Election Coverage / Government Watch / Politics

Twitter Files Setting Stage for Reckoning on 2020 Election Interference

AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

Twitter

New Twitter owner Elon Musk set the internet ablaze Friday afternoon by suddenly announcing that, after reviewing the company’s internal documents, the public would soon learn “what really happened with the Hunter Biden story suppression by Twitter.” A few hours later, journalist Matt Taibbi (to whom Musk had presumably given the documents) released a roughly 40-tweet thread in what Musk hinted was just the first installation of “The Twitter Files.”

In the end, the series of screenshots and revelations that Taibbi published wasn’t the “smoking gun” that many conservatives had hoped would take down Big Tech, the Democratic Party, and the mainstream media in one fell swoop. But the Twitter thread nonetheless confirmed long-held suspicions about collusion between Big Tech and elected Democrats, and it proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Twitter “moderators” indeed suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story two years ago without any reason to believe that the story was false or “Russian disinformation.” Perhaps more importantly, Musk’s courageous effort to expose censorship and election meddling has now thrust the issue back to the forefront of the national conversation, paving the way for conservatives in both the media and Congress to continue their struggle against the enemies of free speech.

Taibbi’s Twitter thread began by recounting how Twitter’s “moderation” tools, originally designed to keep content like direct threats of violence and child pornography off the site, eventually evolved into a way for Democrats to outsource censorship to Twitter’s left-wing staff. “More to review from the Biden team,” read one screenshot from October 2020, followed by a series of links that led to posts showing images from the now-infamous Hunter Biden laptop. “Handled,” came the reply a few hours later, presumably indicating that the Biden team’s request to remove the posts had been granted.

As Taibbi recounts, the suppression of the New York Post bombshell story that first broke news of the laptop was only the culmination of a years-long censorship campaign by Twitter staff. When the story was released just a few weeks before the election, internal emails show that it sent Twitter staff into a frenzy, grasping for any justification to block distribution of the article or even mention of the story. This effort resulted in the suspension of the New York Post’s entire account, as well as the account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and many other high-profile conservatives.

Initially, the excuse for blocking discussion of the story on Twitter was that the laptop contained “hacked materials.” The only problem, as internal company emails show, is that there was absolutely no evidence that any of the laptop’s contents were hacked. “They just freelanced it,” one employee told Taibbi. “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.”

Communications between top figures at Twitter and Democratic lawmakers in Congress soon after Twitter censored the story confirm what conservatives have long suspected – Democrats and Twitter employees knew that there was no legitimate justification to suppress the story, but Twitter plowed ahead anyway. One unexpected hero of the saga is progressive Congressman Ro Khanna of California, who wrote to Twitter General Counsel Vijaya Gadde that Twitter’s suppression of the story “seems a violation of the 1st Amendment principles… in the heat of a Presidential campaign, restricting dissemination of newspaper articles (even if NY Post is far right) seems like it will invite more backlash than it will do good.” Other Democrats warned that a “bloodbath” awaited Twitter and other Big Tech executives in hearings on Capitol Hill.

Ultimately however, Khanna kept his reservations between himself and Gadde, while other Democrats and the mainstream media continued to lend credence to the narrative that the laptop was “hacked materials” or “Russian disinformation.” The story was effectively scrubbed from the airwaves until after the election, when Twitter and multiple media outlets who attempted to discredit the story begrudgingly issued mea culpas.

An important detail missing – at least from this first chapter of “The Twitter Files” – is a direct link between Twitter employees and government actors in agencies like the FBI or the White House. We know from this tranche of screenshots that members of Biden’s campaign team requested that Twitter remove specific posts and high-profile accounts talking about the story. New York Post columnist Miranda Devine has also claimed that she has seen a sworn affidavit from the Twitter executive ultimately responsible for censoring the story that shows he had met with the FBI and other intelligence officials who had warned him “specifically of what they called a hack and leak operation, a dump of Russian disinformation” involving Hunter Biden, although that document has not been released publicly. What isn’t 100 percent clear yet is if federal bureaucrats specifically requested back in 2020 that Twitter censor the story, or if Biden White House officials – many of whom worked with Twitter to suppress the laptop story while they were on the Biden campaign – have continued to work with Twitter in their official capacity as public servants to censor information.

