Twitter execs vowed to “hit” conservative accounts “hard” but disagreed with pro-Biden tweets

Twitter executives hunched over to try to quash tweets from high-profile Conservatives ahead of the 2020 election – but found ways to justify maintaining posts from users expressing liberal political views, the latest “Twitter files” show .

In one shocking case, when workers at the social media giant had no “firm political basis” to censor a pro-Trump tweet by right-wing Hollywood actor James Woods, they vowed to “hit him hard in the future.” [violations]’ according to a screenshot of internal communications by independent journalist Matt Taibbi.

“Twitter is suppressing this tweet from the President. Here’s a screenshot,” Woods wrote on Twitter in October 2020, when he shared an image of a tweet by then-President Donald Trump, which Twitter labeled “controversial” and “misleading.”

A file by Matt Taibbi showing a Donald Trump tweet being suppressed.

A file by Matt Taibbi showing a Donald Trump tweet being suppressed.

James Wood was skeptical of Twitter during the 2020 election.

James Wood was skeptical of Twitter during the 2020 election.

The conservative actor’s swipe at the social media giant seemed to anger the company’s top executives so much that they considered taking action against Woods’ account.

“I would suggest that we sue him for something fiasco worthy and not for this screenshot as we have no firm political basis for taking action against his account,” an unnamed Twitter employee wrote in the internal message received from Taibbi.

Taibbi also highlights an October 2020 Trump tweet that Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, acknowledges is “factually correct” but was almost cautioned nonetheless.

“No. A rigged election!” Trump wrote in response to a tweet from an Ohio news outlet about fake ballots being mailed to residents, asking Twitter users if they “feel safe” about mailing ballots.

Twitter staffers nearly added a “mail-in vote is safe” warning label to that tweet, Taibbi discovered, before realizing “that the events took place” and “the comment from POTUS is his opinion of these real-world events.”

“Yes … they are factually correct,” says Roth to his colleagues.

Former Twitter executive Yoel Roth.
Former Twitter executive Yoel Roth.

Twitter execs also pored over a tweet that former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee posted ahead of the 2020 presidential election, in which he joked that he had been filling out ballots for his “deceased parents and grandparents.”

“Stood in the rain for an hour today to vote this morning. When I got home, I filled out my stack of absentee ballots and then voted for my late parents’ and grandparents’ ballots. You vote just like me! #Trump2020,” Huckabee tweeted in October 2020.

Twitter staffers did not find the post amusing and nearly took action, with Taibbi finding one staffer saying, “I agree it’s a joke…but he’s also literally admitting a crime in a tweet.”

“The group declares that Huck is a ‘fringe case,’ and while one notes, ‘we don’t make exceptions for jokes or satire,’ they ultimately decide to leave him alone because ‘we’ve stung enough bears,'” Taibbi writes.

Before Huckabee’s tweet is released, employees joke and worry “Confusion” Such joking tweets could lead Roth to suggest that in future cases, the decision whether to suppress such a post might depend on how much confusion it causes.

In contrast, Taibbi pointed to “multiple instances” of misleading “pro-Biden tweets” that have not been subjected to the same scrutiny.

“Meanwhile, there have been several instances of pro-Biden tweets warning Trump that he might try to steal the election” that have surfaced only to be approved by senior officials,” Taibbi noted.

Elon Musk's Twitter profile.
Elon Musk’s Twitter profile.
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A tweet that caught the attention of Twitter leaders, from a user named “elijah daniel,” railed against the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett and warned, “They will try to steal the election.” , he told voters “don’t mail ballots, hand them in personally.

However, Twitter execs noted that the tweet “expresses concern that ballots sent in the mail may not arrive on time” and let it slide.

Even a tweet with the hashtag #StealOurVotes is left in place with no labels added because Twitter execs find it “reference to… a US Supreme Court decision” and “understandable.”

Taibbi also found that Roth sought to pull a warning label from former Obama administration attorney general Eric Holder, who tweeted in October 2020 that “it’s too late to use the mail,” claiming the U.S. Postal Service was “deliberately paralyzed” by Trump.

Roth called Holder’s tweet “factually accurate.” Twitter execs vowed to “hit” conservative accounts “hard” but disagreed with pro-Biden tweets


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