Elon Musk lived up to the hype he had created in the last few days. He had promised he would release the internal Twitter documents leading up to and after the complete censoring of the potential bombshell story of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
He followed through on his promise.
Musk is the world’s richest man and a maverick. He is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla. Musk recently acquired the ownership of the microblogging site Twitter.
The New York Post, America’s oldest newspaper of record, had published a damning story about Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, the current President of the United States. President Biden, a candidate Biden at that time, was engaged in a bitter contest for America’s top post against incumbent President Donald Trump.
The story, published weeks before (October 14) the 2020 presidential elections (November 3), was based on the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop. The laptop contained, according to the Post, “smoking gun emails” that showed Hunter Biden introduced his father, Joe Biden, to a Ukrainian businessman. The senior Biden was the Vice President of the United States at that time.
“The never-before-revealed meeting,” wrote the Post in that censored story, “is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma [energy company], allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.”
The Post story detailed how Hunter Biden used his family name and political connections to advance his business interests in Ukraine. America, at present, is helping Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars in aid and weapons supply in its war against Russia. The laptop also contained “a trove of emails, text messages, photos and financial documents exchanged between Hunter, his family and business associates,” according to the New York Post.
Censored by Twitter and media companies, this story could have negatively affected Joe Biden’s electoral prospects. The American Big Tech and media companies ignored the story even after the 2020 presidential elections, pretending nothing happened. Dozens of US intelligence officers signed a letter calling the Post story “Russian misinformation.”
The New York Times eventually but quietly confirmed the Post story’s validity and the laptop’s existence in 2022.
Twitter, on its part, locked the New York Post’s handle, making it impossible for the Post to publish a series of nocuous stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Twitter also banned other users from sharing the story on its platform, even via direct messages. Twitter claimed that the news story violated the company’s “hacked material” policy.
Musk sought reputed independent journalist Matt Taibbi’s help unloading Twitter’s internal communications. “The Twitter Files, Part One: How and Why Twitter Blocked the Hunter Biden Laptop Story,” Taibbi tweeted. Hashtags TwitterFiles and TwitterGate trended on Twitter for some time.
The document shared by Taibbi showed requests for deleting tweets were quite regular. Many proposals, some in bulk, were promptly “handled” by sympathetic employees connected to the Democrats. “By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine,” tweeted Taibbi. One executive would write to another: “More to review from the Biden team.” The reply would come back: “Handled.”
8. By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive would write to another: “More to review from the Biden team.” The reply would come back: “Handled.” pic.twitter.com/mnv0YZI4af
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 2, 2022
One of the key figures in this censorship episode appears to be Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top lawyer. Gadde was the general counsel and head of legal, policy, and trust at Twitter before she was fired within hours of Musk taking over Twitter.
“The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with the former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role,” Taibbi tweeted. Gadde allegedly played a significant role in the permanent banning of then-President Donald Trump. She also traveled to India in 2018 with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. She was photographed standing with Dorsey when he held that now infamous anti-Brahmin and Hinduphobic placard that read “Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy.”
23. The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 3, 2022
Taibbi’s tweet had an intriguing mention of California Democrat Ro Khanna (CA-17). A member of the so-called ‘Samosa Caucus,’ Khanna is one of the most prominent progressive US House of Representatives members with presidential ambitions. Taibbi shared an email that suggested Rep. Ro Khanna reached out to Twitter’s Gadde on the issue of the Post ban. “Khanna was the only Democratic official I could find in the files who expressed concern [about free speech and First Amendment],” Taibbi noted.
However, the documents shared by Taibbi in this matter suggest that Khanna was probably tipping his friends in the company about a possible “backlash on hill (sic) re (sic) speech” more than his concern for free speech. Interestingly, Khanna used his personal Gmail account to communicate with Gadde. He did not raise public questions as a House of Representatives member.
In a subsequent email shared by Taibbi, Khanna asks Gadde to keep the communication “between just us and Jack [Twitter CEO] and no need to cc the team or forward to them.”
32.Khanna tries to reroute the conversation to the First Amendment, mention of which is generally hard to find in the files: pic.twitter.com/Tq6l7VMuQL
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 3, 2022
While Taibbi’s ‘Twitter Files’ tweets painted Gadde as the ringleader in a censorship scheme, Taibbi seems to be giving the former Twitter CEO Dorsey a pass from any accountability. If anything, Dorsey comes across as a weak leader who did not confront Gadde or hold her accountable for her actions.
Regardless, the actions of some deranged power-hungry leftwing Big Tech executives, especially at Twitter, may have changed the outcome of an election and, subsequently, the course of history. We would never know. However, these recent revelations allow us to pause and ponder the power the Big Tech companies exert in dictating our lives and future.
It also gives us a chance to course-correct.