TwitterFiles 8: Pentagon-Controlled Propaganda Accounts Placed On A Special Twitter ‘Whitelist’

Written by K. Walker on December 20, 2022

Instead of keeping its promise to shut down state-run propaganda networks, Twitter instead directly assisted the Pentagon in its online psyop campaign.

Investigative journalist Lee Fang dropped the latest batch of TwitterFiles on Tuesday afternoon.

In his thread, Fang explained that while Twitter executives were insisting that they were shutting down state-run propaganda campaigns — even testifying before Congress that this was the case — behind the scenes, the platform was actually directly assisting the Pentagon in its online psyop campaign.

The viral thread explained that Twitter “has claimed for years that they make concerted efforts to detect” and “thwart gov-backed platform manipulation,” including in testimony to Congress, but findings indicate that is not the case.
“[B]ehind the scenes, Twitter gave approval & special protection to the U.S. military’s online psychological influence ops. Despite knowledge that Pentagon propaganda accounts used covert identities, Twitter did not suspend many for around 2 years or more. Some remain active,” Fang wrote.
Fang’s examples included a 2017 email from U.S. Central Command listing 52 Arab-language accounts it used to “amplify certain messages.” Twitter allegedly helped give the accounts additional visibility and made them exempt from spam and abuse flags.
Source: Fox News

Fang explained that the social media company knowingly allowed propaganda accounts set up by the U.S. military. A 2017 email from U.S. Central Command listed 52 Arab-language accounts used to push particular messages regarding the Middle East and more. A special “Whitelist” tag was created that basically granted verified status — but without the blue checkmark. This tag would allow those accounts to trend and exempt them from spam and abuse flags.

“CENTCOM then shifted strategies & deleted disclosures of ties to the Twitter accounts,” wrote Fang. “One Twitter official who spoke to me said he feels deceived by the covert shift. Still, many emails from throughout 2020 show that high-level Twitter executives were well aware of DoD’s vast network of fake accounts & covert propaganda and did not suspend the accounts.”

Later in the thread, a familiar name pops up yet as it has in so many of these TwitterFile reports… FBI alum and ex-Twitter general counsel, Jim Baker. In a 2020 email, Baker said that the Pentagon used “poor tradecraft” in setting up its network and was in the process of covering its backside to prevent exposing accounts “linked to each other or to DoD or the USG.”

Another Twitter lawyer, Stacia Cardille, replied saying that the Pentagon wanted a SCIF and might want to retroactively classify its social media activities to obfuscate its activities on Twitter and that might “represent an overclassification to avoid embarrassment.”

Throughout 2020, several high-level executives and lawyers discussed the network. The 2017 list of 52 accounts recirculated along with an additional 157 undisclosed Pentagon accounts mostly focused on issues in the Middle East.

Fang writes that some of these propaganda accounts remain active on the platform.

Here’s the thread:

Elon’s taking a lot of heat for how he’s running Twitter… but he’s delivering on his promise of transparency.

Elon Smoked The Old Twitter Bird

ClashDaily’s Big Dawg has put his own spin on what’s been going down on the ol’ Bird App — the old Twitter is dead and Elon is building a new one.

Check out Doug’s latest piece, ‘Elon Smoked The Old Twitter Bird.’

Use promo code, ‘FIRST20’, for 20% off all prints. We print on luster paper, museum quality canvas, wood, and for all you metal-heads, we print on metal. We use only the finest inks. Custom sizes are available from small to couch-sized wall monsters.

Get yours today!

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker