Musk’s Hunter Biden Twitter revelation comes in a flurry of Matt Taibbi tweets

Twitter CEO Elon Musk reached out to journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday to reveal the decision-making behind the platform’s suppression of a 2020 article New York Post regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop.

In October 2020, Twitter blocked users from sharing a report from post that Joe Biden, then running for the White House against former President Donald Trump, allegedly used his former position as Vice President to further his son Hunter Biden’s business interests. However, ongoing investigations by House Republicans have yet to prove that President Biden was implicated in his son’s possible missteps.

President Biden, Son Hunter Shop in Nantucket
President Joe Biden, left, speaks with his son Hunter Biden while shopping in Nantucket, Massachusetts on November 25, 2022. On Friday, Twitter revealed an internal review of its platform’s decision to block a 2020 New York Post article about Joe Biden’s alleged role in his son’s business interests.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Twitter received a range of backlash for its censorship at the time, most notably from Trump’s administration. However, the social media giant had claimed that the post Artikel violated its policy on hacked content and changed its approach to such content shortly after the decision.

in one 41 tweet thread Screenshots of previous email exchanges between employees at the company, posted by Taibbi on Twitter on Friday, showed some confusion surrounding the call to block distribution of the article. In some conversations, former employees questioned whether the item really violated company policy.

Internal Twitter tensions

According to Taibbi’s thread, the decision to block the article was made under the leadership of Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former head of Legal, Public Policy & Trust and Safety. But in a screenshotwrites former US policy communications executive Trenton Kennedy that he is “struggling to understand the political basis for labeling this as uncertain.”

The decision was reportedly based on a “general warning from federal law enforcement agencies” of the possibility of the post Article resulting from foreign interference. The story was initially dismissed as a “Russian disinformation operation” by several Democrats in 2020, but as news week previously reported, there was no evidence to prove these claims.

“The problem with the ‘hacked materials’ decision, according to multiple sources, was that it usually required an official/criminal determination of a hack,” Taibbi said closed towards the end of his report. “But such a finding never surfaced in what one executive describes as a ‘hurricane,’ which occurs around the clock throughout the company.”

Taibbi’s thread also featured screenshots of Biden’s campaign team urging the company to “review” certain tweets in 2020. report says such requests from outside sources, whether celebrities or political organizations, became “routine” as Twitter tried to combat issues like misinformation on its site. Taibi too written down that both Republicans and Democrats “had access to these tools.”

Musk promises “Episode 2” on Saturday

Taibbi’s flurry of tweets began nearly three hours after Musk first announced the information was forthcoming and took about two hours to complete. The CEO had too promised to host a live Q&A regarding the report, but has since done so pushed it back until Saturday.

Corresponding Taibbi’s thread Also, Friday’s report was “the first in a series” and hinted at future examples of how Twitter has decided to censor content on its platform.

Musk has repeatedly stated that he acquired the social media giant to protect freedom of speech and reinstated several accounts that were banned due to Twitter’s content rules. According to a tweet late last monthMusk promised to “level the playing field” on Twitter and said the platform “promoted very left-wing San Francisco/Berkeley views to the world.”

On Friday, Musk answered on the reactions of several users to the Twitter Files reports, writing that Twitter’s decision to block the post Article “is not a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution, what is it?”

“Twitter acting itself to suppress free speech is not a violation of the First Amendment, but acting on government orders to suppress free speech without judicial review is,” Musk said added.

He also told users to keep an eye out for “Episode 2 of The Twitter Files” sometime on Saturday.

news week has reached out to Twitter for comment. Musk’s Hunter Biden Twitter revelation comes in a flurry of Matt Taibbi tweets

Rick Schindler

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