Musk says Twitter's actions were 'definition of election interference'

Elon Musk says Twitter’s censorship of Hunter Biden laptop story was the ‘definition of election interference’ and that firm ‘was acting as an arm of the DNC’

  • Musk spoke for nearly two hours in a ‘Twitter Spaces’ audio chat on Saturday
  • He addressed files illuminating Twitter’s censorship ahead of 2020 election
  • Claimed Twitter acted as an ‘arm of the Democratic National Committee’
  • Files released Friday showed Twitter staff discussing ban on Hunter laptop story
  • They also show requests from ‘Biden team’ to remove nude images of Hunter 

Elon Musk has claimed that Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was tantamount to interference in the 2020 election.

Musk made the claim in a wide-ranging two-hour audio chat on Twitter Spaces on Saturday night, one day after the publication of internal files relating to Twitter’s October 2020 ban on initial reporting of the laptop contents. 

‘If Twitter is doing one team’s bidding before an election shutting down dissenting voices on a pivotal election that is the definition of election interference,’ said Musk. 

‘Frankly Twitter was acting like an arm of the Democratic National Committee, it was absurd,’ added the billionaire, who has been highly critical of prior management at the company he purchased five weeks ago.

In the audio chat, Musk also claimed Apple had ‘fully resumed’ advertising on Twitter following a pullback, and said that he banned Kanye West for ‘incitement to violence’ for a tweet displaying a Nazi swastika.

Elon Musk has claimed that Twitter’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was tantamount to interference in the 2020 election

Musk made the claim in a wide-ranging two-hour audio chat on Twitter Spaces on Saturday night, one day after the publication of internal files from October 2020

Much of the conversation was devoted to the so-called ‘Twitter Files,’ a selection of internal documents released by journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday night.

The documents included internal Twitter emails appearing to show staffers removing tweets showing a nude Hunter Biden at the behest of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and the DNC.

However, Taibbi himself said that the files contained ‘no evidence – that I’ve seen’ that the Biden campaign had a role in suppressing the New York Post’s story on Hunter’s business dealings, which was controversially banned from Twitter.   

Musk said in the chat on Saturday that in addition to Taibbi, he had given the files to Bari Weiss.

Musk said he had given the journalists ‘unfettered access’ to old internal documents, and did not guide or control how they were revealed or reported. 

‘This is not a North Korea tour guide situation, you get to go anywhere you want, whenever you want, however you want,’ he said. ‘I’m not controlling the narrative.’

‘It’s just obvious there’s been a lot of control of information, supression of information, including things that affected elections, and that just all need to be…you just want to have the stuff out there,’ he said.

Musk said in the chat on Saturday that in addition to Matt Taibbi (left), he had given the files to journalist Bari Weiss (right)

Participating in the chat, former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka asked whether there was any evidence of actual government interference in Twitter’s moderation, since the documents released only showed requests from the Biden campaign.

Musk did not directly answer the question, and admitted ‘I have not read the Twitter Files so that’s why my understanding is limited.’ 

Musk also said he thought it was ‘possible’ that personnel at the social media firm gave preference to left-wing candidates during Brazil’s election this year, without providing evidence. 

Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 27, just days before Brazil’s presidential second round runoff vote, when far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro was defeated by leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

‘I’ve seen a lot of concerning tweets about the recent Brazil election,’ Musk wrote on Twitter when asked by a user about elections possibly ‘handled’ by the company’s previous management.

Weeks ahead of the election in October 2020, Twitter prevented sharing of a story about Hunter Biden’s international business dealings, based on emails from his laptop

‘If those tweets are accurate, it’s possible that Twitter personnel gave preference to left wing candidates,’ added the billionaire.

Separately, Musk also addressed his move to ban Kanye West from Twitter once again this week, following the rapper’s latest anti-Semitic meltdown.

‘With Kanye it’s obviously a difficult subject, but that was a case where, that was my decision. I think it’s important people know that was my decision,’ he said.

West was banned for posting an image of a swastika within a Star of David, a Jewish religious symbol, something Musk explained he viewed as an ‘incitement to violence.’

‘I personally wanted to punch Kanye, so it’s definitely inciting me to violence, so that’s not cool,’ he said. 

Musk said that context was important, and that a swastika in a historical context, such as a history of World War II, would not necessarily be offensive in the same way. 

Meanwhile, in emerged on Saturday that the tweets that were removed at the request of the DNC and Biden campaign appeared to center of pornographic images of Hunter Biden. 

In one of these emails, sent ten days after The New York Post first broke the laptop story on October 14 of that year, Twitter staffers were asked to ‘review’ five tweets deemed problematic by ‘the Biden team.’

One of the tweets removed at the request of the Biden campaign is seen above. The original image, which showed Hunter Biden nude from the waist down, has been cropped above

‘More to review from the Biden team,’ that staffer’s redacted correspondence read – garnering a reply hours later from another Twitter employee – one that assured the worker the task had been ‘handled.’     

That same day, another email reveals that there was an additional complaint from the DNC and two more tweets were deleted. 

It is not clear from the leaked emails what the deleted tweets were about, however Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Andrew Kerr said he had discovered the contents of several of the tweets.

He said three of the tweets the Biden camp demanded be deleted contained ‘Hunter Biden porn’ and photos of Biden’s genitalia, from the laptop. 

He claims one of the tweets requested to be deleted by the DNC was from actor James Woods and depicted Hunter smoking crack and a committing a sex act. 

And he says the second tweet was a link to Hunter Biden weighing and using drugs, and another link to a Hunter Biden sex tape.

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