Twitter permanently suspended Donald Trump in the days following the January 6 Capitol riot even as employees admitted they had no legitimate reason to ban the sitting US president, according to internal communications reviewed by journalist Bari Weiss.
The fifth installment of Twitter Files was endorsed by the platform’s CEO, Elon Musk, who responded to it by saying that “under pressure from hundreds of activist employees, Twitter deplatforms Trump… even though they themselves acknowledge that he didn’t violate the rules.”
While messages between Twitter staffers posted by Weiss on Monday reveal widespread unease that Trump was “going to try to thread the needle of incitement without violating the rules,” they also showed general agreement that the embattled president had not actually “incited violence” – not even in a “coded” way – with his tweets on and around the day of the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.
15. “I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement in the DJT tweet,” wrote Anika Navaroli, a Twitter policy official. “I’ll respond in the elections channel and say that our team has assessed and found no vios”—or violations—“for the DJT one.” pic.twitter.com/DnJk2UUuf6— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 12, 2022
Hundreds of Twitter employees nevertheless signed an open letter to the Washington Post demanding CEO Jack Dorsey ban the president, going so far as to imply their employer had played a part in what president-elect Joe Biden and the legacy media were already calling an “insurrection.”
Legal, Policy and Trust head Vijaya Gadde reportedly seized on someone’s suggestion that Trump’s technically-innocent tweets could be interpreted as “coded incitement to further violence.” At the same time, members of the platform’s “scaled enforcement team” appeared to embrace the idea that Trump was the “leader of a terrorist group responsible for violence/deaths comparable to Christchurch shooter or Hitler and on that basis and on the totality of his Tweets, he should be deplatformed,” according to messages posted by Weiss.
Following a fraught staff meeting, Twitter reportedly announced Trump’s permanent suspension “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” No actual Twitter rule had been broken, especially given the leeway allowed political figures in the name of public interest.
Then-COO Parag Agrawal observed to Head of Security Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko that “centralized content moderation IMO has reached a breaking point now.”
Weiss and her fellow Twitter Files reporters were selected by Musk to analyze the internal communications that led to Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and the ban of Trump. Musk has also promised revelations about the silencing of alternative views on Covid-19.
Last week, the journalist Bari Weiss dissected the latest batch of the ‘Twitter Files,’ and while this crackdown on censorship should be applauded, is there anything the public should know about Weiss before getting too excited?
While Twitter BE (Before Elon) had become shockingly proficient at hiding information – and incriminating laptops – from select audiences, it failed to employ that same level of obsessive censorship against its incoming owner, who currently owns the keys to the kingdom. And now, with ‘Twitter Files 2’ competing with Avatar 2 for popcorn sales, former CEO Jack Dorsey must be kicking himself for not having installed a ‘kill switch’ on the entire operation.
Last week, all eyes were on Bari Weiss’ Twitter account as the independent journalist served up the latest batch of Twitter files to demanding audiences. In contrast to Matt Taibbi’s initial release, which showed how Twitter took marching orders from the Biden campaign to block the New York Post’s bombshell report on how Hunter Biden and ‘the big guy’ ran an international pay-to-play operation from Kiev to Beijing, Weiss’ 27-point thread showed how the social media monster was secretly ‘blacklisting’ many conservative posts and users.
So far, so good. Musk and his merry messengers seem very committed to coming clean about Twitter’s list of past transgressions, which could have been responsible for swinging the 2020 presidential election in Joe Biden’s favor. Hopefully, Musk is sincere about free speech ‘absolutism’ and the world’s largest and most influential electronic town square will become a real model for democracy in our times. Yet still, I had some personal doubts.
The more I read through the posts on Weiss’ page, the more I considered the messenger and her own questionable record of battling censorship, not to mention her dogged support of the establishment and its gung-ho interventionist US foreign policy. This may be an indication as to the future direction of Twitter, since there is talk that Weiss could be offered a position on the social media platform. In any case, the seasoned journalist, who has worked for both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, was seen last week at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, where she has been “given access to Twitter’s employee systems, added to its Slack, and given a company laptop,”according to Business Insider.
In Weiss’ second posting on the Twitter files, she lamented that Twitter once had a mission “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Along the way, barriers nevertheless were erected, she noted. Yet Weiss, whom The Financial Times once described as a “self-styled free speech martyr,” has been no slouch herself when it comes to erecting barriers to free speech, going so far as attempting to have academic voices silenced at her alma mater, Columbia University.
