Twitter’s safety team initially found that then-President Donald Trump’s final pair of tweets before his Jan. 8, 2021, ban were not in violation of the company’s rules, according to internal messages published by journalist Bari Weiss Monday, obtained as part of Elon Musk’s ongoing “Twitter Files.”
In the first, Trump praised the “great American Patriots who voted for me,” saying that they would “not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way shape or form!!!,” while the second read in its entirety: “To all those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” Several members of Twitter’s safety team agreed that the first did not contain what policy official Anika Navaroli described as “clear or coded incitement,” while the safety team concluded that the second was a “clear no vio,” in the words of one unidentified staffer, using shorthand for “violation,” according to Weiss. (RELATED: Months Before Elon Musk Fired Her, Twitter Exec Advised Secretive DHS Agency Engaging In ‘Censorship’)
“I think we’d have a hard time saying this is incitement,” wrote one staffer, whose name was redacted, 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.”
15. “I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement in the DJT tweet,” wrote Anika Navaroli, a Twitter policy official. “I’ll respond in the elections channel and say that our team has assessed and found no vios”—or violations—“for the DJT one.” pic.twitter.com/DnJk2UUuf6
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 12, 2022
However, roughly 90 minutes later, former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde, argued that while the first tweet was not “a rule violation on its face,” it could possibly have been posted “as coded incitement to further violence,” Weiss reported.
Twitter would eventually ban Trump for the two tweets, issuing the public justification that they had the potential to “inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021,” because they presented the inauguration as a safe target for a potential attack, since Trump would not be present, and encouraged a disorderly transition of power to the Biden administration by stressing that his voters would not be disrespected.
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