Elon Musk announced on Tuesday that Twitter’s former Deputy General Counsel James Baker had been fired from the company following revelations regarding his participation in the platform’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
“In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today,” Musk tweeted Tuesday.
Musk went on to say that he questioned Baker about the laptop scandal’s circumstances before terminating him and that the lawyer’s story was “unconvincing.”
Musk revealed the details of the lawyer’s resignation shortly after journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted that Baker’s “vetting” of the information without management approval had caused the anticipated publication of new internal documents related to Twitter’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop incident to be delayed. Matt Taibbi alleged that he and fellow journalists Bari Weiss encountered “obstacles” while hunting for internal materials provided by Musk.
According to Taibbi, the second installment of Taibbi and Weiss’ research into the “Twitter files” will be published soon.
Over the weekend, Taibbi obtained official Twitter communications from October 2020 regarding how to deal with the New York Post’s disclosure of materials on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop and the first son’s alleged influence-peddling tactics.
Eventually, Twitter blocked the article under its “hacked materials” policy despite lacking evidence of a hack. According to the emails obtained by Taibbi, Baker recommended restricting the piece during the deliberation process, stating that it was “reasonable for us to assume” it contained hacked content and that “caution is warranted.”
Responses to Taibbi’s release of the documents over the weekend were mixed. Many people interpreted the documents as proof of Twitter’s liberal bias and antagonism against free speech, but others saw the news as the platform’s sincere attempts to address moderation issues.
The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, completed the acquisition of Twitter last month. He has repeatedly stated that full disclosure is required to understand why the company opted to block the article’s coverage of President Biden’s son just weeks before the 2020 election.
The 51-year-old billionaire has sworn to make social media a haven for free speech, and he has teased the publication of the internal data for days, saying that “the public needs to know what happened.”