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Elon Musk reveals US demanded suspension of 250k Twitter accounts, including journalists

News Agencies | Updated on: 4 January 2023, 9:33 IST
Twitter chief Elon Musk.

Twitter chief Elon Musk on Tuesday disclosed that US Government demanded the suspension of 250k Twitter accounts, including those belonging to journalists and Canadian officials, reported Fox News.

He made the revelation while sharing the latest round of "Twitter Files," which were made public by the journalist Matt Taibbi.


"US govt agency demanded suspension of 250k accounts, including journalists & Canadian officials!" tweeted Musk.

The new release of internal Twitter correspondence details the relationship between the social media company and government agencies.

Taibbi revealed the US government's mounting and endless pressure on Twitter to work hand-in-hand with Congress to hunt for Russian meddling on the platform, reported Fox News.

The Global Engagement Center -- described by Taibbi as "a fledgling analytic/intelligence arms of the State Department" -- went public by releasing a report to media with a list of "suspect accounts" which it said were "Russian personas and proxies."

However, Twitter's subsequent task force to hunt Russian influence on the platform showed "no coordinated" effort and mostly "lone-wolf" accounts with low ad spends, reported Fox News.

These accounts were described based on criteria like "'Describing the coronavirus as an engineered bioweapon,' 'blaming "research conducted at the Wuhan institute,' and 'attributing the appearance of the virus to the CIA'," according to Taibbi.

The GEC report included a list of accounts that followed "two or more" Chinese diplomatic accounts and was 250,000 names long.

Under U.S. government pressure, Twitter went on to suspend nearly 250,000 accounts, including accounts tied to journalists, some questioning the pandemic's origins, and accounts that followed "two or more" Chinese diplomatic accounts, reported Fox News.

Notably, an earlier batch of the "Twitter Files" showed former President Donald Trump was de-platformed after pressure from the social media company's employees.

Off lately, there have been many changes on Twitter after Musk became the CEO of the microblogging site. Recently, he announced a change in the User Interface of the platform's 'Bookmarks' feature.

Musk hinted that the upcoming changes would make it "Easy to create folders to bookmark tweets into various categories".

Musk had earlier announced "Significant backend server architecture changes" on the platform.

The multi-billionaire announced earlier on that the new Twitter Policy will not only follow science but also question science, reasonably.

"New Twitter policy is to follow the science, which necessarily includes reasoned questioning of the science," Musk tweeted.

Musk stated, "Anyone who says that criticizing them is doubting science itself cannot be regarded as a scientist," in a follow-up tweet to his initial policy statement.


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First published: 4 January 2023, 9:33 IST