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Biden Campaign had Twitter scrub Hunter Biden content just days before 2020 election

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Hunter Biden

As part of his new position as CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk is releasing a series of contents deemed “The Twitter Files.” Among them is an email from October 24, 2020 right before the presidential election.

The email is a plea from the “Biden team” directly from his campaign, asking Twitter to scrub information on Hunter Biden from the internet. The email requested at least five specific tweets be removed, and was forwarded by a Twitter employee who added the phrase “more to review from the Biden team.” “Handled,” was the reply.

Three tweets featured scandalous graphic images of the president’s son posing with his genitalia exposed. Also on October 24, the Democratic National Committee requested two tweets related to Hunter Biden be removed. One was a parody Biden presidential ad displaying his son smoking what appears to be a crack pipe.

The damning content of Hunter Biden was found on an abandoned laptop computer at a Delaware repair shop in April 2019. Journalist Matt Taibbi has screened internal Twitter documents which show exactly how Twitter “gradually expanded its content-moderation regime to include obliging ad hoc requests from executives and political operatives from the Biden and Trump teams to delete content they deemed objectionable.”

Elon Musk peaked the public’s interest during a Twitter response to Alex Lorusso, an executive producer at Newsmax who Tweeted:

“Raise your hand if you think @ElonMusk should make public all internal discussions about the decision to censor the @NYPost’s story on Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 Election in the interest of Transparency.”

Musk responded: “This is necessary to restore public trust.”

National Review reports “there was also great internal confusion and disorganization among Twitter management over the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell back in October 2020. Twitter staff and leadership were caught in what appeared to be a tug-of-war over formulating the public justification to remove the New York Post’s exposé of the contents of the laptop.” National Review writes:

The decision to stifle access to the report, including by blocking the posting of URLs to it, was made by top leadership of the company but without the knowledge of former CEO Jack Dorsey, according to Taibbi. Former head of legal, policy, and trust Vijaya Gadde was allegedly intimately involved.

“They just freelanced it,” a former Twitter employee reportedly told Taibbi of Twitter’s justification for censoring the scoop. “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.”
Chaos ensued at Twitter as the move to suppress the story came under intense scrutiny. In an email addressed to Gadde and former trust and safety chief Yoel Roth, who led the team that suppressed the story, Trenton Kennedy, former U.S. policy communications manager at Twitter, expressed befuddlement over the company’s public communications characterizing the story as dangerous for viewers.

“I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this unsafe, and I think the best explainability argument for this externally would be that we’re waiting to understand if this story is the result of hacked materials,” Kennedy wrote to senior staff. “We’ll face hard questions on this if we don’t have some kind of solid reasoning for marking the link unsafe.”

An analyst from Twitter’s global escalations team confirmed that initially, the story was scrapped on the grounds that it violated the company’s “hacked materials” policy.

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