Twitter Files dump number 4. How Donald Trump was banned

House Energy and Commerce Committee via AP

The third installment of the “Twitter files” gave us some of what we were looking for in terms of government involvement in censoring free speech, though many questions remain. Tonight, close on the heels of the last data dump, Michael Shellenberger unleashed the fourth chapter in the story. This edition also focused on the decision-making process that led to the President of the United States being banned. At least in the early revelations, Schellenberger winds up offering more cover for Jack Dorsey and focusing the blame on the covert actions of Yoel Roth. There are also indications that Twitter was paying far more attention to the “big names” in the progressive movement than their own rules. One of these was found in one of the first tweets from Shellenberger, where input from Michelle Obama and high-profile liberals are cited as reasons to kick the Bad Orange Man off the platform.

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In this series of documents, we learn that Jack Dorsey was actually on vacation in French Polynesia when the January 6th riot took place. He was checking in by phone to some meetings, but Yoel Roth was actually in charge of most of the action. (The head of “Trust and Security.”) Dorsey was actually urging caution before banning world leaders, but this thread reminds us of the overwhelming dominance of registered Democrats and liberals at Twitter and how they may have been making decisions that ran contrary to Dorsey’s impulses.

Dorsey seemed to still be uneasy about banning Trump, even as the riot unfolded. But then, on the following day, Jack appeared to approve it, at least in general, if not specific to Donald Trump. But he still didn’t seem to be in favor of a permanent ban. He wanted the company to remain “consistent” in its ban policies and the right of people (including Trump) to return to Twitter after a temporary suspension. Internally, however, Yoel Roth was questioning Dorsey’s interpretations.

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There were “junior persons” expressing concern over the First Amendment implications of banning a world leader. But those concerns seem to have been ignored.

I’ve been asking for some time now how Jack Dorsey hasn’t been taken to task for the censorship taking place, including the banning of Donald Trump. But these latest revelations from Shellenberger only seem to offer more cover for Dorsey. Roth seems to have been the villain here and Dorsey may have been largely out of the loop, even when he testified before Congress about shadowbanning. This story is still developing and we’ll have more about it tomorrow, but Elon Musk is still seemingly doing an admirable job of airing all of the dirty laundry, no matter where the finger points in the end. Twitter was doing some very bad things in terms of helping the government censor free speech, but the culprits may have been scattered throughout the upper levels of the company and not solely found at the CEO level.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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