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Elon Musk says Twitter ‘interfered in elections’

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
November 30, 2022

On Wednesday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said the social media giant “has interfered in elections” before vowing to make the platform – which he acquired last month – more “effective, transparent and even-handed.”

Musk made the claim about Twitter’s election interference in response to two separate tweets. The first tweet came from Reuters’ official account, which stated, “Twitter not safer under Elon Musk, says former head of trust and safety.”

The second tweet was made in response to Reuters’ tweet. The user wrote, “Twitter has shown itself to be not safe for the past 10 years and has lost users’ trust. The past team of ‘trust and safety’ is a disgrace, so it doesn’t have any right to judge what is being done now. They had a chance, but they sold their souls to a corporation.”

Musk then replied, “Exactly. The obvious reality, as long-time users know, is that Twitter has failed in trust & safety for a very long time and has interfered in elections. Twitter 2.0 will be far more effective, transparent and even-handed.”

In September, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry revealed that a lawsuit filed earlier this year forced the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reveal emails exposing at least 45 federal officials who “communicate[d] with social media platforms about ‘misinformation’ and censorship,'” including Twitter.

The emails showed the Biden administration colluded with social media companies to censor Americans in an effort that involved officials at the White House, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, Treasury Department, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and more.

In October 2020, just weeks before the presidential election between then-President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the New York Post reported on a laptop belonging to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Opponents of Biden said the laptop’s contents implicated Hunter, and possibly his father, in questionable business activities in Ukraine and China.

Twitter subsequently blocked users from sharing links to the article and locked the Post’s account. Twitter later reversed the policy, but the Post reported at the time that its Twitter account was still locked and would remain locked until it deletes six tweets about the Biden laptop reporting that Twitter determined went against its prior policy.

According to a Media Research Center poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election, 16 percent of Biden voters said they would not have voted for Biden if they had known about the Biden family’s foreign business dealings – suggesting the public’s awareness of the Hunter Biden laptop story could have changed the outcome of the election.