Did Twitter manipulate its U.S. trending news to satisfy the FBI?
The FBI is no stranger to shady business. In fact, they’ve created quite a reputation across the country as often being up to no good. Are they targeting Twitter? It’s the only explanation as to why they’re not trending across the US for a multitude of nefarious reasons.
Shockingly, it all started with Donald Trump being permanently banned. It seemed like a good idea. He was spreading misinformation and riling users into an alt-right frenzy. However, the orange former president may have been the canary in a coal mine warning the masses.
Known rebel rouser Matt Taibbi caused a media storm when he dropped the first thread of the Twitter Files. Michael Shellenberger has now dropped a follow-up. It should be trending on Twitter across the US. Instead, it’s like no one has even noticed it’s happened at all.
Is there a larger reason behind it all? Let’s take a closer look into what the Twitter files have indirectly alluded to regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It’s no secret that the former President of the United States did not take kindly to any form of news that put him and his ideas in question or in a bad light. This was readily apparent on his Twitter account, which was his primary tool in both winning the minds of conservative America and securing the election of the President itself. The FBI was
When it came to almost every incident of stoking violence at the Capitol building on January 6, almost everyone who was arrested pointed towards Trump as the ringleader both online and offline.
Upon the revealing of the Twitter files, it became very clear that the company was torn on what should be done up until the very end.
Reporter Matt Taibbi opened up the Twitter files with a series of tweet threads that detailed insightful portions of the decision making processes that ultimately banned the former President.
“Whatever your opinion on the decision to remove Trump that day, the internal communications at Twitter between January 6th-January 8th have clear historical import,” he wrote. “Even Twitter’s employees understood at that moment it was a landmark moment in the annals of speech.”
Pictured in the tweet was a screenshot of an employee talking inside of what appears to be a Slack chat room. They ask about the importance of the moment in which protesters begin storming the capital. “Is this the first sitting head of state to be suspended?”
The FBI and their lax handling of the incident made it very clear who was ultimately in control of the moment: Trump and Twitter.
According to the Twitter files, the FBI didn’t seem to have much standing in the way of following Trump’s orders. In fact, Twitter’s infrastructure itself seemed to allow people to practice the freedom of speech not only to a fault but to their own detriment.
Before J6, Twitter was a unique mix of automated, rules-based enforcement, and more subjective moderation by senior executives.” Taibbi continued. “As Bari Weiss reported, the firm had a vast array of tools for manipulating visibility, most all of which were thrown at Trump (and others) pre-J6.”
Taibbi did not stop there when reporting his findings. “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.”
Not even halfway through his report, the Twitter files show what many had suspected all along. “ After J6, internal Slacks show Twitter executives getting a kick out of intensified relationships with federal agencies,” Taibbi reported. “Here’s Trust and Safety head Yoel Roth, lamenting a lack of “generic enough” calendar descriptions to concealing his “very interesting” meeting partners.”
According to Taibbi, this is just the tip of the iceberg. “These initial reports are based on searches for docs linked to prominent executives, whose names are already public,” he tweeted. “They include Roth, former trust and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, and recently plank-walked Deputy General Counsel (and former top FBI lawyer) Jim Baker.”
“ During this time, executives were also clearly liaising with federal enforcement and intelligence agencies about moderation of election-related content.” Taibbi reveals. “While we’re still at the start of reviewing the #TwitterFiles, we’re finding out more about these interactions every day.”
What do you think of the information revealed in the Twitter Files? How far do you think Elon Musk will go to keep these practices in place, now that he owns the company? Let us know in the comments!