AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura
Elon Musk has released the third installment of “The Twitter Files,” detailing the decision to ban former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Only a day after the company dropped the second installment related to the company’s content moderation practices, the company is now divulging the forces surrounding the decision to remove the former president from the platform.
What is noteworthy about this release is that it also discusses Twitter’s collaboration with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) when it comes to moderating the platform. Journalist Matt Taibbi, who released the first part of the series, notes that “the internal communications at Twitter between January 6th-January 8th have clear historical import” and that the company’s employees “understood in the moment that it was a landmark moment in the annals of speech.”
In a report to these three agencies, Roth wrote:
The FBI even sent Twitter reports highlighting certain tweets, one of which involved Indiana Councilor and Republican named John Basham in which he said: “Between 2% and 25% of Ballots by Mail are Being Rejected for Errors.”
Twitter decided that these tweets were “proven to be false” and that one of them was “no vio on numerous occasions.”
What is also noteworthy is that the journalists did not “see one reference to moderation requests from the Trump campaign, the Trump White House, or Republicans generally.”
The company also prepared to put a “mail-in voting is safe” warning label on a tweet from Trump calling out a voting mishap in Ohio that involved mail-in ballots. They decided against it after realizing that “the events took place” which means the former president’s tweet was “factually accurate.”
Even more damning is that Trump was “visibility filtered” about a week before the election despite not appearing “to have a particular violation.” Employees worked quickly to ensure that any of Trump’s tweets could not be “replied to, shared, or liked.”
Taibbi indicated at the beginning of the thread that more drops would be coming on Saturday and Sunday further explaining the decision to ban Trump as well as other issues. Journalists Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger are expected to handle the next batch of information.