The American journalist Matt Taibbi published this Friday (2) a series of messages on Twitter that indicate that the social network would have acted to benefit the Democrats in the presidential election of 2020 in the United States. The messages were retweeted by billionaire Elon Musk, who bought the company in October.
Taibbi’s posts, called Twitter Files, show internal messages from the platform that indicate different treatment for Democrat Joe Biden, who in November of the year before last would beat then-Republican President Donald Trump in the race for the White House.
In 14 in October of that year, the New York Post published a report based on the content of a laptop owned by Hunter Biden, son of the current American president, which pointed out that Hunter introduced his father, at the time that this he was vice president of Barack Obama, to a top executive of a Ukrainian energy company.
About a year later, Joe Biden pressured the government of Ukraine to remove a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to the New York Post.
“Twitter took extraordinary steps to suppress the story, removing the link s and posting warnings that they might be ‘unsafe’. They even blocked its transmission by direct message, a tool until then reserved for extreme cases, such as, for example, child pornography”, wrote Taibbi.
The journalist informed that the then-White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany had her account blocked for tweeting about the New York Post story. In response, a Trump re-election campaign official, Mike Hahn, sent an angry letter to Twitter, in which he said: “At least pretend you care for the next 20 days.”
Taibbi highlighted that requests to remove content from Twitter were common, but there was preference for requests of the Democrats.
“[…] requests from the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and fulfilled. However, this system was not balanced. It was based on contacts. As the Twitter team was and is overwhelmingly made up of people of a particular political persuasion, there were more channels, more ways to complain, open to the left (well, the Democrats) than the right. .
The then director of public policy for the social network, Caroline Strom, questioned the team about the situation, and, according to the Twitter Files, received the response that mentions to the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop had been removed due to a violation of the company’s policy not to publish “hacked material”.
“Although several sources recall having heard about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement at that time about potential hacks from outside the United States, there is no evidence – that I have seen – of any government involvement in the laptop story. In fact, that might have been the problem…”, Taibbi pointed out.
The journalist pointed out that a former employee highlighted that “hacking was the excuse, but in a few hours, virtually everyone realized that this would not be sustainable”, however, “nobody had the courage to reverse this”.
According to a former employee (which Taibbi does not let unclear if it would be the same) and internal messages from Twitter, although there were doubts at the top of the company as to whether the case would actually constitute a violation of the platform’s policies, the decision was to maintain the removal of content mentioning the article on Hunter Biden.
Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that an “episode 2” of Twitter Files should be published this Saturday (3). Although he did not advance the subject of these new messages, he suggested that the elections held in Brazil in October may receive attention from the platform’s new management in the future.
“I have seen many worrying tweets about the recent elections in Brazil. If these tweets are correct, it is possible that people on Twitter have given preference to candidates from the left [nas eleições brasileiras]”, he wrote.