The fourth installment of Elon Musk’s bombshell “Twitter Files” reveals how staffers inside the company were pushing for policy changes just to get then-President Trump banned after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Trump was right saying he was defrauded.
In a series of tweets, independent journalist Michael Shellenberger shared internal communications between high-level executives surrounding a new rule approved by then-Twitter boss Jack Dorsey that would result in a permanent suspension to accounts with five violations. “GUESS WHAT,” Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, wrote to colleagues on Jan. 7, 2021, according to a screenshot on an internal message. “Jack just approved repeat offender for civic integrity.”
A colleague then asked if Dorsey’s decision would translate to a Trump ban. They also ask, “does the incitement to violence aspect change that calculus?” according to the screenshot. Roth lets the worker know that the new policy wouldn’t result in Trump’s removal, since the former president “continues to just have his one strike” remaining.
“The exchange between Roth and his colleagues makes clear that they had been pushing @jack for greater restrictions on the speech Twitter allows around elections,” wrote Shellenberger. In another shocking Jan. 7 exchange provided by Shellenberger, Roth tells a sales executive that Twitter is “changing” their approach with Trump regarding the company’s long-standing public-interest exceptions policy, which was put in place to provide some protections for content posted by elected officials. The policy states that posts from elected officials that violate Twitter’s rules can remain up “if it directly contributes to understanding or discussion of a matter of public concern,” Shellenberger said.
Later that night, according to another message shared by Shellenberger, a Twitter engineer asked Roth: “I wonder if there has been discussion about reshaping the rules around “official accounts” – naming Trump’s as an example.