Twitter, Facebook routinely met with DHS on censorship: report

Investigative journalist Lee Fang posted screenshots of text messages between tech executives discussing such meetings.

Published: October 31, 2022 8:51pm

Updated: October 31, 2022 9:33pm

Social media giants Twitter and Facebook were reportedly attending regular meetings with the Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) to discuss censorship on a host of sensitive topics, documents leaked to The Intercept reveal.

Investigative journalist Lee Fang posted screenshots of text messages between tech executives discussing such meetings and expressing interest in working more closely with government on censoring "misinformation."

Citing an Inspector General report, The Intercept noted that big tech executives attended "weekly teleconferences to coordinate Intelligence Community activities to counter election-related disinformation." Fired Twitter executive Vijaya Gadde was one of the regular attendees of such meetings, the documents revealed. Fang also highlighted one Microsoft executive's text expressing a desire that the social media platforms "get more comfortable" with government following one such digital gathering.

The outlet further highlighted the apparent normalization of the reporting process to government, pointing to extant domains for submitting takedown requests.

"There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use," The Intercept noted. "At the time of writing, the 'content request system' at is still live."

The report follows revelations from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that the FBI had pressured the platform to throttle the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Twitter, meanwhile, may be poised to change its relationship with the government following Elon Musk's takeover of the company, with the billionaire having vowed to curtail the platform's censorship practices.

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