Mysterious Government Agencies Participated in Suppressing Twitter Content: Twitter Files

Mysterious Government Agencies Participated in Suppressing Twitter Content: Twitter Files
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP)
Allen Zhong
Mysterious government agencies were involved in censoring content along with Twitter Inc. on the social media platform, journalist Matt Taibbi said in newly-released Twitter Files.

The files—which mostly were internal communications among Twitter executives and employees—show that unspecified agencies worked with Twitter before Elon Musk bought the company.

The agencies were usually referred to as “Other Government Agencies,” or OGA, inside Twitter.

In one email from June 29, 2020, FBI San Francisco Field Office official Elvis Chan asked Twitter executives if he could invite an “OGA” to attend an upcoming event.

“I wanted to follow up to see if I could forward this invitation to an OGA?” he wrote.

“OGA Briefing” can also be frequently seen on the meeting agenda between Twitter and the Foreign Influence Task Force (TITF).

It was put under the “Russia Status” part of the meeting agenda.

It’s unclear which agencies OGA was referring to, though Taibbi claimed it to be the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) citing several persons familiar with the agency.

The Epoch Times reached out to the CIA for comments.

Screenshots of emails shared by Taibbi show various government agencies including the FBI and CIA participated in meetings with Twitter.

“I invited the FBI, and I believe that the CIA will virtually attend too,” Stacia Cardille, a former attorney for Twitter, wrote in an email to Jim Baker about an information operation conference.

Baker was a general counsel at the FBI and a key figure in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Efforts Peaked Before 2020 Election

Twitter was overwhelmed by requests from various agencies mostly coordinated by TITF and the FBI San Francisco Field Office before the 2020 election, Taibbi said.

“Email after email came from the San Francisco office heading into the election, often adorned with an Excel attachment,” he wrote. “There were so many government requests, Twitter employees had to improvise a system for prioritizing/triaging them.”

In some cases, Twitter personnel found the flagged posts legitimate.

“From my checks, I could not find any indicators to suggest that the account [redacted] is Russian. ... [redacted] does not have indicators to suggest it is Russian proxy,” one analyst said.

“I can brainstorm with [redacted] and see if we can dig even deeper and try to find a stronger connection,” the analyst added.

In another case, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s fired ex-head of trust and safety, concluded that some pro-Maduro accounts from Venezuela were not connected to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA).

“Those accounts were extremely high volume tweeters, generally using automation (in a way that was pretty uncharacteristic of a lot of the other IRA activity). We have very high confidence that they are not linked to the IRA, or to Russian activity in any form,” he wrote.

Allen Zhong is a long-time writer and reporter for The Epoch Times. He joined the Epoch Media Group in 2012. His main focus is on U.S. politics. Send him your story ideas: [email protected]
Related Topics