According to the most recent “Twitter Flies,” Twitter permanently banned former president Donald Trump in January 2021 after it was influenced by public pressure and private maneuvering. The pressure on Twitter’s CEO @jack had increased after the events of January 6. Many prominent figures, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, tech writer Kara Swisher, the Anti-Defamation League, and high-tech venture capitalist Chris Sacca, had openly urged Twitter to permanently ban Trump from the platform.
Following the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, former first lady Michelle Obama vented her frustrations in a series of angry tweets.
She said, in part, that it was time for Silicon Valley corporations to stop facilitating this terrible conduct by “permanently” removing this individual from their platforms and putting in place measures preventing the nation’s leaders from using their technology to spark a revolt.
She said it is time for immediate and strong repercussions for the lack of leadership that led to the Capitol Riot. Michelle Obama called on Twitter to stop their technology from being used to fuel an insurrection.
The tweets, as a whole, give the impression that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was merely observing events as they unfolded.
According to a tweet by Shellenberger, Jack Dorsey was on vacation in French Polynesia the week of January 4-8, 2021, during which time Yoel Roth, former Twitter Head of Trust and Safety, and Vijaya Gadde, former Head of Legal, Policy, & Trust dealt with whether or not to ban Trump following the events of January 6.
According to Matt Taibbi: There was an imbalance in this system. Those connections were the basis for it. There were more Twitter channels and means for people on the political left (or Democratic Party) to vent their frustrations than on the political right. Workers at Twitter gave nearly all of their political donations to the Democratic Party in 2018, 2020, and 2022.
Shellenberger would explain the context by referencing a 2017 tweet from Roth, in which Roth claimed there were “ACTUAL NAZIS in the WHITE HOUSE.”
According to Shellenberger’s documents, Dorsey was concerned about remaining within Twitter’s regulations while Roth and others pushed to get Trump permanently banned.
At about 11:30 am PT, Roth sends a direct message to his coworkers to convey exciting news. WHAT DO YOU KNOW, he writes. A recidivist criminal has just been given Jack’s stamp of approval for civic responsibility. Under the proposed plan, the offender would be permanently banned from participating after five separate offenses (or “strikes”).
Shellenberger tweeted that he identified just one instance of pushback in his analyzed communications. We found only one Twitter employee, a low-level worker, who voiced worry about the effects of banning Trump on free expression and democracy. The message was hidden away in a secondary Slack group called “site-integrity-auto,” and it was easy to miss.
Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, has reinstated Trump’s account with all of the president’s previous tweets. Trump has stated that he would not be leaving his Truth Social platform.