Another round of Twitter files brought interesting revelations about the FBI and its social media efforts to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Journalist and author Michael Shellenberger chronicles the FBI’s involvement in the laptop, taking possession of the laptop with a subpoena on December 9, 2019. And yet, on October 13, 2020, the FBI starts to send Twitter information about the laptop story being fake. By this time, the FBI had possession of the laptop for 10 months. They know it’s not a fake.
We already know from previous Twitter files how Twitter could not agree internally to censor the story but did it anyway. What we had not known was how hard the FBI was working to convince Twitter that the story was Russian disinformation. Even Twitter pushed back on this, telling the FBI that they had very little proof of any Russian disinformation activity.
Nope, the FBI insists. It’s Russian. RIGHT!? As much as Twitter executives liked complying with government narratives, they simply could not corroborate this. “[W]e haven’t yet identified activity that we’d typically refer to you (or even flag as interesting in the foreign influence context),” Yoel Roth, the Twitter executive, says.
The thread goes on to expose how many former FBI agents were working inside of Twitter. So many that they had their own Slack channel called “Bu alumni.” This clearly helped Twitter executives who were skeptical of the laptop story censorship buy into the “wild hack-and-dump story.”