Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has been recorded during an internal meeting saying that the company’s clampdown on inciting violence will go much further than simply banning Donald Trump. The president was permanently barred from Twitter on Friday, with Twitter saying: ‘We have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.’
Trump is now blocked from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitch, among others. On Thursday Project Veritas, which seeks to expose bias in media, published a clip which they said was given to them by a Twitter whistleblower.
Twitter did not dispute the veracity of the clip, but said it was essentially the same content as Dorsey publicly tweeted on Wednesday. He told staff in the clip: ‘You should always feel free to express yourself in whatever format manifestation feels right.
‘We do intend to do the full retro as I said in my note, it is going to take some time.
‘And then the other thing, just to close out a little bit: we are focused on one account right now.
‘But this is going to be much bigger than just one account.
‘And it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week.
‘And the next few weeks and go on beyond the inauguration. We have to expect that, we have to be ready for that.’
‘So, the focus is certainly on this account and how it ties to real world violence. But also we need to think much longer term around how these dynamics play out over time. ‘I don’t believe this is going away any time soon.
‘And the moves that we’re making today around QAnon for instance, one such example of a much broader approach we should be looking at and going deeper on.
‘So the team has a lot of work and a lot of focus on this particular issue. But we also need to give them the space and the support to focus on the much bigger picture. Because it is not going away.
‘You know, the U.S. is extremely divided. Our platform is showing that every single day,’ Dorsey said to staff in the tape.
‘And our role is to protect the integrity of that conversation and do what we can to make sure that no one is being harmed based off that. And that is our focus. ‘And that is the color we want to provide.’
Hours before Trump was barred from Twitter, accounts belonging to three of the most high-profile QAnon promoters – attorney Sidney Powell, her client and former NSA Mike Flynn, and 8kun founder Ron Watkins – were shut down.
Dorsey’s decision to shut down Trump, the most high-profile account blocked to date by far, caught everyone’s attention.
A Twitter spokesperson, speaking about the leaked clip, told Fox News: ‘The remarks shown in the video were delivered to our more than 5,400 employees and are nearly the same words Jack shared in a recent Tweet Thread offering context around and reflections on our work to protect the conversation in recent weeks.’
On Wednesday, Dorsey defended Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Trump’s account, saying that it was the ‘right decision.’
He did, however, say that he knew it was a fine line, and he did not want to ‘limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning.’
Twitter’s decision to block the president from their platform is the latest, and the most extreme, salvo in the battle between one of their biggest stars and the tech giant that enables him.
The confrontation became more intense during the run-up to the election, when Twitter began labeling many of his tweets as containing misinformation and being misleading.
In May, the president’s tweets carried the notation: ‘Get the facts about mail-in ballots.’
By June the labels had evolved to: ‘This Tweet violated the rules about abusive behavior.’
From August, some of his tweets were flagged for having broken their rules about civic and election integrity.
Trump was growing increasingly enraged by the heads of the social media companies who were fact-checking and holding him to account, and sought to retaliate through the law.
He and his allies began pushing for a repeal of Section 230, which provides social media companies immunity from prosecution for content posted on their platforms – unlike newspapers or other publishers. The debate is continuing.
After the November 3 election, the warnings became stronger, with messages such as: ‘Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.’
Finally Twitter took to noting: ‘Official sources called this election differently.’ The final straw came during the January 6 unrest, when Trump staged a rally in Washington DC and urged his followers to ‘fight’ for the election to be overturned.
He tweeted: ‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify.
‘USA demands the truth!’
Trump supporters then ransacked the Capitol, some of them chanting they wanted to hang Pence. One of Trump’s supporters, lawyer Lin Wood – praised by the president for his work trying to overturn the election – called for Pence to face the firing squad.
Twitter blocked Trump’s tweets from being retweeted, and then for the first time deleted his tweets. He posted a video, telling the protesters he ‘loved’ them, which was taken down. By Wednesday night he was blocked from Twitter for 12 hours. On Friday the ban became permanent.
Other social media companies soon followed. On Tuesday YouTube became the latest, issuing a temporary block, lasting seven days, as a result of the ‘first strike’.