2. Twitter once had a mission “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Along the way, barriers nevertheless were erected.— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 9, 2022
As a student at Columbia, Weiss took a prominent role in the so-called Columbia Unbecoming controversy, which focused mostly on Joseph Massad, a Palestinian assistant professor who taught a course entitled ‘Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies’, in which the state of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinian people featured prominently. Weiss took issue with Massad’s message, at one point saying she felt “intimidated” in his lectures, without ever specifying why, while also complaining that “[T]he amount of time he spent talking about Zionism or the Jewish nation or Jewish culture was inappropriate.” Yet, considering the title of the course, what did she really expect?
Weiss’ student activism against Massad, which smacks of the cancel culture inquisition that has come to dominate US academia today, was derided by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who wrote that Weiss and others set out to “ruin the careers of Arab professors by equating their criticisms of Israel with racism, anti-Semitism, and bullying, and its central demand was that those professors (some of whom lacked tenure) be disciplined for their transgressions.”
And then there is Weiss’ staunch support for the muscular US foreign policy of interventionism, and her fierce denunciation for anyone who disagrees with her position, like US politician Tulsi Gabbard, whom she denounced as an “Assad toadie” in an interview with Joe Rogan. This remark was in response to Gabbard’s decision to personally meet with the Syrian leader, in Damascus, on a “fact-finding mission” rather than depending on the mainstream media to supply the “facts” for her.
Upon her return from Syria, Gabbard told CNN she was “skeptical” that Bashar al-Assad’s government was behind chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of people in Syria, which were being used as a pretext for initiating a US military attack against the country. “Why should we just blindly follow this escalation of a counterproductive regime-change war,” she asked.
It’s worth asking if such anti-establishment views will be tolerated on Twitter when the next US interventionist war begins. After all, the ongoing censorship of major media outlets, RT and Sputnik included, continues. At a time when the world needs a variety of informational resources to understand what is happening on the ground in Ukraine, and perhaps more importantly why they are happening, Russian news sources have not only been silenced on Twitter, but across much of the Western hemisphere. On this sad state of affairs when it comes to free speech ‘absolutism’ Weiss has, thus far, remained silent. Whether or not that will change in the next installment of the Twitter Files remains to be seen.
Posted BY: Zero Hedge Amid calls that he sucks and should be replaced, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says he’ll subpoena the 51 former intelligence officials who said the New York Post‘s bombshell report on the Hunter Biden laptop had ‘all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The California Republican — who is expected to…
Now that the Hunter Biden laptop story has been authenticated, none of the fifty former intelligence officials who signed a misleading letter suggesting that it was Russian disinformation have come forward to apologize for their actions…
…Ever since, McCain has added compelling details at key points in his political career. When his stories are placed beside documented evidence from other sources, significant contradictions often emerge. One such case involves McCain’s experience in the devastating fire and explosions that killed 134 sailors on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal during the Vietnam War three months before he was shot down over North Vietnam. McCain has made claims about this accident that differ dramatically from parts of the official Navy report and accounts of reliable eyewitnesses…
Former U.S. Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama are headlining back-to-back democracy conferences next week, highlighting rising threats from authoritarianism and disinformation — and how to combat them globally and at home.
They follow a Nov. 14 meeting set for President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping — and what former President Trump is hyping as a “very big announcement” on Nov. 15, which may address his 2024 plans.Make no mistake these people are horrified of President Trump. Why? If he gets back into the White House they know they are done and may go to JAIL!…
President Biden has previously accused social media companies of “killing people” by refusing to impose robust censorship over a wide range of subjects. Many of those banned or censored were doctors with opposing views on the data and the science related to the pandemic.
Some of those doctors were the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination. Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others.
The Great Barrington Declaration was not the only viewpoint deemed dangerous. Those who alleged that the virus may have begun in a lab in China were widely denounced and the views barred from being uttered on social media platforms. It was later learned that a number of leading experts raised this theory with Fauci and others early in the pandemic…
Failed Hollywood wokester Kathy Griffin has pushed the limits on Twitter for years. Her antics are so tasteless, I won’t even post them. But she has survived because she’s woke and Twitter never crossed the woke. Now that there’s a new sheriff in town, she stepped across the line and found out what happens.
She changed her Twitter name to Elon Musk and encouraged people to vote for Democrats on Tuesday. This seems to have prompted Musk to enact a policy about impersonating others and Griffin is an example.
We seem to live in a world where when something big happens there is always two contradicting narratives coming out about it and that is certainly the case in the Paul Pelosi attack and his attacker’s beliefs and motivations…I’m not writing this to say who is right as I believe details about all of this are still emerging but I found it interesting how so many people on both sides can be so sure they know without a doubt what really happened…even though none of us have many details at all about it…so I thought it would be interesting to share some Tweets from both sides in the same place and show the stark differences in what people believe in this country these days…