Requests to Twitter from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign for the platform to delete certain tweets were honored by the company during the 2020 presidential election, but there were more avenues for Democrats to request censorship, journalist Matt Taibbi said in a Twitter thread on Friday evening.
Twitter employees tended to lean liberal, meaning that Democrats had more avenues to ask for favors of the platform because it was based on contacts, Taibbi wrote, in a thread he called the “Twitter Files,” which CEO Elon Musk retweeted.
“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,’” Taibbi wrote, adding, “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.”
He added, “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.”
By 2020, he wrote, “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.’”
He said “celebrities and unknowns” alike could be removed “at the behest of a political party,” but, “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.”
Taibbi went on to explain “How and Why Twitter Blocked the Hunter Biden Laptop Story,” which he said was “Part One” of the “Twitter Files,” a series based on thousands of internal documents.
He said the company took “extraordinary steps” to suppress the story such as removing links and posting warnings.
The journalist calls his Twitter deep dive a “Frankensteinian tale of a human-built mechanism grown out the control of its designer.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House and Trump for comment.