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Elon Musk, ‘naked’ Hunter Biden and the Twitter files

  • December 05, 2022

Elon Musk has released internal documents to a journalist over Twitter’s 2020 decision to suppress a news story about Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the US presidential election.

The release of the documents had been “billed as a bombshell”, said The Washington Post. After “rifling through his new company’s internal files”, Musk promised to “expose how Twitter engaged in ‘free speech suppression’ in the critical run up to the 2020 election”, said the paper.

Trailing the announcement on Twitter on Friday evening, Musk tweeted a popcorn emoji and the words: “This will be awesome.” But “by the time the dust settled” on Saturday morning “even some conservatives were grumbling that it was a dud”, said the Post, with Musk’s long awaited “Twitter files” apparently producing “no smoking gun showing that the tech giant had bent to the will of Democrats”.

‘Grappling with fears’

Musk allowed journalist Matt Taibbi to “review internal Twitter communications from October 2020 when it prevented users sharing a New York Post story revealing the contents of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden [the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden]”, said The Times.

The now president denied involvement in his son’s business activities, but this was allegedly contradicted by some of the messages on the laptop. The story has become a “cause célèbre on the right”, as it went unreported before the election as media outlets were unsure of its veracity, explained the paper.

According to Taibbi, the Biden campaign requested that five tweets from 24 October should be deleted. “Three showed Hunter Biden naked,” said The Times. “Twitter apparently acceded.”

But the “trove” of documents “largely corroborated what was already known about the incident”, said CNN. It showed Twitter employees from its legal, policy and communications teams “debating – and at times disagreeing” over whether the Post article should be restricted under the company’s hacked materials policy, as employees “grappled with fears” the story “could have been the result of a Russian hacking operation”. 

According to the screenshots of Twitter’s internal communications over the matter, released to Taibbi, some employees “questioned the basis for the decision” to suppress the Post story “and warned that Twitter would be inviting allegations of anti-conservative bias”, while some senior officials agreed that “the circumstances surrounding the Post story were unclear and recommended caution”, said the paper. The decision by Twitter to ban links to and images of the story was reversed after two days. 

Article source: https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/technology/958770/elon-musk-naked-hunter-biden-and-the-twitter-files

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