The latest installation in the “Twitter Files” series of revelations about the social media giant’s interaction with government entities in making censorship decisions before Elon Musk took over the company was published on Friday, and the credibility of the FBI took another full-on nuclear blast.
Friday’s release was published by independent journalist Matt Taibbi and focused on the close relationship the FBI had with Twitter in controlling political information that could damage Democrats and Washington power elites.
Taibbi posted numerous documents and detailed how the “government collects, analyzes, and flags your social media content.” He described Twitter’s contact with the FBI as “constant and pervasive.”
Likely anticipating the reporting coming last week, the FBI released a press statement to Fox News immediately after Taibbi’s Twitter thread dropped.
The statement said in part: “The FBI regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities. Private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any, action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.”
The carefully worded denial that the government has any influence on how social media companies deal with information that is given to them was unconvincing to Republicans and free speech defenders, to say the least.
Clear your calendar.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 16, 2022
The FBI is designing what u see so they can control what you think & how u behave
Even before #TwitterFiles6 we knew they:
Altered evidence (Clinesmith)
Lied under oath (McCabe)
Targeted Trump (Strzok/Paige)
Suppressed evidence (Thibault)
The Bureau needs a serious reshaping https://t.co/IGGZBafGVO
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 17, 2022
Some GOP lawmakers have said since Friday they intend to hold the FBI and all Big Tech companies accountable for their involvement in government-sponsored censorship.
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) directly said that the FBI is lying in the press statement it provided after the latest report.
Burchett said: “Mr. Wray is lying. He better clear off his January. I expect Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the Judiciary Committee and Mr. Comer from Kentucky’s committee will have him filled up.”
Does anyone still trust the FBI?
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) December 16, 2022
The Tennessee Republican condemned the FBI for using its intimate relationship with Twitter in the past to suppress free speech and to “dox” people. “Doxxing” refers to intentionally revealing personal and confidential information about people online to compromise their safety.
Burchett added that allowing “our once wonderful FBI to be infiltrated by these folks is just, to me, a scary problem.”