Trump’s de-platforming has sparked internal divisiveness, new ‘Twitter Files’ show.
Published on 12.12.2022
Twitter’s security team decided that two of Trump’s January 6 tweets did not violate the platform’s rules.
Twitter’s decision to ban President Trump from the site following the Jan. 6 riot has sparked internal dissent, according to new “Twitter records” released Monday.
Twitter had resisted calls to block Trump until the riot, which Trump’s critics say was sparked, at least in part, by his speech at a rally earlier in the day.
The fifth part of the files published on Monday was processed by journalist Bari Weiss. The records were released over a period of around two weeks and follow billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
“Perhaps because I am from China, I deeply understand how censorship can destroy public conversation,” an employee said on Jan. 7, 2021, according to newly released internal posts.
Another employee replied: “It is important to understand that censorship… by a government… is very different from censorship… by the government. »
Overall, most Twitter employees felt Trump should have been removed from the platform sooner.
Although Twitter’s security team ruled that two of Trump’s post-January 6 tweets didn’t violate the platform’s rules, he was banned anyway.
Donald Trump still had one last strike on Twitter, January 8, 2021, before risking being permanently suspended from the platform.
That day he posted: “The 75,000,000 Great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a giant voice going forward. They will not be disrespected and treated unfairly in any way! !! »
He quickly followed up with: “To everyone who has asked, I will not be going to the nomination on January 20.”
Former head of Twitter’s legal, policy and trust department, Vijaya Gadde, admitted in posts by Weiss that Trump’s “American Patriots” post “is not a prima facie violation of the rules,” but did stated that it “is used as a coded incitement to more violence. »
Members of Twitter’s enforcement team reviewed Trump’s Jan. 8 tweet and began to ‘view him as the leader of a terrorist group responsible for violence and deaths comparable to the shooter’s. of Christchurch or Hitler,” according to the messages.
Many Twitter employees celebrated Trump’s suspension, which was condemned by world leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron and German Prime Minister Angela Merkel.
The platform has yet to take action to banish dictators such as Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose tweet calling Israel a “malignant cancerous tumor…that must be removed and eradicated” still appears on the platform.
Publication of the Twitter Files began in beginning of the month when journalist Matt Taibbi revealed the platform’s efforts to remove the New York Post article about Hunter Biden, the son of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, in 2020.