‘Twitter Files’ round four: How Trump was banned from Twitter

by Ryan Meilstrup

Photo: Alamy

Another round of the “Twitter Files” has been released, detailing how Twitter employees permanently banned President Trump from the platform following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

According to The Hill, “Author Michael Shellenberger on Saturday night released the fourth installment of the ‘Twitter Files,’ an initiative backed by Twitter CEO Elon Musk to shed light on ‘free speech suppression.’ This latest portion of uncovered information regarding Twitter’s content moderation pre-Musk focused on employees’ reactions to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, leading up to the ban of former President Trump instituted on Jan. 8, 2021.”

In his first post, Schellenberger tweeted, “On Jan. 7, senior Twitter execs: – create justifications to ban Trump – seek a change of policy for Trump alone, distinct from other political leaders – express no concern for the free speech or democracy implications of a ban. This #TwitterFiles is reported with @lwoodhouse.”

According to Schellenberger, then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was on vacation. He delegated much of the decision-making process to senior executives, including the then-executive in charge of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, who publicly expressed his disdain for President Trump.

In 2017, Roth tweeted, “Actual Nazis in the WHITE HOUSE,” referring to Trump, who was the president at the time.

Fox News reported, “The thread goes on to say that Dorsey sent an email to employees on Jan. 7 telling them they need to ‘remain consistent’ with policies ‘including the right of users to return to Twitter after temporary suspension.’”

However, further pressure from employees like Roth appears to have persuaded Dorsey to change his mind, resulting in policy changes that led to the banning of Trump’s account on Jan. 8, 2021.

On Jan. 7, 2021, Roth sent a direct message to a colleague celebrating Dorsey’s change of heart that read, “GUESS WHAT. Jack [Dorsey] just approved repeat offender for civic integrity.”

Schellenberger added: “The new approach would create a system where five violations (‘strikes’) would result in permanent suspension.”

And then, on Jan. 8, 2021, Twitter announced that Trump was being permanently banned from the platform due to the “risk of further incitement of violence.”

Schellenberger wrote, “On J8, Twitter says its ban is based on ‘how [Trump’s tweets} are being received & interpreted. But in 2019, Twitter said it did not attempt to determine all potential interpretations of the content or its intent.”

Current CEO Elon Musk has sought to remedy Twitter’s decision to ban President Trump by announcing that Trump is no longer banned from the platform.

However, President Trump has said he will not return to Twitter and instead opted to remain on Truth Social.

You can read Schellenberger’s entire Twitter thread by clicking here.

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