Elon Musk “Censors” Matt Taibbi’s Post about Twitter “Censoring” the “Hunter Biden” “Laptop” Story

Back in October 2020, #MattyDickPics Taibbi wrote a post on his Substack about the great scandal that Twitter throttled the dodgy NYPost story.

The incredible decision by Twitter and Facebook to block access to a New York Post story about a cache of emails reportedly belonging to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter, with Twitter going so far as to lock the 200 year-old newspaper out of its own account for over a week, continues to be a major underreported scandal.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Imagine the reaction if that same set of facts involved the New York Times and any of its multitudinous unverifiable “exposes” from the last half-decade: from the similarly-leaked “black ledger” story implicating Paul Manafort, to its later-debunked “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” story, to its mountain of articles about the far more dubious Steele dossier.


The flow of information in the United States has become so politicized – bottlenecked by an increasingly brazen union of corporate press and tech platforms – that it’s become impossible for American audiences to see news about certain topics absent thickets of propagandistic contextualizing.

That makes the effect of Elon Musk’s decision yesterday to block links to Substack (as well as WordPress, on which this site is built) all the more tragicomic.

Here’s how that tragicomedy unfolded, in four five acts (note: Mehdi made the same joke I made yesterday at about the same time):





Just days ago, as Mehdi Hasan shredded his false claims, #MattyDickPics squirmed as he explained that he had no criticism to make of authoritarian narcissist Elon Musk because he believed Musk intended to reverse what, #MattyDickPics claimed to believe, amounted to censorship from Twitter, including the throttling for 24-hours of one story from the NYPost.

Almost immediately after that, Elmo throttled not just #MattyDickPics’ own posts about “Hunter Biden’s” “laptop,” but scores of other such posts as well.

Update, Five:

31 replies
  1. rattlemullet says:

    Seems to me that people should revert back to the ways they connected with each other, professionally, or socially before twitter. Musk is not the man to be the control who who gets platformed and who does not. Support of Nazis and white power even passively is not a good.

    • Rayne says:

      Sorry to see you go, rattle, have a nice pre-blogging reversion. You do realize that blogs are social media, too? And that Twitter is just a microblogging platform?

      ~eye roll~

      • Teri says:

        Rayne, I think she said leave Twitter, not leave social media. A person can leave Twitter but still do social media.

        • Rayne says:

          Thanks, Teri, but when blogging and microblogging are so tightly entwined — like Twitter cutting off Substack and WordPress and damaging Twitter’s network effects at the same time — there’s not a lot of daylight.

          Even this site’s key contributors haven’t left Twitter because of those network effects.

            • Rayne says:

              Ugh. You know how I feel about that goddamned crustpunk Nazi bar, Twitter, and your moaning about Mastodon. I hate that Twitter hasn’t just outright collapsed and forced people to deal with the reality, and that it instead remains so damned tied into other viable long-term platforms like WordPress.

      • RipNoLonger says:

        I think I’m missing the reason for your response to rattlemullet (rm), Rayne.

        While rm did say that we should go back to communication before how we used twitter, I don’t think it was as broad a brush as saying we shouldn’t use any platform. WordPress has been around since before twitter.

        Personally I think there is room for many technologies (platforms). I primarily use emails for two-way communications; I can shoot texts or slack chats or anything else that people want.

        Viable alternatives to twitter are imperative as long as musk is wreaking havoc.

        • Rayne says:

          You and Teri Kanefield are on the same page — your comments passed each other’s in auto-moderation.

    • Scott_in_MI says:

      Twitter was launched in July 2006, and by 2013 was one of the ten most-visited websites. If you’re a professional under 35, especially if you work in journalism or other information-related fields, you may not ever have had a “pre-Twitter” means of professional networking and communication.

      • Teri says:

        While she said people should go back to what they were doing before Twitter, I understand that she was saying find an alternative to Twitter where Musk is not in control. How is that a bad idea?

        • bmaz says:

          It would not be a bad idea except such a viable alternative does not, in fact, exist. Mastodon is unusable and discombobulated, and that is the closest there is. Twitter is still a light year better despite the damage Musk has done.

  2. Shell4747 says:

    The final update is perfection, lordy I wish I could see Taibbi’s reaction in realtime. That is some cold goddamn under-busing.

    And probably lying in re #1&2, but what else could we expect.

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  3. Peterr says:

    ELMO: Look Matt, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

    Matt: Ummmm . . .

    ELMO: I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

    Matt: Open the pod bay doors, ELMO.

    ELMO: I’m sorry, Matt. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

    Matt: What’s the problem?

    ELMO: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

    Matt: What are you talking about, ELMO?

    ELMO: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

    Matt: Ummmm . . .

    (with apologies to Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke)

  4. Name Field says:

    Are we sure Matt was ever a good reporter?

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  5. Clare Kelly says:

    Thank you, Marcy, as always.

    Between reading this piece, and listening to you on Josh Holland’s “We’ve Got Issues” podcast, I’m exhaling while smiling (smexhaling?).

    This week has been a civil liberties roller coaster.

    Though I try not to have them, my usual heroes and a few new ones have stepped-up.

    I’m grateful.

  6. Fancy Chicken says:


    I know the comments here are generally pithy and erudite but all I have is a joyous
    HA HA HA HA HA! Jokes on you Matty!

    Narcissistic ego maniacs have no loyalty to anybody or anything. Full Stop.

    (But I do hate watching Elmo drive Twitter into the ground)

  7. Rwood0808 says:

    Not sure if it’s related or not but are we perhaps seeing the “Dominion” effect starting here?

  8. Jonathan_08APR2023_1542h says:

    “The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Imagine the reaction if that same set of facts involved the New York Times and any of its multitudinous unverifiable “exposes” from the last half-decade: from the similarly-leaked “black ledger” story implicating Paul Manafort, to its later-debunked “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” story, to its mountain of articles about the far more dubious Steele dossier.”

    Usually when Taibbi acts like a bunch of significant claims are all totally uncontroversial and well-established, it turns out they’re not and he doesn’t have a cogent argument for them. I followed his link to the “debunking” of the NYT article. It took me to an article saying Comey, specifically, disagreed with it “in the main” but never specifying what exactly he thinks it got wrong. The “debunking” article speculated that the disagreement between its sources and Comey could be a verbal one, over the term ‘intelligence officer.’

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  9. Dr. Noisewater says:

    Wait, so if Taibbi is an employee of Substack as Elmo claims, what does that say about Elmo opening up user data to another company, among all the other issues with the twitter files. Doesn’t that put Elmo in that much more hot water with consent decree, or does that not quite matter? Sorry I’ve just really really come to love watching Elmo step on rake after rake that he placed!

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