In a greatly anticipated Friday night drop of what has was expected to be a cache of information involving the censoring of Hunter Biden’s notebook story days ahead of the 2020 presidential political election, moments ago Elon Musk – who worked in collaboration with the notoriously self-employed gonzo journalist Matt Taibbi of “ Vampire Squid” fame – has released the “ Twitter Documents. ”
Shortly before their discharge, Matt Taibbi sent the next email to his substack subscribers:
Dear TK Readers:
Very shortly, I’m going to begin posting a long thread of information on Twitter, inside my account, @mtaibbi. This material is likely to get a lot of interest. I will absolutely understand if subscribers are angry that it must be not appearing here on Substack first. I’d become angry, too.
The last 96 hours were among the most chaotic of my entire life, involving multiple trips backwards and forwards across the country, with a debate in Canada in between. There’s a lengthy story I hope to be able to tell soon, but can’t, not quite yet anyway. What I can say is that in exchange for your opportunity to cover a unique plus explosive story, I had to agree to certain conditions.
Those of you who’ve already been here for years know how seriously I take my responsibility to this site’s subscribers. On this one occasion, I’m going to need to simply ask you to trust me. Because it happens, there may be a few more huge surprises coming, and those will be here on Substack. Plus there will be room here to to discuss this, too, on time. In any case, thanks for your support and your patience, and please keep me to a promise in making all this up to you, and then several.
Moments later Elon confirmed that he did, in fact , work with Taibbi:
And this is what Taibbi has been tweeting in the past few minutes ( link right here ):
1 . Thread: THE TWITTER FILES
2 . What you’re about to look over is the first installment within a series, based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter.
3. The “ Tweets Files” tell an incredible tale from inside one of the world’s biggest and most influential social media systems. It is a Frankensteinian tale of a human-built mechanism grown out the control of its designer.
4. Twitter in its conception was a amazing tool for enabling instant mass communication, making a true real-time global conversation feasible for the first time.
5. In an early conception, Tweets more than lived up to the mission statement, giving people “ the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. ”
6. As period progressed, however , the company was slowly forced to add these barriers. Some of the first tools for controlling speech had been designed to combat the likes of junk mail and financial fraudsters.
7. Slowly, over time, Twitter staff and executives began to find more and more utilizes for these tools. Outsiders began petitioning the company to manipulate conversation as well: first a little, then more often, then constantly.
8. By 2020, requests from connected stars to delete tweets were routine. One executive might write to another: “ More to review from the Biden team. ” The particular reply would come back: “ Handled. ”
9. Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or even reviewed at the behest of a political party:
10. Both parties had access to they. For instance, in 2020, demands from both the Trump White-colored House and the Biden campaign were received and honored. However:
eleven. This system wasn’t balanced. It had been based on contacts. Because Tweets was and is overwhelmingly well staffed by people of one politics orientation, there were more stations, more ways to complain, available to the left (well, Democrats) than the right.
twelve. The resulting slant within content moderation decisions is seen in the documents you’re going to read. However , it’s also the assessment of multiple present and former high-level executives.
… Okay, there was more throat-clearing about the process, but mess it, let’s jump ahead
16. The particular Twitter Files, Part A single: How and Why Twitter Blocked the Hunter Biden Laptop Story
17. On October fourteen, 2020, the New York Publish published BIDEN SECRET EMAILS , an uncover based on the contents of Seeker Biden’s abandoned laptop:
18. Twitter took amazing steps to suppress the story, eliminating links and posting alerts that it may be “ unsafe. ” They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto appropriated for extreme cases, electronic. g. child pornography.
19. White Home spokeswoman Kaleigh McEnany had been locked out of her are the reason for tweeting about the story, compelling a furious letter through Trump campaign staffer Paul Hahn, who seethed: “ At least pretend to take care of the next 20 days. ”
20. 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 groups, who had little/less control of moderation, and the safety/trust groups:
21. Strom’s notice returned the answer that the laptop computer story had been removed intended for violation of the company’s “ hacked materials” policy: https://web.archive.org/web/20190717143909/https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/hacked-materials
22. Although many sources recalled hearing in regards to a “ general” warning from federal law enforcement that summer season about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence – that will I’ve seen – of any government involvement in the laptop story. In fact , that may have been the problem…
23. The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, yet without the knowledge of CEO Jack port Dorsey, with former mind of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde actively playing a key role .
24. “ These people just freelanced it, ” is how one previous employee characterized the decision. “ Hacking was the excuse, yet within a few hours, just about everyone realized that wasn’t likely to hold. But no one acquired the guts to reverse it. ”
25. You can see the particular confusion in the following extended exchange, which ends up including Gadde and former Trust and safety chief Yoel Roth. Comms official Trenton Kennedy writes, “ I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe”:
twenty six. By this point “ everyone knew this was fucked, ” said one former employee, but the response was basically to err on the side of… continuing to err.
