A former Twitter employee who testified Tuesday before the committee on Jan. 6 said former President Donald Trump’s tweets incite violence at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
An anonymous former Twitter employee said that Trump’s Dec. 19 tweet was “essentially flying the D.C. flag on Jan. 6” for his supporters to join him at the rally.
“Big protest in Washington on January 6th. Be there. It will be wild,” Trump tweeted. A Twitter employee testified that the reaction was clear and that many of his supporters “were ready, willing and able to take up arms” behind Trump.
The testimony comes after Tuesday’s committee hearing largely focused on the role of extremist groups during the Capitol riots that left five dead and led to over 700 arrests as well as Trump’s role.
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The former employee worked on the Twitter platform and content moderation policy between 2020 and 2021. Their vote was hidden to protect their identity, Rep. Jamie Ruskin (D-Md) said.
During the hearing, committee member Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Florida. said there were “serious concerns” on Twitter about the possibility of expected violence. She then played an audio recording of the former Twitter employee’s testimony, which detailed the frustrations of colleagues.
A former employee said Twitter employees were “on pins and needles.”
“I believe I sent someone a Slack message saying something along the lines of ‘when people shoot each other tomorrow, I’ll try to take it easy on the fact that we were trying,’” the former Twitter employee said.
“Because, again, for months I’ve been begging and anticipating and trying to raise the reality that if we don’t intervene in what I’ve seen, people will die,” the former Twitter employee continued. “And on January 5, I realized that there would be no intervention.
“And no matter how I tried to create or implement it, there was nothing, and we were at the mercy of the whims and mercy of a cruel mob that was locked up and loaded,” the former employee added.
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The former Twitter employee also revealed that the social media giant was suspicious of Trump, as when Trump urged members far-right extremist group Proud Boys to “fall back and stand aside” during a heated presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden on September 29, 2020
The staff member became concerned, “This seems to be the first time (Trump) spoke directly to extremist organizations and gave them directives. We had never seen such direct communication before, and it bothered me.”
The employee also said Twitter didn’t ban Trump despite what he said. Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has previously said on numerous occasions that Thump’s sometimes controversial and dangerous rhetoric in a straight line on the platform is “interesting and exciting” as well as “complex”.
On Tuesday, the ex-employee revealed that if Trump had been any other Twitter user, he would have been “suspended forever.”
“I believe Twitter enjoyed the knowledge that they were also the former president’s favorite and most used service, and enjoyed such power in the social media ecosystem,” the employee said.
Trump was banned from Twitter two days after bloody riot because of the risk further incitement to violence. The decision is still hotly debated. as prospective buyer of Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk said in May that he would allow Trump to return to Twitter.
Credit: www.usatoday.com /