, there was now a private Slack channel set up just for them.
This was ostensibly to ‘onboard’ them at the firm and help show them the ropes – although the latest batch of Twitter files have sparked concerns about what else those former government operatives may have been up to.
The most recent ‘Twitter Files’ also revealed how an FBI official-turned Twitter lawyer sent a letter thanking the Bureau for its help suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Baker, who before serving as deputy general counsel for Twitter held a similar role for the FBI, worked closely with Bureau when it teamed up with the social media company to fight what it called election interference from foreign nations.
Baker and the FBI worked together to try to push the narrative that the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop had been hacked from another source by Russian agents and placed on the laptop that was later found at a Delaware repair shop, and that the laptop never belonged to Biden at all.
As a result of those efforts Twitter blocked The New York Post’s reporting of the story on the social media website. At the end of the process, the latest Twitter files revealed that Baker and his team agreed to sign a letter to the FBI agents who worked on the project, thanking them for their efforts.
The revelations are the latest to come out of the Twitter Files, which Elon Musk has been releasing to demonstrate the social media company’s past censorship initiatives.
An image of Hunter Biden that was lifted from his forgotten laptop
Elon Musk continues to find every avenue he can to slash costs at the social media company, which he acquired for $44billion in October
Monday’s batch of Twitter Files were reviewed and released by Shellenberger, who along with journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss have been combing through piles of internal Twitter communications dating to before Musk’s takeover.
Shellenberger found that less than two hours after Hunter Biden’s attorney found out about the New York Post’s story about the laptop, FBI agent Elvis Chan sent a collection of documents to Twitter’s then-head of site integrity Yoel Roth.
Despite Twitter continually finding nothing suspicious, the FBI repeatedly reached out to the social media company and requested further information about their information, which Twitter declined to disclose.
But in July 2020 Chan arranged security clearances for Twitter officials so they can be told about election interference it is expecting to see in the Trump-Biden runoff.
Baker became involved at this time because he had previously held top secret security clearance during his work for the FBI – during which he had been involved in one of the Bureau’s investigations into Donald Trump.
Chan acted as if he were surprised when he was told Baker was at Twitter and had clearance, saying ”I don’t know how I forgot him.’
‘An odd claim, given Chan’s job is to monitor Twitter, not to mention that they worked together at the FBI,’ Shellenberger noted.
Baker was not the only former FBI staffer. According to one internal Twitter email reviewed by Stellenberger there were so many they had their own Slack channel and regularly communicated.
Once Baker was given clearance, Shellenberger wrote that the FBI fed him information intended to influence Roth and other Twitter executives into believing that the laptop story was hacked.
FBI official Laura Dehmlow even arranged for a classified briefing for Baker and nobody else at Twitter.
Hours after The Post published their laptop story the next day, it was almost immediately censored by Twitter and thus undermined in the public eye.
The files showed that as Hunter Biden was earning millions in foreign business dealings, the FBI had advised Twitter to be on the lookout for Russian misinformation about him.
‘During all of 2020, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies repeatedly primed Yoel Roth to dismiss reports of Hunter Biden’s laptop as a Russian ‘hack and leak’ operation,’ Shellenberger wrote.
Despite those efforts by the FBI, Twitter executives found there had been ‘very little’ Russian activity that raised any suspicions.
‘Indeed, Twitter executives *repeatedly* reported very little Russian activity. E.g., on Sept 24, 2020, Twitter told FBI it had removed 345 ‘largely inactive’ accounts ‘linked to previous coordinated Russian hacking attempts.’ They ‘had little reach & low follower accounts,’ he wrote.
Though initially Roth continued to resist the idea that Twitter was experiencing any foreign interference, but October when The Post published the laptop story he conceded that the laptop might have been planted by as a ‘subtle leak operation.’
‘On Oct 14, shortly after @NYPost publishes its Hunter Biden laptop story, Roth says, ‘it isn’t clearly violative of our Hacked Materials Policy, nor is it clearly in violation of anything else,’ but adds, ‘this feels a lot like a somewhat subtle leak operation.” Shellenberger wrote.
Baker grabbed onto this statement by Roth, and harped on the idea that the laptop’s contents were in some way illegitimate.
‘Baker repeatedly insists that the Hunter Biden materials were either faked, hacked, or both, and a violation of Twitter policy,’ Shellenberger said.
By 10am that morning Twitter officials – citing ‘experts’ – had agreed that the laptop’s must have been hacked from another source and placed on the laptop.
‘The suggestion from experts – which rings true – is there was a hack that happened separately, and they loaded the hacked materials on the laptop that magically appeared at a repair shop in Delaware,’ Shellenberger noted Roth wrote in an email.
Later that afternoon, Baker had a phone call with the Office of the General Counsel of the FBI.
Shellenberger suggested it was obvious that the FBI’s pressures on Twitter executives led directly to them assuming the position that the laptop story had been faked.
Firebrand GOP congresswoman Nancy Mace wants to see ‘heads roll’ at Twitter in the fallout from the latest dump of Twitter files. On Monday, it was revealed that the FBI paid Twitter nearly $3.5 million in exchange for the social media giant doing the bidding of the feds and silencing accounts deemed to be subversive. During an appearance on Sunday Night in America on Fox News , Mace said: ‘I really want to know what government agents and agencies were censoring the free speech of America.’ The Republican also slammed Twitter chiefs for failing to remove accounts connected to the Antifa movement.Mace referred to the relationship between Twitter’s former trust and safety tsar Yoel Roth and the FBI as ‘disconcerting.’ The congresswoman from South Carolina also said: ‘I don’t know why so many on the left are so concerned about ideas they disagree with being on the internet. The only thing I can come up with is that they can’t persuade people or voters, more importantly, unless of others that they disagree with.’
Fang revealed that the former Twitter regime “claimed for years that they make concerted efforts to detect” and “thwart gov-backed platform manipulation.” Such claims were made even during a testimony before Congress.
However, these declarations were mere empty pledges.
Behind closed doors, the former Twitter regime gave approval & special protection to Pentagon accounts that used covert identities and spread propaganda.
Twitter did not suspend many of these accounts for around two years or more despite knowledge of their activities. Some remain active.
Fang cited an example of an email from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2017 that listed 52 Arab-language accounts it “used to amplify certain messages.”
Government officials asked for priority service for six accounts, blue tick verification for one, and “whitelist” abilities for the others.
4. In 2017, a U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) official sent Twitter a list of 52 Arab language accounts “we use to amplify certain messages.” The official asked for priority service for six accounts, verification for one & “whitelist” abilities for the others. pic.twitter.com/LuMbMZDv8i
Twitter willingly and instantly complied with these requests on that very day.
Fang revealed the existence of a “whitelist” tag that provided verification status to the accounts without having a blue tick verification. This causes accounts to be exempt from spam/abuse flags. It also increases visibility, and tweets from these accounts become part of trends via hashtags.
5. The same day CENTCOM sent the list, Twitter officials used a tool to grant a special “whitelist” tag that essentially provides verification status to the accounts w/o the blue check, meaning they are exempt from spam/abuse flags, more visible/likely to trend on hashtags.
The primary function of these CENTCOM accounts was to influence U.S. military priorities in the Middle East.
These “priority accounts” promoted information in support of U.S. military narratives, including anti-Iran narratives, support for the U.S.- and the Saudi Arabia–backed war in Yemen, and claims about the accuracy of U.S. drone strikes.
There was no mention of what’s going on in Ukraine, but that’s the obvious follow-on.
6. The CENTCOM accounts on the list tweeted frequently about U.S. military priorities in the Middle East, including promoting anti-Iran messages, promotion of the Saudi Arabia-U.S. backed war in Yemen, and “accurate” U.S. drone strikes that claimed to only hit terrorists. pic.twitter.com/IhqUDWJjQ9
These accounts initially disclosed their U.S. government ties, but later, this information was suppressed to give the impression that they were run by regular people based in the Middle East.
7. CENTCOM then shifted strategies & deleted disclosures of ties to the Twitter accounts. The bios of the accounts changed to seemingly organic profiles. One bio read: “Euphrates pulse.” Another used an apparent deep fake profile pic & claimed to be a source of Iraqi opinion. pic.twitter.com/VVVb15BDQ2
These accounts also tweeted in Russian and Arabic on U.S. military issues in Syria with ISIS, and many did not disclose their Pentagon ties.
12. In a May 2020 email, Twitter’s Lisa Roman emailed the DoD w/two lists. One list was accounts “previously provided to us” & another list Twitter detected. The accounts tweeted in Russian & Arabic on US military issues in Syria/ISIS & many also did not disclose Pentagon ties. pic.twitter.com/oANuodYwsN
Fang revealed that these covert U.S. military accounts were allowed to function until May 2022 or later.
13. Many of these secretive U.S. military propaganda accounts, despite detection by Twitter as late as 2020 (but potentially earlier) continued tweeting through this year, some not suspended until May 2022 or later, according to records I reviewed.
Fang wrote that one Twitter official felt “deceived” by all these covert activities.
However, emails from throughout 2020 revealed that many other Twitter executives willingly colluded with U.S. officials to conceal information about links these accounts had with U.S. government agencies.
