Musk releases details on how Twitter censored Hunter Biden laptop story

By John Hugh DeMastri

Matt Taibbi, contributing editor at Rolling Stone, released what Elon Musk has referred to as “The Twitter Files,” Friday afternoon detailing how the social media platform suppressed a New York Post story regarding a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden.

The NYP story revealed an email — which was verified soon after by the Daily Caller News Foundation — that connected President Joe Biden with an executive at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, with the executive thanking the president’s son for “giving me an opportunity to meet your father.” Taibbi alleged that former head of legal, policy and trust Viyaja Gadde played a “key role,” in the decision to suppress the story, which was made without the knowledge of then-CEO Jack Dorsey, but without any government involvement.

Taibbi tweeted an email indicating that Twitter’s trust and safety team initially explained to other employees that it made the decision to suppress the story — the company even went so far as to prevent it from being sent in private messages — because it violated Twitter’s policy for sharing “hacked materials.” Typically, such a ruling would require an official statement from law enforcement identifying the material as hacked, something that Twitter never received, according to Taibbi, citing several anonymous sources.

Justifying the removal on theses grounds prompted confusion within Twitter, Communications official Trenton Kennedy wrote a message to Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, saying that he was “struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe,” and noting that Twitter would face “hard questions on this” if they failed to provide a reasonable explanation, according to Taibbi. Roth reiterated that “the policy basis is hacked materials,” and while he stressed that the situation was developing, “[g]iven the SEVERE risks here and the lessons of 2016, we’re erring on the side of including a warning and preventing this content from being amplified,” Taibbi reported.

Then-Vice President of Global Communications, Brandon Borrman, asked if Twitter could “truthfully claim” that the NYP story fell under the hacked materials policy, according to Taibbi. This prompted a response from Deputy General Counsel James Baker, who argued that it was “reasonable to assume” that the materials “may have been” hacked, and that “caution is warranted,” Taibbi tweeted.

Prior to his work at Twitter, Baker was an FBI lawyer who approved the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, among other decisions made during the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign. A report by the Justice Department’s inspector general found at least 17 “significant” errors in the decision to surveil Page, which relied on the Steele dossier.

Taibbi tweeted two additional emails that show Twitter employees discussing posts flagged by the Democratic National Committee and Biden staff, and communication on how to moderate the posts.

While members of both parties, including the Trump White House, successfully petitioned Twitter to remove content, the system favored Democrats because “Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation,” according to Taibbi. The posts that Biden staff and the DNC requested to be removed were primarily sexually explicit photographs of Hunter Biden.

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California reached out to Gadde personally after the story was suppressed, concerned that Twitter’s actions were a “violation of the 1st Amendment [sic] principles,” according to Taibbi. Carl Szacbo, general counsel at trade association NetChoice that advocates for limited government intervention online, sent a letter to Twitter’s head of Public Policy, Lauren Culberston, noting that while members from both parties were frustrated with Twitter’s response to the situation, the three Democratic lawmakers they had polled were in agreement that social media companies needed to moderate more, arguing that “the First Amendment isn’t absolute.”

“An amazing subplot of the Twitter/Hunter Biden laptop affair was how much was done without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, ” and how long it took to be resolved even after Dorsey stepped in, Taibbi tweeted.

Sharing the NYP story was banned on Twitter from Oct. 14-16, 2020, a move that Roth described as a mistake in an interview on Nov. 30, 2022. Dozens of former intelligence officials criticized the NYP story in October 2020 as likely linked to Russian disinformation in an open letter, according to Politico; however, the veracity of the laptop’s contents has been confirmed by several major news organizations since the DCNF.

Facebook also prevented users from sharing the story, which alleged that the laptop’s hard drive contained video of Hunter Biden using drugs while engaging in sexual activities.

Months before the NYP story, tapes leaked by Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s Parliament with connections to Russia’s intelligence, alleged that Joe Biden had pressured the former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a prosecutor that was investigating Burisma, where his son was a member of the board, when he was the Vice President.

