GET IT ALL – Twitter Files: What Elon Musk’s Information Promises

Well assisted by the billionaire team, the American journalist Matt Taibbi returned to a case in 2020, involving Hunter Biden, son of the current president.

This has been a major change in Elon Musk’s communication since he took over Twitter. A way to show that the social network will be more transparent, less compromising and less biased in its choices, according to the billionaire. On Saturday, the journalist Matt Taibbi published a long thread of publications on the social network, which Elon Musk teases the most, in the “Twitter Files”.

• What are these popular Twitter Files?

The “Twitter Files” “tells an incredible story from inside one of the world’s largest and most influential social media platforms”, writes Matt Taibbi from scratch. “It’s a Frankenstein story about a man-made mechanism, built under the control of its designer.”

Beyond the lyrics, the journalist’s publications go back to a controversial Twitter episode dating back to 2020, which directly involved Hunter Biden, the son of the current American President Joe Biden. The Twitter Files are supposed to say, along with internal supporting documents, that Twitter erred in censoring a publication implicating Hunter Biden, three weeks before the American presidential election.

For critics of the former management of Twitter, starting with Elon Musk, the episode is proof that the social network has had an influence on the American ballot by favoring Democrats in defying information.

• What did Hunter Biden accuse?

In 2016. As Russia annexed Crimea, the American administration called for the removal of Ukrainian Attorney General Viktor Shokin, too little involved in the fight against corruption. President Obama and his vice-president Joe Biden won their case, but Shokin later accused Biden of trying to stop him from investigating his son Hunter.

Hunter, a sulphurous businessman, will be the target of an investigation into his salary as a director of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, according to Shokin. However, the latter’s successor will consider the investigation unnecessary.

This issue would become, in the years to come, a recurring conflict between the Democrats and the Republicans. Obsessed with this case, Donald Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky in July 2019 to learn about this famous investigation into Hunter Biden. This call, which is considered blackmail, is also worth an impeachment procedure against the American president, initiated by the Democrats.

In October 2020, the ultra-conservative New York Post, which had called for Trump’s re-election, revived accusations of corruption by Biden’s son by publishing compromising emails about Hunter. But the article also caused a scandal because the documents presented – now authenticated – cast doubt on their authenticity and, above all, were allegedly obtained illegally. Twitter – but also Facebook – decided to delete the shares of the article in question, the social network prohibiting the publication of personal data (emails, phone numbers) but also of pirated elements.

The Twitter Files therefore tells how network leaders made this highly controversial decision.

• So what did the Twitter Files reveal?

The long thread of publications does not finally reveal the expected scoop. It backs up, internal support documents show, how Twitter ended up making the decision. The publications show above all the intense debate and postponement on the merits of this censorship. Some members of the communications at the time doubted the maneuver, others supported it. The issue is specifically whether or not the emails presented by the New York Post were obtained illegally.

In reality, Matt Taibbi provides no further evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement in saving his son, nor does he show that former Twitter management tried to overtly benefit the Democratic candidate.

• What role did Elon Musk play?

As a great supporter of freedom of expression, Elon Musk praised these revelations in which his team had to participate by transferring the famous internal documents. If the billionaire sees this as an operation of transparency, he has been scolded by his detractors because the names and some personal emails of the protagonists have been revealed. Later he admitted it. “The idea here is to tell the truth about everything that happened in the past to build public confidence for the future,” he insisted. New revelations are expected on Saturday. Always on Twitter.

Thomas LeRoy Journalist BFM Business

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