Musk's "Twitter Files" spotlights Hunter Biden story ban
Elon Musk's Twitter took aim at the firm's previous management Friday evening with a "Twitter Files" presentation intended to demonstrate "free speech suppression."
Driving the news: Musk's team apparently provided newsletter author Matt Taibbi with access to internal documents surrounding Twitter's controversial decision, three weeks before the 2020 presidential election, to limit access to a New York Post article about the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop.
- At the time Twitter said that it was blocking the Post story under a policy against stolen and hacked materials. Conservatives said the company was censoring the news. Within two days CEO Jack Dorsey reversed the decision and apologized.
- The Post story alleged that in 2015 Hunter Biden tried to arrange a meeting between his father and an executive at a Ukrainian company Hunter Biden worked for. Biden spokespeople denied the allegations at the time.
Details: Taibbi's "Twitter Files" unrolled Friday on Twitter, stretched out across nearly two hours of posting.
- The posts show debates inside Twitter over whether the decision to block the Post story was the right call.
- Conservative outrage at Twitter's action was loud and public at the time, but Taibbi also reports messages from outside organizations and a Democratic politician over the move.
- A text apparently from Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) to a Twitter executive reads, "Generating huge backlash on hill re speech."
Between the lines: Musk's following greeted "The Twitter Files" as evidence that Twitter had operated with bias, but there was no smoking-gun evidence of a partisan conspiracy to censor.
- "THE TWITTER FILES: A half dozen screenshots of content moderation policy executives earnestly debating content moderation policy," New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo tweeted.
What's next: Musk promised a second installment of "The Twitter Files" would follow Saturday.