Twitter Files #8 sequel unmasks US military PsyOps accounts
The eighth release of the so-called Twitter Files, coordinated with new Twitter chief Elon Musk, focuses on how the company gave protections to US military PsyOps accounts.
Reporter Lee Fang revealed in the most recent disclosure of the infamous Twitter Files that Twitter provided accounts associated with US military psychological operations with additional safeguards on the social media network.
"Twitter has claimed for years that they make concerted efforts to detect and thwart government-backed platform manipulation… But behind the scenes, Twitter gave approval and special protection to the US military’s online psychological influence ops," Fang tweeted.
7. CENTCOM then shifted strategies & deleted disclosures of ties to the Twitter accounts. The bios of the accounts changed to seemingly organic profiles. One bio read: “Euphrates pulse.” Another used an apparent deep fake profile pic & claimed to be a source of Iraqi opinion. pic.twitter.com/VVVb15BDQ2— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 20, 2022
15. The U.S. propaganda network relentlessly pushed narratives against Russia, China, and other foreign countries. They accused Iran of "threatening Iraq’s water security and flooding the country with crystal meth," and of harvesting the organs of Afghan refugees.— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 20, 2022
14. In August 2022, a Stanford Internet Observatory report exposed a U.S. military covert propaganda network on Facebook, Telegram, Twitter & other apps using fake news portals and deep fake images and memes against U.S. foreign adversaries. https://t.co/dNH175YZmo— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 20, 2022
The eighth extension of the Twitter Files showed that a US Central Command representative gave a list of 52 Arabic-language accounts in 2017, asking for preferential service for six of the accounts and "whitelist" privileges for others.
According to Fang, Twitter authorized the whitelist request, giving accounts without the typical blue checkmark verified status, thereby exempting them from spam alerts and increasing the likelihood that they will appear on the network.
The exposure also revealed that several of the accounts remained operational for more than two years despite Twitter's knowledge that Pentagon propaganda accounts employed hidden identities.
High-ranking Twitter employees discussed the covert network in 2020 and shared the 2017 list, as well as 157 additional secret Pentagon accounts, as per Fang.
Twitter Files #8 eviscerated that a cross-platform US military propaganda network that promoted anti-Russian and anti-Chinese narratives was exposed in August, citing a Stanford Internet Observatory research.
Twitter whitelisted one of the accounts that Stanford had discovered, the files noted.
What are they?
Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, is the mastermind behind the so-called Twitter Files. He has stated that he wants to demonstrate "what really happened" about behind-the-scenes content moderation choices at the social media business before he acquired it in October.
Three journalists, Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Michael Shellenberger, have been delving into internal documents and conversations to highlight the company's decision-making process surrounding some high-profile actions, such as banning former President Donald Trump in January 2020. The Twitter Files have been released in bits and pieces throughout December.