Notes on the Twitter Files (2)

Elon Musk has divvied up the Twitter Files documenting the platform’s historical censorship practices to Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Michael Shellenberger. Each has posted long threads on Twitter reporting on the contents of the files. I posted my notes on Taibbi’s first thread on December 6. I have an abbreviated set of notes and queries following on the publication of parts 2, 3, and 4 over the past few days.

• Bari Weiss picked up the thread here in part 2 (December 8). Weiss covers “Twitter’s secret blacklists.”

• Matt Taibbi followed up here in part 3 (December 9). Taibbi covers “The removal of Donald Trump.”

• Michael Shellenberger continues here with part 4 (December 10). Shellenberger covers “The removal of Donald Trump: January 7.”

• How did Musk accumulate and allocate the documents? Does each reporter have a different tranche of documents? Not clear to me.

• While I think Twitter’s uses are manifest, the platform is not conducive to long-form journalism. This is an awkward and unwieldy method of proceeding.

• The scope of the documents reviewed and/or withheld should be addressed. The documents themselves should be made available online.

• After Taibbi posted his first thread on the documents, Miranda Devine astutely complained that something was off/missing. Former FBI general counsel and Russia hoax perp James Baker was in the Twitter kitchen making a mess. He has since been fired.

• Baker’s presence inside the company during the rollout of the Twitter Files is a you cannot be serious moment. We need some kind of forensic audit to assess the damage he did to the unfolding disclosures.

• It would be helpful to have the findings/conclusions of the reporters set forth separately and in order of importance.

• Old Twitter was a Democratic operation, a tool of the mainstream media, and a component of the national security establishment. This seems to me the key finding to come out of the Twitter Files so far. See, for example, Taibbi’s Part 3 thread linked above.

• What are the FBI and the rest of the national security establishment doing in this picture? Something is wrong. To say the least, we need a serious accounting.

• I am shortchanging the scope of the material addressed in parts 2, 3, and 4. Bari Weiss identifies some of the high-profile victims of Twitter’s suppression of heterodox voices in her thread. This is infuriating.

• Elon Musk and New Twitter are to be treated by the Democrats, the mainstream media, and the national security establishment as an enemy of the state.

• It would be helpful to have the findings and conclusions of the reporters set forth separately in order of importance.

• Taibbi states at the conclusion of his Part 3 thread that “while we’ve stumbled on tidbits here and there about topics ranging from COVID to foreign policy, the reality is the data sets are enormous and we’re still working through them.” As I say above, this is an awkward and unwieldy way to go.

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