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Twitter Files Show the U.S. Government Threatened Twitter in Order to Get Them to Censor Conservatives

Journalist Matt Taibbi recently revealed that the Twitter files proved how the fabricated Russia Hoax narrative was used to coerce social media companies like Twitter into censoring conservative Americans.

Taibbi wrote that key players, including congressional Democrats, a British university, and media outlets Politico and BuzzFeed, helped to perpetuate the ‘Russiagate’ lie which was made up by the Hillary Clinton campaign in an effort to undermine her political rival.

In a six-week period spanning from August to October of 2017, there was an all-out-blitz to use the Russia interference narrative as the basis for establishing the new norm for Twitter to follow orders and censor speech on their platform.

“Threats from Congress came first, then a rush of bad headlines (inspired by leaks from congressional committees), and finally a series of moderation demands coming from the outside,” Taibbi wrote regarding the strategy to get Twitter to comply.

By August 2017, Facebook was purging accounts accused of being “linked to Russia.” Unconcerned, Twitter sent over a list of 22 “possible” Russian accounts to the Senate Intelligence Committee, only to be denounced by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat.

By the end of September, Twitter VP for Public Policy Colin Crowell was warning that “Warner has political incentive to keep this issue at top of the news, maintain pressure on us and [the] rest of industry to keep producing material for them.”

Crowell also noted the Democrats were “taking cues from Hillary Clinton,” and that only Warner and his House counterpart, Congressman Adam Schiff, were seeking any comments from social media companies.

 

Meanwhile, Taibbi notes, “a torrent of stories sourced to the [committee] poured into the news,” while several senators – including Warner and anti-Trump Republican John McCain – proposed bills that would have cracked down on social media.

By October 2 Twitter has established a Russia task force which found “no evidence of a coordinated approach.”

The final report on October 23 found “32 suspicious accounts and only 17 of those are connected with Russia.” Of those, only two spent anything close to $10,000 on advertising – and one of them was RT.

Policy Director Carlos Monje admitted in memo from October 18 that “our ads policy and product changes are an effort to anticipate congressional oversight.” One of these changes was the October 26 ban on advertising by RT and Sputnik.

A November 22 internal email accuses the Senate Intelligence Committee of leaking Twitter’s internal report to the media. A Politico story accusing Twitter of deleting files is followed by a BuzzFeed article alleging a German-language bot network with “signs of being connected to Russia.”

The committee demanded a report based on the story, which Twitter’s Yoel Roth dutifully wrote up.

“You can see how the Russian cyber-threat was essentially conjured into being, with political and media pressure serving as the engine inflating something Twitter believed was negligible and uncoordinated to massive dimensions,” Taibbi wrote.

The eventual result of all of this was that Twitter leadership would hand down internal instructions to ban anything “identified by the US intelligence community as a state-sponsored entity conducting cyber-operations.”

Over time, this allowed the government to become much more comfortable with the idea of full-on censoring American citizens through the social media platform.


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