Independent journalist Bari Weiss on Monday released the fifth tranche of internal Twitter records provided to her by the company’s new owner Elon Musk.
The latest batch of “Twitter Files” pulls the curtain back on the social media giant’s internal deliberations surrounding the decision to ban President Donald Trump from the platform following the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
The gist: Twitter employees were apoplectic in the hours following Jan. 6, and, even though they all assessed that Trump had not violated any of the company’s policies, they decided to ban him anyways.
Weiss notes that the ban on Trump was an unprecedented action for the company to take against a world leader.
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari all used Twitter to explicitly call for violence within the prior five years, and none of them were permanently banned from the platform.
Yet Trump got permanent banishment even though no one at Twitter believed he had actually violated their policies.
According to the records Weiss released today, which includes mostly screenshots of internal company Slack chats, dozens of employees emotionally lobbied Twitter higher-ups to kick Trump off the platform, with some making analogies to the Nazis and comparing Trump to infamous mass shooters.
Although the records provide insight into how Twitter employees advocated for a total Trump ban, they don’t confirm exactly who made the final decision, though the available information suggests Twitter founder and then-CEO Jack Dorsey was directly involved.
Immediately after getting Trump banned, anonymous Twitter employees expanded their targets.
“Don Jr’s account needs to be locked too,” wrote one employee.
Within 24 hours, company insiders were already plotting how similar censorship tactics might be used to prevent “medical misinformation” from circulating on the platform.
You can read Weiss’s full thread here: