Matt Taibbi Profile picture
Dec 18, 2022 14 tweets 4 min read
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.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @mtaibbi

Jan 27
1.THREAD: Twitter Files #15
MOVE OVER, JAYSON BLAIR: TWITTER FILES EXPOSE NEXT GREAT MEDIA FRAUD
2.“I think we need to just call this out on the bullshit it is.” Image
3.“Falsely accuses a bunch of legitimate right-leaning accounts of being Russian bots.” Image
Read 43 tweets
Jan 13
1.TWITTER FILES: Supplemental
More Adam Schiff Ban Requests,
and "Deamplification"
2.Staff of House Democrat @AdamSchiff wrote to Twitter quite often, asking that tweets be taken down. This important use of taxpayer resources involved an ask about a “Peter Douche” parody photo of Joe Biden. The DNC made the same request: ImageImage
3.The real issue was Donald Trump retweeted the Biden pic. To its credit Twitter refused to remove it, with Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth saying it had obvious “humorous intent” and “any reasonable observer” - apparently, not a Schiff staffer - could see it was doctored. Image
Read 10 tweets
Jan 12
1.THREAD: Twitter Files #14
THE RUSSIAGATE LIES
One: The Fake Tale of Russian Bots and the #ReleaseTheMemo Hashtag
2.At a crucial moment in a years-long furor, Democrats denounced a report about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation, saying it was boosted by Russian “bots” and “trolls.”
3.Twitter officials were aghast, finding no evidence of Russian influence:

“We are feeding congressional trolls.”
“Not any…significant activity connected to Russia.”
“Putting the cart before the horse assuming this is propaganda/bots.” ImageImageImage
Read 40 tweets
Jan 3
1.THREAD: The Twitter Files
Twitter and the FBI “Belly Button” Image
2.By 2020, Twitter was struggling with the problem of public and private agencies bypassing them and going straight to the media with lists of suspect accounts.
3.In February, 2020, as COVID broke out, the Global Engagement Center – a fledgling analytic/intelligence arms of the State Department – went to the media with a report called, “Russian Disinformation Apparatus Taking Advantage of Coronavirus Concerns.” Image
Read 40 tweets
Jan 3
1.THREAD: The Twitter Files
How Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In
2.In August 2017, when Facebook decided to suspend 300 accounts with “suspected Russian origin,” Twitter wasn’t worried. Its leaders were sure they didn’t have a Russia problem.
3.“We did not see a big correlation.”
“No larger patterns.”
“FB may take action on hundreds of accounts, and we may take action on ~25.” ImageImageImage
Read 34 tweets
Dec 24, 2022
Note on Left and Right in the Twitter Files…
Mainstream outlets try to grind every news story into grade D partisan hamburger and Twitter Files coverage is no exception. The Washington Post even called me a “conservative journalist” for a few minutes. Image
This isn’t a left or right project. The question that interests me, how these companies have been absorbed as intelligence arms, is more future/dystopia than blue/red. But that story is hard to sell, se we’re getting the usual stupidity.
Read 19 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!

Ethereum

0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy

Bitcoin

3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!

:(