Twitter Files Release #3 – The Pre-Election Monitoring, Filtering and Control of Public Discussion Including Donald Trump


Posted originally on the CTH on December 10, 2022 | Sundance

Twitter File Release #3 come from Matt Taibbi – SEE HERE – and includes a review of some internal documents and internal communication in the lead up to the 2020 election.

As noted by Taibbi, “as the election approached, senior executives – perhaps under pressure from federal agencies, with whom they met more as time progressed – increasingly struggled with rules and began to speak of “vios” as pretexts to do what they’d likely have done anyway.”

“Vios” is a short-hand term for violations.

Internal Slacks, communication chats within the organization, show Twitter executives discussing various relationships with federal agencies, specifically the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS), various elements of the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ODNI.  Twitter’s main censor Yoel Roth plays a key role in the discussion.  Mr. Roth organized many of the communication chats that surrounded the election.

The slacks (communication chats) contain channels to create sub-sets of topics with smaller groups of internal officers assembled to prioritize the discussion.

The reports being cited by Taibbi are, “based on searches for docs linked to prominent executives, whose names are already public. They include Roth, former trust and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, and recently plank-walked Deputy General Counsel (and former top FBI lawyer) Jim Baker.” … “On October 8th, 2020, executives opened a channel called “us2020_xfn_enforcement.” Through J6, this would be home for discussions about election-related removals, especially ones that involved “high-profile” accounts (often called “VITs” or “Very Important Tweeters”).”

There was internal discussion about how they should describe their contact with federal agencies who were involved in the process of filtering the public discussion.  Essentially, what were these Twitter executives going to say about how they are coordinating with DHS, FBI and ODNI?  Policy Director Nick Pickles, eventually led a discussion to label the government contacts in the generalized term “partnerships.”

Twitter was partnered with the FBI, DHS and DNI to control the content of the platform.  Using existing portals to communicate, various government officials within these agencies (and others) could send instructions to the Twitter team, and action would be taken based on a review of the government concern.

Taibbi draws attention to an internal chat on an UNKNOWN DATE showing Yoel Roth meeting with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.   However, Taibbi doesn’t identify who from the ODNI was meeting with Mr Yoel Roth:

However, thankfully from depositions related to the Missouri and Louisiana AG lawsuits, specifically about censorship on social media, within the deposition of San Francisco FBI Agent Elvis Chan [Page, 255 – Transcript], the ODNI official was a woman named Shelby Pierson.

Given the fact that DNI John Ratcliffe was publicly saying the Hunter Biden laptop story did not come from hacked information, and the Hunter Biden laptop information appeared to be genuine according to his office, we can assume Ms. Shelby Pierson was telling Twitter (via Yoel), that their decision to censor the New York Post article based on hacked material, was not valid.

However, it is also likely true Ms. Shelby Pierson was not communicating the Twitter meetings with Yoel Roth to her boss, DNI John Ratcliffe.  So, willful blindness might be applied to her end of the conversations.

The rest of the Twitter Release #3 is essentially a walkthrough of instances where the Twitter filter team were engaged in controlling the public conversation as the election was getting ever closer.  They focused heavily on the Twitter account of President Donald Trump and applied internal flags and various control mechanisms to his content in order to control distribution.

Yes, the Twitter executives were censoring the President of the United States.  And they were quite happy with their ability to do it.  READ THE RELEASE HERE

Shifting focus, again the issue who is controlling the released materials becomes important.  How are these journalists getting the information?  Who is giving it to them? Who is doing the redaction of the files?  Are these zip files from preselected material that are then given to Weiss, Taibbi etc?   So many questions.

The basics of how this information is surfacing has not been explained except for Taibbi saying, “the reality is the data sets are enormous and we’re still working through them.”  Something about this just is not feeling right.  I am not the wisest person I know, far from it, but I am wise enough to know to ask questions about the source material before giving any credibility to any narrative that is coming from the voices sharing the material.

Additionally, Elon Musk stated last night that Twitter was going to roll out software to allow current users to see if any of these internal mechanisms are being used against them. “Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal” (link).  This seems silly.

Why not just get rid of the functionality of a system that Twitter previously denied they created.  Instead of getting rid of the filtration and control mechanisms, Elon Musk is developing software to show users if the filtration and control mechanisms have been deployed against them.

The only way it makes sense to retain a corrupt system they previously denied ever using, is if various interests (agencies, governments, influence types) are requiring the platform to retain the ability of throttling information they deem adverse to their interests.  If that is indeed the case, then Elon Musk should say that.

Something akin to, ‘free speech Twitter doesn’t want the ability to control your reach and engagement, but the stakeholders of Twitter are requiring we retain it’. In lieu of not being able to disable the flagging and information control system, we are going to provide users with the ability to see if they have been flagged and controlled. Is that what Elon Musk is essentially saying?

We keep watching….  In the interim, at least our suspicions of DHS, FBI and ODNI control and influence over Twitter are no longer conspiracy theories to be dismissed.  It looks like everything CTH has ever postulated about the platform is coming to light as true… So, that’s a good thing.

I have yet to see a single data point from any release that runs counter to the basic outline, in the background of Twitter you find DHS.

DHS has been in ever increasing control of Twitter since the public-private partnership was formed in 2011/2012 (Arab Spring deployment).  However, it’s not just Twitter.  The same fundamental intelligence relationships are now at work within Google, Microsoft, Apple, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

The larger objective of U.S. involvement in social media has always been monitoring and surveillance of the public conversation, and then ultimately controlling and influencing public opinion.

Twitter is simply the gateway, the Rosetta Stone, to revealing how much of the public conversation is being controlled by government.

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