Substack writer Matt Taibbi released the latest installment of the “Twitter Files” on Christmas Eve, detailing that coordination between the tech giant and government agencies went way beyond the FBI. In a massive series of tweets, Taibbi insisted that the FBI was simply the “doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA.”
The journalist explained that Twitter had so many interactions with OGAs (or “other government agencies” as they are called in the tweets), the company couldn’t keep them all straight: He explained, “Twitter had so much contact with so many agencies that executives lost track. Is today the DOD, and tomorrow the FBI? Is it the weekly call, or the monthly meeting? It was dizzying.”
TWITTER FILES PART 6 REVEALS FBI’S TIES TO TECH GIANT: ‘AS IF IT WERE A SUBSIDIARY’
He explained how some of the coordination developed, specifically growing out of FBI connections: “On June 29th, 2020, San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan wrote to [a] pair of Twitter execs asking if he could invite an “OGA” to an upcoming conference:”
Taibbi noted that it was an “open secret at Twitter that one of its executives was ex-CIA, which is why Chan referred to that executive’s ‘former employer.’” He added that “one of the most common forums was a regular meeting of the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), attended by spates of executives, FBI personnel, and – nearly always – one or two attendees marked ‘OGA.’”
TWITTER FILES PART 7: FBI, DOJ ‘DISCREDITED’ INFORMATION ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN’S FOREIGN BUSINESS DEALINGS
What was discussed in these meetings? Usually “foreign matters.”
But Taibbi added, “Despite its official remit being ‘Foreign Influence,’ the FITF and the SF FBI office became conduit for mountains of domestic moderation requests, from state governments, even local police:”
TWITTER FILES PART 8: PLATFORM ‘DIRECTLY ASSISTED’ U.S. MILITARY’S INFLUENCE OPERATIONS
Just as Twitter was having so many meetings with governmental agencies that it couldn’t keep them straight, the company was also inundated with FBI requests on “problem accounts.”
Less than six weeks before the 2020 election, FBI agent Chan contacted Twitter exec Stacia Cardille about having identified more “Twitter handles which appear to provide misleading information” in them.
Noting how unusual it all seemed, Taibbi remarked of what the latest batch of Twitter files uncovered: “It seemed to strike no one as strange that a ‘Foreign Influence’ task force was forwarding thousands of mostly domestic reports, along with the DHS, about the fringiest material.”
Taibbi revealed an October 1, 2020, e-mail, just over a month before the presidential election, an unnamed Twitter exec described being left “waiting for more evidence” when it came to Russian influence claims from the State Department. This person admitted, “Our window on that is closing, given that government partners are becoming more aggressive on attribution.
Taibbi offered his own paraphrase of what this could mean: “Translation: ‘more aggressive’ ‘government partners’ had closed Twitter’s ‘window’ of independence.”
The journalist concluded the latest edition of the Twitter Files by noting, “The CIA has yet to comment on the nature of its relationship to tech companies like Twitter. Twitter had no input into anything I did or wrote. The searches were carried out by third parties, so what I saw could be limited.”
Part eight of the Twitter Files showed how the platform “directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations. Part seven showcased the FBI’s attempts to discredit information about Hunter Biden and his foreign business dealings.