Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.On Friday afternoon, Substack writer Matt Taibbi tweeted what he called “The Twitter Files,” a series of internal documents he says he obtained from sources at the social media company. The documents appear to show internal conversations about Twitter’s decision to block a New York Post story about Hunter Biden from its platform in October 2020. New Twitter CEO Elon Musk teased the release of the documents before they published, and shared Taibbi’s posts shortly after, saying, “Here we go!! 🍿🍿”
Most notably, the documents shared by Taibbi include email exchanges between employees at Twitter, before Musk took over the company, discussing how to handle the Post story shortly before the 2020 election. Twitter initially blocked sharing of the story due to concerns that it violated the company’s Hacked Materials Policy, but later reversed those restrictions. Taibbi’s thread—or series of posts—quickly ignited a fierce debate on the platform about free speech, intimate photos of Hunter Biden, technology companies’ ability to moderate political news coverage, and Musk’s role in amplifying the documents.
On Saturday, Donald Trump weighed in on #TwitterGate, and called for parts of the Constitution to be thrown out to combat what he characterized as election fraud. The message, which Trump posted on Truth Social, appeared counterintuitive to some observers, as critics of Twitter’s actions largely cited concerns about protecting the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Musk seemed to revel in the controversy he helped create. Not long after Taibbi published his thread, Musk tweeted:
Tune in for Episode 2 of The Twitter Files tomorrow!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 3, 2022