Taibbi concluded the thread after saying there was “more to come.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Image courtesy of Flickr/Ben Stanfield
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35 thoughts on “Musk releases details on how Twitter censored Hunter Biden laptop story

  1. VT Digger is an unregistered polical lobbyist for the democratic party of Vermont..

    What are you going to go about it?

    Dame? Gov Scott?

    Same goes for the clowns in VPIRG, VNRC……they should all lose their non-profit status and probably 50% of all the other non-profits.

    • Food for thought: Elon is a US Dept of Defense contractor. He used funds paid by the DOD to purchase Twitter. Elon stated recently priority one was to investigate all accounts involved in crimes against children and human trafficking. He and his team have access to all accounts, access to all the DM’s (private messages), emails, content shared, where, when and how (time stamps and locations.) Logically, this not only about The Biden. It includes all connected to criminal activity involving children and human trafficking. The election info and plandemic info is extra gravy and distracting from what and who is really being investigated. Vermont has a number of known busted celebrities and obvious trafficking issues….they can’t hide from evidence preserved on DOD contractor servers.

      • Melissa it’s been being said that “Elon bought a Crime Scene” and I totally agree with this.
        Isn’t it something that he is going to take on doing this investigating in earnest rather than hiding it under the carpet and allowing the often heinous crime continue as Twitter was doing- at the behest of the government.

        So aside from the details of the mountain of crimes being revealed.. there is the fact that Twitter has *become the gatekeeper* OF A Mountain Of Crime.
        It’s all so big.. it boggles the mind.

        And how funny,
        NBC, ABC and CBS have called for silence on the release of the Twitter Files..
        What a pathetic attempt and containing this..
        https://www.foxnews.com/media/nbc-abc-cbs-called-silence-elon-musk-twitter-files-release-failing-americans?intcmp=tw_fnc

  2. so apparently Vermont is not the only area with massive media control.

    I’m about half way through the link, if you’ve read The Smear by Sheryl Atkisson, you won’t be too surprised, Vermonters in the know won’t be too surprised, everyone else will be blown away

    https://www.uncoverdc.com/2022/12/05/the-twitter-files-are-peanuts-new-filing-in-missouri-v-biden/

    how much you want to be that Front Porch Forum, VtDigger and Seven Days, VPR are all in on this too…….

    Where o where is VTGOP when it comes to free speech…….for those who love truth and science, this will be refreshing….enjoy.

    The soviet and chinese know they are fed propaganda……we need to recognize it too.

  3. One more VT Digger….since you so often champion “Diversity & Inclusion” for all….can you tell us how many conservative thinkers you have hired for your up to couple dozens of staffers? Come on….tell us.

    Answer? None. So diversity, inclusion & truth in news, for all…apparently is not in your playbook for progressive wet dream, propaganda driven, unfiltered news?

  4. Hey, VT Digger….if the shoe fit’s, wear it….will you ever wake up to what you really are?

    “The current “media”—loosely defined as the old major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, the network news channels, MSNBC and CNN, PBS and NPR, the online news aggregators like Google, Apple, and Yahoo, and the social media giants like the old Twitter and Facebook—are corrupt. They have adopted in their news coverage a utilitarian view that noble progressive ends – justify almost any unethical means to obtain them. The media is unapologetically fused with the Democratic Party, the bicoastal liberal elite, and the progressive agenda. ”

    And it is not just propaganda news unetheically driven, it has spread to contol election outcomes…and whatever needs to be done…will be. Hey VT Digger, go back and read your Saul Alinsky..

  5. Add them to the list, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, MSMBC, CNN, VT Digger. Fake news all and enemy of the people.

  6. Maaybe VT Digger can explain away this (since they see no $$$ connection between Hunter paying Joe)…Biden made little real money as a Senator, and so-so as VP. So without 10% for “The Big Guy” and Hunter Biden paying his fathers bills, HOW is it that Biden is worth this:

    “As of December 2022, Joe Biden’s net worth is estimated to be roughly $9 Million. ” Forbes magazine.

