In the 21st century, some of our nation’s most blatant fears are coming true in terms of invasive technology and the Big Brother of it all, and our only real weapon against the coming of the digital doomsday is transparency.
To this end, Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk has been digging through the company’s internal communications, and exposing pertinent and frightening details about what the social media site was engaged in behind the scenes.
The latest revelations are downright disturbing, and will drive a wedge of trust in between the US government and Americans themselves.
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.Trending:
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.”
The details were rather daunting.
“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 amid a great deal of scrutiny of Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform, particularly as he continues to flip-flop on the issue of free speech on the site.