Part 8 of the “Twitter Files” saga was released by investigative journalist Lee Fang on Tuesday. The latest installment highlights how the social media juggernaut “quietly aided the Pentagon’s covert online PsyOp campaign.”
“Despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations,” Fang wrote in reference to the company’s role in an alleged online psychological operation aimed at shaping opinion in the Middle East and beyond.
Most notably, Fang writes “despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations.”
1. TWITTER FILES PART 8
*How Twitter Quietly Aided the Pentagon’s Covert Online PsyOp Campaign*
Despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations.
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 20, 2022
Fang continues in a lengthy Twitter thread, that although “Twitter has claimed for years they they make concerted efforts to detect & thwart gov-backed platform manipulation” the documents show otherwise.
“But behind the scenes, Twitter gave approval & special protection to the U.S. military’s online psychological influence ops. Despite knowledge that Pentagon propaganda accounts used covert identities, Twitter did not suspend many for around 2 years or more. Some remain active” the thread continues.
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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