The ‘Twitter Files revealed by Elon Musk has implicated Vijaya Gadde, the Indian-origin former head of legal, policy and trust at the company, in suppressing Hunter Biden’s laptop story on the platform, while giving a clean chit to former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Gadde, who took an unceremonious exit from Twitter along with former CEO Parag Agrawal, had taken the crucial call to ban former US President Donald Trump and stop political advertising on the platform.
Working with Twitter since 2011, she was a key executive responsible for overseeing the microblogging platform’s trust and safety, legal and public policy functions.
Without revealing how he obtained them, independent journalist and author Matt Taibbi shared the ‘Twitter Files’ on the platform on Saturday, which Musk then endorsed, saying “here we go”.
“The decision (to suppress Hunter Biden’s laptop story) was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust, Vijaya Gadde, playing a key role,” claimed Taibbi.
“An amazing subplot of the Twitter/Hunter Biden laptop affair was how much was done without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey,” he added.
In October 2020, just before the US Presidential elections, Twitter had restricted a New York Post article containing unverified claims about the activities of Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, in Ukraine.
Twitter had said that the content violated the company’s “Hacked Materials Policy”.
Dorsey had then tweeted that blocking the content without providing more context was “unacceptable”. He was also grilled about the episode before the US Congress in November 2020.
In April this year, Musk for the first time slammed Indian-origin lawyer Gadde over censoring exclusive stories related to Hunter Biden’s laptop in the wake of the Capitol Hill violence.
“Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organisation for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate,” Musk had said in a tweet.
Next month, Musk claimed he received a call from Twitter’s legal team being run by Gadde, accusing the Tesla CEO of violating a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) by revealing that the sample size for checking fake/spam users on the micro-blogging platform was 100.
“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100! This actually happened,” Musk had said in a tweet.
He had earlier tweeted that he picked “100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5 per cent fake/spam/duplicate”.
Meanwhile, Taibbi said there is much more to come, “including answers to questions about issues like shadow-banning, boosting, follower counts, the fate of various individual accounts, and more”.
“There are multiple instances in the files of Dorsey intervening to question suspensions and other moderation actions, for accounts across the political spectrum,” he posted.