A former Twitter engineer suggested Twitter works with foreign governments to ban users in their country, shows undercover footage from Project Veritas released Wednesday.
The man identified as former engineer Conrado Miranda tells an undercover journalist working for James O’Keefe the company is bombarded by requests from the Chinese government, in particular, to ban users for one reason or another. He stopped short of explicitly saying Twitter complies with these requests, but the totality of the footage released makes this pretty clear.
“Does the Chinese government or anybody, like, do you think they call Twitter and be, like, ‘You need to ban anyone that’s on Twitter that’s from China’?” the journalist asks in one of two snippets of conversation released. “Do they do that?”
Miranda is coy, but strongly hints the answer is yes.
“I cannot disclose that information,” he replies.
“What? Why?” she asks.
“I cannot disclose that information,” he repeats.
“That’s crazy,” she says. “So, that means yes?”
Smiling, he replies: “I did not say that.”
In a second bit of conversation, Miranda appears to say outright that Twitter bans users who violate the terms of agreement, if the government puts up enough of a fuss. The terms are different in every country in which Twitter operates, he adds.
“Normally does Twitter, like, say if someone in Iran calls and is, like, ‘Hey, in our country we need these people banned so that they’re not seen,'” the journalist says.
“Yeah,” Miranda replies.
“That happens?” she asks.
“Yeah. We do that a lot for China,” he says, adding: “We are actually under constant attack from the Chinese. Like, both Chinese hackers, like, ‘good guys’ and from Chinese government.”
“Wow,” the journalist remarks.
“Because sometimes they ask us to take down an account, and we don’t take it down, because we’re, like, at the end of all it, like, anybody say,” he says. “And then the Chinese government, like, starts to try and hack us, and sometimes they point someone, or like yeah, we actually violated blah, blah, blah. And then, the ‘good guys’ from China start attacking us. It’s a mess.”
Remarking on the varying terms of agreement in each country, the journalist asks, “So, Twitter doesn’t necessarily offer free speech around the world?”
“No,” Miranda replies.
The footage is part of an ongoing series of undercover videos on Twitter released by Project Veritas. Former employees of the tech company brag about “shadow banning” users with objectionable views, particularly conservatives, in another recent video.