27. Former VP associated with Global Comms Brandon Borrman asks, “ Can all of us truthfully claim that this is area of the policy? ”
twenty-eight. To which former Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker again seems to advise staying the non-course, because “ extreme care is warranted”:
29. A fundamental problem with tech companies and content moderation: lots of people in charge of speech know/care small about speech, and have to become told the basics by outsiders. To wit:
30. In one humorous trade on day 1, Democratic congressman Ro Khanna gets to out to Gadde to lightly suggest she hop on the phone to talk about the “ repercussion re speech. ” Khanna was the only Democratic formal I could find in the data files who expressed concern.
31. Gadde replies rapidly, immediately diving into the weeds of Twitter policy, ignorant Khanna is more worried about the particular Bill of Rights:
32. Khanna tries to reroute the conversation to the 1st Amendment, mention of which is usually hard to find in the files:
33. Within a day, head of Public Policy Lauren Culbertson receives a ghastly letter/report from Carl Szabo of the research firm NetChoice, which had already polled 12 members of congress – 9 Rs plus 3 Democrats, from “ the House Judiciary Committee to Rep. Judy Chu’s office. ”
34. NetChoice lets Twitter know a “ blood bath” is justa round the corner in upcoming Hill hearings, with members saying it’s a “ tipping point, ” complaining tech has “ grown so big they can’t even regulate on their own, so government may need to intervene. ”
35. Szabo reports to Twitter that will some Hill figures are characterizing the laptop story as “ tech’s Gain access to Hollywood moment”:
thirty six. Twitter files continued: “ THE FIRST AMENDMENT GENUINELY ABSOLUTE”
Szabo’s letter contains chilling passages relaying Democratic lawmakers’ attitudes. They want “ more” moderation, and as for the Bill of Rights, it’s “ not absolute”
thirty seven. An amazing subplot from the Twitter/Hunter Biden laptop affair was how much was completed without the knowledge of CEO Jack port Dorsey, and how long it took for the situation to get “ unfucked” (as 1 ex-employee put it) even after Dorsey jumped in.
38. While looking at Gadde’s emails, I saw the familiar name – my own. Dorsey sent her the copy of my Substack article blasting the incident
39. There are several instances in the files of Dorsey intervening to issue suspensions and other moderation activities, for accounts across the politics spectrum
40. The problem with the “ hacked materials” ruling, several sources said, was that this particular normally required an official/law enforcement finding of a hack. But such a finding never appears throughout what 1 executive describes as a “ whirlwind” 24-hour, company-wide clutter.
41. It’s been a whirlwind 96 hours for me, too. There is a lot more to come, including answers in order to questions about issues like shadow-banning, boosting, follower matters, the fate of various individual accounts, and more. These issues aren’t limited to the political correct.
42. Good night, everyone. Because of all those who picked up the phone in the last few days.
* * *
The release was telegraphed one week ago , when Musk acknowledged that will revealing Twitter’s internal discussions surrounding the censorship of the New York Blog post ‘ s Seeker Biden laptop story before the 2020 US political election is “ necessary to restore public trust. ”
Recall that will the Post had its Tweets account locked in Oct 2020 for reporting on the now-confirmed-to-be-real “ laptop from hell, ” which contained still-unprosecuted evidence of foreign influence offering through then-Vice President Joe Biden – including the 2015 meeting with an executive of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma.
Customers who tried to share the hyperlink to the article were greeted with a message saying, “ We can’t complete this request because this hyperlink has been identified by Twitter or our partners to be potentially harmful . ”
Then, times after Musk’s tweet, Twitter’s former mind of Trust and Basic safety, Yoel Roth, admitted it was a ‘ mistake’ to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story .
In his first public appearance since becoming a good ex-employee, Roth suggested that this Hunter Biden laptop tale was simply ‘ too difficult’ for Twitter to verify. Alternatively, the company could have perhaps simply trusted the Post, one of America’s oldest books that doesn’t have a reputation with regard to fabricating bombshell stories – like Twitter does along with countless anonymous bombshells from all other major publications.
“ We failed to know what to believe. We did not know what was true. There was smoke, ” Roth said during an interview in the Knight Foundation conference, since noted by the Epoch Times . “ Plus ultimately for me, it did not reach a place where I was comfortable removing this content through Twitter. ”
“ It set off every single one of my carefully tuned APT28 ‘ hack and leak campaign’ security alarm bells, ” he stated, referring to a notorious team of cyberspies affiliated with Russian military intelligence. “ Every thing about it looked like a crack and leak. ”
When requested whether if it was a mistake to censor the story, Roth replied, “ In my opinion, indeed. ”
Would Roth have suppressed the story if it was a Wear Jr. laptop full of incriminating evidence?
* * *
Finally, it will be very interesting to see which “ independent”, “ impartial” and “ objective” members of the Mainstream Media cover the Twitter Files, which as opposed to all that Russia collusion bullshit, was a real and doable attempt to interfere with US democracy by covering up one of the most explosive political stories of the generation, not to mention an event that could have swayed the 2020 presidential election.