Billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk has claimed he was shocked to find out the true scale of US government involvement and access to Twitter communications when he purchased and took full control over the social media giant last year.
“The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on on Twitter blew my mind,” Musk told Fox News host Tucker Carlson, claiming he “was not aware of that” until he eventually purchased Twitter for $44 billion last October.
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Musk confirmed that “everything” includes users’ supposedly private direct messages, but the brief Sunday teaser of the upcoming interview did not show whether Musk went on to call out specific agencies or their methods. It is also unclear what, if anything, has since changed to limit the scope of the government’s access to people’s private communications.
Since purchasing Twitter in October and installing himself as the platform’s CEO, Musk has been releasing regular batches of internal documents and communications in a bid to shed light on its previously opaque censorship policies and ties with federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, enlisting independent journalists to break each document dump.
Journalist Matt Taibbi, who reported on the first batch of files back in December, recently described the collusion between social media platforms, non-governmental organizations and the US government to suppress information they did not like as the “censorship-industrial complex,” calling it “a bureaucracy willing to sacrifice factual truth in service of broader narrative objectives,” and the exact opposite of a free press envisioned in the US Constitution.
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Last month, along with fellow Twitter Files journalist Michael Shellenberger, Taibbi was called to testify before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.