Elon Musk released internal Twitter memos to journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss. This first release is from Taibbi.
Details are included in the link above, and part one will be easiest to read there.
A well curated list of links to all of the Twitter files is being kept by Occam’s Banana on Ron Paul Forums.
Below are text for the first 32 Tweets in Taibbi’s 1st Part 1 Twitter thread, followed by links, newer tweets, updates, part 2, and others that have followed:
2. What you’re about to read is the first installment in a series, based upon thousands of internal documents obtained by sources at Twitter.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.”
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.”
9. Celebrities and unknowns alike could be removed or reviewed at the behest of a political party:
10.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. However:
11. 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.
12. 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.[ “Okay, there was more throat-clearing about the process, but screw it, let’s jump forward” ]
16. The Twitter Files, Part One: How and Why Twitter Blocked the Hunter Biden Laptop Story
17. On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published BIDEN SECRET EMAILS, an expose based on the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop:
18. 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.
19. 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.”
20.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:
21. Strom’s note returned the answer that the laptop story had been removed for violation of the company’s “hacked materials” policy:
22. 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…
23. 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.
24. “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.”
25.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”:
26. By this point “everyone knew this was fucked,” said one former employee, but the response was essentially to err on the side of… continuing to err.
27. Former VP of Global Comms Brandon Borrman asks, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”
28. To which former Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker again seems to advise staying the non-course, because “caution is warranted”:
29. 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. To wit:
30. 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:
32.Khanna tries to reroute the conversation to the First Amendment…
On 12/5, Musk fired Twitter counsel and former FBI attorney James Baker:
In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 6, 2022
I can’t quite believe what I’m reading so let’s go slow.
The FBI’s former attorney was hired by previous Twitter management, and was the one vetting the files to be given to @bariweiss & @mtaibbi that might reveal FBI collusion…and new owner @elonmusk wasn’t told any of this??? https://t.co/xwfgwcKV4K
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) December 6, 2022
THREAD: Twitter Files Supplemental
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 6, 2022
Elon Musk released internal Twitter memos to journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss. This second release is from Weiss.
Details are included in the link, and it’s easier to read there — but below are text for the first 16 Tweets in Weiss’ Twitter thread, followed by links, newer tweets, and updates that have followed:
THREAD: THE TWITTER FILES PART TWO.
TWITTER’S SECRET BLACKLISTS.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 9, 2022
2. Twitter once had a mission “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Along the way, barriers nevertheless were erected.
3. Take, for example, Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a “Trends Blacklist,” which prevented his tweets from trending.
4. Or consider the popular right-wing talk show host, Dan Bongino (@dbongino), who at one point was slapped with a “Search Blacklist.”
5. Twitter set the account of conservative activist Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) to “Do Not Amplify.”
6. Twitter denied that it does such things. In 2018, Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said: “We do not shadow ban.” They added: “And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”
7. What many people call “shadow banning,” Twitter executives and employees call “Visibility Filtering” or “VF.” Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning.
8. “Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool,” one senior Twitter employee told us.
9. “VF” refers to Twitter’s control over user visibility. It used VF to block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches.
10. All without users’ knowledge.
11. “We control visibility quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do,” one Twitter engineer told us. Two additional Twitter employees confirmed.
12. The group that decided whether to limit the reach of certain users was the Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET. It often handled up to 200 “cases” a day.
13. But there existed a level beyond official ticketing, beyond the rank-and-file moderators following the company’s policy on paper. That is the “Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,” known as “SIP-PES.”
14. This secret group included Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others.
15. This is where the biggest, most politically sensitive decisions got made. “Think high follower account, controversial,” another Twitter employee told us. For these “there would be no ticket or anything.”
16. One of the accounts that rose to this level of scrutiny was @libsoftiktok—an account that was on the “Trends Blacklist” and was designated as “Do Not Take Action on User Without Consulting With SIP-PES.”
1. THREAD: The Twitter Files
THE REMOVAL OF DONALD TRUMP
Part One: October 2020-January 6th
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 9, 2022
43. In this exchange, again unintentionally humorous, former Attorney General Eric Holder claimed the U.S. Postal Service was “deliberately crippled,”ostensibly by the Trump administration. He was initially hit with a generic warning label, but it was quickly taken off by Roth: pic.twitter.com/UXoXxE9E1S
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 10, 2022
67. And while we’ve stumbled on tidbits here and there about topics ranging from COVID to foreign policy, the reality is the data sets are enormous and we’re still working through them.
More is coming. Good night, all.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 10, 2022
Part 4 comes from Michael Shellenberger and summarizes Twitter execs’ justifications for banning Donald Trump:
1. TWITTER FILES, PART 4
The Removal of Donald Trump: January 7
As the pressure builds, Twitter executives build the case for a permanent ban
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 10, 2022
I think I may have found the problem @elonmusk https://t.co/rYGLzmSK0R
— Eliza (@elizableu) December 10, 2022
Part 5 of the Twitter Files: ‘The Removal of Trump from Twitter’ is from Bari Weiss:
THREAD: THE TWITTER FILES PART FIVE.
THE REMOVAL OF TRUMP FROM TWITTER.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 12, 2022
1. THREAD: The Twitter Files, Part Six
TWITTER, THE FBI SUBSIDIARY
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 16, 2022
1.THREAD: Twitter Files Supplemental
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 18, 2022
1. TWITTER FILES: PART 7
The FBI & the Hunter Biden Laptop
How the FBI & intelligence community discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings both after and *before* The New York Post revealed the contents of his laptop on October 14, 2020
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
1. TWITTER FILES PART 8
*How Twitter Quietly Aided the Pentagon’s Covert Online PsyOp Campaign*
Despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations.
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 20, 2022
Twitter Files Thread: The Spies Who Loved Twitter:https://t.co/cAHz9VxfyS
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 25, 2022
1.THREAD: The Twitter Files
TWITTER AND "OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES"
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 24, 2022
THE TWITTER FILES: HOW TWITTER RIGGED THE COVID DEBATE
– By censoring info that was true but inconvenient to U.S. govt. policy
– By discrediting doctors and other experts who disagreed
– By suppressing ordinary users, including some sharing the CDC’s *own data*
— David Zweig (@davidzweig) December 26, 2022
14.OCT 18 2017: “First round of RU investigation… 15 high risk accounts, 3 of which have connections with Russia, although 2 are RT.” pic.twitter.com/MjtuvEZkYY
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 3, 2023
1.THREAD: The Twitter Files
Twitter and the FBI “Belly Button” pic.twitter.com/nfOGQGlvUM
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 3, 2023