The Twitter Files dropped another bomb on the fake media; Matt Taibi released records showing that virtually every major American news organization utilized Hamilton 68 as a source. Hamilton 68 was set up to be a computerized dashboard for reporters to gauge Russian disinformation by tracking Russian accounts. But they were instead tracking regular people and using their posts to create false news stories saying the Twitter accounts were Russian bots and that their posts were Russian meddling in U.S. politics. But instead, the operation was led by an FBI official and included a think tank board comprised of powerful leftists. The largest concern is that mainstream media used these fake stories to steer the American people toward leftist politicians and policies.
Below are two articles that Taibi used to demonstrate this practice:

Taibi’s first thread posted Friday read,

  1. Thread: Twitter Files #15 Move over, Jayson Blair: Twitter Files Expose Next Great Media Fraud.

2. I think we need to call this out on the bullshit it is (internal email written by Yoel Roth)

3. (Hamilton 68) “Falsely accuses a bunch of legitimate right-leaning accounts of being Russian bots.”

4. “Virtually any conclusion drawn from it will take conversations in conservative circles on Twitter and accuse them of being Russian.”

5. These are quotes by Twitter executives about Hamilton 68, a digital dashboard that claimed to track Russian influence and was the source of hundreds  if not thousands of mainstream print and TV news stories in the Trump years,

6. The dashboard was headed by former FBI counterintelligence official (and current MSNBC contributor) Clint Watts and funded by  a neoliberal think tank, the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD)

7. The ASD advisory council includes neoconservative writer Bill Kristol, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, ex-Hillary for America chief John Podesta, and former heads or deputy heads of the CIA, NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security.

8. News Outlets for years cited Watts and Hamilton 68 when claiming Russian bots were amplifying an endless parade of social media causes – against strikes in Syria, in support of Fox host Laura Ingraham, the campaigns of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

9. “Hamilton 68 was the source for stories claiming Russian bot pushed terms like “deep state” or hashtags like “FireMcMaster, #SchumerShutdown, #WalkAway, #ReleaseTheMemo, #AlabamaSenateRace, and #ParklandShooting, among many others.”

10. “The secret ingredient to Hamilton 68’s analytical method? A list: our list has linked 600 Twitter accounts to Russian influence activities online was how the site put it at launch.”

11. Hamilton 68 never released the list, claiming “the Russians will simply shut [the accounts] down.” All those reporters and TV personalities making claims about “Russian bots” never really knew what they were describing.”

12. Twitter’s executives were in a unique position to recreate Hamilton’s list, reverse-engineering it from the sites requests for Twitter data. Concerned about the deluge of Hamilton-based news stories, they did so and what they found shocked them.

13. “These accounts” they concluded “are neither strongly Russian nor strongly bots. No evidence to support the statement that the dashboard is a finger on the pulse of Russian information ops. Hardly illuminating a massive influence operation.”

14. In laymen’s terms the Hamilton 68 barely had any Russians, apart from a few RT accounts, it’s mostly full of ordinary Americans, Canadians, and British.

15. It was a scam, Instead of tracking how “Russia” influenced American attitudes, Hamilton 68 simply collected a handful of mostly real, mostly American accounts, and described their organic conversations as Russian scheming.

16. Twitter immediately recognized these Hamilton-driven news stories posed a major ethical problem, potentially implicating them.

17. Some Twitter execs badly wanted to out Hamilton68. After Russians were blamed for hyping the #ParlandShooting hashtag one wrote: “Why can’t we say we’ve investigated…and citing Hamilton 68 is being wrong, irresponsible, and biased?”

18. Yoel Roth wanted a confrontation. “My recommendation at this stage is an ultimatum: you release the list, or we do,” he wrote. However there were concerns about taking on the politically connected ASD.

19.”We have to be careful in how much we push back on ASD publicly,” said future White House and NSC spokesperson Emily Horne.

20. “I have also been very frustrated in not calling out Hamilton 68 more publicly, but understand we have to play a longer game here,” wrote Carlos Monje, the future senior advisor to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

21. So the “legitimate people,” as one Twitter exec. called them never found out they’d been used as  foddering for mountains of new stories about “Russian influence.” Because the #TwitterFiles contain the list, they’ve begun finding out.

22. “I’m shocked” says Sonia Monsour who as a child lived through civil war in Lebanon. “Supposedly in a free world we are being watched at many levels, by what we say online.”

23. “I’ve written a book about the U.S. Constitution,” says Chicago-based lawyer Dave Shestokas. “How I made a list like this is incredible to me.”

24.”When I was growing up my father told me about the Marcarthyite Blacklist,” says Oregon native Jacob Levich. As a child it would never have occurred to me that this would come back, in force and broadly, in a way…designed to undermine rights we hold dear.”

25. Even Twitter execs were stunned to read who was on the list. Wrote policy chief Nick Pickles about British comic @Holbornlolz: “A wind-up merchant…I follow him and wouldn’t say he’s pro-Russian…I can’t even remember him tweeting about Russia.

26.”I’m listed as a foreign bot?” said conservative media figure Dennis Michael Lynch. “As a proud tax-paying citizen, charitable family man, and honest son of a U.S. Marine, I deserve better. We all do!

27. Consortium editor Joe Lauria too was angered to find he was on the list, which targeted voices across the spectrum: “Organizations like Hamilton 68are in business to enforce an official narrative which means excising inconvenient facts, which they call misinformation.”

28. What makes this an important story is the sheer scale of the news footprint left by Hamilton 68’s digital McCarthyism. The quantity of headlines and tv segments dwarfs the impacts of individual fabulists…”


29. Hamilton 68 was used as a source to assert Russian influence in an astonishing array of news stories: support for Brett Kavanaugh or the Devin Nunes memo, the Parkland shooting, manipulation of black voters, “attacks” on the Mueller investigation…

30. These stories raised fear in the population, and most insidious of all were used to smear people like Tulsi Gabbard as foreign “assets”  and drum up sympathy for political causes like Joe Biden’s campaign by describing critics as Russian-aligned.

31. “Incredibly, and ironically, these stories were also frequently used as evidence of the spread of “fake news” on sites like Twitter.”

32. “It was a lie, the illusion of Russian support was created by tracking people.”

33. “Twitter didn’t have the guts to out Hamilton 68 but did try to speak to reporters off the record.”

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