The CIA, Pentagon and other US intelligence and law enforcement agencies, referred internally as OGA, were getting increasingly “more aggressive” with their takedown requests, effectively pushing the platform to engage in censorship of foreign policy stories that ran against the Washington-approved narrative, the latest trove of Twitter documents reveals.
“The files show the FBI acting as doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA,” journalist Matt Taibbi wrote in the Christmas Eve edition of the Twitter Files, released with a blessing from the company’s owner Elon Musk.
Among thousands of censorship requests flowing to Twitter from “Other Government Organizations” through the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, many had nothing to do with purported “foreign meddling” and were linked to purely domestic issues. But when they had, Twitter executives often struggled to validate government claims, and were under constant pressure – but unable to find evidence to blame a foreign actor, Russia in particular.
“Found no links to Russia,” an unnamed analyst said in one of the emails, later suggesting he could “brainstorm” to “find a stronger connection.” Former Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth admitted he found “no real matches using the info” in another case.