Twitter Files reveal the platform has been heavily involved in pushing Pentagon's 'psychological influence ops'
The more we learn from the the "Twitter Files," the more we a) understand just how intertwined the platform's old management team was with the federal government; b) what a massive propaganda machine the platform became, amplifying only government narratives; and c) how likely it is that every other major social media platform is equally compromised -- or has been equally willing to push deep state disinformation.
According to details from the latest file dump, for instance, we now know that Twitter was being used by the Pentagon to push its "online psychological influence ops," according to yeoman's reporting from The Intercept
- though frankly, it should not surprise anyone considering that the platform for years claimed it worked to combat
overt and covert government influence operations since the left always does the opposite of what they say.
"Behind the scenes," writes the outlet's Lee Feng, "the social networking giant provided direct approval and internal protection to the U.S. military’s network of social media accounts and online personas, whitelisting a batch of accounts at the request of the government. The Pentagon has used this network, which includes U.S. government-generated news portals and memes, in an effort to shape opinion in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and beyond."
The 'beyond,' no doubt, being in the United States itself.
Feng notes further:
The accounts in question started out openly affiliated with the U.S. government. But then the Pentagon appeared to shift tactics and began concealing its affiliation with some of these accounts — a move toward the type of intentional platform manipulation that Twitter has publicly opposed. Though Twitter executives maintained awareness of the accounts, they did not shut them down, but let them remain active for years. Some remain active.
He went on to note that the new revelations were "buried" in archives of Twitter emails, internet tools, and other communications, to which his outlet was granted access for a short period of time last week along with a few other intrepid reporters. After billionaire Elon Musk bought the platform this year for $44 billion, he began to grant access to the company's past internal communications, noting in a Twitter Space that "the general idea is to surface anything bad Twitter has done in the past" -- which, apparently, is a lot
The records viewed by The Intercept
include some that were generated after Musk became CEO, but all of them provided an unprecedented, if as yet incomplete, picture into how decisions were made within the social media behemoth founded by former CEO Jack Dorsey.
"The direct access Twitter provided to the Pentagon goes back at least five years," Feng noted.
One former Twitter employee who spoke to The Intercept
noted of the cooperation: “It sounds like DOD was doing something shady and definitely not in line with what they had presented to us at the time."
Erik Sperling, the executive director of Just Foreign Policy, a nonprofit that works toward diplomatic solutions to foreign conflicts, added: “It’s deeply concerning if the Pentagon is working to shape public opinion about our military’s role abroad and even worse if private companies are helping to conceal it.
“Congress and social media companies should investigate and take action to ensure that, at the very least, our citizens are fully informed when their tax money is being spent on putting a positive spin on our endless wars,” he continued.
This bombshell report comes on the heels of earlier reporting based on documents made public by Musk through a small number of investigative reporters that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security
, at a minimum, also worked with Twitter to get conservative accounts censored and banned when they did not echo established narratives.
Musk has given us more than a glimpse into Twitter; he's given the entire world a view into the sleazy cooperation between the major social media platforms and the deep state
, which helps explain why Congress hasn't done anything and won't about their fraudulent activities.