The pipeline of revelations surrounding Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden story keeps pumping out new material.
As RedState has reported extensively (click here and here for a taste of what’s transpired), Elon Musk delivered on a promise to release a trove of documents related to the decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story just prior to the 2020 election. Revelations include the fact that the Biden campaign had a direct through-line to get content removed as well as the fact that Twitter lied about the “hacked material” excuse that was used to justify their actions.
But as I’ve written on before, Twitter is just one piece of the puzzle, and in some ways, the company was more a willing lackey than a mastermind of the plot. That distinction goes to the FBI, which was having weekly meetings with Twitter’s leadership to discuss what content to remove from the site. Further, it was the FBI that first planted the idea that the Hunter Biden laptop was a Russian hacking operation meant to spread “disinformation.”
How do we know that? Because of this unearthed FEC disclosure signed by none other than Yoel Roth, who recently left as Twitter’s head of “Trust and Safety.”
According to the old Twitter regime, they were simply responding to what the FBI told them, which was that the laptop had been hacked and leaked as a way to spread disinformation about Joe Biden. Meanwhile, the FBI has claimed in the past that they never gave such detailed descriptions to any social media company but rather relied on general threat warnings of possible foreign interference. Yet, Roth says they specifically mentioned Hunter Biden, which would leave the laptop story unambiguously the subject at hand.
So who’s lying here? The safest bet is to assume both entities are lying. Clearly, given the document dump that happened on Friday evening, Twitter was far more involved in censoring the story than just listening to the advice of the FBI. Democrat elected officials were colluding with the company to decide what should be taken down.
On the other hand, the FBI obviously lied when it told Twitter (and other social media companies) that the Hunter Biden laptop story was a “hack and leak operation.” There was never any evidence that the laptop was hacked, and the FBI had been in possession of it for over a year at that point. Further, they gained possession of it from the computer repair store where the laptop was left. That means the FBI knew its provenance the moment The New York Post broke the story, but agents (no doubt backed by leadership) chose to falsely claim it was a foreign hacking operation anyway.
In the end, Twitter and the FBI did what they thought they needed to do to ensure Donald Trump wouldn’t be re-elected. There are no good guys or innocent bystanders here. The FBI lied, but Twitter wanted to believe what it was being told, and it pushed well past the boundaries of its stated TOS to ban the Post and block the Hunter Biden laptop story.