Watchdog accuses FBI of blocking records on Twitter interactions

 May 31, 2023

The FBI is refusing to share documents about interactions with Twitter that have raised concerns about free speech.

A watchdog group, Protect the Public's Trust, accused the agency of hiding evidence it may have censored American citizens through its collaboration with Twitter on so-called election "misinformation."

Protect the Public's Trust filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for records of conversations between Jan. 1, 2020, to Nov. 30. 2022, a period covering the 2020 and 2022 elections.

FBI blocking records

The FBI has said they can't even acknowledge if the records exist for "privacy" reasons. But Protect the Public's Trust says that is an excuse to keep Americans in the dark on a matter of "tremendous public interest."

"Given that the publicly available samples appear to be at odds with the FBI’s public spin, the American people have a right to see the communications themselves to evaluate the accuracy of the FBI’s characterizations thereof," the group wrote in a letter appealing the FBI's denial.

The FBI's close relationship with Twitter was laid bare last year in a series of reports called the "Twitter Files."

As part of an information dump by Twitter CEO Elon Musk after he took over ownership of the platform, journalist Matt Taibbi reported that the agency regularly met with top Twitter executives and solicited the company to review posts and even specific user accounts.

The FBI has denied ordering Twitter to take any direct action, but that hasn't dispelled suspicions the government agency tiptoed around the First Amendment by nudging a privately owned platform to police content.

No transparency

Ironically, despite the efforts of Twitter and the FBI to stop "misinformation" during elections, millions of voters were incorrectly led to believe that evidence of the Biden family's business dealings was "Russian disinformation."

Some have alleged the FBI was involved in Twitter's deeply controversial decision to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story on the eve of the 2020 election.

The agency's flagrant disregard for oversight has done little to allay suspicions. The FBI has allegedly refused to hand over to Congress a memo describing a "criminal scheme" involving the Biden family that according to a whistleblower it did not act on, despite repeated requests from Republicans in Congress.

Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public's Trust, told the Washington Examiner that the agency's "aversion to transparency" raises "suspicion about what the agency's officials may have been involved in."

What is the FBI hiding?

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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