Full disclosure: there is no cannabis censorship in the Twitter Files. For all its problems, Twitter has been good on the weed file compared to tech companies like Facebook or Instagram.
But there are lessons here for cannabis connoisseurs in the Twitter Files. But first, what are the Twitter Files?
Twitter Interfered with the 2020 Election
On Friday, December 2nd, Elon Musk tweeted, “This will be awesome,” referencing an info dump about to happen.
Since taking over the company, Musk and the team have been rummaging through Twitter’s internal files. We now have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Twitter engaged in free speech censorship in the run-up to the 2020 US federal election.
Critics say the Twitter Files have produced no smoking gun. Despite the files showing how the social media giant suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story and bent their will to the wishes of Democrats.
The Twitter Files, posted by Matt Taibbi (an actual journalist and not simply a corporate mouthpiece), is a Twitter thread that you can follow here. Zero Hedge has compiled the Tweets into an article here.
Some highlights include requests from connected actors to delete tweets damaging the Biden campaign.
As Taibbi writes, by 2020, it’d become routine. “One executive would write to another: “More to review from the Biden team.” The reply would come back: “Handled.”
Both Republicans and Democrats had the tools to influence Twitter. But it’s apparent from the internal files that the Twitter bias was for the Democrats.
The Twitter Files: Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship
The Twitter Files didn’t break the Hunter Laptop censorship story. But it indeed confirmed it. Not that it needed much confirmation.
In the run-up to the 2020 election, established legacy media, the New York Post, broke the story and were subsequently censored over it.
You couldn’t even share the story via a private, direct message. The only other time Twitter censors private messages is when dealing with illegal activities, like child pornography.
The White House spokeswoman got locked out of her account. Twitter said they weren’t censoring but removing the Hunter Biden story due to the company’s “hacked materials” policy.
Forgetting the fact that Biden left the laptop at a repair shop. Nobody hacked him. He simply forgot it.
Like Facebook, Twitter received word from the FBI that a “foreign hack” was imminent. Therefore, the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation. No evidence required.
Twitter knew it was in the wrong. Former VP of Global Comms asked, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”
Not that it mattered. The former head of legal, policy and trust, Vijaya Gadde, was “happy to jump on the phone” and discuss undermining free speech with Democratic congressman Ro Khanna.
Khanna, however, was more concerned with protecting the First Amendment.
As the Biden laptop story became “Tech’s Access Hollywood moment,” the social media giant dug deeper into the hole.
Why the Twitter Files are Important
Carl Szabo of the research firm NetChoice polled nine Republican and three Democrat members of congress to gather intel about the laptop story.
Szabo writes, “High level take away – every Republican said ‘this is a tipping point. It’s just too much.’ And both Democrats and the Republicans were angry.”
Szabo, however, goes on to repeat the attitudes of the Democrats he polled. They want “more” moderation and even go as far as to say the Bill of Rights is “not absolute.”
CEO Jack Dorsey was unaware this was happening. When he finally got involved, he was skeptical of Twitter’s actions.
Keep in mind Twitter had locked the New York Post’s account for reporting a now-confirmed laptop story. A laptop that contained evidence of foreign influence peddling the then-Vice President Joe Biden.
Former Twitter head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth has admitted it was a “mistake” to censor the story. That it was “too difficult” for Twitter to verify.
However, they could have just trusted the Post. Considering that the Post is one of America’s oldest newspapers, that doesn’t have a reputation for being a speculative tabloid.
Especially when you consider the sensationalist tabloid headlines that Twitter regularly allows.
But critics are missing an essential angle to this story.
Would Roth have censored the story if it was a Trump laptop full of pornography and incriminating evidence regarding a foreign power and a Ukrainian gas giant?
As mentioned, Twitter has a lax stance on cannabis content compared to sites like Instagram. But if there’s any lesson from the Twitter Files, it’s that we can’t trust social media giants to maintain this lax attitude.
For example, how lax can cannabis content get?
By the time Canada’s Cannabis Act Review wraps up, Justin Trudeau will likely be facing another election.
Since the weed file is the only success he’s had as prime minister (which itself is debatable), he may choose to run on reforming the Cannabis Act to fit the recommendations made by the review committee.
In 2015, Trudeau campaigned for cannabis legalization using blatant propaganda. Or, as Twitter might put it, harmful misinformation.
Trudeau called the peaceful farmers of British Columbia “organized crime,” and still hasn’t pardoned their records or fully liberalized the BC Bud economy.
And he used the “think of the children” rhetoric. A propaganda tactic that is a) technically a logical fallacy, b) substitutes rational conversation for moral panic, and c) invokes censorship.
You can’t have a reasonable, open discussion with someone about cannabis if every inclination of freedom is met with “but what about the children!?”
You may think the Twitter Files won’t get repeated with cannabis, but what about opioids?
Trudeau’s revival Pierre Poilievre has a good shot at becoming Canada’s next prime minister. However, Poilievre wants to shut down the safe supply sites that provide taxpayer-funded drugs to homeless addicts.
Every moral busybody in the country is defending safe supply sites and calling Poilievre’s political stance “irresponsible,” even “sick.”
Will Twitter censor Poilievre’s political campaign and boost Trudeau to combat “harmful misinformation?”
Unlikely, under Elon’s leadership. But what about the other tech giants?
Final Word on the Twitter Files
“I’m not convinced this is a bombshell,” says the bootlicker.
Former employee Yoel Roth, who helped make Joe Biden president through censorship, thinks publishing all these e-mails is harmful and “a fundamentally unacceptable thing to do.”
The cognitive dissonance with some of these people is truly profound.
But as Musk said in a Q&A: “The idea here is to come clean on everything that has happened in the past in order to build public trust for the future.”
“Rather than admit they lied to the public they’re trying to pretend this is a nothingburger,” he said. “Shame on them.”
Indeed. One can only hope Elon and other liberty-loving billionaires start buying up other social media giants.
Elon Musk may not have acquired his wealth entirely through free and fair market means. But I’ll take his free speech absolutism over the moral gatekeeping of progressives any day.