If Trump’s channel receives a second strike within 90 days it will be suspended for two weeks; a third strike results in a permanent ban. ‘After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies,’ the company said.
‘It now has its 1st strike & is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a *minimum* of 7 days.’ In addition, comments were disabled under his videos.
‘Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section,’ they said.
Last Wednesday, YouTube removed Trump’s video post to rioters in which the president told them to ‘go home’ and said that ‘We love you, you’re very special.’ Eric Trump, the president’s son, on Tuesday said that his father was a victim of ‘cancel culture’, but the social media giants insist their actions are necessary to prevent further bloodshed.
On Monday Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said they had no plans to lift Trump’s ban from their platform. He will remain cut off until at least the inauguration, and likely beyond. YouTube has been taking down content since Wednesday’s violent unrest, which cost the lives of four rioters and a member of the Capitol Police.
ELON MUSK DEFENDS TRUMP AS DON JR ASKS HIM TO SET UP HIS OWN TWITTER
Elon Musk fumed at big tech on Tuesday after Amazon removed Parler, the site favored by Trump fans, from the internet.
Musk said Silicon Valley had become the ‘de facto arbiter of free speech’ and that it had no right to rule over political discourse as it has done for years. Before Wednesday’s riot, Trump had already been flagged and censored by Facebook and Twitter multiple times. He has now been banned from the sites.
As Musk spoke out in his defense, Don Jr. urged him to set up his own social media website to go against the left-leaning titans. ‘Why doesn’t Elon Musk create a social media platform? This guy put manned people into space. He did so privately.
‘He took on big government and did it better, cheaper, faster than they ever could. This is the guy to do it. ‘Someone like him has the brilliance to come up with something that blows Twitter away,’ Don Jr. said.
The YouTube account for Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast was taken down Friday for violating the platform’s Terms of Service.
A Friday evening search for the podcast brought up an error message reading: ‘This page isn’t available. Sorry about that. Try searching for something else.’
YouTube had warned earlier in the week that it would ban accounts that continued to spread misinformation about voter fraud.
Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney and the man who spearheaded his failed legal battle to overturn the presidential election, appeared on the show earlier Friday where he defended Wednesday’s rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol. He pointed the blame for the attack, which sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives, on ‘the fascists now running the Democrat Party’.
He also continued to push unfounded claims of voter fraud despite Trump’s own administration saying the election was legally conducted and done fairly and Congress certifying the Electoral College votes in the early hours of Thursday.
‘Most of them hadn’t come there with implements to do it and also led on by people from, you know, groups that are experts at it. Believe me, Trump people were not scaling the wall. So there’s nothing to it that he incited anything,’ said Giuliani of the rioters, who senior Democrats have labeled ‘domestic terrorists’.
Instead, Giuliani pointed the blame to the Democrats who he said ‘imposed censorship’ on Trump’s supporters. He did not back up this claim with any reasoning.
‘And also there’s equal if not more responsibility on the fascists who now running the Democrat Party, who have imposed censorship on these people, who have been singling them out for unfair treatment since the IRS started going after conservative groups,’ he said.
‘The media may deny it, but those people know it. They know their freedom of religion is being taken away. They know their freedom of speech is virtually decimated.’ ‘And then they have phonies get up and say there’s no fraud.
‘It’s like hearing someone saying they didn’t rob your home and they did rob your home and they took all your belongings. So are they angry? Of course they’re angry.’
Giuliani said that it was a ‘credit’ to anyone who was not violent and, despite the mob being supporters of the president, pushed the blame for their actions onto the opposition party. ‘They’re very, very angry. And I think in light of that, the mere fact that 99.9 percent of them did nothing but act appropriately is a credit to them,’ he said.
‘The responsibility here has to be put also on the left, who has conducted a reign of terror all this year. ‘So a lot of responsibility comes from the people that are imposing the suppression. It’s like the kind of thing that happens in a government where people are suppressed; they rise up.’
Giuliani even went as far as to suggest he was aware that Wednesday would turn violent saying he found it ‘surprising’ that there were ‘so few people’ storming the Capitol building. ‘And given that, it was quite surprising to me that it was so few people, that the consequences were terrible,’ he told Bannon.