    THEN? Biden’s beach house in Delaware is worth aboutt $3.4 million?

    Wil the IRS ever audit Biden to see WHERE all these millions (after taxes!) came from? Nope.

  7. This right here is THE Story.. It could wind up being the story of our lifetimes- it’s that big.
    And people that have been watching this all going on for our entire lifetimes- we are finally going to get our “We Told You So” and it’s going to be like an earth quake of noise.

    I believe that this right here, what Elon has done and is doing, is a complete game changer and we really are watching history be made right now.

    Over half of this nation has just been set free and had our voice returned to us.. and yeah, that is what they did- they took our freedom of speech, of expression, of thought, and they shut it down.

    Under these conditions, everything you think you knew was but contrived and manipulated in their echo chamber of group think.. this has now created Mass Formation and cultish behavior and beliefs that have got this nation in a flat out disaster today- and this is a global situation.

    Further, how many people out there on the Left even fully understand the magnitude of the incredible work that President Donald Trump did?
    There was a list being created at a website and it got so long it was difficult to keep reading it..to scroll to the bottom to find the new information just was taking forever.

    The only things that were out here, is what THEY decided we needed to know, what THEY decided they wanted out here because it was things they could create ‘news’ about.
    But mountains of incredible work got left on the cutting room floor leaving half the nation in the dark about what was really going on.. all they heard was “Orange Man Bad”.

    This is all criminal -of the likes I cannot comprehend.
    I mean Lord only knows what we don’t know, what has been hidden, what has been sanitized, manipulated and re-created.
    Think about the influence these big tech monsters had on false flag events we’ve seen..
    It just goes on and on..the damage.
    We’ve been entirely immersed in “Fake News Land” and running the states and the nation based upon this!

    Twitter, FB, and this whole gang of evil, sicko, control freaks in Big Tech have been silencing and manipulating the world to a far greater extent than we knew.

    This situation is exploding.. James Woods in on fire..this is getting so big that it’s hard to even explain it now at this point.

    Joe Biden was never legitimately elected and we’ve always known this.
    And the crime these people have been up to is simply mountainous.
    No wonder they are stealing and rigging elections- they have a whole lot to hide!

  8. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exclaimed during a US Senate hearing regarding Benghazi , “What difference, at this point, does it make?” The same twisted cover-up is being used by the mockingbird media and the establisment (Uniparty.) Several months of the “russia, russia, russia” hack narrative blowing up in their faces, yet they cling to the hope no one will notice or even cares now. Just like Hillary, they say it’s too late, The Biden is in control, carry on. As they all scream, in unison, any objection to their narrative is “a threat to our democracy.” Several million Americans all ready know, they are a threat to our national security, our liberty, our Constitutional rights, and our common law rights. They are corrupt to the core, they are up to their necks in criminal activity, and the exposure is pusing them into a corner. Yet, they will continue to deny and deflect until they either die or get arrested. Many people still don’t realize the carpet bombing of Truth coming out like the Blitz of WWII. We are in a war. It is a global information war. It is unconventional warfare and it is very dangerous. Stay tuned and prepare like your life depends on it – because it does – these people are stupid and desparate. Above all, they are evil and they will stop at nothing to retain control and power.

  9. Twitter is the tip of the censorship iceberg.

    I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to convince Tom Kearney, Senior Editor at VT Digger, to publish a commentary pointing out that CBS now acknowledges that Hunter Biden’s laptop exists and may be problematic for the current administration.

    Mr. Kearney’s response: “The CBS report indicates the laptop is almost certainly Hunter Biden’s, but nothing on it implicates President Biden.”

    To date, Mr. Kearney still refuses to publish the commentary.

    • Nothing implicates the Big Guy? Deceive – Inveigle – Obfuscate

      The Truth Is Out There!

    • Keep at it Jay and hopefully more people will join you in leaning on the Digger.
      And then they’ll be a whole lot of holding them accountable needed- because readers here know exactly where this is all going.

