“Conspiracy Theorists…Attempting to Discredit the Agency”: The FBI Attacks Critics Objecting to its Role in Twitter’s Censorship System 

It is not clear what is more chilling: the menacing role played by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Twitter’s censorship program or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. This week saw another FBI “nothing-to-see-here” statement to the release of files detailing how it actively sought to suppress the Hunter Biden story before the 2020 election, gave millions to Twitter, and targeted even satire or tiny posts that did not conform with its guidelines.

The releases document what some of us have long alleged: a system of censorship by surrogate or proxy. The FBI has largely shrugged and said that there is nothing concerning about over 80 agents working on the censoring of posters, including many American citizens.

In the latest statement, the FBI stated it did not command Twitter to take any specific action when flagging accounts to be censored:

“We are providing it so that they can take whatever action they deem appropriate under their terms of service to protect their platform and protect their customers, but we never direct or ask them to take action.”

The files shows a previously undisclosed back channel of contacts where the FBI nudged Twitter to censor posters and Twitter proceeded to do so. Many are like the Nov. 10th email saying “Hello Twitter contacts, FBI San Francisco is notifying you of the below accounts which may potentially constitute violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service for any action or inaction deemed appropriate within Twitter policy.”

Notably, when four such accounts were given such purely discretionary, not-threatening-in-the-slightest flags, Twitter suspended three of the four accounts were suspended, and called for a review the fourth account flagged by the FBI for “possible civic misinformation.”

It is all just friendly chit chat from the “Public Sector Engagement Squad” at FBI’s San Francisco office.

The files also reveal a message to the former Deputy General Counsel (and former FBI General Counsel) Jim Baker revealed that Twitter collected $3,415,323 from the FBI.

“Jim, FYI, in 2019 SCALE instituted a reimbursement program for our legal process response from the FBI. Prior to the start of the program, Twitter chose not to collect under this statutory right of reimbursement for the time spent processing requests from the FBI. I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019! This money is used by LP for things like the TTR and other LE-related projects (LE training, tooling, etc.).”

The FBI spokesperson said,

“The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries. As evidenced in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers.”

“The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.”

What is striking about this statement is that the FBI is now adopting the language of pundits on the left that any objections to its role in censorship is a “conspiracy theory.” Rather than acknowledge the concerns and pledge to work with Congress to guarantee transparency, it is attacking free speech advocates who are raising the concern that Twitter had become an agent of the government in censorship. Notably, Twitter itself now believes that such an agency relationship existed.

The statement shows an agency that is still engaged in framing public opinion and echoing the narrative being advanced by the White House.  There are some who would question whether “working every day to protect the American public” should include censoring the public to protect it against errant or misleading ideas. There was a time when that was not a “conspiracy theory.”

248 thoughts on ““Conspiracy Theorists…Attempting to Discredit the Agency”: The FBI Attacks Critics Objecting to its Role in Twitter’s Censorship System ”

  1. Unless it involves an interstate financial contract the fbi has no role in misinformation or disinformation.

    Yet the omnibus bill gave them a half billion dollar raise, much of it for ‘domestic terrorism’. Perhaps like this article and these comments.

  2. August 2016 text exchange between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and her illicit lover, senior FBI agent Peter Strzok:

    Page: [Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!

    Strzok: No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.

          1. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nazi, Fascist, Socialist, Communist. They’re all sides of the same coin. They have no place in free societies, they are at war with western culture, western thought, western civil liberties, western ideals. In America it is the extremes of the left and the right that they exploit to bring us down. The middle needs to unite and get rid of the fringes, we need to honor the blood spilled to give us our freedoms and stop tearing down our society the freest fairest society in human history.

            1. I have no problem with your claims regarding a threat from the extreme left
              But what is your evidence of a threat from the extreme right ?

              Do you really think there are hundreds of thousands of White Supremecists waiting the restart lynching ?

              What is the far right threat that you are worried about ?

              That they actually complete a border wall ?
              That we return to being an energy exporter – something that stabalizes the world ?

              What is the dangerous threat from the right ? Mean Tweets ?
              That you might not be able to trans the kids ?
              That Gay couples might not be able to force devout christians to bake wedding cakes for them ?