Those details may be well on the way, and Musk has already promised “Episode 2” of The Twitter Files in the coming days. But nonetheless, Taibbi’s reporting delivered an important bath of sunlight in confirming collusion between the Biden campaign and Twitter employees. For perhaps the first time, the public got a glimpse into the censorship machine inside a Big Tech company and was able to see the direct links between Big Tech executives and Democrat politicians.

It is also important to keep in mind that the “laptop from hell” is just one small part of a much larger story that is not confined to just Twitter. Exposing how censorship works at Twitter may be the key to revealing similar operations at Facebook, Google, and other Big Tech companies. With a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives set to take power in January, there is now clear momentum and public support for inquiries into potential First Amendment violations at Big Tech companies, as well as congressional legislation to protect online speech from political censorship. Amid other revelations about censorship campaigns taking place within the career federal bureaucracy, several congressional Republicans are already agitating for investigations.

In the years ahead, Americans may look back on this moment as the beginning of the end of Big Tech’s covert censorship regime. “The idea here is to come clean on everything that has happened in the past in order to build public trust for the future,” Musk said during a Twitter Spaces discussion on Friday shortly after Taibbi finished his reporting. So far, so good.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_.


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A Voter
1 month ago

The only reckoning taking place is me reckoning the republicans will serve up a platter full of lip service without a drink to wash it down.

A Voter
1 month ago

We are always promised by both sides that there is going to be a revaluation coming. In the end it just kind of peters out to a dribble of stuff we already know. The smoking gun? I think it will be more like the gun has icicles hanging off the barrel.

SJVan
1 month ago

Now do something about it!!!! We the people need honesty within the government and the news media!

Rob citizenship
1 month ago

In the spirit of a general observation and a suggestion for communication involving complex issues – the fundamentals of good management involve planning, organizing, coordination of what is planned and organized , and scheduling . All of those procedures are connected by clear, intelligent communication in order for good decisions to be made, so that good management is achieved. Reference to historical facts, to ethics, to standards, and respect for the will of God are always a good addition to whatever is under consideration. The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights are good examples of clear, intelligent communication and are at the foundation of what the United States of America is all about.
With a genuine faith in God and respect for truth I believe that those of us who value freedom will prevail . I appreciate AMAC for being the organization that is , great to have a free speech forum such as this.

Rob citizenship
1 month ago

First a correction to comment sent earlier, last sentence should read “I appreciate AMAC for being the organization that it is, great to have a free speech forum such as this. ” Sometimes the gears don’t seem to mesh as they should on this mobile phone , hence some errors due to distractions. To Shane Harris , I think you did real good with the article about the Twitter files.

GTPatriot
1 month ago

Does anyone really think the the Warnock-Walker vote means anything ? I don’t

GTPatriot
1 month ago

Musk may be the guy to take these facts and mash the Dims face in them and thus expose some of
the corruption in the DC-Media-Big Tech consortium ( 5% ?) but be assured that our congress will
expose nothing. Musk has upset the crooked DC equilibrium but we all know that the congress will
continue to go along to get along.

John Samples
1 month ago
Reply to  GTPatriot

I agree. I don’t think anything will change and no one will be held accountable. I hope I am wrong.

David Millikan
1 month ago

We all know that DICTATOR Beijing biden is a Illegitimate and Unconstitutional president.
He and his party not only cheated but committed fraud with election interference.
Especially, the interference with Hunter’s Laptop on Twitter, FASCISTBOOK, and TikTok not to mention the FAKE News.
Not only is this Election Fraud but
TREASON.
ARE YOU, AMERICA, GOING TO KEEP EXCEPTING THIS FRAUD FOR a President AND KEEP LETTING DICTATOR Beijing biden and HIS COMMUNIST PARTY CONTINUE
DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY?

