Matt Taibbi Profile picture
Dec 18, 2022 14 tweets 4 min read Read on X
1.THREAD: Twitter Files Supplemental
2.In July of 2020, San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan tells Twitter executive Yoel Roth to expect written questions from the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), the inter-agency group that deals with cyber threats. Image
3.The questionnaire authors seem displeased with Twitter for implying, in a July 20th “DHS/ODNI/FBI/Industry briefing,” that “you indicated you had not observed much recent activity from official propaganda actors on your platform.” Image
4.One would think that would be good news. The agencies seemed to feel otherwise.
5.Chan underscored this: “There was quite a bit of discussion within the USIC to get clarifications from your company,” he wrote, referring to the United States Intelligence Community.
6.The task force demanded to know how Twitter came to its unpopular conclusion. Oddly, it included a bibliography of public sources - including a Wall Street Journal article - attesting to the prevalence of foreign threats, as if to show Twitter they got it wrong.
7.Roth, receiving the questions, circulated them with other company executives, and complained that he was “frankly perplexed by the requests here, which seem more like something we'd get from a congressional committee than the Bureau.” Image
8.He added he was not “comfortable with the Bureau (and by extension the IC) demanding written answers.” The idea of the FBI acting as conduit for the Intelligence Community is interesting, given that many agencies are barred from domestic operations.
9.He then sent another note internally, saying the premise of the questions was “flawed,” because “we've been clear that official state propaganda is definitely a thing on Twitter.” Note the italics for emphasis. Image
10.Roth suggested they “get on the phone with Elvis ASAP and try to straighten this out,” to disabuse the agencies of any notion that state propaganda is not a “thing” on Twitter.
11.This exchange is odd among other things because some of the “bibliography” materials cited by the FITF are sourced to intelligence officials, who in turn cited the public sources.
12.The FBI responded to Friday’s report by saying it “regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities.” Image
13.That may be true, but we haven’t seen that in the documents to date. Instead, we’ve mostly seen requests for moderation involving low-follower accounts belonging to ordinary Americans – and Billy Baldwin.
14.Watch @bariweiss and @ShellenbergerMD for more from the Twitter Files.

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More from @mtaibbi

Jan 31
1. UK FILES EXTRA:
The Center for Countering Digital Hate, the IRS, and 501 (c)(3) status Image
2. The Center for Countering Digital Hate, or CCDH, is one of the most powerful players in the global "anti-disinformation" space, with a reputation for successfully pressuring Internet platforms to remove disfavored speech:
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3. CCDH is currently being sued by this platform, X, which has accused it of manipulating X data to make it "appear as if X is overwhelmed by harmful content":
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Read 18 tweets
Jan 3
1. FOIA FILES EXTRA:
STATE DEPARTMENT "TARGETING AMERICANS"?


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2. In late May and early June, 2019, a story hit the news: Donald Trump's State Department had been caught trolling people, including a Washington Post reporter, deemed insufficiently tough on Iran. Outrage was universal: Image
3. Similar stories at The Intercept and Guardian ripped State's Global Engagement Center for funding @IranDisinfo, which was said to have dubbed critics of of Trump's "Maximum Pressure" policy “‘mouthpieces,’ ‘apologists,’ ‘collaborators,’ and ‘lobbyists’” of Iran:
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Read 16 tweets
Nov 28, 2023
1. #CTIFiles3
SOCKPUPPETS AND SPIES
In the #CTIFiles written about today by @shellenberger and @galexybrane, anti-disinformation warriors and officials offer instruction on COINTELPRO-style spy tactics, against a target they knew was forbidden – the American public
2. WHAT WE NEED: “SOCKPUPPETS ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK”
While #TwitterFiles confirmed use of defensive tactics like censorship/deamplification, the #CTIFiles show “anti-disinformation” operatives planning to go on offense to disrupt speech, using fake personas and spy tactics Image
3. “YOUR SPY DISGUISE…LOCK YOUR SHIT DOWN.”
CTI League trainings instructed members on creating phony identities to infiltrate groups “like Boogaloo” Image
Read 20 tweets
Nov 28, 2023
1. #CTIFIles2
INTRODUCING THE #CTIFiles
The Deep State, With Its Pants Down Image
2. Tuesday, @Shellenberger, @galexybrane and I began releasing the CTI League (CTIL) Files. Provided by a whistleblower, they detail activities of a group ostensibly formed for the narrow purpose of fighting Covid misinfo. We quickly found they had wider interests:


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3. “I DON’T KNOW A LOT, BUT…”
The documents equal or exceed the #TwitterFiles in explosiveness, offering a devastating portrait of the digital censorship sector – from breathtaking authoritarian views to comic ignorance and lack of self-awareness.
Read 12 tweets
Nov 14, 2023
1. THE “UK FILES” SPECIAL REPORT
PART ONE: Internal Labour Party Documents Link “Center For Countering Digital Hate” to key Labour faction, fake news episodes

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2. On July 31, X/Twitter filed suit against the UK-based Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) for “a series of unlawful acts” it claimed were part of “a scare campaign to drive away advertisers from the X platform.”
pacermonitor.com/view/NV3GMHQ/X…
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3. U.S. media unfailingly described the suit as an attempt to evade “accountability” by attacking a “nonprofit” conducting “research” on “hate speech.” The Washington Post said X “without evidence” accused CCDH of ties to “potentially even foreign governments”:


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Read 20 tweets
Nov 9, 2023
1. TWITTER FILES EXTRA:
BIG BROTHER IS FLAGGING YOU
New House report and previously unpublished Twitter Files show: Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership was a front for government censorship Image
2. On Monday, @Jim_Jordan's Weaponization of Government Subcommittee released a damning report on the “Weaponization of Disinformation.” Packed with subpoenaed documents, it focused on Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership: judiciary.house.gov/sites/evo-subs…

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3. The report showed the EIP, when it flagged 2020 election content, was a stand-in for the Department of Homeland Security.

“We just set up an election integrity partnership at the request of DHS/CISA,” wrote Graham Brookie of Atlantic Council, an EIP partner: Image
Read 25 tweets

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