So far, not surprisingly, the mainstream media isn’t covering the story encompassed by Musk’s internal records about how Twitter helped bury the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election. It is continuing to concentrate on Kanye West’s Nazi affection and his banning by Musk as its Twitter story of the day. This reflects poorly on Trump, you see. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!
Today Musk sent the relevant Twitter records to ex-Rolling Stone substack journalist Matt Taibbi, who tweeted lengthy Twitter-burst about what they show. I hate reading those 10 part Tweet-streams, so here is what they say put together:
“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. 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.'”
As in this attachment, from Musk’s documentation:
“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 resulting slant in content moderation decisions is visible in the documents you’re about to read. However, it’s also the assessment of multiple current and former high-level executives…there’s no evidence – that I’ve seen” that the federal government had a role in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop …the decision was 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 [That’s her above] playing a key role. …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. 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.” 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: Strom’s note returned the answer that the laptop story had been removed for violation of the company’s “hacked materials” policy.
They just freelanced it,’ is how one former employee characterized the decision. ‘Hacking’ was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold. But no one had the guts to reverse it.”
By this point “everyone knew this was fucked,” said one former employee, but the response was essentially to err on the side of… continuing to err. Former VP of Global Comms Brandon Borrman asks, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?” To which former Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker again seems to advise staying the non-course, because “caution is warranted.” Former VP of Global Comms Brandon Borrman asks, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”
That Jim Baker is fired FBI Counsel James Baker who was a primary player in launching the Russian collusion investigation. What a coincidence!
An amazing subplot of the Twitter/Hunter Biden laptop affair was how much was done without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, and how long it took for the situation to get “unfucked” (as one ex-employee put it) even after Dorsey jumped in.
So we now know, those of us (not me!) who weren’t convinced already, that the decision on Jack Dorsey’s social media platform to hide the Hunter Biden laptop story as long as it might adversely affect the Democrats’ chances of defeating Trump was not made in good faith, was politically motivated, and was engineered by partisans in the Twitter management.
I don’t want to read any more about how Donald Trump’s belief that the Presidency was stolen from him is “baseless,” as the official talking point goes, and that his saying so is a “Big Lie.” No one knows or can know if the laptop revelations would have changed enough votes to elect Trump had they been fairly reported; personally, I doubt it. Nonetheless, relevant and potentially influential information was deliberately withheld from voters by the social media companies, Big Tech and the news media with the clear intent of assisting Joe Biden’s campaign. This was a far more consequential interference with our elections than anything Russia did in 2016. If the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, it unquestionably was corrupted.