Twitter executives, including fmr FBI lawyer Jim Baker, who served as Twitter Deputy Counsel, are about to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee about their handling of the Hunter Biden laptop

Let's go

Rep. Jamie Raskin calls Twitter files “authentically trivial” and "silly," but doesn't address the coordinated effort by the intelligence community to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop, which was in FBI possession since Dec 2019, *before* its contents became public in Oct 2020. Image
Witnesses: Jim Baker, Vijaya Gadde, Yoel Roth, Anika Collier Navaroli Image
Baker claims he urged caution around the Hunter Biden laptop when in reality he led the charge within Twitter to reverse the finding by Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth that the NY Post story had *not* violated Twitter policies

Baker repeatedly and forcefully urged Roth and other Twitter executives to censor and thus discredit the NY Post story. After he did so, Roth reversed his decision, and censored the story. Image
Vijaye Gadde, the former general counsel of Twitter, claims that its censorship of the NY Post article was done in line with its policy against hacked materials, but she does not mention that Roth & his team found they were *not* from hacking.

There was extremely strong evidence the Hunter Biden emails were authentic and *not* the result of hacking. The @nypost included a picture of the receipt signed by Hunter Biden and an FBI subpoena proving it had taken possession of the laptop.

It would have taken a few minutes for Jim Baker, Yoel Roth, Vijaye Gadde to confirm whether the FBI subpoena was real or fake. None of them did so.
Yoel Roth, like Vijaye, opens his statement describing content moderation decisions that are not particularly controversial, such as against hate speech. This has been a strategy from many Twitter execs & defenders, including regime media.

The real issue here is disinformation.
"Twitter made a mistake," says Roth, about Twitter's censorship of the NY Post story about the laptop. "I've been clear that in my judgment at the time, Twitter should not have taken action to block the NY Post's reporting." Image
Roth says that Twitter's mistake was due to his memory of Russia's hack & leak of DNC emails in 2016.

He fails to mention that he himself said FBI repeatedly primed him in 2020 to dismiss reports of the laptop as another Russian disinfo operation.

The Democrats put forward a former Twitter exec. as a witness who says, "I was not involved in the decision around Hunter Biden's laptop," which is the main topic of this hearing. She then changes the topic to January 6. Image
.@RepAndyBiggsAZ asks Roth, "Were there experts... you consulted between 9 am and 10:15 am," when Roth reversed his decision.

Roth says, "We were following this discussion as it unfolded on Twitter... and that informed Twitter's judgement"

No mention of Baker.
The witness Anika Collier Navaroli talks about how alarmed she was when Trump called his tweets "little missiles" and argues that Twitter didn't censor enough in advance of January 6.
Roth says he regrets his tweet saying there were "ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE" and that he doesn't think all conservatives are Nazis Image
Gadde says that Hunter Biden never told Twitter that he was a victim of a hack

Gadde says she did not contact Biden's lawyer to ask if the laptop was authentic Image
Baker says that he did not talk to his FBI contacts about the Hunter Biden laptop on October 14, the day the NY Post published its article.

We know that at 3:38 pm that day, Baker arranged a phone call with the General Counsel of the FBI.

Roth says that he has been harassed since leaving Twitter, which is something that I and every other journalist who covered the Twitter Files have condemned publicly and repeatedly.

Nobody should be subjected to the harassment that Yoel Roth was subjected to.
Roth confirms that he was warned in meetings with intelligence agencies and other social media companies that there could be a hack and leak operation involving Hunter Biden, but adds that the Hunter Biden info may have come from another social media firm

Roth does not say which firm that was, but it is notable that when Joe Rogan asked Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg about the Hunter Biden laptop, Zuckerberg said his staff was warned by FBI of a coming Russian hack and dump operation

Roth says FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan said publicly that the documents Chan sent to Roth on the evening of Oct 13 did not relate to the Hunter Biden laptop.

Roth says, "The company made a decision that it did violate company policy. It wasn't my personal judgment at the time that it did. But the decision was communicated to me by my direct supervisor, and ultimately I didn't disagree with it enough to object to it." Image
Roth has confirmed for the first time that he was overruled by his boss, Del Harvey, in censoring the laptop.
Rep. @AOC calls the Hunter Biden laptop "disinformation," which is bizarre. No serious person today denies that the Hunter Biden laptop is real. Multiple news media companies have confirmed that it is real and wasn't tampered with.…
Rep. Fry asks Roth about FBI constantly emailing Twitter about foreign interference.

Roth calls the FBI reports "a bit of mixed bag"

Roth says he wouldn't describe FBI as pressuring Twitter, but on Jan 2, 2020 a Twitter exec complained of "sustained (If uncoordinated) effort by the IC [intelligence community] to push us to share more info & change our API policies."

And that same month, Roth resisted FBI efforts to get Twitter to share data outside of the normal search warrant process.

Rep. Dan Goldman claims the first paragraph in the Oct 14 NY Post was "completely false" bc the Ukrainian prosecutor was corrupt, but the NY Post didn't claim he wasn't corrupt, only that Biden pressured the government to fire him.

