OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The latest dump of “Twitter Files” by journalist Matt Taibbi on Tuesday contained a new revelation regarding a top House Democrat, California Rep. Adam Schiff, who apparently attempted to get an investigative journalist tossed off the platform during the pandemic.
According to a lengthy Twitter thread posted by Taibbi, Schiff or his office wanted journalist Paul Sperry bounced from the platform, apparently for sharing information and reports that ran afoul of the established narratives regarding COVID-19, the coronavirus vaccines, and other information.
Initially, according to what Taibbi discovered, Twitter’s former management team resisted, but in the end, Sperry was banned anyway.
Taibbi’s thread also revealed additional heavy federal government involvement in attempting to control narratives by pressuring the platform to censor information and ban other users as well.
Taibbi explained how the FBI and DHS would serve as government “conduits” to police social media platforms for so-called “misinformation” about the pandemic from other countries. And while Twitter initially balked, eventually, the platform gave way to government agencies and began acting on ‘recommendations’ from them to ban or censor certain content and users.
“Requests arrived and were escalated from all over: from Treasury, the NSA, virtually every state, the HHS, from the FBI and DHS, and more. They also received an astonishing variety of requests from officials asking for individuals they didn’t like to be banned,” Taibbi went on.
28.“WE DON’T DO THIS” Even Twitter declined to honor Schiff’s request at the time. Sperry was later suspended, however. pic.twitter.com/9PX2Zw5Nzj
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 3, 2023
“Here, the office for Democrat and House Intel Committee chief Adam Schiff asks Twitter to ban journalist Paul Sperry.” he wrote in a post containing a request to “remove any and all content” about a House Intelligence Committee staffer. “’WE DON’T DO THIS’ Even Twitter declined to honor Schiff’s request at the time. Sperry was later suspended, however.”
That revelation led Musk to press the California Democrat: “Hey @RepAdamSchiff, what’s this?”
Hey @RepAdamSchiff, what’s this?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 3, 2023
Earlier, Taibbi noted, “In February 2020, as COVID broke out, the Global Engagement Center – a fledgling analytic/intelligence arms of the State Department – went to the media with a report called, Russian Disinformation Apparatus Taking Advantage of Coronavirus Concerns.’
“The GEC flagged accounts as ‘Russian personas and proxies’ based on criteria like, ‘Describing the Coronavirus as an engineered bioweapon,’ blaming ‘research conducted at the Wuhan institute,’ and ‘attributing the appearance of the virus to the CIA,'” he wrote.
“State also flagged accounts that retweeted news that Twitter banned the popular U.S. ZeroHedge, claiming the episode ‘led to another flurry of disinformation narratives.’ ZH had done reports speculating that the virus had lab origin,” Taibbi noted further.
“The GEC still led directly to news stories like the AFP’s headline, ‘Russia-linked disinformation campaign led to coronavirus alarm, US says,’ and a Politico story about how ‘Russian, Chinese, Iranian Disinformation Narratives Echo One Another,'” he said.
“…Twitter was also trying to reduce the number of agencies with access to [former Twitter safety chief Yoel] Roth. ‘If these folks are like House Homeland Committee and DHS, once we give them a direct contact with Yoel, they will want to come back to him again and again,’ said policy director Carlos Monje.”
Following initial revelations from previous dumps of Twitter Files indicating that the FBI was heavily involved in censorship efforts, a survey found that most Americans want the bureau investigated and held accountable for its actions.
According to pollster Rasmussen Reports late last month, 63 percent of respondents said they want the new Congress to launch probes of FBI-induced censorship on Twitter and social media giant Facebook, while the same amount of respondents said they believe that it took place.
The Washington Examiner reported:
The finding in the new survey, sponsored by Miranda Devine, author of the book Laptop from Hell which deals with first son Hunter Biden’s scandal-laden computer, followed a week of revelations that the government convinced Twitter to censor posts about Biden and his critics.
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who is set to take over as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, voiced “serious concerns about how and why tech companies suppress, silence, or reduce the reach of certain political speech and speakers.”
“Majorities of every political category — 52% of Democrats, 75% of Republicans, and 63% of unaffiliated voters — believe Congress should investigate whether the FBI was involved in censoring information on social media sites,” the pollster noted.