Matt Taibbi has reviewed additional sets of Twitter Files and will post threads summarizing his findings just in time to disrupt my holiday weekend. At his TK News site on Substack, he previews his findings with a focus on the government-related issues that have been the subject of my interest.
He anticipates that “the broader picture will eventually describe a company that was directly or indirectly blamed for allowing Donald Trump to get elected, and whose subjugation and takeover by a furious combination of politicians, enforcement officials, and media then became a priority as soon as Trump took office.” He sketches out the findings of his next threads:
These next few pieces are the result of looking at two discrete data sets, one ranging from mid-2017 to early 2018, and the other spanning from roughly March 2020 through the present. In the first piece focused on that late 2017 period, you see how Washington politicians learned that Twitter could be trained quickly to cooperate and cede control over its moderation process through a combination of threatened legislation and bad press.
In the second, you see how the cycle of threats and bad media that first emerged in 2017 became institutionalized, to the point where a long list of government enforcement agencies essentially got to operate Twitter as an involuntary contractor, heading into the 2020 election. Requests for moderation were funneled mainly through the FBI, the self-described “belly button” of the federal government (not a joke, an agent really calls it that).
From what we have seen so far that is beautifully said. Whole thing here.