Not clear what Goldman's talking about Image
Gadde says, "I ultimately approved that decision" to censor the laptop.
.@Jim_Jordan asks Baker if talked to any of the 51 former CIA Directors and other intelligence community officials who claimed the Hunter Biden laptop appeared to be Russian disinformation
Baker says, "I've talked to those people in the course of my career."
Baker: "I don't recall discussing that publication that they did about the Hunter Biden laptop with any of those people."
Rep. @AOC says the "information coming out of the NY Post" was "disinformation," which is bizarre. She seems to be saying that the laptop is not authentic, which is not something any mainstream journalist or policymaker believes anymore.
A committee member asks Gadde, "How is visibility filtering any different from shadow banning?"

Gadde: "I believe there are different definitions of shadowbanning... At that time I specifically defined shadow banning to mean something different than visibility filtering."
But, as @bariweiss reported last December, "What many people call 'shadow banning,' Twitter executives and employees call 'Visibility Filtering' or 'VF.' Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning."

Gadde misrepresented what Twitter was doing.

Roth confirms to Rep. @RepTimBurchett that Twitter neither de-platformed Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei nor removed his Tweet calling Israel "a malignant cancerous tumor... that has to be removed and eradicated"

As background, @bariweiss documented widespread "incitement to violence" and hate speech by major political figures that Twitter did nothing about, even as it moved to de-platform a sitting president.

A committee member asks Roth if the Russian trolls were more on Trump's or Biden's side and Roth says, "We saw Russian operatives playing both sides and often playing them against each other... manufacturing drama."
.@RepBeccaB stresses that the Biden campaign did not demand Twitter censor the Hunter Biden laptop, but that's never been the issue.

The issue is that FBI & intel community discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.

The implication of Rep. Balint is that all of this is a conspiracy theory, but when we asked former top CIA media analyst, "So you think the FBI could have been 'pre-bunking' the laptop?" he said, "I don’t think there’s any other possibility."… Image
Rep. Gary Palmer asks how the former Twitter executives justified removing Trump while leaving on Twitter Iran's Ayatollah, who called for the destruction of Israel.

"You understand how hypocritical this is, right?" says Palmer.

None offer a defense of that decision.
In Twitter Files Part 4, I documented how, on January 7, senior Twitter execs created justifications to ban Trump and sought to change policy for Trump alone, distinct from other political leaders

In Twitter Files Part 5, @bariweiss reported that Twitter staff unanimously concluded that Trump had *not* violated Twitter’s policies.

“I think we’d have a hard time saying this is incitement."

“Don’t see the incitement angle here.”

Anika Navaroli, who is also testifying, agreed, saying, "I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement in the DJT tweet... Safety has assessed the DJT Tweet above and determined that there is no violation of our policies at this time.”

"Navaroli... testified... that the ban came only after Twitter execs had for months rebuffed her calls for stronger action against Trump’s account" — @drewharwell @washingtonpost…
But Navaroli, as a Twitter executive, expressed precisely the opposite, stressing that Trump had not, in fact, violated Twitter policies

.@RepArmstrongND notes that, after intense FBI warnings of Russian disinformation, Twitter execs. did not seek to find out if the Hunter Biden laptop the result of hacking.

Instead, they reversed their own evaluation.

Worth watching:
.@RepPatFallon notes that Joe Biden repeatedly denied, while campaigning for president, ever talking to his son, Hunter, about his business dealings and that the Oct 14 NY Post article about the Hunter Biden laptop disproved that.…
.@RepDanGoldman stresses that people couldn't confirm the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop right away, but a) they could have and b) Roth & his team had already determined there was no evidence it was from hacking before they were overruled by Baker, Gadde, and Harvey
.@Jim_Jordan responds to Goldman:

"You know who knew the laptop was real? The FBI! Maybe they had it for a year and just said, 'You know what? We're gonna put it on the shelf and we're not going to look at it. But if anyone knew it was real, it's them."
Back to shadow-banning

Roth: "It would not surprise me to know that visibility filtering labels had been applied to the accounts of elected officials."

Jordan: "But the user doesn't know?"

Roth: "It was not Twitter's practice to notify users."
Rep @laurenboebert notes that Twitter applied "an aggressive visibility filter" on January 9, 2021, for 90 days, after she tweeted what she says was a joke: "Hillary must be pissed it took the DNC until 2020 to successfully rig an election." Image
@RepLuna accuses Twitter executives of working with the intelligence community and NGOs through the Jira cloud server system to censor tweets and thus violate the First Amendment.
Rep. @ChuckEdwards4NC asks Roth about his participation in an Aspen Institute zoom meeting in June 2020 with reporters and other social media execs. to plan how *not* to cover a potential Russian "hack & leak" relating to Hunter Biden

Rep. Edwards: "Why was Hunter Biden chosen as the subject of this scenario? Just weeks before the October 14th, 2020 publication of the first Hunter Biden story?"

Roth: "I don't know."
.@RepScottPerry : "Do you find it highly coincidental that it actually happened and it was Hunter Biden at all?"

Roth: "My statement does not suggest the FBI told me it would involve Hunter Biden... I think there is a coincidence there and I really can't speak as to how"

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