Twitter Files: The Complete List
The Twitter Files are a set of Twitter threads based on internal Twitter Inc. documents that were made public starting in December 2022. Here’s a complete list as of this writing, with direct links to both the Twitter threads and relevant hashtags. I offer up my own subjective summary of some key points, but I urge you visit the thread and form your own opinion. I’ll attempt to keep up to date as new ones come in.
Nomenclature: I refer to the pre-Musk era at the company as Twitter 1.0.
|1. Twitter and the Hunter Biden Laptop Story, Dec 2 2022|
Summary: Twitter blocked the New York Post from sharing a bombshell October 2020 story about Hunter Biden’s laptop contents, just prior to the 2020 US presidential election. It also suppressed people re-sharing this story, including the Press Secretary of the United States. Twitter attempted to justify this under its “hacked materials” policy, even though there was considerable debate about whether it legitimately applied.
1a. Twitter Files Supplemental
Summary: The Twitter Files 1 thread was delayed, based upon the surprising revelation that then-employee Jim Baker, former FBI General Counsel and current Twitter Deputy Counsel had been reviewing all materials before handing them to the journalists Musk invited to Twitter HQ. (Musk let Baker go.) Bari Weiss uncovers the Baker story.
|2. Twitter’s Secret Blacklists: Shadow Banning and “Visibility Filtering” of users, Dec 8, 2022|
Summary: Was Twitter 1.0 “shadow-banning?” Twitter executives Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde have frequently claimed that Twitter does not shadow-ban, but multiple tools exist within Twitter to limit the tweet distribution and visibility of a given account. “Do Not Amplify” settings exist, as do several settings around propagation of tweets to others.
|3. The Removal of Donald Trump Part One: Oct 2020-Jan 6 2021, Dec 9, 2022|
Summary: On January 7th 2021, Twitter summarily banned the 45th President of the United States from its platform. What led up to their decision, and what were some of the internal conversations surrounding it? Part 1 of 3.
|4. United States Capitol Attack January 6th 2021, Dec 10 2022|
Summary: The ban of Donald Trump from Twitter stemmed directly from the January 6th 2021 attack on the United States Capitol by supporters/protestors/rioters. The stunning event led Twitter executives to finally make the call they had long discussed. Part 2 of 3
|5. The Removal of Trump from Twitter, January 8th 2021: Dec 12, 2022|
Summary: Trump was banned from Twitter on January 8th, 2021. Though Twitter 1.0 was always adjusting discussion rules on the platform, it’s notable that on January 7th, Twitter staff adjusted several key rules to allow for and justify the banning of the then-President. Part 3 of 3
|6. FBI & Hunter Biden Laptop, Dec 16, 2022|
Summary: The FBI attempted to discredit factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities both after and even before the NY Post revealed the contents of his laptop. Why would the FBI be doing this? And what channels existed between the FBI and Twitter 1.0?
|7. Twitter, The FBI Subsidiary, Dec 19, 2022|
Summary: Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant, both social and professional, and pervasive. A surprising number of communications from the FBI included requests to take action on election misinformation, even involving joke tweets from low-follower and satirical accounts. FBI asked Twitter to look at certain accounts, suggesting that they “may potentially constitute violations of Terms of Service.”
|8. How Twitter Quietly Aided the Pentagon’s Covert Online PsyOp Campaign, Dec 20, 2022|
Summary: While they made public assurances suggesting they would detect and thwart government-based manipulation, behind the scenes Twitter 1.0 gave approval and special protection to a branch of the US military related to psychological influence operations in certain instances.
|9. Twitter and “Other Government Agencies”, Dec 24 2022|
Summary: The FBI responds to Twitter Files 7, vigorously disputing some of the framing and reporting. Taibbi responds to FBI communication and press releases, and further shares internal documents related to FBI and “other government agency” correspondence.
|10. How Twitter Rigged the COVID Debate, Dec 26, 2022|
Summary: David Zweig illustrates how Twitter 1.0 reduced the visibility of true but perhaps inconvenient COVID information, and discredited doctors and other experts who disagreed.
|11 and 12.|
How Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In, Jan 3, 2023
Summary: Twitter 1.0 responds to governmental inquiry regarding some Russian-linked accounts, attempting to keep the governmental and press focus on rival Facebook.
Twitter and the FBI “Belly Button”, Jan 3 2023
Summary: Twitter 1.0 works diligently to resist acting on State Department moderation requests. In the end, it allowed the State Department to reach them via the FBI, which FBI agent Chan calls “the belly button” of the United States government.
|13. Twitter and Suppression of COVID Vaccine Debate, Jan 9 2023|
Summary: Scott Gottleib, a Pfizer board member, used his influence to suppress debate on COVID vaccines, including from the head of the FDA. Twitter 1.0 frets about the damage the effectiveness of natural immunity might have on vaccine uptake, and Twitter slaps a label on a key tweet former FDA commissioner Brett Giroir’s tweet touting the strength of natural immunity.
|14. The Russiagate Lies One: The Fake Tale of Russian Bots and the #ReleaseTheMemo Hashtag, Jan 12 2023|
Summary: On January 18th 2018, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes submitted a classified memo to the House Intelligence Committee listing abuses at the FBI in getting surveillance approval of Trump-connected figures. His memo also called into question the veracity and reliability of the Steele “Dossier.” #ReleaseTheMemo started trending, but Democrats attempted to discredit this by saying it was all being amplified by Russian bots and trolls, referencing Hamilton 68, a dashboard powered by the Twitter API (See Twitter Files #15, next in the series.) Though Nunes’ assertions would eventually be basically fully verified in a report by the Justice Department, a significant PR campaign was launched to discredit the memo, labeling it a “joke.” This TwitterFiles thread discusses Democrats’ desire to discredit the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag as being of Russian origin/amplification, and Twitter’s compliance with those requests. Note that there is heavy reliance on the “Hamilton 68 Dashboard” in many of these discussions, which is the subject of Twitter Files 15. The important bit: Twitter executives knew it was fraudulent from about 2017 onward, yet did nothing to discredit it in the media, allowing this DNC-message-benefitting sham to continue.
|15. Move Over, Jason Blair: Twitter Files Expose Next Great Media Fraud (Hamilton 68 Dashboard), Jan 27 2023|
Summary: This thread delves into the Hamilton 68 dashboard referenced in TwitterFiles 14 above. Twitter knew as early as October 2017 that it was simply pulling tweets from a curated list of about 650 accounts, and also knew that very few of those accounts were actually Russian. They knew that the media and Democrat officials were citing Hamilton 68 Dashboard as somehow credible. Though Twitter executive Yoel Roth tried several times to raise internal concern about the integrity of this tool, he was overruled within Twitter, and Twitter 1.0 never directly discredited this tool or explained how it worked.
Meta-Story: Behind the Scenes, In the Authors’ Words
Our Reporting at Twitter, Bari Weiss, The Free Press, December 15 2022
Interview with Matt Taibbi, Russell Brand:
Steve’s a Seattle-based entrepreneur and software leader, husband and father of three. He’s American-Canadian, and east-coast born and raised. Steve has made the Pacific Northwest his home since 1991, when he moved here to work for Microsoft. He’s started and sold multiple Internet companies. Politically independent, he writes on occasion about city politics and national issues, and created voter-candidate matchmaker Alignvote in the 2019 election cycle. He holds a BS in Applied Math (Computer Science) and Business from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University in Symbolic and Heuristic Computation, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he graduated a George F. Baker Scholar. Steve volunteers when time allows with Habitat for Humanity, University District Food Bank, Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and other organizations in Seattle.