Elon Musk’s Twitter Files Are a Feast for Conspiracy Theorists

It has become established rhetoric among the political right that suppressing the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was nothing short of a conspiracy between the Biden campaign and Twitter, supposedly proving Trump’s grandiose claims of an orchestrated effort to keep him from the White House.

“The Twitter Files confirm Q’s entire main narrative,” one QAnon influencer wrote. “Balenciaga confirms the rest.” That message, which references the fantastical claims about fashion brand Balenciaga’s role in child trafficking, was seen more than 120,000 times on Telegram. (Despite some optimism that his account would be restored, that particular QAnon influencer remains suspended on Twitter.) Other QAnon influencers seized on the fact that former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s personal email, which Taibbi failed to censor in a screenshot he shared, used the custom top-level domain .pizza.

Liz Crokin, a popular QAnon influencer who boasts more than 100,000 followers on Telegram and hundreds of paid subscribers on Substack, wrote on Telegram that the emails implicate Dorsey in the same Satanic cabal as Hillary Clinton adviser John Podesta. “Pizza is a pedophile code word that’s been identified by law enforcement,” Crokin wrote. (She, too, is still suspended from Twitter.)

On Tuesday, Crokin spoke at Mar-a-Lago, where she discussed “Pizzagate, Balenciaga, and what President Trump’s Administration did to combat human trafficking,” according to her Telegram channel. Crokin also uploaded a speech from Trump to the small gathering, where he heaped praise on his briefly tenured national security adviser, Michael Flynn—who has become one of the most high-profile QAnon influencers in recent years.

The enormously popular @catturd account, with its more than 1 million followers on Twitter and more than 800,000 on Truth Social, called to “disband the FBI” and “arrest [FBI Director] Christopher Wray” following the release of the documents. “After what Elon Musk revealed about #TwitterGate—I never want to hear the phrase ‘free and fair elections’ coming from the FBI, big tech fact checkers, the media, or the Democrat party, ever again,” the anonymous person behind the account wrote.

Yet, as Tabbi himself explains, the files prove no such thing. “Although several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence—that I’ve seen—of any government involvement in the laptop story,” Taibbi wrote.

In fact, Taibbi reports, the decision was made at high levels of Twitter, but below then CEO Dorsey. “They freelanced it,” a source who spoke to the journalist said.

The actual contents of the Twitter Files wouldn’t get in the way of a good story, however. Eagle-eyed supporters of Trump picked up on one particular name in the Twitter Files: James Baker.

In the leaked internal emails, Baker, Twitter’s deputy general counsel, urged a careful approach. “We need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked,” he wrote. As one of the company’s most senior lawyers, he noted that some evidence pointed to the contents of the laptop having been hacked, while other indicators pointed to it being legitimately abandoned by Biden. In the absence of good information, he recommended that Twitter assume the worst and proceed with “caution.”

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