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Another day, another fascinating episode of the Twitter Files.
Over the past week, Twitter threads from independent journalists have exposed details about the company’s former management.
They have not come off well.
The first round examined the disturbing decision to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story. Naturally, the institutional left mostly downplayed the news since it benefitted their political party.
But then Musk and the files kept coming.
The second round, released by Bari Weiss, showed that Twitter was repeatedly engaged in “shadow banning” accounts.
Of course, former CEO Jack Dorsey and other company executives had been on the record denying ever shadow banning anyone over politics.
The third episode uncovered the process that went into their labeling and silencing of former President Donald Trump.
Unsurprisingly, it revealed a group of far left activists inside the company prioritized politics over free speech.
Now the fourth installment has been released from Mike Shellenberger, another independent journalist.
And it immediately started with a bang.
Shellenberger posted that “senior Twitter execs” specifically sought to create justifications to ban Trump and “seek a change of policy for Trump alone.”
On Jan 7, senior Twitter execs:— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 10, 2022
– 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
Twitter Executives Targeted Trump
Just that revelation alone is enough to show that company executives specifically targeted him.
And it’s not entirely surprising that they did so, considering the hatred many in the media and on the activist left had for the former president.
But Shellenger showed just how overjoyed they were to create new policies to get him off the platform.
Around 11:30 am PT, Roth DMs his colleagues with news that he is excited to share.— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 11, 2022
“GUESS WHAT,” he writes. “Jack just approved repeat offender for civic integrity.”
The new approach would create a system where five violations (“strikes”) would result in permanent suspension. pic.twitter.com/F1KYqd1Xea
Yoel Roth, who parlayed a PhD dissertation on using Grindr into essentially running Twitter’s “Trust and safety” team, couldn’t hide his excitement.
Roth basically ran the company’s enforcement decisions, sidelining Dorsey.
He almost certainly contributed to what happened next.
Trump Banned Over Inconsistent Policies
A few days after Jan. 6, Twitter banned Trump permanently based on how his tweets were being “received and interpreted.”
Except just over a year prior, they specifically said they did not use intent to determine bans.
On J8, Twitter says its ban is based on “specifically how [Trump’s tweets] are being received & interpreted.”— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 11, 2022
But in 2019, Twitter said it did “not attempt to determine all potential interpretations of the content or its intent.” https://t.co/2jW1s5pH4W pic.twitter.com/8gZwIDtyUQ
But that’s exactly what they did in Trump’s case.
The blatant inconsistency was clearly done with intent. Execs knew they were contradicting their own policies, but didn’t care because it got the bad orange man off the platform.
This is what was happening at Twitter before Musk took over. Twitter employees made enforcement decisions up on the fly, based on the political orientation of the user.
Republicans had their tweets flagged or suppressed, while Democrats like Eric Holder had labels immediately removed.
Trump is banned over an unequally enforced policy, while Nancy Pelosi is allowed to be an “election denier” without punishment.
Musk might have overpaid for Twitter, but we are all reaping the benefits of his purchase. Everyone knew they were hopelessly biased, but seeing how dishonest they are is almost too good to bear.