In their interview with the committee, Twitter staffers said that while the company was worried about Trump using the platform to talk to people who might incite violence, Twitter was “delighted to hear that they also the favorite and most used service before. The President and would love to have that kind of power.”
“If former President Donald Trump were any other user on Twitter, he would have been permanently suspended a long time ago,” the employee said.
“We are well aware of our role in the broader information ecosystem related to the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, and as we continue to examine how we can improve future improvement, the fact remains that we have taken unprecedented steps and invested significant resources in preparing and responding to the threats that emerge during the 2020 US election.” Twitter’s Vice President of Public Policy for the Americas Jessica Herrera-Flanigan said in a statement, adding that the company is engaging directly with the House committee.
Herrera-Flanigan added that Twitter “implemented a variety of policy and product interventions to protect public conversation” before and after the 2020 election, and said that on January 6, the company “Leveraged the systems we built before the election to respond to an unprecedented attack in real time.”
Among its efforts after the 2020 election, Twitter’s groups began in December 2020 observing tweets about a large protest in Washington, DC, which took place on January 6 and began monitor related content, take action against election misinformation, references to “last stands” and a number of direct threats of violence, according to the company.
But in their testimony, Twitter employees argued that the company should have done more before the attack. On the night of January 5, 2021, this employee said they “sent a Slack message to someone saying something along the lines of” when people shoot each other tomorrow, I’ll try and rest along. understanding that we have tried. “…I didn’t know that I slept that night.”
The employee continued: “For months, I’ve been begging, predicting, and trying to bring out the fact that if…we didn’t interfere with what I saw happening, people would die. And on January 5th, I realized that no interference would come, even as hard as I tried to create one or make one, nothing at all and we were in a state of disarray. Suddenly and at the mercy of a violent mob was locked and loaded.”