Republicans React To ‘Twitter Files’ Censorship Revelations

Several Congressional Republicans described the release by Elon Musk of the “Twitter Files” on Friday regarding the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story as a “tipping point” for big tech in America.

Musk outsourced his findings regarding Twitter’s actions regarding the bombshell story on the eve of the 2020 presidential election to independent Substack journalist Matt Taibbi, who published a tweet thread with details.

NetChoice is a lobbying firm that works for large tech companies including Twitter, Meta, and Google. It conducted an informal poll of 12 lawmakers, including 9 Republicans, regarding the revelations.

NetChoice CEO Carl Szabo wrote an email to Twitter public policy chief Lauren Culbertson in an email that “every Republican said, ‘This is a tipping point. It’s just too much.’”

His message to Culbertson went on to warn that a “blood bath” of congressional hearings could be coming soon in response to the report.

Taibbi’s report stated that Twitter began controlling speech on the platform using tools that “were designed to combat the likes of spam and financial fraudsters.” Over time, the use of those tools expanded as “outsiders began petitioning the company to manipulate speech as well: first a little, then more often, then constantly,” he added.

His report indicates that by 2020 it had become routine for the platform to receive “requests from connected actors to delete tweets.” One email he cited read, “More to review from the Biden team.” There was a blunt reply from another Twitter staffer: “Handled.”

Taibbi posted copies of staff emails that included links to specific tweets that the Biden campaign demanded to be taken down. Several of the links the Biden team wanted to be censored included compromising images of Hunter Biden that had been recovered from his abandoned laptop.

Taibbi wrote that he found members of both political parties had access to the “tools” needed to censor content on Twitter. He added that because of the political orientation of the Twitter staff, the channels were more “open to the left (well, Democrats) than the right.”

He added that his investigation into the files provided by Musk indicated that former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was not aware of the coordination to suppress the laptop story. However, the decision to comply with censorship demands “was made at the highest levels of the company” with “former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role.”

Musk posted a tweet Friday evening after Taibbi posted his thread that said: “Tune in for Episode 2 of The Twitter Files tomorrow!”