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Everything inside Elon Musk's 2nd ‘Twitter Files’ EXPLAINED

Elon Musk recently handed over to reporter Bari Weiss ANOTHER set of ‘Twitter Files.’ And they, once again, confirm what conservatives knew all along: The old Twitter — before Musk’s takeover — was wildly corrupt: ‘Teams of Twitter employees built blacklists, prevented disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limited the visibility of entire accounts, or even trending topics, all in secret, without informing users,’ Weiss reports. But that’s just the beginning. In this clip, Glenn explains everything inside the 2nd set of ‘Twitter Files.’

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: So Elon Musk has released the second set of Twitter files. Now, there is a caveat to that, and I'll give it to you here in just a second. But gave them to Bari Weiss. And Bari Weiss, formally with the New York Times. And not a conservative. But not somebody who is crazy either. Decided to -- or, she was given the files. And she outlined it pretty well on Twitter.

One, new Twitter files investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees built blacklists, prevented disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limited the visibility of entire accounts, or even trending topics, all in secret, without informing users. So, in other words, everything that we said, that was going on, was going on.

Twitter once had a mission to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. Along the way, barriers, nevertheless were erected. Three, take for example, Stanford's doctor Jay -- I can't pronounce his name.

STU: Bhattacharya.

GLENN: Bhattacharya, who argued that covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a trends blacklist, which prevented his tweets from trending.

STU: We should point out, she's posting the screen shots of this. Like you can see, on his account, it says, trends blacklist. Like, they have these recent abuse strike count. And then trends blacklist. This is something that denied doing over and over and over again.

GLENN: Stu. They not only denied it. The media covered up for it. This, as the media is saying, is old news. Is old news.

STU: I guess in a way.

GLENN: Or consider the right-wing talk show host Dan Bongino, who at one point was slapped with a search black lits. So you can search him.

Twitter set the account of conservatives Charlie Kirk to, do not amplify. And, again, all the screen shots are there. Twitter denied it does such things. In 2018, Twitter's head of legal policy and trust, and the head of product said, we don't shadow ban. And we certainly don't shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology. Hmm. Looks like they were lying. What many people call shadow banning, Twitter executives employee call visibility filtering. Oh.

STU: Not Orwellian at all.

GLENN: No. Think about visibility filtering, Bari Weiss writes, as a way for us to suppress what people see, to different levels. It's a very powerful tool. This is one senior Twitter employee. VF refers to Twitter's control over visibility. It used VF to block searches of individual users to limit the scope of a particular tweet's discoverability, to block select user's posts from ever appearing on the trending page. And from inclusion in #searches. All without the user's knowledge.

We control visibility, quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do. One Twitter user told us. The group that decided whether to limit the reach of certain users was the strategic response team, or the global escalation team.

They often handled up to 200 cases a day. But there existed a level beyond official ticketing. Beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company's policy on paper. That is the cite integrity policy. And policy escalation support. This secret group, head of legal policy and trust. And global head of trust and safety. Subsequent CEO's Jack Dorsey and Parog (phonetic) -- whatever his name is, and others. Bari Weiss said, this is the biggest, most politically sensitive decisions that were made. Think higher follower account. Controversial. Another Twitter employee told us, these -- for these, there would be no ticketing or anything.

STU: So they did not want the rest of the company, even knowing they were doing this. They wanted this to be kind of their own little pathway to censorship.

GLENN: Uh-huh. And let's just remember when Jack got on Hannity and said, we don't do any of this. I got to promise you, we don't do it.

STU: To be fair to Jack himself, some of the files were showing that he wasn't even consulted on this stuff.

There were other levels of employees doing it. It wasn't necessarily going to him.

GLENN: Yeah.

STU: He seems to be an Elon Musk supporter, by the way.

GLENN: I know he is. And Elon Musk supports Jack.

STU: Yeah. It seems to be the culture was the big problem.

GLENN: This is what I said about Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg is either completely out of the loop. And has no idea of what's happening at his own company. Or he's a fantastic liar. And I'm not sure what it is. I mean, I don't think he's a fantastic liar. But I -- I am not sure. It's like Jack. I'm not sure if he really knows what's going on in his own company. If you believe the Jack story. The account, let's see here. Where was I?

STU: Sixteen.

GLENN: Oh, I'm at 16. One of the accounts that rose to this level of scrutiny was Libs of TikTok, an account that was on the trends blacklist. And it was designated as, do not take action on user without consulting with the higher group. The account now boasts over 1.4 million followers with subject to six suspensions in 2022 alone, or yeah. 2022 alone. Each time they were blocked for posting for as long as a week.

Twitter repeatedly informed the Libs of TikTok that they had been suspended for violating Twitter's policy against hateful conduct. But in an internal memo from October 2022, after their seventh suspension, the committee acknowledged that Libs of TikTok had not directly engaged in favor, violative of the hateful policy.

GLENN: That's incredible.

GLENN: And here it is. There's the email.

GLENN: Yeah. They have the email. And basically, they're saying, they suspended her for no reason. Right?

GLENN: Right.

STU: At least no reason that was identified in in their rules. They came up with a new one.

GLENN: Right. The committee justified her suspensions internally by claiming her post encouraged online harassment of hospitals and medical providers.

STU: Stop.

GLENN: By insinuating that gender affirming health care is equivalent to child abuse and grooming.

Compare this to what happened when she was doxxed. The Libs of TikTok poster.

November 21st, 2022, a photo of her home and address was posted in a tweet that had garnered more than 10,000 likes. When Libs of TikTok told Twitter that the address had been disseminated, she says, Twitter supported response with this message. We reviewed the report content, didn't find it to be in violation of the Twitter rules. No action was taken. The doxxed tweet is still up.

STU: Still.

GLENN: Still.

STU: I wonder if Elon will take care of that one.

GLENN: I would hope.

In internal Slack messages, Twitter employees spoke of using technicalities to restrict the visibility of tweets and subjects.

Here's Yaol Roth, Twitter's then global head of trust and safety in a direct message to a colleague.

SI is technically spam enforcements as a way to solve. I can't read the whole thing.

STU: Solve a problem created by safety under -- underenforcing their policies. Which, again, is not a problem, per se, but it keeps us from addressing the root cause of the issue, which is that our safety policies need some attention.

GLENN: Six days later, a direct message with an employee on health misinformation, privacy and identity research team.

Roth requested more research, to support expanding non-removal policy interventions like disabling engagements and de-amplification,
visibility filtering.

STU: These are all the things that were under the ban of shadow bans, that they deny over and over.

GLENN: Yep. Yep. So it just goes on and on, but it is more of the same. Everything that we knew.

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