Twitter Files: Donald Trump Was Blacklisted Despite Being Cleared by ‘Trust & Safety’ Review Team

US President Donald Trump is seen in silhouette against a US flag as he speaks during a "Great American Comeback" rally at Bemidji Regional Airport in Bemidji, Minnesota, on September 18, 2020. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The latest installment of the “Twitter Files,” a series of disclosures lifting the curtain on Twitter’s internal wrangling ahead of controversial censorship decisions, reveals more details on the decision to ban Donald Trump from the platform in January 2021.

The disclosures, given to former New York Times writer Bari Weiss, reveal that members of Twitter’s Trust & Safety department did not believe that the former President violated any rules on the day that he was banned, only for this determination to be overruled following an intervention by arch-progressive Vijaya Gadde.

The disclosures also reveal that CEO Jack Dorsey was involved in the decision to suspend Trump’s account, putting an end to longstanding rumors that Gadde had taken the decision herself while Dorsey was on vacation and unreachable.

But these employees were drowned out by a louder chorus, which demanded, among other things, that Twitter should view Trump as the “leader of a terrorist group.”

On January 8, Donald Trump posted two tweets, which some Twitter employees attempted to characterize as “incitement.”

The tweets were as follows:

The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!

To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.

Even Twitter’s trust and safety department, notorious for being run by far leftists, concluded that neither of these tweets violated the platform’s terms of service.

Anika Navaroli, a Twitter policy official, told employees on Jan 8 that the trust and safety department had “assessed the DJT Tweet above and determined that there is no violation of our policies at this time,” referring to Trump’s tweet about the “75 million great American Patriots.”

The second tweet was also deemed to be a “clear” non-violation of policy. “It’s just to say he’s not attending the inauguration,” said a staff member.

Shortly after this determination by the trust and safety review team, arch-progressive Vijaya Gadde intervened in the discussion to question if, while Trump’s earlier tweet was “not a clear violation on its face,” could be interpreted as “coded incitement to further violence.”

In her Twitter thread revealing the disclosures, Weiss noted that other current and former heads of state had been allowed to remain on the platform despite far more clear-cut violations of Twitter policy.

These included direct incitements to violence, including a former Malaysian Prime Minister who said Muslims had a “right” to kill “millions of French people for the massacres of the past,” and the current Ethiopian Prime Minister’s 2021 call for Ethiopian citizens to take up arms against the country’s Tigray minority.

Following the intervention by Gadde, employees on Twitter’s “scaled enforcement team,” said that the tweet may be a violation of policy if “great American Patriots” was interpreted as a reference to the rioters who committed illegal acts.

Yet just a day earlier, then-President Trump had condemned violent acts at the Capitol, calling it a “heinous attack.”

Two hours after the scaled enforcement team suggested their new interpretation of Trump’s tweets, Twitter executives hosted a 30-minute all-hands meeting in which Dorsey and Gadde took questions about why Trump wasn’t banned yet.

Following this meeting, and amid continued backlash from employees who were angered that Trump had yet to be suspended, Dorsey appeared to cave, requesting language to publicly explain a suspension of Trump’s account.

One hour after Dorsey requested this language, Twitter announced Trump’s permanent suspension “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Inside Twitter, celebrations erupted.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

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