Among these were Twitter’s former legal executive Stacia Cardille and former deputy general counsel, who was once FBI general counsel, Jim Baker.
10. Stacia Cardille, another Twitter attorney, replied that the Pentagon wanted a SCIF & may want to retroactively classify its social media activities “to obfuscate their activity in this space, and that this may represent an overclassification to avoid embarrassment.” pic.twitter.com/lTNshDKOBv
Matters improved in August when a Stanford Internet Observatory report exposed these covert U.S. military networks on social media that were spreading propaganda against U.S. foreign adversaries.
The Stanford report revealed that in order to prevent being traced, these U.S. government accounts used deepfake (composite) computer-generated images as display photos.
16. The Stanford report did not identify all of the accounts in the network but one they did name was the exact same Twitter account CENTCOM asked for whitelist privileges in its 2017 email. I verified via Twitter’s internal tools. The account used an AI-created deep fake image. pic.twitter.com/ODLvK7eFlH
Fang revealed that Twitter actively assisted covert U.S. official accounts from 2017 and knew from 2020 that these accounts were meant to influence the discourse but did nothing about them. Twitter’s inaction prevailed for a long time.
When Twitter finally acted and removed the propaganda accounts, the media lauded it instead of exposing its collusion with U.S. government agencies and its delay in taking remedial action.
This is because Twitter has also cultivated ties with various media organizations.
When the WaPo reported on the scandal, Twitter officials congratulated one another because the story didn’t mention them, but instead focused on the Pentagon.
19. Twitter’s comms team was closely in touch with reporters, working to minimize Twitter’s role. When the WashPost reported on the scandal, Twitter officials congratulated each other because the story didn’t mention any Twitter employees & focused largely on the Pentagon. pic.twitter.com/0cDwdguGpy
Fang said the conduct with the U.S. military’s covert network stands in stark contrast with how Twitter has talked about identifying and taking down covert accounts tied to state-backed influence operations, including Thailand, Russia, Venezuela, and others since 2016.
Fang concluded the thread with a link to his piece for The Intercept, which offers a deeper dive into these revelations, it is worth a read.
These revelations once again offer proof that Twitter was influencing rather than reflecting public opinion.
What makes this worse is that the U.S. government was pulling the strings. These operations weren’t restricted to U.S. shores; they also covered foreign nations.
If the government can do this on social media, what must it be doing on the ground both in the U.S. and beyond?
How many wars and conflicts have occurred were the result of manipulation?
This explains why government officials declined to answer questions about Ray Epps’s role in the Capitol riots.
It is vital not to conflate these revelations with remedial actions.
Also, an exposé such as this is pointless until it reaches regular people.
Alas, that won’t happen because the media will filter vital information and make it look as though Musk is leading an online insurrection against the U.S. government.
How have the news media covered the Twitter files?
The WaPo called it an exercise in hypocrisy. Politico claims that the revelations are falling flat. The Atlantic called it a missed opportunity. CNN concluded that content moderation is messy.
Apart from conservative media, few have covered it without spin. Even the mighty BBC ignored disclosures of specific threads.
What can be said with certitude is that Musk has become a target.
The media are already carrying stories of Musk’s “inhumane” layoffs, Musk exploiting his employees, and Musk living at Twitter’s headquarters.
The media reported on former Twitter official Yoel Roth being forced to leave home due to threats following the release of Twitter Files and escalating attacks from Musk. The Twitter suspension of a handful of liberal journalists caused global condemnation. In the coming weeks, they could cover “scandalous” stories about his personal life, too.
The goal behind these campaigns is to provide agencies a basis to target Musk and get their revenge, it isn’t a question of if, but when Musk will face retaliation.
Back to the revelations.
Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, the government has fed citizens one disinformation campaign after another.
There was the Russian collusion hoax, the Ukraine call hoax, and now the insurrection hoax. To each of these hoaxes were added sub-hoaxes, such as the golden shower hoax and the domestic terror hoax. There were other hoaxes supported and promoted by U.S. officials about bigotry.
It wasn’t only hoaxes, though; factual information such as the Hunter Biden laptop from hell story was discredited by former U.S. government officials, the Biden administration, the news media, and social media.
The media actively supported the government propaganda, and we now know that social media firms also colluded with nefarious government forces to deceive the citizens.
We thus have a government out of control, trampling over citizens like an enormous dinosaur.
Instead of being watchdogs, government agencies, the news media, and social media have become willing lapdogs who wag their tails and wait for their next command in hopes that a biscuit will be tossed in their direction.
Citizens have no choice but to presume that every word emanating from the government, the news media, and social media is a lie until proven true after meticulous verification.
This usually occurs under totalitarian regimes, but not in one of the world’s largest democracies.