Walter
1 month ago
Reply to  David Millikan

Right on! But JB and his Communist Party seem to be protected by the Corrupt FBI & Judges. These traitors need to be rounded up, removed from office immediately and sent to prison. The Legal American citizens have little representation, protection and our rights are being diminished. True Communism. Who the heck voted for JB anyway? Our voting is nothing but a scam. President Trump should be our President now. JB really got 81M votes, more than any other President, give me a break! Name three things JB has done for America. I can’t think of anything. Seems to me he and his crime family were bought & paid for by the Communists. The FBI should be all over this.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Walter

You flunked basic civics. You should retake it.

Walter
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

I hear you. Not to make a big thing of it, I did take CIVICS in HS. I passed. Do they even teach it anymore? Actually, at 70 years old, I guess I could revisit CIVICS, if it is offered, it has been a long time and I am open to it. Perhaps you got an A in Civics. Because you are concerned about my educational background, FYI: I have 2 BS & 1 MS degrees. I did not take CIVICS in College, not sure if it was even taught. I focused more on the medical field. Overall graduating with a 3.9, always in the top of my classes, including my military service, how about you? While in the military and guarding other countries borders from the Communists, we never got a Civics briefing, nor did we care to. We had enough on our plate. Just saying. I just hate Communist traitors representing our Great Country.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  David Millikan

Every statement in your post is a lie. Every one.

Infrastructure package
American Rescue Plan
Safer Communities Act
COVID-19 relief
Strengthened NATO alliances
Inflation Reduction Act
CHIPS Act

Just a few of President Biden’s many major accomplishments.

MOcountry
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Sarcasm, right!?

El Ey
1 month ago
Reply to  MOcountry

This Mike guy must be taking some kind of drugs that makes him hallucinate. I feel bad and sorry for him, however, let’s pray and hope that Mike will see the truth and become a better person.

Cheryl
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

You are not serious are you?

George
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

And putting us so far in debt, we will be lucky if we ever get out. vote buying plain and simple! he is owned by Russia and China! Just keep drinking the koolaide, cupcake! It is hard to believe people like you exist!

Andrew P
1 month ago

I think a bigger factor in the 2020 election was Trump’s refusal to do the 2nd (virtual) debate, which was scheduled at a time when millions were already sending in mail-in ballots. Trump could have brought up the Hunter laptop before people voted by mail, but chose not to do so.

Steve
1 month ago

This makes Watergate look like child’s play. If the Republicans don’t investigate, indict and prosecute those involved, this country is finished

PaulE
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Republicans can investigate all they want on anything they want. However, Congress has NO POWER to indict or prosecute anyone for anything. Congress can refer individuals or companies to the DOJ or the FBI for further investigation and potential indictment and prosecution sighting specific violations of law as the basis, but that is about it. Congress regularly does such referrals to the DOJ and FBI for criminal activities they uncover during hearings. However, it is up the the DOJ or the FBI, which fall under the Executive Branch NOT the Legislative Branch as to what, if any, further action they will actually pursue. In the vast majority of such referrals when high-ranking Democrats or “friends” (major Democrat donors, corporate supporters of the Democrats, family members of the Democrats, members of the administrative state closely aligned or part of carrying out questionable or illegal Democrat policies) of high-ranking Democrats are involved, the DOJ or the FBI simply decides to take no action. In other words, the DOJ or the FBI simply give Republicans in Congress the middle finger and the unspoken message to go pound sand. This is why endless Congressional hearings tends to be a counter-productive exercise. They can identify the corrupt and the criminal, but they have NO POWER beyond that.

john
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

I am afraid that you are correct, and we will need a new AG who is willing to indict!

El Ey
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Joe Biden MUST be investigated and answer who is the BIG GUY and explain the 10 percent.

Enema4Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Republicans need to grow some balls and fight back… but in the end politicians are simply too self serving and really don’t care about average Americans….they could make a big advance by removing Mitch McConnell types.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

John Paul Mac Isaac should be investigated and jailed for theft.

