The latest “Twitter files” show staffers pushing for a new policy banning Trump

The fourth episode of Elon Musk’s bombshell Twitter Files reveals how employees within the company pushed for policy changes only to ban then-President Trump after the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

In a series of tweets Independent journalist Michael Shellenberger shared internal communications between senior executives

surrounding a new rule approved by then-Twitter boss Jack Dorsey that would result in permanent bans for accounts with five violators.

“GUESS WHAT,” Yoel Roth, a former head of trust and safety at Twitter, wrote to colleagues on Jan. 7, 2021, according to a screenshot of an internal message. “Jack just admitted the repeat offender for civic integrity.”

A colleague then asked if Dorsey’s decision would result in a Trump ban. The person also asks, “Does the incitement to violence aspect change that calculus?” according to the screenshot.

FILE - Violent insurgents loyal to President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.  A former UCLA student who stormed the US Capitol while waving a flag promoting a far-right movement was sentenced to three years and six on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 for his role in a mob attack on the building sentenced to months in prison.  US District Judge Trevor McFadden also sentenced Christian Secor to three years of supervised imprisonment, according to Justice Department spokesman William Miller.  (AP Photo/John Minchillo, file)
Trump was banned from Twitter after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Roth lets the worker know that the new policy would not result in Trump’s ouster as the former president “continues to have only his one strike.”

“The exchange between Roth and his colleagues makes it clear that they put the pressure on
@jack for more restrictions on the speech Twitter allows in elections,” Shellenberger wrote.

Elon Musk pauses and looks down as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's starbase near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas on February 10, 2022.
Elon Musk recently ousted Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker for checking the first batch of “Twitter files” behind his back.
AFP via Getty Images

Pressure to ban Trump came from both high-ranking and influential figures such as Michelle Obama and Twitter’s own staff, posts by Shellenberger show.

Shellenberger shared another message from Roth that engineers at the company wanted to permanently ban the president.

“People who care about this … are not happy with where we are,” Roth said.

In response, another employee, whose identity has not been released, noted that while suspending Trump’s account might be the “obvious and “simple” answer, there could be many obstacles preventing them from carrying out the plan.

Matt Taibbi
Matt Taibbi published the first report of political censorship on Twitter a week ago.

But although they didn’t push through with the five-strike policy, the next day, Jan. 8, 2021, the platform announced it was suspending Trump’s account after a review found his tweets may have inspired the attack . Twitter has blocked the page “because of the risk of further incitement to violence,” it said.

Twitter had previously stated in 2018 that blocking world leaders or removing controversial tweets would “conceal important information” and “certainly impede necessary discussion of their words and actions.”

Shellenberger wrote that Twitter decision-makers “raised no concerns about the impact of a ban on freedom of expression or democracy.”

However, at least one junior staff objected to the President’s ban. Shellenberger said the unnamed employee was the only one he could find among the communications received who raised concerns the move would hamper free speech on the platform.

“This may be an unpopular opinion, but ad hoc one-off decisions like this, which don’t seem to be rooted in politics, are a slippery slope in my opinion and reflect an alternatively unequal dictatorial problem,” the staffer said.

Find out about Twitter’s censorship of Hunter Biden’s laptop story in The Post

“This now appears to be an order from an online platform CEO with a global presence who can protect speech for the whole world – which doesn’t seem sustainable.”

The dissent was found “hidden in a sub-channel of Slack called ‘Site-Integrity-Auto,'” Shellenberger wrote.

Saturday’s posts came a week after Musk, Twitter’s new CEO, and journalist Matt Taibbi released their first bombshell report on Twitter’s political censorship, based on a vast trove of internal documents.

The first set of filings revealed that Democratic insiders worked with senior Twitter executives to quash the Post’s coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

In the ensuing firestorm, Musk ousted Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker — the former FBI general counsel who played a key role in the FBI’s scandalous investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign — for secretly opening the first batch of “Twitter files.” had checked behind his new boss back.

Donald Trump reacts during his speech during a rally at the Iowa States Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa on October 9, 2021.
Twitter suspended Donald Trump’s account after the January 6 riot.

Two back-to-back “Twitter files” released as long tweet threads by Taibbi and Reporter Weiss on Thursday and Friday revealed how the social media giant secretly “blacklisted” conservative tweets and users — and how Executives leaned back to justify the withholding of inflammatory posts from Democrats and leftists.

Friday’s delivery of documents cited “several, clear indications of cooperation between Twitter and law enforcement and/or federal intelligence agencies,” Taibbi wrote on Substack on Saturday. The latest “Twitter files” show staffers pushing for a new policy banning Trump


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