The eighth part of Elon Musk's "The Twitter Files" revealed the extent of the government's involvement with the Big Tech platform in promoting accounts used for psychological warfare.
The Daily Caller reported that the thread was approved by Musk, and it discussed how Twitter helped the Pentagon's covert online propaganda campaign. According to Lee Fang, a reporter for The Intercept, Twitter gave special protection to accounts that were operating as part of the Pentagon's covert online strategy, even though they were using fake identities.
In 2017, an official from the US Central Command sent an email to Twitter asking that the platform give priority to Arab-language accounts in order to amplify certain messages. This included providing them with whitelist status and verified status, which allowed them to avoid being flagged for spam.
Following CENTCOM's orders, Twitter prioritized all of the accounts that were operating as part of the Pentagon's covert online propaganda campaign. These accounts were known for posting anti-Iran messages and supporting the war in Yemen. According to Fang, these accounts had not received a lot of organic interaction before they were given special treatment.
After CENTCOM changed the appearance of the accounts' information to make them look like regular users, Twitter executives started discussing ways to prevent the public from learning about this operation. The company also started reporting suspected pro-American content to the Defense Department.
The latest revelations in the "The Twitter Files" series, which are part of Musk's promise to make the platform more transparent, show how Twitter worked with the government to suppress conservative voices. Previous entries have shown how the company worked with the FBI to target conservative groups, banned Donald Trump, and censored Hunter Biden's laptop story.