(NewsNation) — On Friday night, Elon Musk enthusiastically teased “what really happened” with Twitter’s alleged suppression of a story concerning Hunter Biden and his laptop.
“This is going to be awesome,” Musk posted.
The so-called revelations came in a lengthy Twitter thread from journalist Matt Taibbi.
In his tweets, Taibbi alleges that Twitter staff had open lines of communication with both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign.
Taibbi offers that both camps often reached out to Twitter to block stories or tweets they felt were either unfair, inaccurate, or misinformation. Twitter had a content moderation team to evaluate those requests.
But Taibbi contends that the system was unbalanced in favor of liberal-leaning requests. He argues, without documentation, that the Twitter staff leans left.
On the Hunter Biden story specifically, Taibbi’s thread says there was a lively debate behind the scenes over how to handle it. Largely, and surprisingly, this allegedly came without serious input from Twitter’s then-CEO Jack Dorsey.
In his thread, Taibbi postulates Twitter officials’ decision to suppress the laptop story was based on its “hacked material” policy, at that point, anything from the laptop story was gained from foreign hacks, though Taibbi did not offer formal documentation to verify this statement.
Citing an anonymous former employee on background, Taibbi states that when some Twitter officials asked questions about the decision, “(h)acking 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.”
Reportedly there was pushback from behind the scenes. California Democratic U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents parts of Silicon Valley, said in an email to Twitter staff, “In the heat of a presidential campaign, restricting dissemination of news articles (even if NY Post is far right) seems like it’ll invite more backlash than it’ll do good.”
In fact, the internal emails reveal there were multiple sources expressing frustration from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill over Twitter’s handling of the story.
In the end, despite pushback from some Twitter officials, the social media company suppressed the Hunter Biden story and froze the New York Post’s account for 16 days.
Ultimately CEO Jack Dorsey reinstated their account and admitted freezing it was a mistake.
NewsNation has been unable to independently verify the emails Taibbi released in the thread. He himself says in order to cover this story he had to agree to certain conditions. He has not revealed what those conditions were.
Hunter Biden has said that federal prosecutors in Delaware are investigating his taxes and has denied any wrongdoing. He has not been charged.