    1. Strzok proposed committing crimes.


      18 U.S. Code § 595 – Interference by administrative employees of Federal, State, or Territorial Governments

      “Whoever, being a person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department or agency thereof, or by the District of Columbia or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States, or any political subdivision, municipality, or agency thereof, or agency of such political subdivision or municipality (including any corporation owned or controlled by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States or by any such political subdivision, municipality, or agency), in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”

  3. Has anyone ever had their computer or cell phone hacked? How much did it cost you?

    Although probably well-meaning, when the FBI strong-arms private manufacturers to add “computer back doors”, it weakens our computer/cell phone security making it easier for criminal hackers to attack our devices. Sometimes federal agencies do the hacking.

    So if you ever got hacked, possibly Christopher Wray (top management at FBI) weakened your security. Apparently this is so the FBI and other agencies can practice “warrantless domestic spying” without getting permission from a judge.

    Consumers purchased our equipment. So why do we pay the bill to repair the damage from hacking?

  4. The FBI might well have just started their response to the Twitter Files with, “This has all the earmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign.”

  5. ATS, you are one paranoid OCD nut claiming moderator bias when your obsessiveness
    caused deletion either at your own hand or by your own error.

    Take your last response, obsessing that the moderator deletes your posts but not the poster talking about bridges and Jeff (a stupid complaint of yours). WordPress deleted your response because earlier, you obsessed so much that you placed too many links in your response. WordPress deleted it and the mini-thread that followed. You proved you are at fault for making yourself look like a fool.

    Stop with the fascist tendencies telling everyone what they MUST do. Stop dreaming about bridges and killing people. You are too nuts and need a psychiatrist, not a blog.
    A copy of your deleted post: “ATS you wrote: “So you think that encouraging someone to commit suicide and joking about using their jumping off the GG Bridge for target practice is just fine. You are a deeply, deeply sick person.”

    1. As usual, you’re lying:

      I said nothing about my own comments.

      The partial thread was deleted because of a comment made by someone else at 8:10 PM. I broke the links in my own comment to prevent it from causing WordPress problems.

      And “the poster talking about bridges” was repeatedly telling Jeff to commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. You apparently cannot condemn that disgusting set of comments aimed at Jeff, which is part of what makes you a sick person.

      1. Anonymous the Stupid, you have constantly complained about censored comments, so you don’t know what you are talking about.

        “You apparently cannot condemn that disgusting set of comments.

        I don’t have to condemn the comments of others. I find some a bit plebeian, but they do not require a reply from anyone. Yours are repulsive, stupid, and dangerous. You also lie and deceive. That is why I direct my responses against you rather than others.

  6. The FBI’s payments to Twitter:

    Dear Twitter,

    We would like you to suppress any story about HB’s laptop, throttle the NYP, censor medical opinions that contradict the CDC. (More requests to come.) As compensation for your time and effort to satisfy our fascist desires, here’s $3.5 million in censorship money. XO, The FBI

    If only people said what they meant, the world would be a much safer place.

  7. When two or more conspire, it is no longer a theory.

    In his farewell address, President Eisenhower, arguably the most powerful military leader in human history, discusses his perspectives on the precarious balance between governmental power (military and otherwise) for the security and freedom of the world and the individual freedoms of the rank and file citizen in particular.

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

    Misplaced powers indeed continue to prevail. Those who propose to stifle freedom of speech and expression are never to be trusted.

  8. This is interesting:

    Facebook parent Meta to settle Cambridge Analytica case for $725 million [ circa 12-23-2022 Today]

    Cambridge Analytica yarn turns out to be as much a hoax as Russiagate

    1. That case doesn’t have much to do with Cambridge Analytica per se, it has to do with the fact that Facebook allowed ALL SORTS of third party developers to have access to users’ private information while telling users they were not.

  9. Periodically most companies have to examine their positions and make cuts. Reduce excess that is not needed to improve bottom line. For government the easy way out is to just raise taxes. Government just keeps growing.

    1. Governments by definition like ours are a cancer. Increasingly metastasizing like a cancerous tumor while telling theo citizen host …its for your own good and the children…… parasitical slow death of freedom and our representative republic.