Michael Lewis
1 month ago

Why shouldn’t the following SNL skit be considered a political ad requiring attribution and cost reporting to the Federal Election Commission?
‘SNL’ takes jabs at Herschel Walker, Ye in Georgia Senate runoff cold open freep.com/story/entertainment/tv/2022/12/04/snl-takes-jabs-herschel-walker-georgia-senate-runoff-cold-open/10831305002/

Corporate media were exempted from campaign laws because government could not infringe on their 1st Amendment rights. However, if the 1st Amendment defined the institutional press as the definition of press, there would be no need to exempt them from campaign law:
52 U.S. Code § 30101 – Definitions (9)(B) The term “expenditure” does not include— (i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; – law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/52/30101
52 U.S. Code § 30101 created a “Royal”, “State Approved” press!
if candidates and political parties have to pay for time/space in the media, then editorials have political value. The “press exemption” insures the corporate voice retains more influence than the voice of the electorate.
To restore equal rights to citizens, federal candidates, political parties and PACs “We the People” should ask our representatives in the Senate and House to revisit the “Free All Speech Act of 2014.” 

Honey
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Lewis

SNL on this past Saturday was the least funny i have ever seen. It had weird writing. The opening sequence was perfect fodder for mocking the left wing candidate and they don’t see that. His wife’s complaint and what he wants to do to us economically and the fact that he was a rubber stamp for the left wing destructive Biden administration, are all good things to mock. But the lefties of SNL only see comedy on one side. That is why their writing is trash and not funny.
There was one good joke in the news segment. I forget the opening about something with an initial being considered racist so they changed it., but then what does the N in an n95 mask stand for?

Robin W Boyd
1 month ago

A most important factor of this released information is that Twitter was used as a misinformation network by conspiring with Democrats and Big Tech companies with the purpose of swaying votes for elections. Twitter was the U.S. Pravda.

PaulE
1 month ago
Reply to  Robin W Boyd

This is NOT just a Twitter story, but rather a view into how ALL the large social media sites were used to manipulate voter views ahead of national elections. This was done by withholding or calling into question anything that would have had a potential negative impact on either Joe Biden or the Democrat narrative in general leading up to elections.

Both Alphabet, via its Google and YouTube subsidiaries, as well as Zuckerberg’s Facebook did the exact same thing as Twitter in terms of suppressing anything that might be detrimental to Joe Biden and the Democrats. Bury it or falsely discredit it was the operative mission. Yes this is actual manipulation of votes by withholding information from the public that would lead to other outcomes. Multiple polls have been conducted since the 2020 elections and up to 20% of people say they would have changed how they voted had they known the Biden laptop was true at the time. So Joe Biden owes a big part of why he is sitting in the White House today to this intentional manipulation of information by the large social media companies. Both Alphabet, via Google and YouTube, as well as Facebook still continue to routinely censor anything the Democrat Party wants suprressed from the public even today.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 month ago

For speaking the truth or my opinion, I get red flagged on AOL. My cousins husband is banned on Facebook. Yes censorship is alive and well by these big tech people. Kyle L.

Robin W Boyd
1 month ago

Hopefully, when other social media sites see progress in Twitter from Twitter reducing bias as much as can be hoped for, they too will start to be less biased and stop censoring US. One can hope.

SAW
1 month ago

I like Musk’s slow rollout of whatever information he has. Send it out a little at a time and then lets see how the Dems fumble around and react at their press conferences with little miss Muppet! Then toss out some more, and again and again.

Not even imagining yet what will come out of Brandon’s mouth as he gets cross examined by the (honest) press whenever he steps out in public!!

I’m liking this big time. Merry Christmas to all!

Veteran
1 month ago
Reply to  SAW

Their whole administration consists of nothing but a ventriloquist dummy and a bunch of Muppets. The dummy has Obama’s hand so far up his wazoo he can wiggle his tongue whenever he wants, unfortunately for Obama is not very good at it, as is true for just about anything. He should have stuck to aggravating his retirement Secret Service detail, and having beer summits with the Muppets!

