Twitter CEO Elon Musk said in response to the latest release of “The Twitter Files” Tuesday that Twitter was far from the only big tech company that engages in online censorship, going as far as to say that Google makes links disappear on their search engine.
Musk made the remarks in response to a tweet from left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald, who wrote: “For the crime of reporting that the US Security State agencies are heavily involved in Big Tech’s censorship regime, and for confessing that he found this deeply disturbing, liberals have spent a full week saying that @mtaibbi has mental health problems and needs therapy.”
Included in Greenwald’s tweet was a screenshot of one of journalist Matt Taibbi’s Twitter Files threads.
“The government was in constant contact not just with Twitter but with virtually every major tech firm,” Taibbi said. “These included Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, even Pinterest, and many others. Industry players also held regular meetings without government.”
Musk responded, “Most people don’t appreciate the significance of the point Matt was making: *Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government.”
“Google frequently makes links disappear, for example,” Musk added.
Most people don’t appreciate the significance of the point Matt was making:
*Every* social media company is engaged in heavy censorship, with significant involvement of and, at times, explicit direction of the government.
Google frequently makes links disappear, for example.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 27, 2022
“When Dems controlled both houses of Congress and the WH (and Exec Branch), they repeatedly summoned Big Tech CEOs and openly and explicitly threatened them: if you don’t *censor more*, you will be punished,” Greenwald responded.
Musk agreed, writing: “Exactly.”
Taibbi said that the State Department, Department of Defense, and Central Intelligence Agency were also involved in contacting the platform about potential foreign propaganda on the platform.
Internal company emails showed that FBI agent Elvis Chan asked Twitter executives if he could invite an “OGA” — Other Government Agency — to an upcoming conference.
The email referred to a Twitter employee, whose name was redacted, and said that people from the employee’s “former employer,” which a Twitter executive acknowledged meant the CIA, were specifically inquiring about the invitation.
The new Twitter Files release also showed that FBI officials helped put the company in contact with local law enforcement to deal with issues.
Taibbi said that the FBI was “clearly tailoring” its searches on the platform to look for potential content violations that Twitter could take action on.
Even ex-FBI lawyer Jim Baker, who was involved in a lot of controversy surrounding his involvement in different investigations into former President Donald Trump, thought that the FBI’s actions were strange.
“Odd that they are searching for violations of our policies,” Baker said in an email.