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Twitter Files Part 5 reveals staffers who didn't believe Trump violated 'incitement' policy

Journalist Bari Weiss elaborated on continued efforts by Twitter to remove Donald Trump on Jan. 8, 2021, in the latest installment of Elon Musk's "Twitter Files."

This article will be updated as the story develops…

The fifth installment of Elon Musk's "Twitter Files" Monday revealed that staffers believed that tweets written by former President Trump around the events of Jan. 6 had not actually violated its policies despite the company saying so at the time.

"For years, Twitter had resisted calls both internal and external to ban Trump on the grounds that blocking a world leader from the platform or removing their controversial tweets would hide important information that people should be able to see and debate," Bari Weiss of The Free Press wrote towards the beginning of her thread on Monday. "But after January 6, as @mtaibbi and @shellenbergermd have documented, pressure grew, both inside and outside of Twitter, to ban Trump."

Weiss cited "dissenters" within Twitter that did not want to ban Trump, including one who wrote, "Maybe because I am from China. I deeply understand how censorship can destroy the public conversation."

"But voices like that one appear to have been a distinct minority within the company. Across Slack channels, many Twitter employees were upset that Trump hadn’t been banned earlier," Weiss wrote. "After January 6, Twitter employees organized to demand their employer ban Trump. ‘There is a lot of employee advocacy happening,’ said one Twitter employee."

After citing the public outcry of "over 300 Twitter employees" who signed an open letter published in the Washington Post pressuring then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to ban Trump, Weiss revealed "Twitter staff assigned to evaluate tweets quickly concluded that Trump had *not* violated Twitter’s policies."

"I think we’d have a hard time saying this is incitement," a staffer said, according to Weiss. "It's pretty clear he's saying the ‘American Patriots’ are the ones who voted for him and not the terrorists (we can call them that, right?) from Wednesday."

"Don’t see the incitement angle here," another staffer agreed, per Weiss. 


Anika Navaroli, a Twitter policy official, similarly wrote "I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement in the DJT tweet. I’ll respond in the elections channel and say that our team has assessed and found no viols [violations] for the DJT one."

Navaroli later added, "as an fyi, Safety has assessed the DJT Tweet above and determined that there is no violation of our policies at this time."

"Later, Navaroli would testify to the House Jan. 6 committee:'For months I had been begging and anticipating and attempting to raise the reality that if nothing—if we made no intervention into what I saw occuring, people were going to die,'" Weiss tweeted. 

The Twitter Files began on Dec. 2 with Taibbi revealing internal efforts to suppress the New York Post's Hunter Biden story in 2020.

Weiss reported the second installment of the Twitter Files Thursday which revealed the company "blacklisting" or shadowbanning certain tweets and users.


Parts three and four were dedicated to outlining what led to Trump being removed from Twitter on Jan. 8, 2021. Musk reinstated Trump's Twitter account in November.

In Friday's Twitter Files Part 3, which covers the dates of October 2020-January 6, 2021, Taibbi went over "the erosion of standards within the company in months before J6, decisions by high-ranking executives to violate their own policies, and more, against the backdrop of ongoing, documented interaction with federal agencies."

"Whatever your opinion on the decision to remove Trump that day, the internal communications at Twitter between January 6th-January 8th have clear historical import. Even Twitter’s employees understood in the moment it was a landmark moment in the annals of speech," Taibbi wrote.

On Saturday, Shellenberger elaborated in Part 4 on Twitter's efforts in the day following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to "build a case" to ban Trump from Twitter permanently, including seeking "a change of policy for Trump alone, distinct from other political leaders." 

This followed several public calls from prominent figures such as First Lady Michelle Obama to ban Trump on Jan. 7, 2021.


Earlier on Sunday, Musk implied that a future installment of the Twitter Files would involve efforts to those who criticized COVID-19 policies.

One Twitter user asked, "When will we get the twitter files on covid? The info on the suspension of the many doctors and scientists? Who was involved? Suppression of what has turned out to be factual information."

"Oh it is coming bigtime …" Musk replied.

Musk had been vocal about being transparent when it comes to Twitter's past and present actions when it comes to curating content on the platform, including censored content. 

Twitter infamously blocked its users from sharing the New York Post's reporting of Hunter Biden's laptop in tweets and in direct messages. 

At the time, Twitter Safety alleged that the articles were in violation of its "hacked materials policy." Twitter's then-CEO Jack Dorsey admitted his companies actions were a mistake. 

Some critics believe the suppression of the Hunter Biden scandal by Big Tech and the media at large was enough to sway the election in favor of his father. 

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