The FBI responded to allegations of its involvement in censorship on Twitter, saying it’s interactions with the social media platform were working to protect the American public and that their work is now being impugned with “conspiracy theories” and “misinformation.”
Recent rounds of the “Twitter Files” have provided some details about the FBI’s relationship with Twitter.
Part 6 of the “Twitter files” showed examples of FBI offices flagging accounts for potential violations of Twitter policy, including several accounts with low-follower accounts that appeared to make jokes about giving the wrong election day dates. While Twitter users can flag posts of users they believe violate the platform’s rules, the FBI was able to elevate its referrals to Twitter’s high-level employees through direct email contacts and direct meetings.
One FBI email to Twitter provides a list of Twitter users that the agency says “may potentially constitute violations of Twitters Terms of Service for any action or inaction deemed appropriate within Twitter policy.” Files also revealed the FBI passed along a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bulletin that described how “Russian malign influencers probably will increasingly use US social media platforms that offer more permissive operating environments.”
Part 7 of the “Twitter Files” reiterated that the FBI took possession of a laptop reportedly belonging to Hunter Biden in December of 2019. The files also included a portion of a legal statement by Twitter’s then-Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth, who described multiple in-person meetings with FBI officials who warned him about potential 2020 election “hack-and-leak operations” including rumors that one of the operations “would involve Hunter Biden.”
Internal Twitter communications released in Part 7 of the “Twitter Files” showed Roth saying the New York Post’s reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop “isn’t clearly violative of our Hacked Materials Policy, nor is it clearly in violation of anything else” to which former FBI employee turned Twitter legal counsel James Baker said “it is reasonable for us to assume that [laptop materials in the New York Post article] may have been [hacked] and that caution is warranted” adding “there are some facts that indicate that the materials may have been hacked.”
Part 7 of the “Twitter Files” also revealed that the FBI was paying Twitter for its staff’s time to take their meetings and review content the FBI flagged for Twitter. In one early 2021 communication, a Twitter employee told Baker the company had received $3,415,323 from the FBI since October of 2019.
In a statement shared with Fox News and other new organizations on Wednesday, the FBI said, “The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries.”
“As evidence in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers,” the FBI statement continues. “The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”