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Former President Donald Trump is the latest high-profile figure to approach Twitter CEO Elon Musk with a request for information surrounding past enforcement actions taken against him under the previous management team.
Trump was suspended from the platform in January 2021 following the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building after he was blamed for ‘inciting’ the violence, and now he would like Musk, who has been releasing a trove of internal communications through a pair of journalists for more than a week, to reveal the inner workings behind the decision to ban him from Twitter permanently.
The 45th president’s request comes after journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss revealed that the platform had kept “secret blacklists” of users to ‘shadow ban’ — or limit their reach.
“ELON: The Twitter releases are a revelation in that they show, in a very powerful fashion, the FBI and ‘Justice’ illegally colluding,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “What everyone is REALLY waiting to see, however, is the Twitter information and thought process leading up to the time of the so-called ‘Election,’ and ultimately the ‘Deplatforming’ of the President of the United States. Big moment in history. Thank you!”
Following the Capitol riot, Twitter permanently banned Trump, claiming he violated the platform’s “Glorification of Violence” policy.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them—specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter—we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the platform announced at the time.
“Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly,” the company added. “It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
Friday evening, Twitter released a third batch of internal communications, which indicated that the platform was working with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on a regular basis throughout the 2020 election cycle.
Detailed by Taibbi over the course of hours, “much of the information that was released was stunning as it confirmed long held suspicions about things that were going on at the company, including the revelation that executives sometimes went against their own policies when determining to censor former President Donald Trump, as well as the fact that all the censorship appeared to come solely from the political Left and government entities and was aimed at the political Right,” the Daily Wire reported.
“The third installment of the Twitter Files centered around the lead-up to Twitter’s decision to permanently ban the former president on January 8, 2021, following the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building,” the report added.
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): pic.twitter.com/s5IiUjQqIY
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 9, 2022
Last week, after the first Twitter Files dump, Musk indicated what the alleged interference might have included.
“If Twitter is doing one team’s bidding before an election, shutting down dissenting voices on a pivotal election, that is the definition of election interference,” he noted.
Last month, Musk angered many on the left when he reactivated Trump’s banned Twitter account, but the former president acknowledged it nonetheless, though he indicated he would be remaining solely on his own platform.
“I don’t know if you’ve been following but Twitter is blowing up today. Elon Musk posted a poll that had over thirteen million responses so far asking whether or not you should be reinstated on Twitter. My question to you is what do you think about Elon Musk buying Twitter and if you are reinstated, will we see you back on Twitter again?” a host of the Republican Jewish Coalition annual conference asked Trump during a virtual appearance at the event.
“Well, I like that he bought it. I’ve always liked him. I get along very well during my days as president and got to know him pretty well, but I do like him. I’ve always really … he is a character and I tend to like characters, but he is smart,” Trump responded.
“He did put up a poll and I hear it is very overwhelming, very strong, but I have something called … If you look, it is Trump owned, but it’s really fantastic, Truth Social, and Truth Social is through the roof. It’s doing phenomenally well,” he said.