In the latest Twitter Files report published on Friday, journalist and author Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter partnered with the Virality Project, which warned the social media platform that “true stories that could fuel hesitancy,” complained that “anti-vaccine” accounts were retweeting the CDC, and ironically ran searches for the term “surveillance state” while looking for more information to censor.
“The release of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s spring 2020 emails via the Freedom of Information Act has been used to exacerbate distrust in Dr. Fauci,” the Virality Project lamented in June 2021.
The Virality Project is “a sweeping, cross-platform effort to monitor billons of social media posts by Stanford University, federal agencies, and a slew of (often state-funded) NGOs,” Taibbi noted.
Taibbi went on to say that Friday’s Twitter Files revealed “Reports of vaccinated individuals contracting Covid-19 anyway,” “natural immunity,” suggesting Covid-19 “leaked from a lab,” and even “worrisome jokes” were all characterized as “potential violations” or disinformation “events” by the Virality Project.
“We’ve since learned the Virality Project in 2021 worked with government to launch a pan-industry monitoring plan for Covid-related content,” Taibbi said. “At least six major Internet platforms were ‘onboarded’ to the same JIRA ticketing system, daily sending millions of items for review.”
The journalist added that the Virality Project had “knowingly targeted true material and legitimate political opinion, while often being factually wrong itself.”
“As Orwellian proof-of-concept, the Virality Project was a smash success,” he said. “Government, academia, and an oligopoly of would-be corporate competitors organized quickly behind a secret, unified effort to control political messaging.”
The Virality Project had also “accelerated the evolution of digital censorship, moving it from judging truth/untruth to a new, scarier model, openly focused on political narrative at the expense of fact,” Taibbi said.