The allegations came from Hamilton 68, a “dashboard” claiming to identify Russia-linked accounts on Twitter that was funded by the Alliance for Securing Democracy.
The project was led by Clint Watts, a former counterintelligence official at the FBI. The ASD advisory board at the time included former NSA chief Michael Chertoff, who was tapped to review the Biden Administration’s “disinformation governance board” last year, former Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, and arch-neoconservative Bill Kristol.
Senior Twitter employees were shocked at the inaccuracy of Hamilton 68, which they found did nothing but falsely label legitimate conservative discourse as “Russian influence.”
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Despite his well-documented leftist sympathies, Twitter trust & safety official Yoel Roth took a principled stance, calling Hamilton 68’s findings “bullshit,” going so far as to suggest that Twitter push back publicly against it.
Hamilton 68, wrote Roth, “falsely accuses a bunch of legitimate right-leaning accounts of being Russian bots.”
“Virtually any conclusion drawn from it will take conversations in conservative circles on Twitter and accuse them of being Russian,” continued Roth.
In another email, Roth even argued that the company should warn targeted users that they had been falsely accused of being Russian assets.
“Real people need to know they’ve been unilaterally labeled Russian stooges without evidence or recourse,” wrote Roth.
Twitter executives concurred with Roth.
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.”
However, some voices in the company, notably Carlos Monje and Emily Horne, warned of the potential political blowback if they pushed back against ASD.
We have to be careful in how much we push back on ASD publicly,” said Horne.
“I also have been very frustrated in not calling out Hamilton 68 more publicly, but understand we have to play a longer game here,” said Monje.
Both Horne and Monje now work for the Biden Administration. Monje is a senior advisor to transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Horne is a spokeswoman for the White House and the National Security Council.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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