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Tipsheet

The Next Round of the Twitter Files Is Here

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Monday brought yet another installment of the "Twitter Files" — this time courtesy of Michael Shellenberger — that dove back into the way Twitter handled The New York Post's reporting on Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell" with a specific look on how the FBI and other intelligence agencies worked to undermine and discredit the revelations. 

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"In Twitter Files #7, we present evidence pointing to an organized effort by representatives of the intelligence community (IC), aimed at senior executives at news and social media companies, to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published," Shellenberger explained before laying out a timeline of how things went down:

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The next morning, the Post ran its story on Hunter's laptop and its contents. But, as Shellenberger reminds "within hours Twitter and other social media companies censor the NY Post article, preventing it from spreading and, more importantly, undermining its credibility in the minds of many Americans." So, he asks, "Why is that? What, exactly, happened?"

Part of the reason, Shellenberger provides evidence for, was the weekly meetings between the intelligence community and Twitter in which the company's censors were warned of Russian "hack and leak" operations. 

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But, as it turns out, there wasn't any specific evidence that such operations would involve Hunter Biden, Shellenberger notes. 

What's more, "Twitter executives *repeatedly* reported very little Russian activity" to the FBI, as seen in another communication in which the social media company told the FBI it had removed just 345 "largely inactive" accounts "linked to previous coordinated Russian hacking attempts" with "little reach & low follower counts."

And, despite the FBI's repeated requests, Twitter never found anything worth reporting. 

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Still, the relationship between Twitter and FBI deepened in July 2020 as top secret clearances were arranged for Twitter executives in order to brief them on threats to the 2020 elections.

The FBI's work to plant the seeds of Russian hack-and-leak operations clearly worked, as confirmed recently by former Twitter executive Yoel Roth:

It turns out the disposition toward following the FBI's warnings blindly and without regard for facts may have also been due to the fact that Twitter was crawling with former feds beyond just Jim Baker. 

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The working relationship between the FBI, Twitter, and the mainstream media got so deep that there was even a war game of sorts organized to do a dry run for a "hack-and-dump" operation involving Hunter Biden — in September 2020 

So naturally, when The New York Post published its explosive story on Hunter Biden's laptop, Twitter's Roth noted that "this feels a lot like" a hack-and-leak operation despite admitting it "isn't clearly violative of our Hacked Materials Policy, nor is it clearly in violation of anything else."

But Roth's acknowledgement that the Post's story didn't violate Twitter policy — an assessment with which a number of other employees agreed — didn't stick because Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker insisted it was a violation despite clear evidence to the contrary.

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In the end, Baker and his former associates at the FBI won the debate and Twitter went all-in on the phony narrative to actively suppress the story.

There are more Twitter Files releases expected in the days ahead from Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and others in the days ahead. We're still waiting to learn more about how Twitter handled COVID, masking, and vaccine-related tweets and those who were labeled "science deniers" by big tech, Democrats, and the mainstream media. 

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