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Epstein Files, also known as Ghislaine Maxwell Unsealed Documents, refers to a cache of documents that were unsealed in late July 2020 during the U.S. v. Ghislaine Maxwell trial. The documents that were released by the court stem from a 2015 civil action against Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, who claimed that Maxwell played a key role in the luring and training of underage girls as sex slaves. Personal emails between Maxwell, Epstein and discussions between Giuffre and her lawyer, as well as other testimonies from alleged victims, are included in the files. Since being released, the documents have been widely circulated on the internet, sparking discussion on several sites and social media platforms.
On July 23rd, 2020, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ordered the unsealing and release of the documents in a Manhattan federal court during United States v. Ghislaine Maxwell, saying, “the court finds that the countervailing interests identified fail to rebut the presumption of public access,” and that Maxwell’s push to keep them sealed did not outweigh the public’s right to see them.
On July 30th, more than 80 documents were unsealed and released to the public, including police reports from Palm Beach, Florida (where Epstein had a home), flight logs from Epstein’s private jets, emails between Maxwell and Epstein, discussions between Giuffre, her lawyer and the FBI, as well as testimonies from other alleged victims.
Upon release, numerous media outlets reported on the unsealed files, including Reuters, CNN, The Guardian and Fox News, as well as many others. The news also quickly reached Twitter’s trending section on July 30th (shown below) alongside the use of "#EpsteinFiles."
In late July 2020, following the release of the documents to the public, social media users began flooding various platforms and sites with excerpts from the files discussing the newly released information and speculating on it.
Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld posted an excerpt from the documents to his Twitter on July 30th (seen below), which received over 5,300 likes and 2,600 retweets and comments in roughly 12 hours. On Facebook, several posts referencing the news surrounding the story also flooded the platform, including Ben Shapiro’s post on July 30th that shared an article discussing the unsealed information about Bill Clinton’s alleged involvement, which received over 59,000 reactions, 29,000 shares and 9,600 comments.
Reddit was also inundated with several posts and threads discussing the news, particularly on the /r/conspiracy sub. On July 30th, Redditor segvcore posted the Reuters article to the /r/news sub, receiving over 12,300 upvotes and 1,400 comments in 15 hours. That same night, Redditor bgny uploaded a screenshot of the documents highlighting Bill Clinton’s alleged involvement (shown below) to the /r/conspiracy sub, receiving over 10,000 upvotes, 1,000 comments and several Reddit awards.
On July 30th, the /r/conspiracy subreddit then started a megathread on the newly released documents, which included a breakdown of the important excerpts from the files, receiving over 3,600 upvotes, 684 comments and numerous Reddit awards in roughly 15 hours. A similar megathread was started on the /r/Epstein subreddit that same day, with the goal to “summarize by document, make everything easily accessible, and share thoughts to discuss. The main idea is to be able to point people to a comprehensive resource about these releases for fact checking etc.” The thread received over 15,400 upvotes, 2,000 comments and several Reddit awards in 16 hours. Of those summaries, Redditor THEPRESIDENTIALPENIS, who created the megathread, said Attachment 32 “is the only must-read I've encountered so far” (seen below).
 Justice – U.S. v. Ghislaine Maxwell
 Court Listener – Giuffre v. Maxwell
 Reuters – Ghislaine Maxwell Documents
 CNN – Ghislaine Maxwell Unsealed Documents
 The Guardian – Ghislaine Maxwell Documents Unsealed
 Fox News – Bill Clinton Visited Epstein's Island
 Twitter – Court releases documents on Ghislaine Maxwell
 Twitter – KlasfeldReports
 Facebook – Ben Shapiro
 Reddit – r/conspiracy
 Reddit – r/conspiracy
Jul 31, 2020 at 04:17PM EDT
Jul 31, 2020 at 02:39PM EDT
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