Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘YOEL ROTH’

How ‘The Twitter Files’ Undermine the J6 Report


BY: JORDAN BOYD | JANUARY 23, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/23/how-the-twitter-files-undermine-the-j6-report/

Twitter and January 6
Twitter employees’ desire to rid the platform of Trump kept them from telling the truth about the company’s capability for censorship.

Author Jordan Boyd profile

JORDAN BOYD

VISIT ON TWITTER@JORDANBOYDTX

MORE ARTICLES

Censorship-hungry Twitter employees vented to the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 that their company wasn’t authoritarian enough when it came to curbing former President Donald Trump ahead of the 2021 Capitol riot, a newly released 122-page memo shows. “The Twitter Files,” however, prove Big Tech went out of its way to suppress the Republican president long before his ban from the platform on Jan. 8, 2021.

When the Twitter staff, or “Tweeps,” gave witness testimony to the J6 Committee last year, they likely didn’t anticipate a fact-check of their public statements against their internal communications. Then Elon Musk acquired the company in October of 2022 and released internal documents exposing Twitter’s key censorship decisions and election meddling.

Some of the material in the revelations dubbed “The Twitter Files” corroborates what these ex-staffers told the J6 Committee about Twitter’s hesitation to ban Trump until Jan. 8. Many of the uncovered documents and communications, however, prove that long before the riot, Twitter treated Trump differently than it did most world leaders.

Tweeps Agree: Big Tech Not Authoritarian Enough

Anika Navaroli, a member of Twitter’s censorship team, told the J6 Committee in anonymous testimony in July of 2022 that Twitter’s decision to delay the permanent suspension of Trump until after the riot was “absolutely indicative and emblematic of Twitter’s hands-off, willfully ignorant approach to the former President’s rhetoric on the service and on the platform.”

Much like hundreds of Twitter employees who wrote an open letter demanding the president’s permanent suspension, Navaroli claimed she lobbied for the curbing of Trump long before he was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, but her demands for action were ignored.

For months I had been begging and anticipating and attempting to raise the reality that if nothing — if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die,” Navaroli said in her interview with the Democrat-dominated committee. “On Jan. 5, I realized no intervention was coming. As hard as I had tried to create one or implement one, there was nothing. We were at the whims and the mercy of a violent crowd that was locked and loaded.

Navaroli’s frustrations furthered when, after being tasked with evaluating the validity of Trump’s online rhetoric following the Capitol riot, she ultimately dismissed the outgoing president’s tweets as above board under Twitter’s policies.

I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement in the DJT tweet,” Navaroli wrote in a Slack chat with her colleagues on Jan. 8. “I’ll respond in the elections channel and say that our team has assessed and found no [violations] for the DJT one.”

Navaroli wasn’t alone. Another unnamed member of Twitter’s safety policy team told the J6 Committee that Twitter’s censorship teams weren’t equipped to “find a rationale to suspend the President’s account from the service, and ‘stop the insurrection’” on Jan. 6.

The team was left to respond to rampant incitement on Twitter under its own initiative, once again without clear instruction,” the committee report states, adding later, “This understaffed, ramshackle made [one of the employees moderating content on Jan. 6] feel like she was a security guard hovering over the Capitol, trying to defend the building as the crowd tweeted out its progress during the course of the assault.

It’s clear from these accounts that Twitter employees tried to find a cause for deplatforming Trump under the Big Tech company’s then-policies. When they failed to obtain the political results they desired, partisan Twitter executives sidestepped free speech loyalists at the company by changing the rules to target Trump alone. The Capitol riot was simply their catalyst.

Change the Rules to Win the Game

Once Twitter executives changed the rules to remove Trump, the company and its Democrat allies celebrated.

Months after Navaroli gave her testimony and Trump was barred from Twitter, members of the J6 Committee were still publicly praising her for “answering the call of the Committee and your country.”

Corporate media such as The Washington Post elevated her as “the most prominent Twitter insider known to have challenged the tech giant’s conduct toward Trump.” Business Insider amplified Navaroli with the headline, “Twitter whistleblower who foresaw the violence of Jan. 6 reveals her identity with an omen for the future of US democracy.

Navaroli’s testimony, along with other witnesses, helped Democrats conclude that “Trump’s suspension ended the preferential treatment Twitter gave his account for years” and that Big Tech failed to prevent violence by delaying its permanent ban on Trump until after the Capitol riot.

The former employee’s testimony confirms that Twitter saw President Trump’s potential violent incitement of his supporters as a cause for concern even prior to Election Day but chose not to take effective actions to prevent him from using the platform in this way. Moreover, this failure to act was consistent with Twitter’s longstanding deferential treatment of President Trump,” the report states.

Twitter Did Treat Trump Differently

The effort to permanently bar Trump may have concentrated around the Capitol riot and culminated with a mad scramble on Jan. 8, as Navaroli suggested. Still, as “Twitter Files” journalist Matt Taibbi noted in part three of the exposé, “the intellectual framework was laid in the months preceding the Capitol riots.”

