Musk Says Twitter Lawyer Fired Amid Hunter Biden Laptop Storm | Business and Economics News
Elon Musk accuses the executive of possibly deleting information about Twitter’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Elon Musk said he “left” Twitter’s deputy general counsel over concerns the top executive tried to delete information about running the social media platform. Hunter Biden laptop controversy.
Musk, who bought Twitter last month for $44 billion, said in a tweet on Tuesday that he had expelled James Baker, the FBI’s top lawyer before joining the social media giant in 2020, for his “possible role in suppressing material information for public dialogue”. ”.
Musk said Baker, who played a key role in the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, offered an “unconvincing” explanation for his actions when he was confronted.
Musk’s announcement came shortly before freelance journalist Matt Taibbi wrote on Twitter that the planned release of new internal files related to Twitter’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop story had been delayed. due to Baker “verifying” documents without management approval.
Taibbi, a former Rolling Stone journalist who now writes on Substack, said he and fellow freelance journalist Bari Weiss encountered “hinders” in finding internal documents shared with them by Musk. Taibbi said he and Weiss resumed reviewing the materials, dubbed the “Twitter files,” and preparing to release the next episode.
Al Jazeera reached out to Baker for comment on Twitter and Linkedin.
Taibbi published internal correspondence from October 2020 on Friday detailing how Twitter executives made the decision to restrict sharing of a New York Post article detailing items found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the president’s son. American Joe Biden.
In the communications, top Twitter brass are shown discussing — and sometimes disagreeing — whether and how to restrict the article, which alleged that Hunter Biden had swapped his father’s name in his business dealings in Ukraine and in China.
Twitter executives ultimately ruled the article should be restricted under its policy against hacked documents amid claims by former US intelligence officials that the laptop story bore the hallmarks of misinformation. Russian, although no evidence of Russian involvement has ever been produced.
Documents released Friday also purport to show correspondence from the Biden campaign asking Twitter to remove certain tweets – including alleged nude photos of Hunter Biden that were shared without consent – but do not indicate that the Biden team, law enforcement or any government agency has requested that the particular New York Post article be removed.
Taibbi’s posting of the files drew a polarized response over the weekend. While right-wing media figures and politicians have touted the documents as confirmation of Twitter’s liberal bias and hostility to free speech, many on the left have described it as a non-story that showed the good faith efforts by the platform to deal with difficult moderation decisions.
Some former Twitter executives pointed to the release of the documents, which included names and email addresses, as the latest example of Musk’s irresponsible running of the company, along with Yoel Roth, the former trust manager and from Twitter security, saying the move put employees “in danger.”
Twitter’s decision to restrict the New York Post article to just weeks before the 2020 presidential election has sparked heated debate over the role of social media in handling politically sensitive information, with conservatives accusing the platform of favoritism towards the campaign of Biden, then candidate.
Media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and CBS later reported that forensic analysis showed thousands of documents, including documents published by The New York Post, to be genuine.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later told a Congressional hearing on misinformation and social media that he thought the platform’s handling of the article was a “total mistake.”