Did ‘every conspiracy theory’ about Twitter turn out to be… true?

The internal company documents offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the federal agencies distorted the public debate one of the world’s largest social media platforms. 


CORRECTION: This article originally described Nostr as a “blockchain-based social media site.” Nostr is an open protocol that allows users to transmit a post over a decentralized network of relays using cryptographic keys.

The so-called Twitter Files, written by a group of independent journalists given access to internal company documents, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the federal government shaped the flow of information on one of the world’s largest social media platforms. 

Some tech pundits say that the Twitter Files contain no secrets: they knew about the thousands of takedown requests the company receives every month from law enforcement agencies and the courts, or they had already opined about the immense challenges of content moderation. However, the Twitter Files have brought important new information to light. They show that the company stifled debate over important policy issues by shadowbanning certain accounts for no good reason and then misleading the public. They show that Twitter was routinely strongarmed by the White House and the FBI into complying with frivolous takedown requests. And they provide evidence that the intelligence community likely influenced the decision to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story during Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

“Almost every conspiracy theory that people had about Twitter turned out to be true,” Elon Musk said on the All-In Podcast in late December. “Is there a conspiracy theory about Twitter that didn’t turn out to be true?”

Conspiracy theorists are often sloppy with the facts and exaggerate what actually happened. But the information brought to light by the Twitter Files should be alarming to anyone who cares about free speech and a free society. Is the government meddling similarly with YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Google search? How can we prevent the internet from becoming a centralized apparatus through which state actors shape and censor public debate? Here are three major takeaways from the Twitter Files:

#1 Twitter distorted the conversation and misled the public

Twitter had a system of “whitelists” that allowed its algorithms and human moderators to turn engagement dials up and down based on what a user said. It used this power to limit the ability of certain groups and individuals to reach an audience, including conservative commentator Dan Bongino, Stanford economist and medical school professor Jay Bhattacharya, mRNA vaccine critic Alex Berenson, and the Libs of TikTok account.

#2 The government is secretly policing speech.

The most troubling thing about the Berenson de-platforming isn’t Twitter’s decision per se, but whether it made that decision freely. Was it done at the behest of the federal government? The Twitter files provide circumstantial evidence that the White House played a role.

#3 Twitter permitted covert state propaganda on its platform.

The U.S. ran sock-puppet accounts on Twitter and then may have tried to shut them down secretly when it looked like it was caught in the act. 

Produced by Zach Weissmueller; edited by Regan Taylor; sound editing by John Osterhoudt. 

Photo credits: PIERRE VILLARD/SIPA/Newscom; Adrien Fillon/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Al Drago – Pool via CNP/SIPA/Newscom; Alisdare Hickson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; CelebrityHomePhotos/Newscom; Daniel Oberhaus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Dominick Sokotoff/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Dylan Stewart/Image of Sport/Newscom; Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; I, Aude, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Image of Sport/Newscom; imageBROKER/Markus Mainka/Newscom; Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GDFL, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Kyodo/Newscom; Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Newscom; Lordalpha1, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons; LiPo Ching/TNS/Newscom; Michael Ho Wai Lee/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom ;Ministério Das Comunicações, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; New Media Daysderivative work: — Cirt, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Oliver Contreras – Pool via CNP/picture alliance / Consolidated News Photos/Newscom; Paul E Boucher/ZUMA Press/Newscom; picture alliance / Frank Duenzl/Newscom; Ron Sachs/picture alliance / Consolidated News Photos/Newscom; Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Tesla Owners Club Belgium, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; Whoisjohngalt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Yichuan Cao/Sipa USA/Newscom; ZUMAPRESS/Newscom 

Music Credits: “Fleeting Wave,” by Palm Blue via Artlist; “Quiet Pull,” by Tamuz Dekel via Artlist; “Ripples,” Tamuz Dekel via Artlist; “Particles,” by Nobou via Artlist; “From Above,” by Dan Mayo via Artlist

Written by ReasonTV


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  1. Conspiracy theory is just a word used to badmouth spoilers, and those who constantly spew them. ;3
    TBF, I wasn't spoiled. Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together know that big companies run the goobernment, and that the goobernment uses them to bypass their own constitutional restrictions.

  2. As far as I notice, all conspirators turn out to be true. Sure.
    While the average ppl delays to get there, the 15 % of all people are intuitive. That is it.
    They don’t deduce anything. Intuition just make them KNOW about the thing – proves are not needed bc this is downloaded in your brain by who knows who or what. The thing is that this download is downloaded to many people and globally when the subject is global. Period.

  3. Everyone already knows the materialistic 1st rule is to deny everything that he is not programmed to approve. Another thing that they had suppressed is the “critical thinking”. So, why mention them?

  4. If I was a propaganda minister that valued free speech, I would be clowning anti-vaxers and making them look like light-hearted fools.
    Taking them seriously only legitimizes them.
    Only reason no one took the other vax stuff seriously, was because the anti-vaxers back then looked like morons.

    If the federal government legitimizes them, the situation is only gonna get worse.

  5. Better to get rid of the CIA propaganda phrase “Conspiracy Theory”. This term was weaponized as a ridicule phrase by powers that be and is a term of ridicule synonymous with “Tin Foil Hat person”. We should call them criminal conspiracy accusations.

  6. Congress told the CIA to stop spying on US citizens, so they just stopped reporting it to Congress. Pretty sure more reporting requirements won't do much good. The only cure is to entirely defund every intelligence agency.

  7. Why not demand laws that hold our leaders criminally to our Constitutional limits?

    If jaywalking is sufficient to warrant a criminal fine then violating our fundamental Rights should as well.

  8. If Twitter was just a private company, they misrepresented their product. It was supposed to be free speech but instead it was censored speech. If I buy a box of chocolates but when I open the box it is filled with sawdust, the private company has defrauded me. Twitter likewise lied about its product.
    If they were simply a private company, why were they obeying government agencies' requests to censored?
    But is Twitter simply a private company– or did it become a public square? And if a public square, then censorship is again wrong.

  9. Always good to point out the term Conspiracy theory didn't enter American lexicon until 1960s .
    It was around nazi Germany and and everytime socialism is on the rise in history just like aliens and other ocult topics.
    Its a Reppresion speech tactic like any ism , phobia or anti logic.
    Our granparent had terms for gossip they took with a grain of salt. They would id myths or fatansy and occultism .

  10. It still amazes me how people are willing to cover up, obfuscate or misdirect for a person, even if what that person is doing is illegal, as long as they have the same political ideologies.

  11. Same with you tube I said I thought someone was stupid in relation to disagreement with trumps right to build the wall they took my account off they are forcing Republicans into prison 🤔 we are under attack there coming for our guns next there was no attack on the capital it was a hand full of overzealous patriotic anger if that scared them what about the other 70 million of us ?

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