‘Twitter Files’ reveal Trump ban came after Michelle Obama asked for it

The newest “Twitter Files” release reveals that, among others, former First Lady Michelle Obama called for former President Donald Trump’s “permanent” removal from Twitter just before Trump was actually permanently banned from the platform. 

This latest release, the fourth installment of the “Twitter Files,” came on Saturday night via Author Michael Shellenberger.

“Internal and external pressure”

Shellenberger’s focus is on internal Twitter communications that took place on Jan. 7, 2021, which was the day after the Capitol protest of Jan. 6 and the day before Trump was permanently banned from the platform on Jan. 8.

Shellenberger sums up his findings at the outset, writing, “On Jan. 7, senior Twitter execs: create justifications to ban Trump, seek a change of policy for Trump alone, distinct from other political leaders, [and] express no concern for the free speech or democracy implications of a ban.”

In this article, however, we’re going to focus on what Shellenberger reveals about the former first lady.

“For years, Twitter had resisted calls to ban Trump,” Shellenberger reports. “‘Blocking a world leader from Twitter,’ it wrote in 2018, ‘would hide important info… [and] hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.'”

“But,” Shellenberger continues, “after the events of Jan 6, the internal and external pressure on Twitter CEO @jack grows. Former First Lady @michelleobama, tech journalist @karaswisher, @ADL, high-tech VC @ChrisSacca, and many others, publicly call on Twitter to permanently ban Trump.”

“Now is the time”

Shellenberger, here, includes the specific statements made by these individuals, including Obama’s statement following the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Obama, in part, wrote:

Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technologies from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection.

The former first lady added, “And if we have any hope of improving this nation, now is the time for swift and serious consequences for the failure of leadership that led to yesterday’s shame.”

Shellenberger goes on to show how Obama and the others ended up getting their wish.

“96%, 98%, & 99%”

Twitter executives, at the time, made up some rules and changed other rules just to be able to justify a permanent ban on Trump. Yoel Roth, the former head of Trust and Safety was instrumental in this.

Shellenberger highlights the fact that “in 2018, 2020, and 2022, 96%, 98%, & 99% of Twitter staff’s political donations went to Democrats.”

It is now undeniable that Trump’s permanent ban was a targeted silencing of one’s political opposition.

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