Dec 5, 2022

The Twitter Files Recap

On Friday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk allowed journalist Matt Taibbi to report on documents showing the inner workings of Twitter’s censorship activities.
The Twitter Files Recap

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Written by Hudson Crozier

New information: Twitter was regularly contacted by political entities requesting specific tweets to be “reviewed” and suppressed on the platform. These contacts included President Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and even the Trump administration. Most of Twitter’s censorship was fulfilled for Democrats.

Without the CEO: The decision to suppress the New York Post’s Hunter Biden story was made without former CEO Jack Dorsey’s knowledge, based on the company’s “hacked materials” policy. Twitter began removing links to the story, adding warning labels, and even preventing users from sending it via direct message, an extreme response normally used to block child pornography.

Multiple employees were skeptical of the decision, asking leaders if they could “truthfully claim that this is part of the policy” and worrying that it would “invite more backlash than it [would] do good.” One former employee told Taibbi that many knew the stated policy was an “excuse” and that the decision was indefensible.

An ongoing reckoning: After firing many who drove the censorship at Twitter, Musk said he is releasing these files to help the company “come clean” on its history of censorship “to build public trust for the future “ and that more are on the way. Over the same weekend, an FBI agent revealed in court that the agency held weekly meetings with Twitter on fighting “disinformation” ahead of the 2020 election.

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