Twitter exposes how govt. funded a ‘cottage industry’ of ‘disinformation labs’ that were used to censor real info and ban truth-tellers
03/07/2023 // JD Heyes // Views

In his latest Twitter Files report published on Thursday, journalist and author Matt Taibbi highlighted the United States government's involvement in establishing a "new cottage industry" of "disinformation labs" that ostensibly fight against false online propaganda in the name of national security.

As reported by Breitbart News, the “Twitter Files #17” thread concentrates on the Global Engagement Center (GEC), a State Department subsidiary, and its stated objective 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 Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL) of the Atlantic Council, which is supported by the federal government through the GEC, frequently sent lists of online profiles to Twitter executives and staff requesting censorship. In his report, Taibbi highlighted how the news media were more willing to accept the government's claims about "disinformation" without questioning them, unlike Twitter, Breitbart News reported.

Taibbi said that news media personalities were "an easier mark" for accepting the government's claims about "disinformation" compared to Twitter staffers who were more resistant. Taibbi also noted that the news media were an easier target for false and unsubstantiated claims made by government-funded organizations such as the GEC and DFRL.

Taibbi pointed out the superficiality of the newly established "anti-disinformation" organizations, and criticized the willingness of news media to accept their unsubstantiated claims.

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

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

“It’s an incubator for the domestic disinformation complex,” a former intelligence source told Taibbi, as he noted in his thread. “All the shit we pulled in other countries since the Cold War, some morons decided to bring home.”

He noted: "GEC could have avoided controversy by focusing on exposing/answering disinformation' with research and a more public approach, as [United States Information Agency] did. Instead, it funded a secret list of subcontractors and helped pioneer an insidious – and idiotic – new form of blacklisting."

The government-funded GEC “littered the media landscape with flawed or flat-out wrong news stories. Exacerbating matters, Americans in both cases paid taxes to become the subject of these manipulative operations,” he wrote.

GEC passed some good information to Twitter, but mostly not good info, according to Taibbi's research. He added that the "root problem was exemplified by a much-circulated 2020 report, 'Russian Pillars of Disinformation and Propaganda.'"

GEC’s report on China was “more entertainment value than anything,” said one analyst, according to Taibbi. “It equates anything pro-China, but also anything against China in Italy, as part of Russia's strategy.”


"Twitter staffers had professionalism. They tended to look at least once before declaring a thing foreign disinformation. This made them a tough crowd for GEC," he wrote. "Fortunately, there's an easier mark: the news media."

Here's how it worked with GEC: "[C]reate an alarmist report, send it to the slower animals in journalism’s herd, and wait as reporters bang on Twitter’s door, demanding to know why this or that 'ecosystem' isn’t obliterated."

In short, our own government was (and still is) funding a psyop on Americans in the same way our intelligence agencies used to do in foreign countries.

Sources include:

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