@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss @JohnBasham @TitaniaMcGrath @RealJamesWoods 41. Meanwhile, there are multiple instances of involving pro-Biden tweets warning Trump “may try to steal the election” that got surfaced, only to be approved by senior executives. This one, they decide, just “expresses concern that mailed ballots might not make it on time.”
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss @JohnBasham @TitaniaMcGrath 36. “VERY WELL DONE ON SPEED” Trump was being “visibility filtered” as late as a week before the election. Here, senior execs didn’t appear to have a particular violation, but still worked fast to make sure a fairly anodyne Trump tweet couldn’t be “replied to, shared, or liked”:
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss @JohnBasham @TitaniaMcGrath 35. In another example, Twitter employees prepare to slap a “mail-in voting is safe” warning label on a Trump tweet about a postal screwup in Ohio, before realizing “the events took place,” which meant the tweet was “factually accurate”:
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss @JohnBasham @TitaniaMcGrath 34. In the docs, execs often expand criteria to subjective issues like intent (yes, a video is authentic, but why was it shown?), orientation (was a banned tweet shown to condemn, or support?), or reception (did a joke cause “confusion”?). This reflex will become key in J6.
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss @JohnBasham 27. Examining the entire election enforcement Slack, we didn’t see one reference to moderation requests from the Trump campaign, the Trump White House, or Republicans generally. We looked. They may exist: we were told they do. However, they were absent here.
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss @JohnBasham 26. The group then decides to apply a “Learn how voting is safe and secure” label because one commenter says, “it’s totally normal to have a 2% error rate.” Roth then gives the final go-ahead to the process initiated by the FBI:
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss @JohnBasham 25. The FBI-flagged tweet then got circulated in the enforcement Slack. Twitter cited Politifact to say the first story was “proven to be false,” then noted the second was already deemed “no vio on numerous occasions.”
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 24. Here, the FBI sends reports about a pair of tweets, the second of which involves a former Tippecanoe County, Indiana Councilor and Republican named @JohnBasham claiming “Between 2% and 25% of Ballots by Mail are Being Rejected for Errors.”
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 23. Some of Roth’s later Slacks indicate his weekly confabs with federal law enforcement involved separate meetings. Here, he ghosts the FBI and DHS, respectively, to go first to an “Aspen Institute thing,” then take a call with Apple.
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 21. Roth’s report to FBI/DHS/DNI is almost farcical in its self-flagellating tone:
“We blocked the NYP story, then unblocked it (but said the opposite)… comms is angry, reporters think we’re idiots… in short, FML” (fuck my life).
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 20. This post about the Hunter Biden laptop situation shows that Roth not only met weekly with the FBI and DHS, but with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI):
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 19. Pickles quickly asks if they could “just say “partnerships.” After a pause, he says, “e.g. not sure we’d describe the FBI/DHS as experts.”
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 18. Policy Director Nick Pickles is asked if they should say Twitter detects “misinfo” through “ML, human review, and **partnerships with outside experts?*” The employee asks, “I know that’s been a slippery process… not sure if you want our public explanation to hang on that.”
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 17. During this time, executives were also clearly liaising with federal enforcement and intelligence agencies about moderation of election-related content. While we’re still at the start of reviewing the #TwitterFiles, we’re finding out more about these interactions every day.
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 16. The latter group were a high-speed Supreme Court of moderation, issuing content rulings on the fly, often in minutes and based on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches, even in cases involving the President.
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 15. There was at least some tension between Safety Operations – a larger department whose staffers used a more rules-based process for addressing issues like porn, scams, and threats – and a smaller, more powerful cadre of senior policy execs like Roth and Gadde.
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 14. On October 8th, 2020, executives opened a channel called “us2020_xfn_enforcement.” Through J6, this would be home for discussions about election-related removals, especially ones that involved “high-profile” accounts (often called “VITs” or “Very Important Tweeters”).
@ShellenbergerMD @bariweiss 13. One particular slack channel offers an unique window into the evolving thinking of top officials in late 2020 and early 2021.