Parag Agrawal: How the old Twitter CEO and government silenced users
Don’t get fooled by the fact that you can watch porn on Twitter, is that actually enough to make it a free speech network? The Twitter Files have let us realize how things really work inside and that the platform has all resources to silence users beginning with its solid relationship with the government. Twitter CEO’s communication with the FBI surely beats yours with your special ones.
Elon Musk bought Twitter for more reasons than stopping a bot exposing his environmentally irresponsible jet usage. According to Musk, he’s all about defending free speech, but is that actually happening? We mean, he sells electric cars yet takes an unnecessary nine minutes jet flight. Nonetheless, this gets twisted, we’re talking about how Twitter has aided the pentagon’s covert online psyOp campaign.
While you might use Twitter to vent your feelings a little, Twitter docs have shown that the network has directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations. This is why Twitter, its owner, and its CEOs are always so controversial, this platform holds more than tweets, but highly delicate political content. But how specifically did the old Twitter CEO get to silence users?
Twitter and the pentagon
One of the main bonds between the U.S. governmental organisms and Twitter began in 2017. During that year, an official from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) sent Twitter a list of fifty-two accounts that used the Arab language. The official was asking for priority service for six accounts, as well as verification for one and “whitelist” abilities for the rest.
The same day the list was sent by CENTCOM, Twitter officials used a tool to grant the solicited services. The accounts on the list used to tweet about U.S. military priorities in the Middle East and also promoted anti-Iran messages, and the Saudi Arabia-U.S. backed war in Yemen. Nonetheless, behind the scenes, Twitter was giving special protection to the U.S. military’s psychological influence ops online.
Even after knowing that Pentagon propaganda accounts used to have covert identities accounts, Twitter did not suspend many for years, some remain active. Also, numerous emails from 2020 show that high-level Twitter executives were completely aware of this vast amount of fake accounts as well as covert propaganda. And guess what, none of the executives, nor the CEO suspend the accounts.
Several of these military propaganda accounts continued tweeting through last year till some of them got suspended until May 2022 or later. As usual, the U.S. propaganda network is usually filled with hate discourses towards Russia, China, and other foreign countries. Some accounts even accused Iran of “threatening Iraq’s water security and flooding the country with crystal meth”.
There are way more, more names further than Para Agrwal, more accounts that were suspended and others that got created. The reality is much more complex, there are tons of political interests involved. It’s a fact that Twitter actively assisted CENTCOM’s network since 2017, which means the platform was responsible for the covered accounts.
Twitter might be a platform where we’re socially allowed to post explicit content and use several words that other networks would ban us for. But as we’ve seen through this article, censorship isn’t what we should worry about, in fact, all that “freedom” is a smokescreen to hide all the other twisted things. Who’s allowed to tweet without getting suspended? Apparently that depends on your nationality & political orientation.