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We all knew how much Twitter executives despised Trump. We also knew that they censored conservatives, but the newly released “Twitter Files” are backing up our so-called “conspiracy theories.”
On Saturday, CEO Elon Musk and journalist Michael Shellenberger released the fourth batch of Twitter documents that show internal communications between Twitter executives between Jan. 6-8, 2021.
The communications included discussion during and after the riot at the Capitol Building.
Twitter received pressure from inside and outside the company, including pressure from former first lady Michelle Obama, to ban President Trump.
Michelle Obama wrote in a Twitter post on January 7, 2021, “Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technologies from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection.”
“And if we have any hope of improving this nation, now is the time for swift and serious consequences for the failure of leadership that led to yesterday’s shame.”
If you were someone who thought about taking her Twitter post seriously, this was also part of her message:
Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday’s riot and this summer’s peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful. It hurts. And I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday. True progress will be possible only once we acknowledge that this disconnect exists and take steps to repair it. And that also means coming to grips with the reality that millions voted for a man so obviously willing to burn our democracy down for his own ego.
So, the summer of 2020 was full of peaceful protests?
Data from a non-profit group called the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) in collaboration with researchers from Princeton University show that “at least 25 Americans were killed during protests and political unrest in 2020.”
We will probably never know exactly what happened on January 6, 2021, because relevant information has never been released to the public.
We do know, however, that on January 7, the then-CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, communicated to his employees that they are “to remain consistent in its policies, including the right of users to return to Twitter after a temporary suspension.”
Trump was serving a suspension on the platform at the time.
The files revealed by Schellenburger showed that Twitter maintained a “Public-Interest Exceptions” policy that meant that elected officials were exempt from bans because of the public interest in what they have to say.
The policy remained even if they violated other Twitter policies. This same courtesy was not extended to then-President Trump.
While Dorsey was on vacation, Trump’s temporary suspension was lifted but the day after he sent his email regarding suspensions, senior executives permanently suspended Trump.
Dorsey delegated responsibility to Former Twitter Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth and former Head of Legal, Policy, & Trust Vijaya Gadde.
Schellenberger calls them “overwhelmingly progressive.” So, it’s no surprise they took it upon themselves to ban Trump’s account.