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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke December 9, 2022

No, this isn’t a real Elon Musk tweet about alleged Twitter suppression

If Your Time is short

  • This is a doctored tweet. 

Twitter owner Elon Musk has been tweeting lately about the "Twitter Files," internal company documents from before he took the helm. On Dec. 2, for example, he dangled insight into "what really happened with the Hunter Biden story suppression by Twitter." 

But we found no evidence that he tweeted the following words appearing in a screenshot trending across social media: "The Democrats paid the CEO Jack Dorsey of Twitter millions of dollars to block and delete people’s pages during the 2020 election That posted anything about Hunter Biden’s laptop Let me say that again the democratic party paid millions to block stories about the Biden’s."

An Instagram post sharing the screenshot was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The screenshot features Elon Musk’s Twitter handle and avatar, but no such tweet appears in his feed, and there are no breadcrumbs to suggest it ever did. 

Though there has been widespread media coverage about both the "Twitter Files" and Musk’s other tweets about the social media platform, we found no news articles about this tweet (except for a fact-check from Snopes). 

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The supposed tweet carries some other obvious red flags: the odd punctuation and stilted phrasing, such as "the CEO Jack Dorsey of Twitter." 

Also, The Washington Post reported, the first batch of internal Twitter communications that were made public before this Instagram post was published showed that Twitter "independently decided to limit the spread" of a New York Post story about President Joe Biden’s son, "without Democratic politicians, the Biden campaign or FBI exerting control over the social media network." 

"In fact," the Post reported, "the only input from a sitting politician that Taibbi noted was from Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna (D), who told Twitter executives they should distribute the story, regardless of the potential consequences for his party."

In 2020, after restricting users from sharing the New York Post article about Hunter Biden, Twitter reversed its policy a few weeks before the election and let users post the story link again.

We rate claims that this is an authentic Musk tweet False. 


Our Sources

Instagram post, Dec. 7, 2022

Elon Musk’s Twitter account, visited Dec. 9, 2022

The Washington Post, Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ ignite divisions, but haven’t changed minds, Dec. 3, 2022

Axios, Musk's second "Twitter Files" claims "secret blacklists," Dec. 8, 2022

The New York Times, Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and a very modern media maelstrom, Dec. 4, 2022

Politico, Elon Musk’s release of Twitter documents on Hunter Biden has slowed. Here’s why, Dec. 8, 2022

The New York Times, In reversal, Twitter is no longer blocking New York Post article, Oct. 16, 2020


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No, this isn’t a real Elon Musk tweet about alleged Twitter suppression

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