Executives such as Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former legal and policy executive Vijaya Gadde, and Twitter’s recently fired general counsel and FBI veteran Jim Baker spent months building a network that could quickly respond to suppression requests and easily strike violative content and users.

“[T]he firm had a vast array of tools for manipulating visibility, most all of which were thrown at Trump (and others) pre-J6,” Taibbi noted.

The treatment Trump received from Twitter’s top censors may have been different, but it was far from the “deferential treatment” the J6 Committee concluded had occurred. Contrary to Tweeps’ testimonies, Trump faced several bouts of censorship including Twitter reducing the reach of his tweets, shadowbanning him, labeling his tweets with warnings, and temporarily suspending his account long before the Capitol riot.

As independent journalist Bari Weiss noted in part five of “The Twitter Files,” the Big Tech company was far more eager to justify that kind of censorship against Trump than to use it against actual dictators.

Twitter staff and executives were so overcome with their hatred for Trump that they were willing to create a reason to deplatform the president. What those employees didn’t anticipate is that their shenanigans would be blown open by “The Twitter Files” mere months after they gave sworn testimony to Democrats in Congress.

As evidenced by “The Twitter Files,” there was nothing stopping Tweeps from deplatforming Trump. In fact, Twitter, cheered by the same Democrats, worked for years to silence its political enemies at whatever cost.


Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

Third Batch of Twitter Files Shows Twitter’s Lead Censor Joking About FBI Collusion


BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE | DECEMBER 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/10/third-batch-of-twitter-files-shows-twitters-lead-censor-joking-about-fbi-collusion/

Twitter Headquarters
‘I’m a big believer in calendar transparency,’ Roth said. ‘But I reached a certain point where my meetings became… very interesting.’

Author Tristan Justice profile

TRISTAN JUSTICE

VISIT ON TWITTER@JUSTICETRISTAN

MORE ARTICLES

The third batch of “Twitter Files,” published by independent journalist Matt Taibbi, revealed Twitter’s former lead censor, Yoel Roth, joking about the company’s collusion with government intelligence entities.

After [Jan. 6, 2021], internal Slacks show Twitter executives getting a kick out of intensified relationships with federal agencies,” Taibbi wrote, publishing internal Slack messages that show Roth “lamenting a lack of ‘generic enough’ calendar descriptions [for] concealing his ‘very interesting’ meeting partners.

I’m a big believer in calendar transparency,” Roth said in one message. “But I reached a certain point where my meetings became… very interesting.”

In response to a colleague who commented “Very Boring Business Meeting That Is Definitely Not About Trump ;)” Roth responded “Preeeeeeeetty much.”

DEFINITELY NOT meeting with the FBI I SWEAR,” Roth wrote in another message.

The Slack messages offer more evidence of explicit coordination between the government and Twitter to censor conservative accounts. The second batch of Twitter Files, published by independent journalist Bari Weiss on Thursday, revealed the lead of the company’s Strategic Response Team (SRT), a group designated to run the platform’s shadowban operations, was a former federal intelligence operative. Jeff Carlton, the team’s head, was previously an analyst for the CIA and the FBI, according to his since-deleted LinkedIn page.

This week, Twitter CEO Elon Musk also revealed that the company’s deputy general counsel, who played a key role in the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, was a former general counsel of the FBI.

Weeks before the 2020 election, Twitter blocked users from publishing links to blockbuster stories from the New York Post that implicated then-candidate Joe Biden in his son’s potentially criminal overseas business ventures. Emails that showed the former vice president’s direct involvement with Hunter Biden’s influence-peddling schemes came from an abandoned laptop in Delaware. Despite no evidence the computer was ever hacked, Twitter suppressed the story across the platform citing its hacked materials policy. The first batch of “Twitter Files” out last week showed that the company deliberately shut down the bombshells from the Post out of partisanship.

Jim Baker played a pivotal role in censoring the story at Twitter as the company’s deputy general counsel, telling colleagues “caution is warranted” that the content might be the consequence of a hack. Prior to joining Twitter, Baker was instrumental in the FBI’s deep-state operation to undermine President Donald Trump by peddling the Russia hoax. Musk fired him from Twitter Tuesday and announced the termination with a tweet.

In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today,” Musk wrote.

His explanation was …unconvincing,” Musk wrote in a follow-up on Baker’s justification for suppressing the laptop story.

Another post from Taibbi showed Twitter Policy Director Nick Pickles asking colleagues if employees could refer to corporate relationships with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security as “partnerships.”

In one internal Slack post published Friday night, Taibbi further exposed the partisan nature of Twitter’s censorship operations. On Oct. 9, 2020, someone shared a Trump tweet with Roth which read, “Breaking News: 50,000 OHIO VOTERS getting WRONG ABSENTEE BALLOTS. Out of control. A Rigged Election!!!”

“‘[A] rigged election’ would be enough to be in violation right?‘” wrote an employee whose name has been redacted.

If the claim of fact were inaccurate, yes,” Roth wrote, then added, “But it looks like that’s true,” with a link to an article from NPR.

The post in question no longer appears in a keyword search for it on Twitter, even though employees knew the facts were accurate.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: