'Twitter Files' Part 6 Reveals Tech Giant Was in 'Constant' Talks With FBI Over Moderation
01:54 GMT 17.12.2022 (Updated: 14:04 GMT 19.12.2022)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Journalist Matt Taibbi, who has been releasing so-called 'Twitter Files' about the social media company’s operations via internal documents, revealed Friday that Twitter maintained constant and pervasive contact with federal officials about moderating content on the platform.
"Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary," Taibbi said. "The #TwitterFiles show something new: agencies like the FBI and DHS [Department of Homeland Security] regularly sending social media content to Twitter through multiple entry points, pre-flagged for moderation."
There were over 150 emails exchanged between former Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth and the FBI from January 2020 to November 2022, Taibbi said.
The contact included a high number of requests by the FBI for Twitter to take action on purported election misinformation, according to Taibbi.
The FBI’s requests for action also included calls for moderation of joke tweets from low-follower accounts; in fact, one account tweeted mostly satire but Twitter employees still looked to suspended the page for "civic misinformation."
13 December 2022, 02:12 GMT
As recently as November 22, one email showed the FBI San Francisco office flagging four accounts that "may potentially constitute violations" of Twitter's rules.
The Friday dump also detailed that the tech giant not only held monthly meetings with the FBI and DHS, but also with officials from the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
"Instead of chasing child sex predators or terrorists, the FBI has agents — lots of them — analyzing and mass-flagging social media posts," Taibbi wrote in a post following the latest release. "Not as part of any criminal investigation, but as a permanent, end-in-itself surveillance operation. People should not be okay with this."
It's unclear when the next 'Twitter Files' release is expected but Taibbi did indicate that "researchers are moving into a variety of new areas now."
Taibbi has been releasing the 'Twitter Files' in coordination with new Twitter chief Elon Musk and other journalists. The disclosures have so far revealed information about suppression of reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop story and efforts to remove former US President Donald Trump from the platform following the January 6 Capitol riot.