The internal “Twitter Files,” which discuss “free speech restriction” by the social media company, were made public by Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Saturday morning. Mr. Musk reposted a link to the account of independent author and journalist Matt Taibbi, who published a series of tweets outlining the thinking behind the decision to censor the news concerning Hunter Biden’s laptop.
These records, which seem to be censored emails from Twitter staff members, explain why the tech giant decided to bury the Hunter Biden story in the final days of the 2020 presidential campaign.
“Some of the first tools for controlling speech were designed to combat the likes of spam and financial fraudsters. 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,” Taibbi tweeted.
“By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive would write to another: ‘More to review from the Biden team.’ The reply would come back: “Handled.”
The journalist posted the tweets along with a screenshot of an internal email that contained links to tweets that were supposed to be deleted.
9. Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party: pic.twitter.com/4uzkHnQ65E
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 2, 2022
“Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored. However… This system wasn’t balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right,” the journalist wrote.
He then tweeted about the strategies employed by the social networking site to suppress the “Biden Secret Emails” story.
“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,” he wrote.
Mr Taibbi made another revelation and tweeted, “White House spokeswoman Kaleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about the story, prompting a furious letter from Trump campaign staffer Mike Hahn, who seethed: “At least pretend to care for the next 20 days.”
19. White House spokeswoman Kaleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about the story, prompting a furious letter from Trump campaign staffer Mike Hahn, who seethed: “At least pretend to care for the next 20 days.” pic.twitter.com/CcXTfsdzCT
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 3, 2022
According to information provided by Elon Musk, Vijaya Gadde, the former Chief Legal Officer at Twitter, had a “significant role” in the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020.
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