A Twitter employee from China, where the Chinese Communist Party rules with an iron fist through surveillance and censorship, spoke out against banning former President Donald Trump’s account, according to the fifth installment of the Elon Musk-endorsed “Twitter Files.”
The latest installment, published by The Free Press founder and editor Bari Weiss on Dec. 12, exposed more internal details at Twitter that ultimately led to the suspension of Trump’s Twitter account on Jan. 8, 2021. Weiss revealed that was an internal discussion a day earlier, particularly how there were “dissenters inside Twitter” who preferred not banning Trump.
“Maybe because I am from China, I deeply understand how censorship can destroy the public conversation,” a Chinese Twitter employee said to co-workers on Jan. 7, 2021, according to the screengrab.
In response, another employee said, “I understand this fear, but I also think it’s important to understand that censorship by a government is very different than censorship of the government.”
“The first amendment in the U.S.—and similar legislation in other countries with similar concepts—exist specifically to prevent the government from silencing the people,” the employee added.
Weiss wrote that the Chinese employee was among the few that had opposed a ban on Trump.
“But voices like that one appear to have been a distinct minority within the company,” Weiss wrote. “Across Slack channels, many Twitter employees were upset that Trump hadn’t been banned earlier.”
Musk shared a synopsis of the latest batch of internal Twitter communications on Monday.
“Under pressure from hundreds of activist employees, Twitter deplatforms Trump, a sitting US President, even though they themselves acknowledge that he didn’t violate the rules,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
After retweeting Musk’s tweet, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) took to Twitter to voice support for Trump.
“Donald Trump didn’t break any rules on Twitter, and activist employees banned him anyways,” Nehls wrote. “The left hates free speech.”
By Frank Fang