GOP Lawmakers React to Latest ‘Twitter Files’ Detailing Trump’s Ban, Promise Big Tech Will ‘Be Held Accountable’

The third part of the “Twitter Files,” released Friday, shows the company’s internal communications surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising and what led to the decision to ban then-President Donald Trump from the platform.

They also showed how Twitter coordinated with the FBI to censor individuals, and how executives ruled the platform with an iron fist: excluding user engagement for tweets they didn’t like or believed to be fake.

“It’s even worse than we thought,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, tweeted Friday night.

Conservatives’ concerns that they were victims of blacklisting, suspensions and shadow bans were all true, the files showed – contrary to testimony from company executives.

TWITTER FILES PART 3 REVEAL WHAT LEADED TO TRUMP’S SUSPENSION FROM SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM

Hawley added, “It’s hard to count the number of lies Twitter executives told under oath to Congress.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, echoed: “They told us Twitter didn’t shadow bans. False.”

Jordan, who was recently tapped to chair the House Judiciary Committee when Republicans overtook the House majority in January, similarly said the Twitter tyranny was “worse than we thought.”

A photo illustration of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, on Capitol Hill, April 4, 2022, in Washington, DC, and Rep.  Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on July 21, 2021 in Washington, D;  with the Twitter logo in San Francisco, California on October 28, 2022.

A photo illustration of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, on Capitol Hill, April 4, 2022, in Washington, DC, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on July 21, 2021 in Washington, D; with the Twitter logo in San Francisco, California on October 28, 2022.
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/CONSTANZA HEVIA/AFP via Getty Images)

“What’s worse,” Jordan asked his 3.4 million followers, “former Twitter execs lying about shadow bans [or] Is the media ignoring the story or promoting these lies?”

In January, Republicans gain the power to launch congressional investigations and host committee hearings.

At that point, “Big Tech will be held accountable for their blatant bias,” said Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas.

Earlier on Friday, “part one” of the third “Twitter Files” edition was released via Substack writer Matt Taibbi.

The internal documents, dated from October 2020-January 2021, show “the erosion of standards within the company in the months leading up to J6, decisions by senior executives to violate their own policies and more amid ongoing, documented interactions with federal agencies ,” Taibbi told his followers.

“Regardless of your opinion on the decision to remove Trump that day, the internal communications at Twitter between January 6 and January 8 have clear historical significance. Even Twitter employees understood at the time that it was a watershed moment in the annals of speech,” he added. .

Taibbi reported that leaders on Twitter “began to address new power” after their decision to ban Trump, indicating they were “prepared to ban future presidents and White Houses — maybe even Joe Biden. The ‘new administration,'” says one executive, “will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary.'”

The communications also showed Twitter executives and employees working in coordination with the FBI and other federal agencies.

However, Twitter CEO Elon Musk defended the FBI’s efforts.

“With rare exceptions, the FBI seems to want to do the right thing, but there is no doubt that Twitter served as an activist machine for the Democratic Party,” Musk tweeted.

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The release comes a day after Musk shared “Part Deux” of the “Twitter files” on Thursday, showing how the company would “build blacklists” of specific users or tweets.

The internal documents were shared with journalist Bari Weiss.

“A new #TwitterFiles investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent unfavorable tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics — all in secret without informing users,” Weiss said in a thread.

ELON MUSK’S SECOND INSTALLATION OF ‘TWITTER FILES’ REVEALS ‘SECRET BLACKLISTS,’ BARI WEISS REPORTS

Weiss then recalled Twitter heads previously denying that they performed such acts.

“In 2018, Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde (then head of legal policy and trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (head of product) said, “We don’t condone bans.” They added, “And we certainly don’t condone bans based on political views or ideology,” he reported.

An aerial photo shows a sign posted on the outside of the Twitter headquarters on April 27, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

An aerial photo shows a sign posted on the outside of the Twitter headquarters on April 27, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

TWITTER FILES FLASHBACK: JACK DORSEY TESTIFIES UNDER ED TWITTER DOES NOT CENSOR, ‘SHADOW-BAN’ CONSERVATIVES

Gadde and Beykpour simply had another name for the act, Weiss reported, as Twitter executives and employees called the process of diminishing a person’s reach on the platform “visibility filtering,” or “VF.”

“Think of visibility filtering as a way for us to suppress what people see at different levels. It’s a very powerful tool,” Weiss reported, citing a “senior Twitter employee.”

Musk confirmed in a later tweet that “some accounts on the right were suspended, even when Twitter internally acknowledged that no rules were broken.”

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The big reveal comes just days after the first batch of internal documents showed a glimpse of the company’s general protocols for content moderation.

Musk shared the first “Twitter files” with Substack journalist Matt Taibbi.

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According to the information Musk provided and Taibbi shared, Twitter’s constant content moderation was a “decision made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role.”

Musk has promised transparency as he moves forward to lead the company.

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