CIA’s Covert Control of Social Media Platforms Revealed

Written by Joshua Adams.

Recent revelations from the Twitter Files have uncovered the CIA’s extensive efforts to control social media narratives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Independent journalists Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag have detailed how the CIA, particularly targeting then-Twitter (now X), orchestrated a substantial operation to manage content from 2021 to 2022.

The investigation reveals that a member of the Board of Trustees at In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, collaborated with former intelligence community (IC) and CIA analysts to influence Twitter’s content. Their objective was to control the COVID-19 narrative under the guise of combating “misinformation” and “foreign propaganda.”

Infiltrating Social Media

According to thousands of pages of Twitter Files and documents, the CIA aimed to micromanage content on Twitter. This involved a network of government-linked individuals and organizations taking extensive measures to control free speech, citing national security concerns. Notable figures involved included:

  • A longtime IC contractor and senior official at the Department of Defense (DoD), known for developing technologies to detect whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks leakers.
  • Nina Jankowicz, the proposed head of the now-dissolved Disinformation Governance Board at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who assisted U.S. military and NATO operations in Europe.
  • Former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker, instrumental in the Russiagate hoax and involved in censoring the New York Post story about Hunter Biden while serving as Deputy General Counsel at Twitter.

Collaboration with Big Tech and Media

The CIA’s efforts extended to partnerships with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other deep state entities to influence mainstream media. Domain host GoDaddy, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and PayPal were implicated in collaborating to de-platform and financially undermine individuals and organizations considered threats to the IC’s global control and censorship operations. This coordination represents a significant escalation in using corporate cooperation for censorship under the guise of national security, as explained by Zero Hedge.

Advocacy for Speech Restrictions

Jankowicz, dubbed “Scary Poppins,” continues to promote online speech restrictions, advocating for a “cross-platform,” public-private approach to regulating online discourse. She suggests the U.S. should emulate European models like Germany’s NetzDG law, which imposes heavy fines on social media companies that fail to remove illegal content promptly. Jankowicz has also been extensively involved in advising the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and overseeing programs at the National Democratic Institute, focusing on regulating speech and free expression.

Alethea Group’s Role

The investigation into Alethea Group, a firm employing former CIA and FBI analysts, reveals its role in targeting independent media, including Zero Hedge, for allegedly spreading panic during events like the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse. Alethea received significant financing from Google Ventures and has been involved in various efforts to control narratives around key events. Former CIA analyst Cindy Otis, also linked to Alethea, praised notorious hacker Pieter “Mudge” Zatko, who was hired by Twitter to address misinformation. Zatko, who later became a whistleblower, revealed Twitter’s negligence in protecting user data and misleading the government.

CIA, In-Q-Tel, and Alethea’s Intricate Web

Alethea’s deep ties to U.S. intelligence and its involvement in disinformation operations highlight the intricate web of efforts to control social media narratives. The revelations from the Twitter Files underscore the ongoing struggle between free speech and government-led censorship in the digital age.

Our Take

The exposure of the CIA’s extensive efforts to control social media content during the COVID-19 pandemic raises significant ethical and legal concerns. The public deserves transparency regarding the influence of intelligence agencies on social media platforms. These revelations highlight the urgent need for accountability and the protection of free speech in the digital age. Government manipulation of social media narratives under the pretense of national security threatens the foundational principles of a democratic society.

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