I have been keeping up in my own way with the Twitter Files documented in threads posted by Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, and Michael Shellenberger on Twitter. I posted previous installments here (December 6) and here (December 11). On Monday Weiss posted part 5 (“The removal of Trump from Twitter”) — a 30-tweet thread. Please forgive the repetition involved in my observations. These are my comments on part 5:
• While I think Twitter’s uses are manifest, the platform is not conducive to long-form journalism. This is an awkward and unwieldy method of proceeding.
• Each of the five parts of the Twitter Files posted so far would benefit from summaries and topic sentences.
• Weiss’s part 5 addresses the “removal” of Trump from Twitter — as stated at the top of her thread. Elsewhere in the thread she refers to Trump’s banning. That is how I would put it.
• Trump was not banned from Twitter as a result of the violation of any stated Twitter policy. Indeed, staff and management determined that Trump violated no stated policy. He was removed due to the antipathy of Twitter employees and management.
• In tweets 19-25 of her thread Weiss contrasts Twitter’s treatment of Trump with that accorded other heads of state. You could call it a double standard, but Trump’s treatment accorded with no standard.
• Twitter staff and management wielded their power without principle, or in violation of their stated principles. Everything they said to the contrary was pretextual. That is how I interpret Twitter management’s landing on “coded call to violence” as the ground for Trump’s banning. See tweets 27-30.
• How did Musk accumulate and allocate the documents? What is the scope of review undertaken before the documents were passed out? What is the scope of the documents Musk withhold from distribution? Does each reporter have a full set or different tranches of documents? Not clear to me.
• The scope of the documents reviewed and/or withheld should be addressed. The documents themselves should be made available online.