The Alliance for Security Democracy (ASD) is a non-profit national security advocacy group. The agency was formed in 2017 as a shield against the works by Russia to undermine the democratic institutions in the United States.
The agency has recently expanded its area of operation and also has brought in measures against Chinese and Iranian influence through its media outlets that are supported by the state.
The major officials who steer the organization are former officials who had been a part of the United States Intelligence and State Department. The current advisory council of the agency includes big names such as Bill Kristol and John Podesta along with other officials.
In order to carry out their prime objective in a much more effective and efficient manner, the ASD maintains a dashboard called ‘Hamilton 68.’ The role of the dashboard is to monitor and track the events of 600 Twitter accounts which are alleged to be Russian bots.
The dashboard was seen as a very pivotal initiative against outside forces and was highly appreciated by many mainstream media. Popular media houses like ‘Politico’ and ‘The Washington Post’ have given the dashboard positive coverage, stressing the positives of the initiative.
Hamilton 68 has been making headlines, but unlike past events, it is not in praise of the dashboard but something very different. The research carried out by independent journalist Matt Taibbi as a part of ‘Twitter Files’ revealed that the accounts which ASD listed were not actually Russian bots.
He also further revealed that the list was not any mistake but the Twitter content moderators were also well aware of the news and that the accounts were not Russian bots. The reason why they did not speak out about the issue was the fear of bad press.
Rather than making baseless allegations about the sensitive issue, Matt Taibbi explained the case with enough proof to support his claims. Taibbi shared the screenshots of the email which made it clear that Yoel Roth, who was Twitter’s former trust and safety czar was aware of it and made the discovery earlier but decided not to let the news out.
According to the statement Taibbi, the accounts accused as Russian bots apparently are a bunch of legitimate right-leaning accounts. Matt also explains that the major reason why Roth did not make the issue public and reveal the details was due to the words of his colleagues.
Many then officials who worked at Twitter who spoke against confronting ASD in public then left their position and found work as political figures who supported the Democratic party.
Matt Taibbi was very much curious with his revelation and as an agency that had ties to different wings of the United States Securities, the impact of the issue is much more. The agency has doubted legitimate right-leaning Trump-supporting accounts as dangerous and Russian in origin.
According to the reports published and the accusations made by Matt Taibbi, the dashboard is currently run by former FBI counter-intel official Clint Watts and is being funded by ASD.
From the published emails, it can be gathered that Roth noticed that the accounts were neither strongly Russian nor bots in 2018 but it was not revealed publicly back then.
What Are Twitter Files?
Putting it in simple words, Twitter Files are a set of documents regarding the internal processes at Twitter Inc.
The files which started publishing in December 2022 explained the reason behind the major events that led to the decision from Twitter on some of the most talked about and controversial topics like the suspension of Donald Trump from Twitter and also the moderation process of the article that was published by New York Post about the Hunter Biden laptop controversy.
The mastermind behind the idea of Twitter Files is none other than the current CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk. Along with Elon Musk, journalists like Matt Taibbi, Bari Weis, and Lee Fang are also a part of Twitter Files.
There had been almost fifteen installments of Twitter Files and each installment talked about a major issue that happened in the past involving Twitter.
Twitter Files started the first installment by making the content related to moderating the New York Post article on the laptop controversy of Hunter Biden, the second of President Joe Biden. There had been revelations about many other controversial issues too.
The second installment of Twitter Files revealed the details of a procedure that is referred to as shadow banning. The third installment was one of the most talked about ones as it revealed the details about the events that finally led to the suspension of former American president Donald Trump from Twitter.
The fourth installment talked about how the employees at Twitter saw the United States Capitol attack and the decision that led to finalizing the ways to moderate the content user post about the attack.
The process went on and issues like the effect of banning Trump from Twitter on Twitter employees, the details about the FBI contacting Twitter for suggestions to take action about the accounts spreading misinformation, and many more were revealed through Twitter Files.
The most recent installment in the Twitter Files series was the fifteenth one in which the details and truth about the Hamilton 68 dashboard were revealed. The pieces were revealed on January 27, 2023.
As the subjects and parties involved with Twitter Files were clearly sensitive, many agencies have expressed their response towards Twitter Files. People including former president Donald Trump, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others have expressed their thoughts.
Even though the Files have caused quite a stir, there are also people who argue that Twitter Files have not lived up to the hype and might have overlooked or excluded some content on purpose.
One of the main ideas behind Twitter Files was to shed light on the ‘free speech suppression’ issue and also the changes in rules regarding the content that is allowed on Twitter which was introduced by Elon Musk after he took over the social media platform in October 2022.