Shortly after Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the billionaire entrepreneur pledged to release internal documents that would reveal how Twitter engaged in free speech suppression under previous ownership. The files were released to two independent journalists for review, Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss.
On Dec. 2, Taibbi published the first installment of the “Twitter Files” on Twitter. The following is, word-for-word, Taibbi’s reporting on and release of the files. Some links were added to Taibbi’s copy for added context. Other small additions to Taibbi’s copy are included via brackets.
A second installment written by Weiss was written on Dec. 8. Stay tuned to The Western Journal for further coverage of the “Twitter Files.”
This is the first chapter in a series based on tens of thousands of internal documents received from Twitter sources. The “Twitter Files” reveal a remarkable tale from within one of the largest and most prominent social media networks in the world. It is a Frankensteinian story about a human-made machine that escaped its creator’s control.
Twitter was conceived as a fantastic instrument for quick mass communication, making possible for the first time a worldwide dialogue in real time. 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.”
However, as time passed, the corporation was gradually compelled to install these obstacles. Some of the earliest voice control techniques were developed to tackle spam and financial fraudsters. Over time, Twitter employees and management discovered an increasing number of applications for these products. Outsiders began pressing the firm to influence speech as well: initially sporadically, then often, and then continuously.
By 2020, demands to erase tweets from linked actors were commonplace. One executive would write to another: “More to review from the Biden team.” The reply would come back: “Handled.”