Headline RoundupDecember 20th, 2022

New 'Twitter Files' Detail Communications, Payments Between FBI and Twitter

Summary from the AllSides News Team

"Twitter Files" release on Monday appear to show extensive communications and payments between the FBI and Twitter about the platform's approach to disinformation and suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

The Details: Apparent screenshots of communications between the FBI and Twitter show that the FBI paid Twitter $3.4 million for processing the agency's requests about disinformation; that former FBI lawyer-turned-Twitter lawyer Jim Baker repeatedly cast doubt on the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop story to other top Twitter executives; that top Twitter decision-makers were initially unconvinced that the story should be suppressed; and that the FBI conducted an exercise with Twitter in September 2020 about a hypothetical “Burisma Leak” and how to handle it. Burisma is a Ukrainian energy firm on whose board Hunter Biden once sat.

Key Quotes: Michael Shellenberger, the journalist recruited by Twitter CEO Elon Musk to publish the release, said the materials point to an organized effort by "members of the intelligence community (IC), aimed at senior executives at news and social media companies, to discredit leaked information about Hunter Biden before and after it was published."

How the Media Covered It: No left-rated sources and very few center-rated sources have covered the latest Twitter Files release as of Tuesday afternoon. Right-rated outlets have covered it prominently, and many continue to frame it as evidence of a large-scale conspiracy between the FBI, Big Tech, and mainstream media companies to suppress negative information about the Biden family.

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