Twitter was involved in political censorship of Hunter Biden laptop, report

Tech

(NewsNation) — A journalist posted a thread to Twitter alleging that Twitter suppressed a NY Post story concerning Hunter Biden and his laptop and revealed alleged communication between Twitter executives and both the Trump and Biden campaigns during the 2020 presidential election, according to reports.

Some Republicans vowed to investigate Biden and big tech companies, and over the weekend, those politicians reacted to the thread by journalist Matt Taibbi alleging internal and secret talks between Twitter executives.

Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk teased “what really happened” with Twitter’s alleged suppression of a story concerning Hunter Biden and his laptop on Friday, saying “this is going to be awesome.”

Musk’s team at Twitter allegedly provided Taibbi with access to internal documents surrounding Twitter’s controversial ban and alleged communication with politicians to censor information, Axios reported.

Taibbi reported that Twitter staff allegedly had open lines of communication with both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign during the 2020 presidential race.

Taibbi said 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, he reported.

But Taibbi contended that the system was unbalanced in favor of liberal-leaning requests. He argued, without documentation, that the Twitter staff leans left.

“Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right,” he tweeted.

On the Hunter Biden story specifically, Taibbi’s thread reported 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, Taibbi reported.

In his thread, Taibbi postulated 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.

Taibbi reported that an anonymous former employee said, “Hacking 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.”

Even some Democrats allegedly voiced concerns, Taibbi reported. According to Taibbi, Rep. Ro Khanna wrote an email to Twitter staff, saying that suppressing the Hunter Biden story “seems like it’ll invite more backlash than it’ll do good.”

Taibbi reported the internal emails allegedly revealed there were multiple sources expressing frustration from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill over Twitter’s handling of the story.

NewsNation has been unable to independently verify the emails Taibbi released in the thread. Taibbi said in order to cover this story, he had to agree to certain conditions. He has not revealed what those conditions were.

However, the Washington Post reported that Khanna’s office confirmed the veracity of the emails.

Despite the concerns, Twitter later suspended the NY Post account for over two weeks, Taibbi said in his thread. Dorsey reinstated the account after 16 days, calling its decision to freeze the account a mistake, the Washington Post reported.

After Taibbi’s posts went public, Republicans who vowed to pressure big tech companies moving forward spoke out.

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy told Fox News in an interview that now there should be investigations into other tech companies such as Facebook and Google.

“These now have become arms of the Democratic Party, arms of the Biden administration,” McCarthy said.

Hunter Biden has said that federal prosecutors in Delaware are investigating his taxes and has denied any wrongdoing. He has not been charged.

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