Chris Cha
1 month ago
Reply to  SAW

If there’s any heat at all that actually comes from these revelations, Biden will just hide in his basement again. Remember, Democrats never get held accountable.

grin n bear it
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Cha

They are just like soros,,bho etc..
besides everything just slides off.
as long as we have our kids brainwashed in school
by communist TEACHERS, what do you expect??
COMMON CORE anyone!!

LiamL
1 month ago

Govt and corporations joining forces happened before in modern history, Germany 1930’s. Think about it and where we’re headed.

PaulE
1 month ago
Reply to  LiamL

Already there.

Veteran
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

Only Joseph Goebbels was no Miss Muppet, he was scary; and Chris Wray would look cheesy in black with lots of silver.

Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

Yet, WE are the fascists. Almost laughable!

Elizabeth Cheever
1 month ago

One lie is a trust breaker. Losing trust is easy. To regain trust is a difficult journey back. To the politicians of our country…..be sure your sins will always find you out. It may take a minute or two but eventually, the lies and deceit will surface somewhere, somehow, by someone. Good job Mr. Musk!!

Mike
1 month ago

Trump made his billionth lie yet?

H.L.Howell
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

troll

Sara
1 month ago

I DID NOT ALREADY VOTE AMAC!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get so tired of you doing this to me. Elizabeth, your comment vote SHOULD BE 18.

PaulE
1 month ago

Rather than rely on these shallow articles lightly touching on the contents of the Twitter files Elon Musk started releasing last Friday, I recommend people actually spend the time to read through some of this information themselves. That is if they really care about what both social media and the administrative state of the federal government did to manipulate the outcome of the 2020 election to ensure Joe Biden was installed in the White House.

It details not only the intentional bias and manipulation carried out by Twitter employees to suppress information that would have cost Joe Biden the 2020 election, but it also highlights the depths various agencies (FBI, CIA, DOJ and others) and personnel of the federal government took to ensure Joe Biden would replace Donald Trump in the White House. With more releases of information from Twitter coming in the near term, Elon Musk is doing more to shine the bright light of truth on the whole stinking organized coup than Congress could ever hope to uncover in the next 2 years of dog and pony show congressional hearings.

Unfortunately, the way Washington works no one will be held accountable or suffer any real consequences for their actions. It’s not that laws weren’t broken, but rather that there is no political will to address the rule of law when it comes to either protected high-level Democrats or the administrative state as a whole. Of course the American people could raise a real stink and be highly vocal about this to force action on the part of politicians, but that’s not the American people of today. We’ve become a much more docile and compliant people (sheep) willing to take anything.

Still it is good to see someone like Elon Musk standing up and keeping his word on disclosing this information and standing up for free speech. It just goes to show that people born in other countries value the rights and freedoms that the United States offers more than a lot of Americans apparently do.

PIDL
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

And they use the prosecution of the Jan 6 defendents to scare all of us into submission. Eventually, we have to stop being scared of them. But how do we overcome their power?

Lee M
1 month ago

Now the MSM will censor THIS story about censorship. Until this stuff is seen on every possible platform, for the uneducated masses to see, it will just be irrelevant. That should be the next target.

KJHanover
1 month ago

Add this to the fraudulent voting practices and oh boy. They wanted to make sure President Trump lost, in any way they had to. Republicans need to get their dead asses in gear for a change.

El Ey
1 month ago
Reply to  KJHanover

Republicans must stop playing nicey-nicey with the democrats/liberals/progressives thinking that democrats will act the same way. NO, democrats/liberals/progressives will just take advantage and gloat.

Sara
1 month ago
Reply to  KJHanover

I FREAKING DID NOT ALREADY VOTE ON THIS AMAC. SOMEONE THERE IS AN ABSOLUTE FREAKING IDIOT. KJHANOVER, YOUR PLUS COMMENT SHOULD BE 34.

KJHanover
1 month ago

So now ANOTHER ‘investigation’ on what’s already been investigated. An investigation that stretches out forever and nothing will ever be done.

Laura
1 month ago

Good for Elon Musk. I love this guy!

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Laura

You’ll hate him before long. He will say 468 MAGA approved statements but his 469th statement will be against MAGA and you will hate him.

H.L.Howell
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

troll

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