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FBI pressured social media companies for Russian-infiltrated group: report

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According to a report from the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, the FBI pressured social media companies to crack down on the spread of so-called Russian disinformation. This was done on behalf of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).

The report found the pressuring led to the targeting of content that one wouldn’t expect to constitute Russian disinformation. It turns out that’s because Russia had infiltrated the service.

“The FBI, at the request of the SBU, flagged for social media companies the authentic accounts of Americans, including a verified U.S. State Department account and those belonging to American journalists,” the subcommittee report read. “The FBI and SBU repeatedly requested the removal or suspension of authentic accounts expressing unambiguously pro-Ukrainian views, as well as those voicing opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired the head of the SBU in July 2022 over the infiltration. The report went on to blast the FBI for working with the SBU uncritically to pressure social media companies despite this.

“Given that the SBU was compromised by a network of Russian collaborators, sympathizers, and double agents at the time of its interactions with the FBI, the FBI’s uncritical cooperation with the SBU’s requests is deeply concerning,” the report read. “The inclusion of American accounts on the SBU’s lists indicates that the FBI either did not properly vet the SBU’s requests or was aware of their domestic nature, and nonetheless carried them out. These findings highlight the need for additional oversight and legislative reform to protect Americans’ free speech rights.”

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ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WEAPONIZATION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT — THE F-B-I PRESSURED SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES TO CRACK DOWN ON THE SPREAD OF SO-CALLED “RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION” ON BEHALF OF THE S-B-U.
BUT — THERE’S A TWIST.
THE REPORT FOUND THIS PRESSURING LED TO THE TARGETING OF CONTENT THAT ONE WOULDN’T EXPECT TO CONSTITUTE “RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION.”
IT TURNS OUT — THAT’S BECAUSE RUSSIA HAD INFILTRATED THE SERVICE.
THE REPORT READS QUOTE “THE F-B-I — AT THE REQUEST OF THE S-B-U — FLAGGED FOR SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES THE AUTHENTIC ACCOUNTS OF AMERICANS — INCLUDING A VERIFIED U-S STATE DEPARTMENT ACCOUNT AND THOSE BELONGING TO AMERICAN JOURNALISTS.
“THE F-B-I AND S-B-U REPEATEDLY REQUESTED THE REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION OF AUTHENTIC ACCOUNTS EXPRESSING UNAMBIGUOUSLY PRO-UKRAINIAN VIEWS, AS WELL AS THOSE VOICING OPPOSITION TO RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN.”
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY FIRED THE HEAD OF THE S-B-U LAST JULY OVER THE INFILTRATION.
THE REPORT WENT ON TO BLAST THE F-B-I FOR WORKING WITH THE S-B-U UNCRITICALLY DESPITE THIS.