Hunter Biden Laptop Twitter Document Release: Elon Musk Live Tweets

hunter biden twitter document release

Getty Hunter Biden

Elon Musk announced that he would live tweet the release of documents relating to the Hunter Biden laptop story, which he says Twitter suppressed. When the time came, he retweeted a “Twitter Files” thread by journalist and podcaster Matt Taibbi that contained new claims and documents about Twitter and the Biden story.

You can see the Taibbi tweets and documents throughout this story. The live tweets name the high-level Twitter employees involved in the Hunter Biden laptop story, which Twitter blocked people from sharing.

Critics of Musk argued that suppressed tweets included nude photos of Hunter Biden.

Musk originally tweeted that the release would start at 5 p.m. on the east coast on Friday, December 2, 2022, but then said it was delayed about 40 minutes so facts could be checked.

You can find Musk’s Twitter page here. Musk retweeted this Twitter Files thread, where Taibbi was live tweeting the documents.

Here’s what you need to know:

Taibbi Tweeted a Chronology of the Hunter Biden Story

Taibbi tweeted:

“On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published BIDEN SECRET EMAILS, an expose based on the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop.”

“Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe.’ They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.”

“White House spokeswoman Kaleigh McEnany was locked out of her account for tweeting about the story, prompting a furious letter from Trump campaign staffer Mike Hahn, who seethed: ‘At least pretend to care for the next 20 days.’”

“This led public policy executive Caroline Strom to send out a polite WTF query. Several employees noted that there was tension between the comms/policy teams, who had little/less control over moderation, and the safety/trust teams.”

“Strom’s note returned the answer that the laptop story had been removed for violation of the company’s ‘hacked materials’ policy.”

Taibbi tweeted out a document in which Ops analyst Elaine Ong Sotto responded to Strom, “Per checking, the user was bounced by Site Integrity for violating our Hacked Materials policy. Adding them here for further insights and guidance.”

Continued Taibbi: “Although several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence – that I’ve seen – of any government involvement in the laptop story. In fact, that might have been the problem…”

“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.”

‘They Just Freelanced It,’ Taibbi Quoted an Anonymous Former Employee as Saying

“’They just freelanced it,’ is how one former employee characterized the decision. ‘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,'” Taibbi wrote.

He continued:

“You can see the confusion in the following lengthy exchange, which ends up including Gadde and former Trust and safety chief Yoel Roth. Comms official Trenton Kennedy writes, ‘I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe.'”

“By this point ‘everyone knew this was f*****,’ said one former employee, but the response was essentially to err on the side of… continuing to err.”

“Former VP of Global Comms Brandon Borrman asks, ‘Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?'”

“To which former Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker again seems to advise staying the non-course, because ‘caution is warranted.'”

“A fundamental problem with tech companies and content moderation: many people in charge of speech know/care little about speech, and have to be told the basics by outsiders.”

“In one humorous exchange on day 1, Democratic congressman Ro Khanna reaches out to Gadde to gently suggest she hop on the phone to talk about the ‘backlash re speech.’ Khanna was the only Democratic official I could find in the files who expressed concern.”

“Gadde replies quickly, immediately diving into the weeds of Twitter policy, unaware Khanna is more worried about the Bill of Rights.”

“Khanna tries to reroute the conversation to the First Amendment, mention of which is generally hard to find in the files.”

“Within a day, head of Public Policy Lauren Culbertson receives a ghastly letter/report from Carl Szabo of the research firm NetChoice, which had already polled 12 members of congress – 9 Rs and 3 Democrats, from ‘the House Judiciary Committee to Rep. Judy Chu’s office.'”

“NetChoice lets Twitter know a ‘blood bath’ awaits in upcoming Hill hearings, with members saying it’s a ‘tipping point,’ complaining tech has ‘grown so big that they can’t even regulate themselves, so government may need to intervene.'”

“Szabo reports to Twitter that some Hill figures are characterizing the laptop story as ‘tech’s Access Hollywood moment.'”

“‘THE FIRST AMENDMENT ISN’T ABSOLUTE’ Szabo’s letter contains chilling passages relaying Democratic lawmakers’ attitudes. They want ‘more’ moderation, and as for the Bill of Rights, it’s ‘not absolute.'”

Taibbi Discusses the Lack of Knowledge by Then Twitter Leader Jack Dorsey

GettyFormer Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“An amazing subplot of the Twitter/Hunter Biden laptop affair was how much was done without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, and how long it took for the situation to get ‘unf*****’ (as one ex-employee put it) even after Dorsey jumped in,” tweeted Taibbi.

“While reviewing Gadde’s emails, I saw a familiar name – my own. Dorsey sent her a copy of my Substack article blasting the incident.”

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“There are multiple instances in the files of Dorsey intervening to question suspensions and other moderation actions, for accounts across the political spectrum.”

“The problem with the ‘hacked materials’ ruling, several sources said, was that this normally required an official/law enforcement finding of a hack. But such a finding never appears throughout what one executive describes as a “whirlwind” 24-hour, company-wide mess.”

Taibbi Wrote That ‘Requests From Connected Actors to Delete Tweets Were Routine’2>

“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,'” Taibbi tweeted.

“Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party. Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.”

He wrote: “However, this system wasn’t balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right.”

He wrote: “This system wasn’t balanced. It was based on contacts. Because Twitter was and is overwhelmingly staffed by people of one political orientation, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right.”

“The resulting slant in content moderation decisions is visible in the documents you’re about to read. However, it’s also the assessment of multiple current and former high-level executives,” Taibbi wrote.

“It’s been a whirlwind 96 hours for me, too. There is much more to come, including answers to questions about issues like shadow-banning, boosting, follower counts, the fate of various individual accounts, and more. These issues are not limited to the political right.”

Musk Promised to Reveal ‘What Really Happened With the Hunter Biden Story Suppression by Twitter

Musk tweeted, “What really happened with the Hunter Biden story suppression by Twitter will be published on Twitter at 5pm ET!”

He then wrote, “We’re double-checking some facts, so probably start live tweeting in about 40 mins.”

Musk promised, “Will include live Q&A.”

He shared a popcorn emoji. “This will be awesome 🍿”

He then retweeted a thread by Taibbi. “What you’re about to read is the first installment in a series, based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter,” Taibbi tweeted.

“The ‘Twitter Files’ tell an incredible story from inside one of the world’s largest and most influential social media platforms. It is a Frankensteinian tale of a human-built mechanism grown out the control of its designer.”

He added, “Twitter in its conception was a brilliant tool for enabling instant mass communication, making a true real-time global conversation possible for the first time.”

“In an early conception, Twitter more than lived up to its mission statement, giving people
the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.’ As time progressed, however, the company was slowly forced to add those barriers. Some of the first tools for controlling speech were designed to combat the likes of spam and financial fraudsters.”

Taibbi continued, “Slowly, over time, Twitter staff and executives began to find more and more uses for these tools. Outsiders began petitioning the company to manipulate speech as well: first a little, then more often, then constantly.”

Major News Organizations Have Authenticated the Laptop


GettyVice-President Joe Biden and sons Hunter Biden, left, and Beau Biden walk in the Inaugural Parade January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Although Twitter stopped people from sharing a New York Post story on the Biden laptop before the presidential election, major news organizations, including CBS News, have now authenticated it.

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