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Elon Musk Says US Agency Demanded Suspension Of 250,000 Twitter Accounts

Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday that a U.S. government agency demanded the suspension of 250,000 accounts including those of journalists and a Canadian official.

What Happened: Musk made the revelation while sharing the latest round of “Twitter Files,” which were made public by the journalist Matt Taibbi. 

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.”

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.

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Why It Matters: The GEC report included a list of accounts that followed “two or more” Chinese diplomatic accounts and was 250,000 names long.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, saw the report as “an attempt by the GEC to use intel from other agencies to ‘insert themselves’ into the content moderation club that included Twitter, Facebook, the FBI, DHS, and others,” according to Taibbi.

He said that the GEC was perceived to be “political” by Roth while other agencies such as DHS and FBI were deemed “apolitical.”

The journalist said Twitter was taking requests from “every conceivable government body” including the GEC.

An earlier batch of the “Twitter Files” showed former President Donald Trump was de-platformed after pressure from the social media company’s employees.

Read Next: Donald Trump Calls Elon Musk A ‘Hero’ Despite Long-Standing Feud: ‘Twitter Files’ Big Part Of His Legacy

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