Elon Musk dropped a bombshell of information Friday about how Twitter suppressed the Hunter Biden’s laptop story on its platform ahead of the 2020 presidential election — and he said he’s not done yet!
On Friday evening, the Twitter CEO teased another trove of emails and conversations between Twitter employees would be released sometime on Saturday.
“Tune in for Episode 2 of The Twitter Files tomorrow!” Musk tweeted hours after the initial reveal.
Earlier Friday, Musk shared files with Substack journalist Matt Taibbi, who then publicly shared them in over 30 tweets. The thread included screenshots of emails showing Twitter employees suspended, banned, or censored users from commenting on Biden’s laptop.
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“What you’re about to read is the first installment in a series, based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter,” Taibbi began the thread.
Taibbi also said Twitter, as a social media app, eventually regressed from an arena of free expression to a sphere dominated by “tools for controlling speech.”
“Slowly, over time, Twitter staff and executives began to find more and more uses for these tools. Outsiders began petitioning the company to manipulate speech as well: first a little, then more often, then constantly,” he added.
The “Twitter Files” showed on at least one occasion, the “Biden team” instructed Twitter employees to remove politically inconvenient content in October 2020, just weeks before Joe Biden was elected President of the United States.
“More to review from the Biden team,” an email from a redacted Twitter employee said. The message included five tweet URLs. “Thanks all,” the message was casually signed.
“Handled these,” another redacted Twitter employee responded.
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The Biden team’s involvement was also later confirmed by Musk.
Taibbi added: “Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe.’ They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.”
On another occasion, then-White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for sharing content about the Hunter Biden controversy.
“This led public policy executive Caroline Strom to send out a polite WTF query. Several employees noted that there was tension between the comms/policy teams, who had little/less control over moderation, and the safety/trust teams,” Taibbi wrote.
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Twitter’s ever-persistent content moderation, according to the Musk-provided and Taibbi-shared information, was a “decision made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role.”
The emails show some employees challenged the censoring of certain posts, saying they did not specifically violate any of the company’s policies.
The New York Post initially broke the Hunter Biden emails story after Biden’s laptop was provided to a computer repair shop in his home state of Delaware in April 2019.
The laptop itself included thousands of emails between Hunter Biden and his business partners. One message, from April 2015, allegedly shows a Burisma board member thanking Hunter for setting up a meeting with President Biden.
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Congressional Republicans have repeatedly said they intend to investigate the alleged pay-to-play antics the emails seemed to suggest.