Twitter files: The real story is mainstream media ignoring how government, Twitter crafted the Covid doctrine

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The latest stunning release of information from Twitter, the social media company now under the management of Elon Musk, is the biggest who-done-it of the year, and arguably more profound a news story than the Watergate break-in during the 1972 presidential election. You would not know it by the news coverage.

The Twitter Files now show that Twitter, at the request of the federal government, censored information that was true, helpful, and scientifically sound, but that was inconvenient to the U.S. government’s Covid-19 policies.

Twitter, which is one of the most influential forces in shaping news coverage, discredited doctors and other experts who disagreed with the government Covid’s doctrine. Pressured by the government, Twitter suppressed and eliminated the platform’s doubting Thomases, even those who were simply sharing the CDC’s own official data, or those posting out inconsistencies.

Major news agencies could not be bothered with the story back then, or even now, as under-new-management Twitter is spilling its guts about what happened.

The Twitter Files have come in waves this month. The New York Times gave a smearing of coverage to how Twitter, after being requested to do so by the Pentagon, kept online a network of secret accounts that the U.S. military used. News organizations reported, lightly and dismissively, how Twitter biased the election coverage for Joe Biden during the 2020 election, and suppressed — rather, censored — the Hunter Biden laptop story and possible criminal links to Ukrainian corruption.

A glossing of mainstream media coverage has described Twitter’s secret blacklists and how the company was functioning as a type of subsidiary of the FBI.

But when it comes to the files that show how Twitter censored Covid information the government didn’t agree with, it’s been crickets across many of the mainstream news outlets.

The latest tranche of information that shows just what a propaganda machine Twitter is was released by the online-only The Free Press, in the story “How Twitter rigged the Covid debate,” by David Zweig, (or at @thefp, on Twitter.)

“Internal files at Twitter that I viewed while on assignment for @thefp showed that both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes,” Zweig reported.

“At the onset of the pandemic, according to meeting notes, the Trump admin was especially concerned about panic buying. They came looking for ‘help from the tech companies to combat misinformation’ about ‘runs on grocery stores.’ But . . . there were runs on grocery stores.”

As it turns out, the Trump White House was also meeting with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others, Zweig wrote. This story is beyond the usual partisan divide — both White Houses were steering the behemoths of the Internet to sway public opinion and change public behavior.

The Biden White House was not only concerned about suppressing “anti-vaxxers” on Twitter, the administration singled out certain well-known people like Alex Berenson, a former reporter for the New York Times. Twitter killed his account in the summer of 2021, at the behest of the Biden Administration.

By that point, Twitter had become a state actor, a subsidiary of the federal government.

But it gets worse. Lauren Culbertson, Twitter’s Head of U.S. Public Policy, “wrote that the Biden team was ‘very angry’ that Twitter had not been more aggressive in deplatforming multiple accounts. They wanted Twitter to do more.”

After meetings with the White House, Twitter became more aggressive in moderating speech relating to Covid, suppressing views even from medical doctors and scientific experts who disagreed with the federal government’s official position.

“As a result, legitimate findings and questions that would have expanded the public debate went missing,” Zweig wrote.

The new Twitter, under Elon Musk and his quest for transparency, discovered that the prior management even had people in the Philippines moderating content relating to Covid.

“They were given decision trees to aid in the process, but tasking non experts to adjudicate tweets on complex topics like myocarditis and mask efficacy data was destined for a significant error rate,” Zweig wrote. “With Covid, this bias bent heavily toward establishment dogmas.”

“Inevitably, dissident yet legitimate content was labeled as misinformation, and the accounts of doctors and others were suspended both for tweeting opinions and demonstrably true information,” he continued, and used Dr. Dr. Martin Kulldorff, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, as an example. Kulldorff tweeted views at odds with US public health authorities and the American left, the political affiliation of nearly the entire staff at Twitter. But Kulldorff’s tweet violated the Twitter policy on Covid-19 misinformation.

Kulldorff’s statements were an expert’s opinion, and in line with vaccine policies of numerous countries, but his opinions were deemed “false information,” by Twitter moderators because it was different from what the CDC was saying.

Kulldorff’s tweet was slapped with a “Misleading” label and all replies and likes were shut off, throttling the tweet’s ability to be seen and shared by many people, the ostensible core function of the platform, Zweig wrote.

Since Musk took over and his engineers started digging through the communication files from the last few years, the Twitter account of Stanford University professor of medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who was blacklisted for his thoughts on Covid-19 lockdowns and policies, was restored.

Also restored was the account of Dr. Robert Malone, an mRNA vaccine researcher, who the Twitter-government censors removed from the platform, even though he was part of the research team that invented the mRNA vaccine.

Dr. Peter McCullough, another Covid expert, cardiologist, and former vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center and a professor at Texas A&M, has also had his account restored, as have a dozen other credible experts and journalists and researchers who simply questioned government lockdowns, vaccination policies, mask mandates, and official data, or who offered alternative treatment regimens.

Government got what it wanted in this anti-First Amendment activity — it got control. Media got what it wanted — attention. Businesses were paid off or threatened to shut up. Anyone who questioned too loudly was silenced, then fired, then cancelled. Trump doesn’t want to discuss this because much of it happened on his watch.

The entire scandal doesn’t fit neatly into the left/right paradigm, but it does fit into another paradigm: Controller vs. controlled, powerful vs. powerless, and the media vs. the truth.

30 COMMENTS

  1. 1-This is not news. The press chose sides decades ago and has a long, sad history of ignoring inconvenient truths.

    2-Musk is gonna pay a high price for exposing what we all knew. There is a concerted effort to break him financially. It’s not coincidence his stocks began tanking once he started releasing Twitter files.

