Matt Taibbi leaves Twitter after Musk’s takeover of Substack Notes

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Twitter Profiles

April 7, 2023 | 8:43 p.m

Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibi announced Friday that he is reluctantly leaving the social media platform after CEO Elon Musk’s recent changes made it “unusable” for him.

Taibbi was one of the few reporters Musk granted access to Twitter’s internal communications last year after he bought the social media giant, revealing how the company cooperated with government agencies to enforce censorship and suppress information and news — including The Post’s Bombshell Hunter Biden Laptop. scoop in in the run-up to the 2020 election.

As a condition of his internal access, Taib agreed to publish his reporting directly via long Twitter threads. However, Taibeh and fellow reporter Barry Weiss published their stories on Substack, which allows writers to share their stories with paying subscribers, Mediaite reported.

After Substack announced Notes, a new competitive feature that allows short, tweet-like posts, Twitter responded by blocking the ability to share links or even include tweets in Substack posts, according to the outlet.

In a publication titledThe craziest Friday everTibi explained why he left Twitter and wrote that Musk’s platform views Substack Notes as a “hostile competitor.”

Tibi said he was leaving Twitter after the company banned Substack users from sharing Twitter links on the platform.
WireImage

He said the move was likely to “come at a price in terms of any future reporting of Twitter profiles”.

“Earlier this afternoon, I learned that Substack links have been blocked on Twitter. Since being able to share my articles is the main reason I use Twitter, I panicked and asked what was going on,” Taiba tweeted.

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“It turns out that Twitter is upset about the new Substack Notes feature, which they see as a hostile competitor. When I asked how I was supposed to market my work, I was given the option to post my articles to Twitter instead of Substack,” the former Rolling Stone journalist continued.

“There is not much suspense there; I’m staying at Substack. You have all been wonderful to me, as has the management of this company. Starting early next week, I’ll be using the new Substack Notes feature (which you’ll have access to all of them) instead of Twitter, a decision that seems likely to have a price in terms of any future Twitter profile reports,” Taibbi wrote.

He concluded, “It was all worth it and I will always be grateful to those who gave me the chance to work on that story, but man is this crazy planet.”

Musk chose Taibah as one of a handful of reporters to write about internal communications on Twitter before he took over.
Reuters

Taibah released the first of several “Twitter Files” reports in December 2022, which exposed the chaos and confusion behind closed doors after a small group of senior executives made the decision to label The Post’s Hunter story “Hacked Biden material,” despite any evidence.

The decision to censor The Post’s story was made “at the highest levels of the company,” according to Tibi, but without the involvement of then-CEO Jack Dorsey. Email and comments from former Twitter employees reviewed by the journalist showed that “everyone knows” that the social media giant’s suppression of the story “was scandalous.”

While still CEO, Dorsey admitted during a March 2021 congressional hearing on disinformation and social media that withholding The Post’s report was “totally wrong.”

The second round of Twitter files, posted in a thread days later by fellow journalist Bari Weiss, detailed how the social media company secretly “shadow-blocked” a number of far-right users.

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Tibi then reported how Twitter decided to ban former President Donald Trump from the platform in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, while senior officials remained in touch with several government agencies about the decision.

Al-Tayeb testified before the House Judiciary Committee last month and accused the media of colluding with the government.
AP

Subsequent information revealed that employees and senior executives pressed for the ex-Trump to be removed from the site even though the company’s monitors found no abuse in the former president’s tweets.

In another surprising report, Tibi also revealed that the CIA had been involved in overseeing Twitter content for years.

Internal communications revealed that Elvis Chan of the FBI, highlighted in other “Twitter Files” releases, asked company executives to “invite the OGA” — or another government agency, usually meaning the CIA — to an upcoming conference.

Al-Tayeb reported that “the regular meeting[s] From the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) — attended by Twitter and “nearly every major tech company.” [including] Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit, even Pinterest, and many others” — she had “the FBI staff,” and — almost always — one or two attendees tagged in “OGA” to discuss outside matters.

Through FITF, US intelligence has tasked Twitter analysts with grueling investigations into domestic Twitter accounts that allegedly have nefarious foreign links, the documents reveal — escalating as the 2020 presidential election approaches but continuing into 2022.

Musk has publicly called for full disclosure of why Twitter decided to block the Washington Post’s reporting on President Biden’s son Hunter.
AP

Twitter content monitors have analyzed users’ IP data, phone numbers, and even weighed whether usernames “sound Russian” to corroborate the government’s accusations — but they often failed to do so.

Tibi testified before the House Judiciary Committee last month and accused mainstream media of being “an arm of the state-sponsored thought-monitoring system,” creating “a form of digital McCarthyism.”

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We’ve learned that Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies have developed a formal system to receive moderation “requests” from every corner of government: the FBI, DHS, HHS, the DOD, the country’s Center for Global Engagement, and even the CIA. ,” He said.

On the same day that he testified, an IRS agent visited Thebes’ home in New Jersey.

Tibi said that the agent who visited left a note asking him to contact the tax office after four days. When he did, an IRS agent reportedly told him his 2018 and 2021 returns had been denied due to identity theft concerns.

An IRS agent visited Taipei’s home in New Jersey the same day he testified in Washington.
AP

Tibi reportedly provided documents to the House Judiciary Committee showing that his 2018 tax return was accepted electronically, and he said the March intervention marked the first time in more than four years he had been told it had been denied.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Monday demanded that the IRS turn over all documents related to the visit. By April 10thincluded[a]All documents and communications between or between the IRS, the Treasury Department, and any other executive branch entity referring to or relating to Matthew Taibi.”

It is unclear if El-Taibi will continue to post the Twitter Profiles reports after he exits the platform, where he has 1.8 million followers.




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