It is not clear what is more chilling: the menacing role played by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Twitter’s censorship program or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. This week saw another FBI “nothing-to-see-here” statement to the release of files detailing how it actively sought to suppress the Hunter Biden story before the 2020 election, gave millions to Twitter, and targeted even satire or tiny posts that did not conform with its guidelines.
The releases document what some of us have long alleged: a system of censorship by surrogate or proxy. The FBI has largely shrugged and said that there is nothing concerning about over 80 agents working on the censoring of posters, including many American citizens.
In the latest statement, the FBI stated it did not command Twitter to take any specific action when flagging accounts to be censored:
“We are providing it so that they can take whatever action they deem appropriate under their terms of service to protect their platform and protect their customers, but we never direct or ask them to take action.”
The files shows a previously undisclosed back channel of contacts where the FBI nudged Twitter to censor posters and Twitter proceeded to do so. Many are like the Nov. 10th email saying “Hello Twitter contacts, FBI San Francisco is notifying you of the below accounts which may potentially constitute violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service for any action or inaction deemed appropriate within Twitter policy.”