Elon Musk says Twitter’s actions are the ‘definition of election interference’
Elon Musk has claimed that Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal is tantamount to interference in the 2020 election.
Musk made the claim in an extensive two-hour audio chat on Twitter Spaces on Saturday night, a day after the release of internal files related to Twitter’s October 2020 ban on the initial reporting of content by laptop. .
“If Twitter is bidding on a team before an election, drowning out dissenting voices in an important election, that’s the definition of election interference,” Musk said.
“Frankly, Twitter was acting like an arm of the Democratic National Committee, it was nonsense,” added the billionaire, who was highly critical of the former management of the company he bought five weeks ago.
In the audio chat, Musk also said Apple had ‘absolutely resumed’ advertising on Twitter after a takedown, and said it had banned Kanye West for ‘inciting violence’ for a tweet that showed Nazi swastika. .
Elon Musk claims Twitter’s censorship of Hunter Biden laptop scandal amounts to interference in 2020 election
Musk made the claim in an extensive two-hour audio chat on Twitter Spaces on Saturday night, a day after internal files were released in October 2020.
Much of the conversation focused on the so-called “Twitter Files”, a selection of internal documents published by journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday night.
The documents include internal Twitter emails that appear to show staffers deleting tweets showing a naked Hunter Biden at the behest of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and the DNC.
However, Taibbi himself said the files contain “no evidence – that I’ve seen” that the Biden campaign played a role in suppressing the New York Post story about Hunter’s business dealings, which was controversial. who was banned from Twitter.
Musk said in the chat on Saturday that in addition to Taibbi, he gave the files to Bari Weiss.
Musk said he gave reporters “unfettered access” to old internal documents and that he did not guide or control how they were revealed or reported.
“It’s not a tour guide situation in North Korea, you can go where you want, when you want, however you want,” he said. “I don’t control the narrative. »
“It’s obvious that there is a lot of information vetting, information suppression, including things that affected the election, and everything has to be…you just want to have things there,” he said.
Musk said in the chat on Saturday that in addition to Matt Taibbi (left), he gave the files to journalist Bari Weiss (right)
Participating in the chat, former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka asked if there was evidence of actual government interference in Twitter moderation, since the released documents only showed the demands of the Biden campaign.
Musk did not directly answer the question and admitted, “I have not read the Twitter files, so my understanding is limited.”
Musk also said he thought it was “possible” that staff at the social media company favored leftist candidates in this year’s Brazilian election, without providing evidence.
Musk completed his takeover of Twitter on October 27, days before the second round of Brazil’s presidential election, when far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro lost to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
“I’ve seen a lot of disturbing tweets about the recent elections in Brazil,” Musk wrote on Twitter when a user asked about the election possibly being “handled” by the company’s former management.
Weeks before the October 2020 election, Twitter blocked the sharing of a story about Hunter Biden’s international business dealings, based on emails from his laptop
“If these tweets are accurate, Twitter staff may have favored leftist candidates,” the billionaire added.
Separately, Musk also addressed his decision to ban Kanye West from Twitter again this week, following the rapper’s latest anti-Semitic outburst.
“With Kanye, it’s obviously a difficult subject, but it was a case where, it was my decision. I think it’s important for people to know that it was my decision,” he said.
West was banned for posting an image of a swastika inside a Star of David, a symbol of the Jewish religion, which Musk said he considered “incitement to violence.”
“I personally want to hit Kanye, so that really drives me to violence, so it’s not cool,” he said.
Musk said that context is important and that a swastika in a historical context, such as a World War II story, is not necessarily offensive in the same way.
Meanwhile, it emerged Saturday that tweets that were deleted at the request of the DNC and Biden campaign appeared to center on pornographic images of Hunter Biden.
In one such email, sent ten days after the New York Post first broke the laptop story on October 14 of that year, Twitter staff were asked to “review” five tweets deemed problematic by the “Biden team “.
One of the tweets that was deleted at the request of the Biden campaign can be seen above. The original image, which showed Hunter Biden naked from the waist down, was cropped at the top
“More to be investigated from the Biden team,” read the redacted letter from that staffer — which elicited a response hours later from another Twitter employee — a response that assured the worker that the work was ” processed”.
on the same day, another email shows there was an additional complaint to the DNC and two more tweets were deleted.
However, it is not clear from the leaked emails what the deleted tweets were about. Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Andrew Kerr said he discovered the content of some of the tweets.
He said three of the tweets that Biden’s camp asked to be removed contained “Hunter Biden porn” and photos of Biden’s privates, taken from a laptop.
He claims that one of the tweets the DNC was asked to remove was by actor James Woods and depicts Hunter smoking crack and performing sexual acts.
And he said the second tweet was a link to Hunter Biden gaining weight and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape.
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