Twitter doesn’t offer free speech to users in every country in which it operates, a new Project Veritas investigation shows.
Part 4 of Project Veritas’ undercover investigation of Twitter features a former Twitter software engineer admitting that the social media giant regularly buckles under pressure when foreign governments – most notably China – demand that they ban certain users.
Conrado Miranda, a former software engineer at Twitter, was at first reticent when an undercover Project Veritas journalist asked him over dinner if foreign governments sometimes pressure Twitter to ban people.
“I cannot disclose that information,” Miranda said in the December 14, 2017, meeting.
“What? Why?!” the Project Veritas journalist exclaimed.
Miranda just repeated, “I cannot disclose that information.”
The undercover journalist replied: “That’s crazy. So, that means yes?”
Miranda smiled, “I didn’t say that.”
Another Project Veritas journalist had better luck wangling information from Miranda in a separated meeting on January 1, 2018.
This time, Miranda openly admitted that Twitter does, in fact, ban people when foreign governments — especially China — apply pressure.
The undercover journalist asked if Twitter would go along “if someone in Iran calls and is, like, hey, in our country we need these people banned so that they’re not seen.”
Miranda answered, “Yeah.”
“That happens?” the Project Veritas journalist asked casually.
Miranda responded, “Yeah. We do that a lot for China.”
Miranda went on to explain the enormous amount of pressure China puts on the company.
“We are actually under constant attack from the Chinese. Like, both Chinese hackers, like, ‘good guys’ and from the Chinese government,” he said. “Because sometimes they ask us to take down an account, and we don’t take down, because we’re, like, at the end of all it, like, anybody say… And then the Chinese government, like, starts to try and hack us, and sometimes they point someone, or like yeah, we actually violated blah, blah, blah. And then… the good guys from China start attacking us. It’s a mess.”
Twitter is officially blocked in China, Project Veritas points out, but according to TechCrunch, “it’s service has around 10 million active users in China.” Chinese citizens reportedly access Twitter via “proxy networks.”
Miranda explained that Twitter’s terms of service vary from country to country.
“So they have one specifically for China that the Chinese government agreed upon,” he explained. “So it’s not the same as we have here in the U.S.”
The undercover journalist commented, “so Twitter doesn’t necessarily offer free speech around the world.”
“No,” Miranda agreed.
“This video begs the question – is Twitter even an American company? Do they really hold American ideals? Or is the idea of “free speech” just a marketing tool for them to harvest your data?” Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe stated. “Jack Dorsey himself must respond, and take steps to increase Twitter’s transparency.”
This is the fourth installment in the Project Veritas series exposing Twitter. The first undercover video featured a senior network engineer admitting that Twitter will give Donald Trump’s personal direct messages to the Department of Justice. Number two exposed their unethical shadow banning tactics, and the third video exposed Twitter’s creepy “virtual profiles” of all of its users, which it sells to advertisers.