  2. Anybody that trusts the government or media has got a problem. If you trust them then I have some property for sale. The government has a proven track record of lies along with the media. Only trust what you see or hear yourself because then you know the truth.

  3. The most damning thing of all so far is the confirmation we live in a “gentle”fascism.

    Only a matter of time before it goes from gentle to brutal. It always does.
    Evil preaches tolerance until in power. Then it enforces conformity-or else.

  4. The scam is coming to light. So many lies and so much propaganda, it’s like we live in China. I remember being cancelled myself for telling the truth about eating right, exercising, and plenty of sleep so you could recover naturally without vaccines. The COVID faithful becoming so angry. All just weird.

  5. I just can’t wait for all the usual radical leftist trolls here —- Dan Svatass, Whidbey the Dog, Maureen Suttman, Lucinda, ReliableVoter — to chime in and try, just TRY, to defend the indefensible, illegal, egregious and utterly unconstitutional censorship of free speech and TRUTH by the Twitter and the other corporate media behemoths. It should be very amusing.
    .
    But, as is typical in such cases, they will probably all, to a troll, issue nothing but silence, as they usually do when confronted with facts and logical arguments that they, in their contradictory and conflicting mishmash of faith-based and emotion-based beliefs and political opinions, cannot possibly rebut or counter in any rational or honest manner.

  6. Strait out of Hitlers playbook. Control the media and you control the masses. The people who are screaming “fascist” are the ones using the playbook. If you make note of TV advertisements the constant message is the propaganda of the people who are wanting you to conform to their agenda. The election is over but yet an advertisement using small children telling us rank choice voting is good. Normalizing homosexuality in the media is another example of pushing their agenda. If you voice your opinion you are somehow “racist” or “homophobe” or “fascist” etc… Making Twitterers or TicTockers or Facebookers into people I should be taking advise from is part of the agenda. The gullible masses think the world revolves around the phone in their hand. One more thing ,,,, what parent in their right mind would take their children to a place where men pretend to be women dressed in clown outfits?

  7. For lovers of truth, intuitive people and Bible students the emerging details are confirming rather than surprising.

  8. Hi, Suzanne and thank you for the report. Just a quick question. Did Dr. Robert Malone investigate or invest? Pretty sure it was “investigated.” If you can edit the article, feel free to delete my comment. I’m thankful someone in Alaska is actually reporting on this. I’m shocked so many in the press these days seem to think it’s a wonderful thing to lose their rights to be the press.

    “Also restored was the account of Dr. Robert Malone, an mRNA vaccine researcher, who the Twitter-government censors removed from the platform, even though he was part of the research team that invested the mRNA vaccine.”

    • I just posted a PBS science snippet where they found 2-million-year-old DNA in northern Greenland. The PBS anchor was unsure of what to make of Greenland being 10 to 12 degrees warmer then and how well the earth seemed to be doing. It seemed they’re questioning global warming. I can only hope more people do question the take on climate by elites.

      • Thermometers don’t lie, Lucinda. but sadly some of the people compiling weather data do. Not too many years ago both NOAA & NASA were caught manipulating weather data. The National Weather Service, in a hold my beer moment, was implicated in “adjusting” historical temperature data to be more in line with their climate change computer models & the official global warming narrative. Look it up while you still can!

  9. The First Amendment was not crafted to protect speech that is popular but rather to protect speech that isn’t nice to everyone. The next time you hear a really reasonably-sounding person defending social media censorship, please recognize that this nice person might put the yoke of oppression on just about anyone. I would further suggest that those that value liberty have little in common with these folks. It is time to stop being nice and call a thug a thug. Personally, I look forward to the day when a group of people at the FBI are served with legal process.

    • JMARK, Good Comment. As we sift through the information Musk has provided, I think we need to take time and be a bit introspective. Many here on Must Read likely voted for Trump and yet we now see that Trump to some degree was all in for Censorship and working with Big Tech. Clearly Trump backed a loser with his “Operation Warp Speed” program. Why? Was it because he was deceived or was it because Trump thought it was expedient for his reelection? Either answer is unsuitable. ( oh sure, Biden is far worse you might answer, and yet…)

      Public Education was founded on the notion that Free People needed to have a set of literary tools in order to be informed. Without the free flow of information and platforms for robust debate of the facts in question a Free Society cannot survive. Given the 20 second video sound bite age we now live in, coupled with a lack of curiosity amongst seemingly a majority of our population and then toss in the abysmal reading skills of Public School Graduates, well it’s not hard to see how Big Government Censorship could be so effective.

  10. Elon Musk reportedly stated that when he bought Twitter, he didn’t buy a company, he bought a crime scene. Turns out he was right! Apparently, the Fascists are in control of our government institutions and corporations.

  11. One will either understand history or one can blithely trust a deep-state, ambitious government. We certainly cannot do both things.

    The mainstream media is become a lapdog, not a watchdog of big corporate / big government combinations. The FBI’s malfeasance with the laptop of Felon Hunter may have favored Dementia Joe in November 2020, but there was a willing partner in the news media. And now we find the mainstream media pleading to the Democrats in Congress for federal grant money. This business, folks, meets the textbook definition of government corruption.

  12. If we come out of this with the typical “don’t trust the media or the government” then we are fulfilling yet another goal of those who wish to divide and conquer us. Musk is correct to try to win back trust. It is not a question of whether to trust, but who to trust. No one has the energy to verify every single claim made by everyone of consequence. Please verify what you can, but you will eventually be trusting somebody. Just don’t let your trust be blind. Keep spot checking those you respect. If they are worthy then they will consider your doubt a blessing.

  13. I don’t think the libs have thought out the end game well, communism is poverty, starvation,death & destruction for everyone but the top 2%. Cuba is a very good example.

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