Many people, including US lawmakers, say that recent revelations from Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk and journalist Matt Taibbi about the platform’s censorship practices have confirmed what they already knew: that Washington Democrats have colluded with social media, to suspend accounts and quell unfavorable news, like the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020.
In a series of 40 tweets entitled “Twitter files,” Taibbi detailed how politicians, celebrities and other influential people have urged Twitter leadership to censor certain posts on the platform. Taibi said the inquiries had come from both sides of the political aisle, but Democrats had used their insider power far more often due to the left-leaning tendencies of former Twitter employees.
“By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive wrote to another: ‘More to review from Biden team.’ The answer would come back: ‘Done,'” Taibbi said in a tweet.
8. By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive wrote to another, “More to review from the Biden team.” The response would come back, “Done.” pic.twitter.com/mnv0YZI4af
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 2, 2022
Perhaps the most egregious example was that just months before the 2020 presidential election, Twitter not only censored any mention of Hunter Biden’s laptop, but also suspended the New York Post account for first publishing the story.the laptop from hell.”
Twitter claimed the story violated its policy to post “hacked” materials – a justification that now looks more like a politically calculated excuse.
“‘They just did it freelance,’ is how a former employee characterized the decision,” Taibbi continued. “Hacking was the excuse, but within hours pretty much everyone realized it wasn’t going to last. But nobody had the courage to undo it.”
24. “They just did it freelance,” said one former employee, characterizing the decision. “Hacking was the excuse, but within hours pretty much everyone realized it wasn’t going to last. But nobody had the courage to undo it.”
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 3, 2022
In the fickle aftermath of the story’s suppression, Taibbi pointed to internal filings showing Democratic lawmakers still wanted more moderation from Twitter, with some saying “the First Amendment is not absolute.”
36.Twitter files continued:
“THE FIRST CHANGE IS NOT ABSOLUTE”
Szabo’s letter contains chilling passages that reflect the attitude of Democratic lawmakers. They want ‘more’ moderation, and the Bill of Rights is ‘not absolute’ pic.twitter.com/cWdNYIprp8
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 3, 2022
Musk and Taibbi have promised to release more bombastic news about Twitter’s censorship, but the early revelations have already sparked an outcry from Republican lawmakers for a formal investigation and reform of laws related to social media moderation practices.
“Over the weekend we learned that Big Tech worked together to hide Hunter Biden’s laptop history. In just 29 days [the House GOP] will begin work to hold them accountable and get answers for the American people,” US Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) tweeted.
Over the weekend, we learned that Big Tech worked together to hide Hunter Biden’s laptop history. In just 29 days @HouseGOP will begin work to hold them accountable and get answers for the American people.
— Rep. Jerry Carl (@RepJerryCarl) December 5, 2022
“It is now crystal clear that concerns about a collusion between Biden and Big Tech were legitimate, but it is telling that the mainstream media continues to ignore this historic and monumental story or is actively working to bury this historic and monumental story,” said US Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise). 1819 news. “In January, when the Republicans take over the House of Representatives, we will get to work immediately and give the American people the oversight and answers they deserve.”
US Senator-elect Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) reiterated Moore’s commitment to address the issue in the next session of Congress: “The Twitter files confirm what we already knew to be true: that big tech was systematically colluding with their allies in the Democratic Party has Help them control the public space, gain power and win elections… I look forward to congressional hearings getting to the bottom of what is happening at Twitter in 2020, as well as examining the practices of other social media and ensuring transparency and accountability.
“My message to my friends across the aisle is this: Censorship of conservatives is far from progressive. Diversity of thought and opinion are pillars of America, and the free flow of speech, ideas, and information is critical to our democratic process. We should be encouraging, not stifling, debate and the exchange of opposing viewpoints. There is no doubt that what Twitter has done in 2020 has undermined many Americans’ confidence in our elections and our institutions. Our country’s leaders have a responsibility, on an impartial basis, to strengthen our processes and our laws to restore that trust and ensure this never happens again. To that end, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to achieve much-needed reforms of Section 230.
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