Twitter may very well be the most powerful communications tool that the world has ever known, so of course the federal government was weaseling their way in on the action.
According to material recently released as part of the “Twitter Files” disclosure, it turns out that the US government was successful in launching a number of psy-ops on the platform…and with Twitter’s help.
Twitter maintained a strict ban on foreign influence operations over the past half-decade — except in the case of the U.S. government, which was permitted to use the platform for “psychological influence operations” abroad, according to a new installment in the Twitter Files.
The Twitter Files are a series of disclosures of internal documents to journalists, a project championed by the platform’s new owner, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The latest batch was published by Lee Fang, a journalist at the Intercept.
According to Fang, despite public pledges to shut down all government-backed platform manipulation, Twitter made an exception for the U.S.
“Twitter gave approval & special protection to the U.S. military’s online psychological influence ops,” wrote Fang. “Despite knowledge that Pentagon propaganda accounts used covert identities, Twitter did not suspend many for around 2 years or more. Some remain active.”
“In 2017, a U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) official sent Twitter a list of 52 Arab language accounts ‘we use to amplify certain messages.’ The official asked for priority service for six accounts, verification for one & ‘whitelist’ abilities for the others.”
The news comes just days after another release of information from the backdoor dealings of the platform in which it was revealed that Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden “laptop from Hell” story was completely arbitrary and ran counter to the recommendation of the company’s safety board.