Responding to a tweet by journalist Matt Taibbi, Musk said: “In light of concerns about (James) Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today.”
@mtaibbi In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dia… https://t.co/AauRgPp5R5
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1670361229000
Taibbi, in collaboration with Musk, published the “Twitter Files”, a set of documents comprising Twitter’s internal communications. Among other things, they detail how the social network suppressed stories related to a laptop owned by US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, in the lead-up to the 2020 US Presidential election.
Another user asked Musk whether Baker was asked to explain himself before he was fired, to which Musk said: “Yes. His explanation was …unconvincing.”
@samgabnz @mtaibbi Yes. His explanation was …unconvincing.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1670362031000
Hunter Biden had allegedly left his water-damaged laptop with a repair shop in 2019 to be fixed. At the time his father was running to become US president. The contents of the laptop were
later made public by publications in the US, including the New York Post.
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Among other things, the laptop also reportedly contained private videos of Hunter Biden, which were shared on Twitter.
The information revealed by Musk included Twitter’s decision to delete a handful of tweets after receiving a request from Joe Biden’s campaign. The tweets included nude photos of Hunter Biden that had been shared without his consent — a violation of Twitter’s rules against revenge porn.
According to the Twitter Files published by Taibbi, Twitter deputy general counsel Baker played a role in the discussion about whether the laptop story fell under Twitter’s “hacked materials” policy.
“I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked,” the documents published by Taibbi cited Baker as saying in one of the emails. “At this stage, however, it’s reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted.”