Twitter Files: Taxpayer Money Funded ‘Cottage Industry’ of Censorship ‘Labs’

The latest installment of the “Twitter Files” has revealed that taxpayer money being handed out by the federal government to tackle so-called “disinformation” funded a “cottage industry” of censorship “labs.”

Twitter boss Elon Musk tasked journalist and author Matt Taibbi with detailing the findings in the 17th installment of the company’s internal communications files.

In his latest Twitter Files report published Thursday, Taibbi notes the U.S. federal government’s role in creating a “new cottage industry” of “disinformation labs.”

These labs were given tax dollars to ostensibly combat fraudulent online propaganda in the interest of national security.

The “Twitter Files #17” thread focuses on the Global Engagement Center (GEC).

The GEC is a subsidiary of the State Department.

Its claimed objective is to “recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations.”

According to the Twitter Files, The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL), which is funded by the federal government via the GEC, regularly sent blacklists of online profiles to Twitter executives and staffers requesting censorship.

Taibbi emphasized how news media were more compliant than Twitter in accepting the government’s “disinformation” claims at face value.

He describes news media personalities as “an easier mark” than Twitter staffers for false and unsubstantiated claims made by the GEC and DFRL regarding online “disinformation.”

Taibbi continues by highlighting the vapidity of the newly-manufactured “anti-disinformation” organizations.

He notes the subservient compliance of news media outlets to such organizations’ claims.

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“Most of these ‘experts’ know nothing,” he writes.

“Many have skill, if you can call mesmerizing dumb reporters a skill, but in the area of identifying true bad actors, few know more than the average person on the street.”

“The scary angle on GEC is not so much the agency as the sprawling infrastructure of ‘disinformation labs’ that have grown around it,” he adds.

Taibbi concludes that his findings prove that American taxpayers are funding digital blacklists used to manipulate them.

The government-funded GEC “littered the media landscape with flawed or flat-out wrong news stories,” he writes.

“Exacerbating matters, Americans in both cases paid taxes to become the subject of these manipulative operations.”

READ MORE: United Nations: Censoring ‘Disinformation’ Will Protect ‘Free Speech’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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