The federal government pushed Twitter to investigate and shut down accounts investigating the origin of COVID-19, according to the latest Twitter Files report.
The suspensions impacted 250,000 accounts, including journalists and Canadian officials, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
US govt asked Twitter to suspend accounts linking Covid to Wuhan lab and bioweapons research, over 250,000 handles were axedhttps://t.co/32g8g2kYUU
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) January 4, 2023
"The Global Engagement Center — described by Taibbi as 'a fledgling analytic/intelligence arms of the State Department' — went public by releasing a report to media with a list of 'suspect accounts' which it said were 'Russian personas and proxies,'" OP India reported.
However, Twitter’s subsequent task force to hunt Russian influence on the platform showed 'no coordinated' effort and mostly 'lone-wolf' accounts with low ad spends," it added.
US govt agency demanded suspension of 250k accounts, including journalists & Canadian officials! https://t.co/kcEMMCzF7d
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 3, 2023
"The GEC report appeared based on DHS data circulated earlier that week, and included accounts that followed “two or more” Chinese diplomatic accounts," Matt Taibbi tweeted.
"They reportedly ended up with a list 'nearly 250,000' names long, and included Canadian officials and a CNN account," he added.
The truth is coming out. https://t.co/Ddk3OFvZzV
— Ron Hancock, James 1:27 (@RonH43033714) January 5, 2023
"In the first week of May, 2020, at the peak of Covid-19 panic, Twitter senior legal executive Stacia Cardille received a communication from the Global Engagement Center (GEC), the would-be operational/analytical arm of the U.S. State Department," explained Taibbi on TK News.
Founded in the Obama years under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the GEC was like the State Department's wannabe version of the NSA or the Defense Intelligence Agency," he added.
25.Twitter was taking requests from every conceivable government body, beginning with the Senate Intel Committee (SSCI), which seemed to need reassurance Twitter was taking FBI direction. Execs rushed to tell “Team SSCI” they zapped five accounts on an FBI tip: pic.twitter.com/hWnkOX292C
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 3, 2023
The disturbing news has angered many Americans who have growing concerns over the government's overreach into media and free speech limitations. The issue was also likely part of Twitter's recent policy change to no longer enforce its previous COVID-19 misinformation policy.
The disturbing report is one of many that occurred under Twitter's previous leadership that Musk continues to share with the public since taking over the company.