How the FBI and the CIA Censored the Internet

Twitter and other platforms receive direction from federal intelligence agencies like the CIA and the FBI to moderate news content.

What we’ve already covered: The Twitter Files have shown that Twitter worked with the Pentagon to promote U.S. foreign operations and with the White House and the FBI to censor political stories and COVID skepticism.

Down the rabbit hole: According to new files, Twitter was in contact with so many government officials—from the Department of Defense, the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, and the Pentagon—that executives lost track of which meetings were with what agencies.

What did the FBI and the CIA want? Different FBI offices across the country were moderating tweets and requesting accounts to be deleted for covering certain stories. The FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, likely under the influence of the CIA, sent requests for hundreds of accounts to be terminated. They said the accounts were tied to foreign governments but provided no proof.

Accounts covering stories like these were targeted:

  • Joe Biden’s influence peddling in connection to Hunter Biden’s employment at a Ukrainian energy firm.

  • Accusations of the “corruption” of the “Biden administration” in vaccine distribution.

  • “Purported rights abuses committed by Ukrainians” and other anti-Ukrainian stories

Regarding Russia collusion: The federal government also pressured Twitter and other platforms to find evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Twitter executives struggled to find objective proof but vowed to work harder to “find a stronger connection.”