The third batch of “Twitter Files,” published by independent journalist Matt Taibbi, revealed Twitter’s former lead censor, Yoel Roth, joking about the company’s collusion with government intelligence entities.
“After [Jan. 6, 2021], internal Slacks show Twitter executives getting a kick out of intensified relationships with federal agencies,” Taibbi wrote, publishing internal Slack messages that show Roth “lamenting a lack of ‘generic enough’ calendar descriptions [for] concealing his ‘very interesting’ meeting partners.”
“I’m a big believer in calendar transparency,” Roth said in one message. “But I reached a certain point where my meetings became… very interesting.”
In response to a colleague who commented “Very Boring Business Meeting That Is Definitely Not About Trump ;)” Roth responded “Preeeeeeeetty much.”
“DEFINITELY NOT meeting with the FBI I SWEAR,” Roth wrote in another message.
The Slack messages offer more evidence of explicit coordination between the government and Twitter to censor conservative accounts. The second batch of Twitter Files, published by independent journalist Bari Weiss on Thursday, revealed the lead of the company’s Strategic Response Team (SRT), a group designated to run the platform’s shadowban operations, was a former federal intelligence operative. Jeff Carlton, the team’s head, was previously an analyst for the CIA and the FBI, according to his since-deleted LinkedIn page.
This week, Twitter CEO Elon Musk also revealed that the company’s deputy general counsel, who played a key role in the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, was a former general counsel of the FBI.
Weeks before the 2020 election, Twitter blocked users from publishing links to blockbuster stories from the New York Post that implicated then-candidate Joe Biden in his son’s potentially criminal overseas business ventures. Emails that showed the former vice president’s direct involvement with Hunter Biden’s influence-peddling schemes came from an abandoned laptop in Delaware. Despite no evidence the computer was ever hacked, Twitter suppressed the story across the platform citing its hacked materials policy. The first batch of “Twitter Files” out last week showed that the company deliberately shut down the bombshells from the Post out of partisanship.
Jim Baker played a pivotal role in censoring the story at Twitter as the company’s deputy general counsel, telling colleagues “caution is warranted” that the content might be the consequence of a hack. Prior to joining Twitter, Baker was instrumental in the FBI’s deep-state operation to undermine President Donald Trump by peddling the Russia hoax. Musk fired him from Twitter Tuesday and announced the termination with a tweet.
“In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today,” Musk wrote.
“His explanation was …unconvincing,” Musk wrote in a follow-up on Baker’s justification for suppressing the laptop story.
Another post from Taibbi showed Twitter Policy Director Nick Pickles asking colleagues if employees could refer to corporate relationships with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security as “partnerships.”
In one internal Slack post published Friday night, Taibbi further exposed the partisan nature of Twitter’s censorship operations. On Oct. 9, 2020, someone shared a Trump tweet with Roth which read, “Breaking News: 50,000 OHIO VOTERS getting WRONG ABSENTEE BALLOTS. Out of control. A Rigged Election!!!”
“‘[A] rigged election’ would be enough to be in violation right?'” wrote an employee whose name has been redacted.
“If the claim of fact were inaccurate, yes,” Roth wrote, then added, “But it looks like that’s true,” with a link to an article from NPR.
The post in question no longer appears in a keyword search for it on Twitter, even though employees knew the facts were accurate.