Twitter Information: The FBI steadily flagged joke tweets, requested for moderation

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FBI brokers communicated recurrently with content material moderators at Twitter, and steadily requested for tweets to be taken down for allegedly violating the platforms’ insurance policies in opposition to election-related misinformation. The conversations have been so quite a few—together with emails and weekly conferences—{that a} high Twitter staffer got here to explain the connection between the corporate and regulation enforcement as “government-industry sync.”

That is in accordance with the newest installment of the Twitter Information, which was launched by impartial journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday.

The FBI steadily beneficial that content material moderators look into particular tweets and take motion in opposition to them in the event that they violated misinformation insurance policies. Many of those tweets have been from customers with very low follower counts who had engaged in satire or humor. The FBI flagged consumer Claire Foster, who had tweeted “I am a poll counter in my state. In the event you’re not sporting a masks, I am not counting your vote. #safetyfirst” and “For each detrimental touch upon this submit I am including one other vote for the democrats.”

These feedback most likely sound like satire to most individuals, however the FBI apparently thinks election integrity isn’t any laughing matter. You’ll be forgiven for questioning whether or not high regulation enforcement officers have something higher to do with their time than police jokes on Twitter.

As with earlier Twitter Information disclosures, it isn’t that this info was completely unsuspected; it was already abundantly clear that authorities officers have been in common communication with social media corporations and flagging content material for moderation. Nevertheless it’s helpful to see the dimensions of that interplay in addition to some particular examples. The extent to which Massive Tech and Massive Authorities are working in tandem to crack down on dissent, contrarianism, and even humor is frankly disturbing.

Social media corporations have each proper to reasonable jokes in the event that they actually wish to—and customers can complain in regards to the jokes or the moderation, in fact—however the FBI’s function in all this raises the specter of a free speech violation, even when the federal government wasn’t actually forcing Twitter to take motion. It’s inappropriate for the FBI to report joke tweets to content material moderators and take a what-are-you-doing-about-this tone. Social media corporations may really feel like they’ve little selection however to cooperate with regulation enforcement, provided that political figures in each events are continuously threatening to punish the platforms for making choices that displease Republicans and Democrats.

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