Latest Twitter Files reveals US government ties to COVID-19 censorship

According to the Twitter Files, under the guise of curbing the spread of Covid-related fake news, the US has been actively censoring Covid-related information regardless of its truth value.

  • The Twitter logo is seen on a cell phone in Boston on Friday, October 14, 2022 (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
    The Twitter logo is seen on a cell phone in Boston on Friday, October 14, 2022 (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The US government has reportedly worked with big tech firms and other third parties to censor Covid-related data online, according to journalist Matt Taibbi, citing the latest Twitter Files release.

Taibi said this venture is part of the virality project being carried out by federal agencies in collaboration with state-funded non-governmental organizations and Stanford University. The Virality Project’s stated goal was to monitor alleged disinformation related to COVID-19.

The project was first unveiled by Stanford on Twitter in February 2021, shortly after US President Joe Biden took office, Taibbi revealed.

“On February 5, 2021, shortly after Joe Biden took office, Stanford wrote on Twitter to discuss the Virality Project. On the 17th, Twitter agreed to join and received its first weekly report on “anti-vax disinformation,” which included numerous true stories,” Taibbi explained in a Twitter thread.

“We have since learned that in 2021, the Virality Project worked with the government to launch an industry-wide surveillance plan for COVID-related content,” Taibbi tweeted. “Government, academia, and an oligopoly of potential corporate competitors quickly organized behind a secret, unified attempt to control political messages.”

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According to Taibbi, the Virality Project extensively reviewed Covid-related content for Twitter, Google, Medium and TikTok. Taibbi claimed that while the project verified disinformation, it also verified legitimate information and political opinions.

Taibbi explained that since July 2020, the yardstick for verifying disinformation has been to rate the information as “provenly false” or a “statement of fact.” However, true stories that have been claimed to “foment hesitation” have been deemed misinformation, Taibbi added.

Taibbi cited an email sent to Twitter by the Virality Project, which rated information about the adverse effects of the vaccine or news about countries banning certain vaccines as misinformation.

“The Virality Project was explicitly not based on ‘statements of fact’ but on public submission to authority, acceptance of narratives and expressions of people like [former chief presidential medical advisor] Anthony Fauci,” Taibbi said.

In a report released on April 26, 2022, the Virality Project called on the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a center specializing in misinformation and disinformation. The Disinformation Governance Board was set up the following day, according to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, but was eventually shut down after the board and its chair faced harsh criticism.

The Office of the Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention are other federal partners in the Virality Project, Taibbi added.

During a congressional hearing last week, Taibbi described the network of tech companies, government agencies, and private organizations involved in scrutinizing information on social media as a “censorship industrial complex.”

Read more: Authors of Twitter files testify against “censorship complex”.

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Posts containing misinformation, such as about the history of COVID-19 or the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, would be flagged by the network. Twitter files have shown that the US government is cooperating with Twitter to manufacture PsyOps.

Continue reading: The FBI created a dashboard to falsely flag Twitter users as Russian bots

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, is the mastermind behind the so-called Twitter Files. He has stated that he wanted to demonstrate “what really happened” regarding the social media company’s behind-the-scenes content moderation decisions before acquiring it in October.

Three journalists, Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger, covered internal documents and interviews to highlight the company’s decision-making process surrounding some high-profile actions such as the banning of former President Donald Trump in January 2020. The Twitter files were released in chunks and chunks throughout December.

Continue reading: Elon Musk: Twitter Gate Genius of 2022


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