      I blame that site for so much of what is going wrong in Vermont.

    • VT Digger & staff are similar cockroaches… cockroaches will scatter when the light (re: truth) is turned on…and VT Digger scatters when the truth is revealed of the leftist propaganda frauds at Twitter and also Facebook & Google…NYT, WaPo etc…. It pains Vt Digger SOOOOO much to admit truth, so it is easier to just ignore it… as all liberals do, they just “pretent not to know”…what is right in front of them.

      Copy, paste and send this to VT Digger, Jay!

      • That place is a total scam Jeffrey.. everyone in Vermont should be demanding it get shut down. It’s a fake news factory..

        I just counted 35 names there at VTDigger between their newsroom and their business staff- plus two interns.
        And these are paid jobs!
        All of this for the news in a state with 640,000 people?
        Our site here in NH, granitegrok, it’s got the most internet traffic for a news site in our state of 1.3 million- and it’s run by two guys that work for free!!
        So yeah, I’d say something stinks over there at the Digger.

        • Paid jobs at Digger, they are constantly adding staff and constantly begging for money.

          I have concluded that it is pointless to submit a conservative commentary to them.

  10. Consider the timeline.
    – The Hunter Biden laptop was first described and offered to the FBI in summer 2019. The FBI refused to look at it.
    – Then came the accusations surrounding the July 25, 2019, phone call between Trump and Ukraine president Zelenskyy.
    – Only as the 1st impeachment was proceeding in October 2019, did FBI agents discuss the laptop with Mac Isaac, the computer repair guy.
    – In December 2019, the FBI took possession of the Biden laptop.
    – Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019.

    Coincidences?

  11. Three cheers for Elon Musk. Now we have the proof that the media and tech firms denied – they lied. The fix was in and has been since Trump won in 2016. Elon will expose Twitter with the truth…and now that we control Congress, there should be investigations beyond…Congress has supbpoena power to compel Google & Facebook to disclose all internal memo’s and conversation (watch them destroy massive amounts of internal files ASAP). Google and Facebook are far deeper, far worse & more involved in the political fraud & manipulations. And GREAT news today. Elon Musk has jjust given writer Bari Weiss full access to all the Twitter files. Ms. Bari Weiss was a senior Editorial page person at the NY Times….she quit the NYT in disgust of what they were doing – and she said so. Ms. Bari Weiss is a DEM and they fear her for what she may expose…because SHE was one of THEM…she was not a “Trumper”, or conservative MAGA.

    • I am a longtime fan of Bari Weiss, I have never heard her proclaim she is a Dem. I don’t know what she is but, I’d say anything but a Dem.

      I would be very careful about believing anyone on this story, including the commenters here.

      • Joy you are part of the problem- but we’ll happily fight for your right to be so- here in the land of real free speech in Vermont.

        If you think so little of the commenters here then please, spare us of your presence.

        I happen to know that a good many of the commenters here are of the most intelligent people in Vermont, fully dedicated to trying to save their state by getting the truth out there for people so they can make truly informed choices.

        Rather than being insulting, you should be grateful that this site is here and allows them to speak, to teach, to inform, to express their thoughts as they wish to do.

        • Laura, I am part of the problem!? Huh! who is the ‘we’. Are you or any or commenter here the proprietor of this site? What arrogance!

          At least I live in this state and have an investment in it.

          You are the one exaggerating and spreading conspiracy theories on this site that I find disgusting.

          You are dysfunctionally partisan and negative. I prefer to keep an open mind. You ought to try it instead of keeping people hyped-up and politically angry.

          Please don’t judge me for not believing some of the nonsense you write on this site. I shake my head in disbelief at the nonsense of it.

          Maybe you ought to stick to commenting in your own state. Vermonters are troubled enough about our politics, you should stop adding to it.

          We’d do better without your added garbage.

          Whatever, please do not address me again, I can’t stand you any more than you can stand me and I’d rather not spend a single second addressing you.

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