The deplatforming of then-President Donald Trump from a vast majority of social media platforms was an unprecedented event in American history, and the repercussions are still being felt to this day.
The decision was a bold one, certainly, as it allowed Twitter and Facebook to perpetuate their own stereotype of liberal bias. Furthermore, for the conspiracy-minded, it seemed to reinforce the idea that the whole world was out to get the MAGA Movement leader.
Now, revelations from deep within Twitter suggest that the decisions was largely arbitrary and ran afoul of the recommendations of the platform’s own experts.
The latest installment of the “Twitter Files,” a series of disclosures lifting the curtain on Twitter’s internal wrangling ahead of controversial censorship decisions, reveals more details on the decision to ban Donald Trump from the platform in January 2021.
The disclosures, given to former New York Times writer Bari Weiss, reveal that members of Twitter’s Trust & Safety department did not believe that the former President violated any rules on the day that he was banned, only for this determination to be overruled following an intervention by arch-progressive Vijaya Gadde.Trending:
The disclosures also reveal that CEO Jack Dorsey was involved in the decision to suspend Trump’s account, putting an end to longstanding rumors that Gadde had taken the decision herself while Dorsey was on vacation and unreachable.
But these employees were drowned out by a louder chorus, which demanded, among other things, that Twitter should view Trump as the “leader of a terrorist group.”
A pair of tweets by Trump were examined, and neither were found to be in violation of Twitter’s own rules.
Even Twitter’s trust and safety department, notorious for being run by far leftists, concluded that neither of these tweets violated the platform’s terms of service.
Anika Navaroli, a Twitter policy official, told employees on Jan 8 that the trust and safety department had “assessed the DJT Tweet above and determined that there is no violation of our policies at this time,” referring to Trump’s tweet about the “75 million great American Patriots.”
The second tweet was also deemed to be a “clear” non-violation of policy. “It’s just to say he’s not attending the inauguration,” said a staff member.
Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, has promised to promote a more free-speech oriented set of policies for the platform, and his disclosure of these internal communications seems to be in line with that objective.