The Twitter files start to feel like a Netflix mini series, which will eventually pop one of these months we’re sure. However, we arrived already to chapter four which goes around the removal of Donald Trump from this social network. You can follow the man politically or simply do not agree with him, anyway, let’s take a critical look at his twitter banning case.
If this is your introduction to the Twitter Files topic we highly recommend you to read our article regarding part one and visit Twitter threads. Honestly, Twitter is the best platform to get information around the Twitter files since they’re done by numerous well prepared people directly involved in the matter. Nonetheless, we’ll always do our best to explain to you what’s going on with this!
As you might know by now, the discovery of the Twitter Files has let the entire world know how this network operates and all the political implications it has. Nevertheless, what we must do is understand that Twitter is just a platform that has made this visible, the truth is there’s political control everywhere. Life in the system is all about being watched and punished, but let’s talk about Twitter.
The Twitter Files refresher
In the Twitter Files one, we realized how Twitter executives went against their own policies in order to hide information about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Please do yourself a favor and look for Matt Tabbi’s twitter, you’ll find several threads and related tweets that will make you understand everything. For part two, journalist Bari Weiss talks about twitter’s blacklist.
Yep, you read correctly, twitter has a list of accounts that get automatically shadowbanned depending on their political discourses. This is huge because we’re no longer talking about specific tweets that get deleted, but about a visibility filter. VF are like a Jr. ban, remember that visibility equals power and this mechanism is also a smokescreen to keep those accounts unseen without having to justify a take down.
The third party documents go around the way Twitter executives censored tweets by Trump during the run-up to the November 2020 election. Nonetheless they frequently engaged U.S. government law enforcement agencies. While hundreds of Arab accounts get deleted and doctors comments regarding covid-19 shadow banned immediately, Twitter had resisted to ban Trump for years.
Twitter & Trump
“Blocking a world leader from Twitter, or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate.” This was a Twitter statement in 2018 to fight the pressure of banning Trump. But Trump’s attack on the capitol on January 6th 2021 figures like Michelle Obama, Chris Sacca, Kara Swisher and many others publicly call on Twitter to permanently ban Trump.
Just to have it as context, it’s important to know that Twitter’s staff & senior executives were overwhelmingly progressive. In fact , in the years 2018, 2020, and 2022, 96%, 98%, & 99% of Twitter political donations from the staff went to Democrats. Nonetheless, Co-Founder Jack Dorssey emailed employees saying Twitter needs to remain true to its policies, like the right of suspended users to return. Something like a Jr. ban.
Yet, as pressure grew, Twitter executives started building the case for a permanent ban, not a Jr. one he could come back eventually. Just to freshen up Elon Musk’s political preference regarding Trump, lets keep this tweet from December 9 2022 in mind. “Do I think Trump would have lost anyway? Yes. And, as a reminder, I supported Biden, Hilary and Obama.”
It’s complicated to talk about censorship, especially on a platform like twitter, but that’s precisely the thing. We need to start realizing how easy it was to delete a tweet, an account or shadowbanned an Arab profile or an inconvenient opinion, and how hard it is to silence a figure of power.
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