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Matt Taibbi Details What The FBI Told Twitter To Get Posts Taken Down

 

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At yesterday's House Weaponization of the Federal Government Committee hearing, Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY) spoke to Matt Taibbi about the FBI's relationship with Twitter.

The relationship between tech companies and the federal government has been a topic of concern for many Americans, especially when it comes to issues of free speech and censorship. In a recent hearing, journalist Matt Taibbi testified about the findings of his investigation into the cooperation between Twitter and government agencies, specifically the FBI.

Taibbi described how the growing network of federal agencies and tech companies was focused on identifying individuals whose opinions or beliefs were deemed to be misinformation, disinformation, or malinformation. Notably, he pointed out that the word "unlawful" was missing from this list, indicating that the focus was on speech rather than any actual illegal activity.

According to Taibbi, the FBI would routinely request that Twitter take down posts that they deemed to be in violation of the company's terms of service. This was often the primary justification for their requests, rather than any actual violation of federal law. Taibbi noted that the FBI used words like "malinformation" and "disinformation" to describe these posts, rather than focusing on their accuracy or truthfulness.

One email from a Twitter lawyer named Sasha Cardiel revealed that the FBI was essentially conducting word searches of Twitter's terms of service in order to find violations, which they could then recommend be taken down. This approach to policing speech on social media raised concerns about the government's role in suppressing free expression and the potential conflict with the First Amendment.

Taibbi also highlighted the presence of former FBI and other government agency employees working at Twitter. He found it significant that a significant number of these individuals were from the intelligence community, suggesting a close relationship between the government and social media companies.

Overall, Taibbi's testimony raises important questions about the relationship between the federal government and tech companies and the potential impact on free speech. While there may be a legitimate need to address disinformation and misinformation, it is important to ensure that any efforts to do so do not undermine the principles of free expression enshrined in the First Amendment.

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