More “Twitter Files” have just been released, and they reveal that — contrary to what Twitter’s prior management has claimed – Twitter not only engaged in the practice of “shadow-banning” but it shadow-banned former President Donald Trump long before it actually banned him.
You can read the newly-released documents for yourself here.
The first big takeaway
It is that Twitter’s previous management was looking to find ways – and did find ways – to limit Trump’s reach on Twitter long before it actually banned Trump’s account.
Journalist Matt Taibbi, in this third installment of the “Twitter Files,” reveals some of the various methods used – such as placing “bots” on Trump’s account – as well as the “intellectual framework” that Twitter’s executives came up with to justify the use of these methods.
This was taking place, according to Taibbi, long before Twitter banned Trump. In fact, we now know that Trump was shadow-banned by Twitter executives prior to the 2020 presidential election, which further supports the idea that Big Tech companies, including Twitter, interfered in the 2020 election.
The actual banning of Trump’s Twitter account didn’t take place until after the Capitol protest on Jan. 6. The ban, ostensibly, was to prevent further violence from occurring.
But, newly-released internal communications reveal that the ultimate decision to ban Trump was, according to Taibbi, based on “‘context surrounding’: actions by Trump and supporters “over the course of the election and frankly last 4+ years.'”
Another big takeaway
The second big takeaway from Friday’s edition of the “Twitter Files” was that Twitter executives routinely met with several government agencies.
After J6, internal Slacks show Twitter executives getting a kick out of intensified relationships with federal agencies. Here’s Trust and Safety head Yoel Roth, lamenting a lack of “generic enough” calendar descriptions to conceal his “very interesting” meeting partners.
It appears that these meetups became more and more common over time.
What is unclear, however, is whether these government agencies pressured Twitter employees to ban or shadow-ban Twitter users. We don’t know what took place in those meetups between Twitter and the government agencies.
It is already clear that Twitter interfered in the 2020 presidential election. If it is discovered that Twitter was being influenced by government agencies in its decision-making, then it would mean that the government interfered in the 2020 presidential election as well.
There’s more to come
Taibbi’s reporting focused on the period between October 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021.
There are going to be at least two more “Twitter Files” releases: one is going to be about what was going on at Twitter on Jan. 7, 2021, and, the other will be about “secret internal communications” that took place at Twitter on Jan. 8. Both releases are expected to take place over the weekend.