Twitter Files: Sen. Angus King Targeted ‘Suspicious’ Americans for Blacklisting

angus king
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According to the latest drop of the Twitter Files, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) flagged accounts his office disliked to the social media platform, accusing Americans of being “suspicious” for reasons including being excited by a Sen. Rand Paul visit, mentioning immigration in their tweets, or being followed by a political rival.

Twitter users have been sharing their ideas, opinions, and thoughts on the platform for a long time. But in recent years, the government’s role in policing this content has come under scrutiny. An intricate system of government involvement in Twitter moderation has been exposed by the Twitter Files, with journalist Matt Taibbi compiling a collection of thousands of moderation requests.

(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, BNN Edit)

The Twitter Files have revealed a number of details about the internal workings of the social media platform in recent months. According to the latest batch released over the weekend, it has been discovered that government officials frequently misidentify Americans as fictitious Russians. Further complicating the role of governments in online content moderation is the discovery that Twitter has given the “U.S. intelligence community,” moderation authority.

Despite the importance of these revelations, there hasn’t been much coverage in the mainstream media. Taibbi argues that the larger issue of government officials requesting the removal of Twitter users has not received as much attention from news organizations as more sensational stories, like Donald Trump’s request for Chrissy Teigen to delete a derogatory tweet.

The latest Twitter Files drop has revealed that Sen. Angus King asked for specific Twitter accounts to be deleted for various reasons.

Several accounts were labeled “suspicious” by King on Twitter due to factors like “Rand Paul visit excitement” and being followed by a rival, Eric Brakey.

In another example, State Department swamp monster Mark Lenzi sternly requested Twitter to delete 14 accounts that stood out, among other things, for their doubts regarding Russiagate. These requests bring up significant issues with free speech and the growing federal bureaucracy of censorship.

There is a clear First Amendment issue when officials from the government try to blacklist Twitter accounts for dubious reasons. The fact that the U.S. counterterrorism apparatus is being used against its own citizens, with disastrous results, is cause for concern.

Previously unknown federal organizations like the Global Engagement Center (GEC) are reportedly becoming more significant in this process, according to Taibbi.

Read more of the latest Twitter Files drop at Matt Taibbi’s Twitter account here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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