NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
One of the most extraordinary moments in the history of social media is unfolding right now as we speak and it began when Elon Musk took control of Twitter. When he bought the company, he promised to reveal its corruption, the extent to which Twitter had engaged in politically motivated censorship, including the unlawful, the illegal censorship, of American citizens at the direction of the U.S. government.
Well, tonight, less than an hour ago, Musk began to make good on that promise. Twitter shared a trove of internal documents with Matt Taibbi of Substack. Those documents are coming out again as we speak, and what they have proved so far is very serious. Those documents show a systemic violation of the first amendment, the largest example of that in modern history.
These documents show that, among other things, political officials in the Democratic National Committee were directing censorship at Twitter ahead of the 2020 election. One Twitter official wrote on October 24, 2020, that he had received, “an additional report from the DNC.” So, the DNC was telling Twitter what to pull off of the site and Twitter was complying. Next morning, to prove it, a Twitter official confirmed the post had been deleted. “I grabbed the first one,” that Twitter employee wrote.
Twitter was also following instructions directly from the Biden campaign in the final days of the presidential campaign. One of the documents proves that officials on the Biden team routinely directed Twitter to remove posts that reflected poorly on Joe Biden. “More to review from the Biden team,” read one internal email from a Twitter employee just days before the 2020 election. That email included a list of several Twitter accounts that have criticized Joe Biden. The reply? “Handled. We just checked.” Now those accounts remain suspended today.
Elon Musk has altered Twitter’s verification policies. (Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency)
Twitter was permanently censoring users at the request of the DNC and the Biden campaign. That is new. Many suspected it. Now, it has been absolutely confirmed by internal documents and, of course, the New York Post Twitter account was banned. Why? Because they had a story that might have changed the outcome of the 2020 election and Twitter knew that perfectly well.
They had accurate information about Hunter Biden’s laptop. The Post reporting directly implicated Joe Biden and the Biden family in an ongoing scheme to sell influence to leverage Biden’s job as a government official to sell the prestige and the power of the U.S. government to China and Ukraine.
That scheme, that ongoing scheme that unfolded over years, made the Biden family millions of dollars. 10% of that money was reserved, as you know, for “The Big Guy,” meaning Joe Biden. That was information that might have changed the outcome of the election and that is precisely why Twitter prevented its users from reading it. Twitter went so far as to block its users from privately sharing the New York Post story on Twitter direct message. Anyone attempting to share the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was told it was unsafe.
Now that measure preventing users from sharing information privately is something that Twitter reserves in normal circumstances only in the most extreme cases, Taibbi writes, like stopping the transmission of child pornography. But in this case, information that might have hurt Joe Biden’s chances of becoming president were invoked and they were applied even to the sitting president’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany.
Internally, Taibbi writes, “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.” All suspected, now confirmed.
Now in public, Twitter and its many allies in the rest of the media claimed that the New York Post story violated the hacked materials policy that Twitter had on its books, but internally at Twitter, everyone understood that was just a pretext. That laptop had not been hacked and it wasn’t of Russian origin. By the way. As of right now, (It’s 8:04 eastern time) there is no evidence in this ongoing thread from Matt Taibbi that Twitter had received confirmation from the U.S. government even that the laptop was fake or from Russia. They just made it up.
According to Taibbi, one official admitted that “hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone at Twitter realized that wasn’t going to hold, but no one had the guts to reverse it.” One communications official at Twitter, Trenton Kennedy, wrote this: “I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this” (the laptop story) “as unsafe.”
Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, explained that Twitter had to censor the story so that Donald Trump would not be re-elected president. “The policy basis is hacked material, though, as discussed, this is an emerging situation where the facts remain unclear given the SEVERE risks here and the lessons of 2016,” (meaning Trump could get elected) “we’re erring on the side of including a warning and preventing this content from being amplified.”
This played out to some extent in public. Now we know what was happening within Twitter, but the whole country knew that something was being censored. A lot of people couldn’t read it, but it was widely known that Twitter was censoring this and so, by the way, were many other news organizations. And at that time, Twitter received a communication from a consultant in Washington who had taken an informal poll of members of Congress, Democrats, and the message this person sent to Twitter was Democrats in Congress support the censorship. We’re quoting: “They don’t think the First Amendment is absolute.” Huh?
In other words, sitting members of Congress were encouraging censorship to affect the outcome of a presidential election. That is illegal. It is effectively election rigging, and it is a direct attack on our Bill of Rights by people who have sworn to uphold the Bill of Rights. You’ve got to hope someone will be held accountable for this.
Back to the documents. Within Twitter, others, presumably all voting Democrats, but some with some integrity, kept raising questions about this. Former vice president of global communications, Brandon Borrman, asked, “Can we truthfully claim this is part of the policy?”
In other words, is this consistent with the rules? Then the general counsel of Twitter, Jim Baker – that would be the former FBI general counsel who was directly involved in the FBI’s interview with Michael Flynn when his life was destroyed for political reasons – signed off on the continued censorship. The former FBI official signed off. “Caution is warranted,” said Baker. Let’s hope we hear from Mr. Baker in a congressional hearing very soon.
U.S. Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna expressed concerns over Twitter’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story. (Reuters)
Throughout all of this, the record shows, at least as of right now, only one elected official in the entire Democratic Party, that would be Ro Khanna of Silicon Valley, a Democrat, voicing any concern at all. So, Khanna reached out to Vijaya Gadde and here’s what he wrote: “This seems to be a violation of the First Amendment principles… I say this as a total Biden partisan.” But he was completely blown off by Vijaya Gadde.
By the way, good for him. He’s a liberal, too, but apparently sort of a real one. Within days, someone called Carl Szabo with the research firm NetChoice, advised Twitter executives that on Capitol Hill, Democrats are very happy with this. They supported the censorship.
So as we said, this thread exposing internal documents from Twitter as transcribed with commentary by Matt Taibbi is still ongoing. It is still flowing forth as we speak. We’re bringing you information as it comes.
Tucker Carlson currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Tucker Carlson Tonight (weekdays 8PM/ET). He joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.