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New Twitter Files Shows 'How Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In,' and Boy Did They

AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

Tuesday has already been quite the busy news day, and it also saw the release of two additional editions of the Twitter Files thanks to Matt Taibbi, who has shared several other editions. The first, from Tuesday afternoon is titled "How Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In," and the over 30-tweet thread certainly lives up to that.


As the first few tweets highlight, Twitter dismissed any concerns about "a Russian problem" to do with suspending accounts that were of "suspected Russian origin." That was considered a problem that Facebook had.

A September 6, 2017 email from Public Policy VP Colin Crowell on "Russian election meddling," which is specified as "Privileged and Confidential," highlights an area of "Important Context." Again, this is to put the focus on Facebook as opposed to Twitter. 

Under such emphasis, the email read that "Twitter is not the focus of inquiry into Russian election meddling right now -- the spotlight is on FB because FB has better targeting ability than we have for campaign-related advertising; and, because the Trump campaign spent massively on FB during the election compared to what they spent w/us."


When Twitter ultimately did suspend accounts--22 possible accounts and 179 with "possible links--it did so after manually looking at about 2,700 accounts.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), who was then the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called out Twitter's report with strong words. The Senator also sent out fundraising emails the next day, something General Counsel Sean Edgett laughed off. In an email update, Crowell pointed not only to Warner's reaction, but that of Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) and Hillary Clinton, who had just recently lost the presidential election to Trump and was engaging in her delusional "What Happened" book tour. 


The thread also reveals how the "Russia Task Force" came about as a result of such pressure and anxiety, though its failure "worsened the company's PR crisis," as Taibbi would describe it. 


Tweets in the thread show not merely Twitter and the intelligence community working together, but how the mainstream media was involved.

Examples include an October 13, 2017 article from POLITICO, "Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes" by Josh Meyer. Another article, titled "Facebook, Google and Twitter face proposed bill targeting shadowy political ads," came from Hamza Shaban and Matea Gold at The Washington Post on September 22, 2017. 

That latter article in particular, Crowell warned in another email from September 23, 2017 "may affect our political advertising." His email also added that he was addressing "the context of how FB's recent announcements are ginning things up here in town."

Still later on, the thread reveals how Twitter "pledged to work with them on their desire to legislate in the area of political ads." Legislation was introduced in October of 2017, "The HONEST Act," which included not only Warner, but some other names, such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and then Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). That Klobuchar pops up is hardly surprising, given her ever-increasing crusade to regulate Big Tech and social media. 


Towards the conclusion of the thread, reporting from BuzzFeed in the United Kingdom, though Twitter made clear they preferred not to work with the outlet. 

Even more problems came for Twitter, as the social media platform had to apologize and backtrack when it comes to accounts it once claimed were not a problem.


Taibbi's thread included at least one duplicate. His tweets are included as they appeared in the thread. 

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