WASHINGTON (TND) — Journalist Matt Taibbi continued the ongoing revelation of internal communications from Twitter Friday in the sixth part of the “Twitter Files” series of information drops on the site.
Taibbi began posting at 4 p.m. ET with no previous fanfare or announcement – previous installments usually came with an announcement by Elon Musk or facilitators like Taibbi or Bari Weiss beforehand. This sixth instance deals with what Taibbi is calling the “Twitter, The FBI Subsidiary,” which is an exploration into contact between the social media site and the federal bureau, which was – allegedly - so “constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.”
In a series of 45 tweets posted almost concurrently with each other, Taibbi lays out the relationship between the FBI – mostly the Foreign Influence Task Force, which was organized in the wake of the 2016 election in order to fight disinformation and what Taibbi calls the bureau’s “social media-focused task force” – and the former Chief of Trust and Safety at Twitter, Yoel Roth, between 2020 and 2022. The relationship as Taibbi examines it is laid out in a series of 150 emails.
While he admits that some of them are mundane, Taibbi writes, “A surprisingly high number are requests by the FBI for Twitter to take action on election misinformation, even involving joke tweets from low-follower accounts.” He alleges that the Department of Homeland Security partnered with “security contractors and think tanks” in order to “pressure Twitter to moderate content.”
Taibbi then breaks down several examples where he believes Twitter and federal agencies overstepped their authority in such content examination and moderation on the social media platform.
Previous installments of the series - sanctioned and enabled by Twitter’s new head honcho Elon Musk – dealt with issues like the suppression by the platform of the New York Post’s story on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop and the decision by the social media company to permanently ban (until Musk unbanned him) former President Donald Trump in the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan.6, 2021 – issues that coincide with major talking points and areas of interest to conservative lawmakers, activists and media personality.
Musk has stated he wants Twitter to be a bastion of free speech and the public town square of the world.
This is a breaking new story and The National Desk will update accordingly.