  10. Former FBI Field Agent Mike German published a book titled: “Disrupt, Discredit and Divide”.

    Anyone that really wants to understand how the FBI still operates should read this book.

    German was an expert on right-wing terrorist groups for over a decade, infiltrating rightwing hate groups. The same type of people that attacked the U.S. Capitol. For some reason he is rarely interviewed on most press shows, even though he is arguably one of America’s top experts on reforming FBI culture.

    Anyone that wants to really understand the danger “warrantless domestic spying and censorship” should read this book.

    1. German was an expert on right-wing terrorist groups for over a decade, infiltrating rightwing hate groups.

      “Sounds” ominous”. But leftists are all cookie cutter clones. It would be too easy to name names, Tell us exactly who these dangerous groups are. But to do so, proves the idiocy of the entire premise. BLM killed more people in a few months, than all the “rightwing” groups combined have in two decades.

  11. Watergate took fewer than 24 months, start to finish, and resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has been under non-stop, abusive government harassment since 2015. To say this treatment is unfair is an understatement, it’s probably illegal, if the FBI/DOJ weren’t captured by the Leftists, and therefore, rendered less than useless, the FBI is dangerous to all Americans.

    1. Responding to S.D.:

      Many, if not most, anti-Trumpers today were hired or appointed by Donald Trump, so this is not a leftist issue.

      You should watch “Day 8 of the January 6 Hearings” – especially the testimony of Trump’s National Security Deputy Matthew Pottinger. Pottinger very clearly summarized the context of the situation, especially near the end of the “Day 8” hearing.

      Many, maybe most of Trump’s critics knew him best and were the true believers in 2016. Maybe the question should be did they betray Trump -or- did Trump betray them?

      Trump and his cabinet members swore a supreme loyalty oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Does anyone believe the January 6 attack would have happened if Trump simply said:
      “more than 60 judges declared Biden the President. Please respect the constitutional process and
      go home peacefully”

      If Trump had said that it’s highly unlikely any attack would have occurred. Trump’s inaction and rhetoric (over 3 months time) was material to the attack happening. Any honest Trump supporter knows he could prevented it.

      1. The opposite of probably could have prevented it, is not he caused it. Just because judges and others claimed Biden won the election does not mean that Trump or anyone needed to declare their agreement if in fact they didn’t agree.

      2. You .are proving an almost total lack of knowledge involving the politics of today. You rely on factoids from the left to push ideas that are not born out when one looks at the ideas in context. No one should believe anything you say.

      3. No judge declared Biden to be the president of the United States. No judge allowed any trial on the topic of election fraud to proceed for the data to be presented to a jury.

        Only the Electoral College and Congress can declare Biden the president. It was within their rights for protesters to ask Congress nor to certify the Electoral College vote until this could be investigated (though the were mot entitled to break into the Capitol, though many were ushered in by the Capitol Police).

      4. Objecting to electors is the legally prescribed remedy for contesting an election (based on whether there was anything “irregular” in their selection). Trump had every right to invoke that provision and seek a hearing and a vote – as Democrats have done many times in the past. It was his prerogative and he was entitled to do it. In fact, given what we now know about the rush to mass mail in ballots, the infusion of private money into election administration (i.e., 500 Million in “Zuckerbucks”) and continuing concerns about the the erosion of election integrity laws and ballot harvesting, it was the only appropriate response. At the very least, he should have gotten his hearing – and I would have liked to have seen it.

      5. Many, maybe most of Trump’s critics knew him best and were the true believers in 2016. Maybe the question should be did they betray Trump -or- did Trump betray them?

        A general accusation, with no names no details. The lack of specificity is typical leftist smearing. Not really anything to debate because there is no substance.

      6. ” Does anyone believe the January 6 attack would have happened if Trump simply said:“more than 60 judges declared Biden the President. Please respect the constitutional process and go home peacefully”

        Stay peaceful is exactly what Trump tweeted 30 minutes after the first window was broken.

        “2:30pm President Trump tweeted “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

        You are too untruthful to believe anything you say. You have your answer and now you will find something else.

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