UPDATED 3:17 PM PT – Friday, December 9, 2022
45th President Donald J. Trump has weighed in on the latest installment of the Twitter Files.
Trump took to Truth Social on Friday. There, he said that the Twitter File reports are a revelation showing that the FBI and DOJ illegally colluded in the 2020 election. He then went on to say what everyone is really waiting to see is Twitter’s thought process in the lead-up to the election and the reason why there was a decision to suspend his account.
This comes as Bari Weiss released the latest iteration of the files on Thursday. Weiss gave detailed insight into how the social media platform targeted prominent conservative users.
The journalist revealed a cabal of executives, including Twitter founder and then CEO Jack Dorsey and FMR General Counsel Vijaya Gadde, placed accounts on the so-called trend blacklist. These executives previously stated no shadow-banning was taking place.
“Our intent is not to police ideology; our intent is to police behavior that we view as a movement of harassment and I hear your point of view.” Vijaya said. “It’s something that I will definitely discuss with my team.”
Twitter called this “visibly filtering” and targeted many accounts including the account of lockdown critic Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and the conservative accounts of Charlie Kirk, Dan Bongino and Libs of TikTok.
Twitter employees admitted that the company flagged and de-amplified accounts, often targeting high follower accounts that the company alleged were spreading misinformation. These measures effectively limited exposure of the blacklisted accounts, banning them from the trending page or being included in hashtags. Moderators kept strike counts for each time these accounts violated the platform’s undisclosed guidelines. This was done without the account holders’ knowledge.
Moderators handled 200 cases a day determining which users to limit. Some officials wanted to expand their shadow banning capacity. However, certain censorship methods were only reserved for the highest echelon of the social media empire including Gadde, Dorsey, subsequent CEO Parag Agrawal and the Global Head of Trust and Safety, Voel Roth. This inner circle, dubbed the SIP-PES, would engage in the politically motivated banning of controversial high follower accounts such as Libs of TikTok, even while acknowledging that Libs of Tik Tok had not directly broken Twitter’s hateful conduct code.
An internal memo claimed the account’s reposting of leftist TikTok’s was insinuating “that gender affirming healthcare is equivalent to child abuse or grooming.” Meanwhile, moderators found that no guidelines were violated when the account user filed a complaint that pictures of her house and home address were leaked onto the platform. The tweet currently remains accessible to the public.
Leaked messages show that then CEO Dorsey approved of short-term bans, but Roth wished to expand the policy to combat allegedly harmful misinformation to stem the spread of certain content.
This comes after former Twitter executive and former FBI lawyer, Jim Baker was fired for vetting the first batch of the Twitter Files behind new CEO Elon Musk’s back.
In the meantime, Weiss assured that a new installment of the Twitter Files will come from journalist Matt Taibbi.