The Other McCain

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Twitter Files Reveal Hillary Clinton — Of Course! — Was Behind Censorship Push

Posted on | January 5, 2023 | Comments Off on Twitter Files Reveal Hillary Clinton — Of Course! — Was Behind Censorship Push

The major media have deliberately ignored the revelations about Twitter censorship that have been drip, drip, dripping out the past few weeks in a series called the #TwitterFiles because, of course, the media fully endorsed the censorship regime that existed before Elon Musk bought the company. If you’re in the business of selling a particular narrative — a generally pro-Democrat “progressive” view of the world — then it is in your interest to shut down competing voices that provide information contradicting that narrative. This is why so many “journalists” endorse advertising boycotts against talk radio, Fox News, etc. The mainstream media are losing their audience — does anyone watch CNN anymore? — because nobody trusts them, and so the only way they can stay in business is to try to silence alternative media. Anyway . . .

In Tuesday’s #TwitterFiles dump, Matt Taibbi went through the story behind how it was that Twitter ended up acting as a de facto arm of the U.S. intelligence community, bombarded by requests from the FBI, CIA, DHS to delete thousands of accounts. The pretext for this censorship was “foreign interference” — RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA! — and it was driven by Democratic politicians, including Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, who was then the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and California Rep. Adam Schiff. Remember that this was the excuse Hillary Clinton offered for her 2016 defeat, that Russia somehow “hacked” the election, and this excuse (supported by the phony Steele dossier) became the justification for a special counsel investigation of “Russian collusion” claims that ultimately found no evidence. Have you forgotten all those TV talking heads claiming that “the walls are closing in” on Trump because of Mueller? And then . . . nothing? So this was the environment in October 2017 when Politico published a story with the headline, “Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes”:

Federal investigators now believe Twitter was one of Russia’s most potent weapons in its efforts to promote Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, the officials say, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
By creating and deploying armies of automated bots, fake users, catchy hashtags and bogus ad campaigns, unidentified operatives launched recurring waves of pro-Trump and anti-Clinton story lines via Twitter that were either false or greatly exaggerated, the officials said. Many U.S. investigators believe that their best hope for identifying who was behind these operations, how they collaborated with one another and their suspected links to the Kremlin lies buried within the mountains of data accumulated in recent years by Twitter.

Who were these “federal investigators” talking anonymously to Politico? And could someone please find a clear example — never mind “recurring waves,” I’ll settle for one example — of these “story lines” that were supposedly boosted on Twitter by Kremlin bots? But we are supposed to believe that Russian “armies of automated bots” somehow caused Hillary to lose the 2016 election, and never mind the question of how Twitter could have such enormous political impact, where is the evidence that these bots had any real impact even as measured by Twitter clicks?

Day-drinking Hillary, on her third glass of chablis by lunch, may think “armies of automated bots” cheated her out of the White House, but no sober person who knows anything about how social media works could possibly belief such a preposterous claim. How many followers did these Kremlin bots have? How many persuadable “swing” voters did they reach with their “catchy hashtags” and “story lines”? This is all childish make-believe, and as for the idea that “federal investigators” would be wasting time chasing such fictitious bogeymen — did the editors at Politico really take this seriously? Are they day-drinking, too?

Matt Taibbi explains how and when this snipe-hunt got started:

Twitter through the end of August, 2017 was on nobody’s radar as a key actor in the Trump-Russia “foreign influence” scandal.
By the second week in October — six weeks later — the company was being raked over the coals in the press as “one of Russia’s most potent weapons in its efforts to promote Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton,” with Clinton herself adding:
“It’s time for Twitter to stop dragging its heels and live up to the fact that its platform is being used as a tool for cyber-warfare.”
What happened in those six weeks? Answering that question is a key to understanding the content moderation phenomenon. In this period, crucial in the company’s history, a pattern was established. Threats from Congress came first, then a rush of bad headlines (inspired by leaks from congressional committees), and finally a series of moderation demands coming from the outside. Once the company acceded, the cycle repeated.
The documents lay out the scheme. You can see how the Russian cyber-threat was essentially conjured into being, with political and media pressure serving as the engine inflating something Twitter believed was negligible and uncoordinated to massive dimensions.

Among other things, Hillary had just published her campaign memoir, What Happened, in which she (or her ghostwriter) regurgitated these nonsense claims about Russians using Twitter and Facebook to steal the election from her. To promote the book, Hillary went on a nationwide tour and gave numerous media interviews, repeating her claims of “Russian interference,” and Democrats on Capitol Hill were only too happy to jump onto this publicity bandwagon.

Anyway, in 2011, Twitter hired as its vice president of global policy a well-connected Democrat named Colin Crowell, who had been a congressional staffer for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and is married to the daughter of late Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.). When Democrats on Capitol Hill started making noise about Twitter, Crowell met with them, and produced a memo about the meeting for Twitter executives:

“Democrats also taking cues from Hillary Clinton, who in her ‘What Happened’ book tour is pointedly talking about role of Russian propaganda and dirty tricks that were pushed through social media had in her demise. She has specificially called out [Facebook] ‘and other social media’ for not doing enough to address state-sponsored mischief in the election.”
Colin Crowell to Jack Dorsey, Sept. 29, 2017

It could not possibly be any clearer. Crowell, whose credentials as a Democratic Party operative are impeccable, had no reason to lie to his boss about this. The whole story of how Twitter became a censorship agent of the federal government, paid more than $3 million for its services in such matters, begins with Hillary’s tactic of blaming Russia — RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA! — for her 2016 defeat.

And yet Democrats accuse us of believing “conspiracy theories”!



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