The founder of the #WalkAway movement, Brandon Straka, slammed Michelle Obama in a recent fiery tweet. His criticism was in relation to Michelle’s pressuring of Twitter to ban former President Donald Trump.
Elon Musk has recently released several installments of the “Twitter Files” which have exposed widespread censorship on the social media platform. In one of the latest releases, Michelle Obama has been implicated in the vast efforts to permanently ban Trump from Twitter.
Brandon criticized both Michelle and Barrack Obama in his tweet, stating:
“Michelle Obama was pressuring Twitter to ban President Trump. Nearly every problem we have in this country today from illegal immigration, to racial division, to left wing anti-American hate, to communist-style censorship/cheating/corruption was amplified by the horrible Obamas.”
Michelle Obama was pressuring Twitter to ban President Trump. Nearly every problem we have in this country today from illegal immigration, to racial division, to left wing anti-American hate, to communist-style censorship/cheating/corruption was amplified by the horrible Obamas.
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) December 11, 2022
This past Saturday, Elon Musk gave journalist Michael Shellenberger the duty to release the fourth installment of the Twitter Files. This round, the files revealed that Trump’s ban from Twitter came very soon after Michelle Obama and others pressured to the company to remove the former president. Shellenberger revealed this “internal and external pressure”, including from Michelle Obama, prior to Trump’s ban.
Michelle Obama posted a statement to her Twitter profile following the January 6th protests in Washington, D.C. advocating for Trump’s removal from the platform.
Michelle wrote in her post:
“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.”
“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.”
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 7, 2021
Additionally, organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and other prominent public figures fiercely called for Trump’s ban from the social media platform.
Looking into Trump’s ban, it would appear Twitter violated its own policies in the former president’s permanent removal. On the morning of January 7th, then CEO Jack Dorsey wrote an internal memo to employees instructing them to, “to remain consistent in its policies, including the right of users to return to Twitter after a temporary suspension.” Trump was serving a temporary suspension at that point.
The Twitter Files indicated that Twitter had a policy known as “public-interest exceptions” where elected officials were not banned since their commentary was of great public interest, even if there was an apparent violation of company policy.
In Trump’s case, this “public-interest exception” was entirely ignored as he was permanently banned despite being perhaps the most important public figure at the time. Since Jack Dorsey was on vacation during the incident, he entrusted other senior officials at Twitter to handle the matter. Specifically, the former Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth and former Head of Legal, Policy, & Trust Vijaya Gadde were delegated much of the responsibility in Dorsey’s absence.
Shellenberger indicated these two individuals were “overwhelmingly progressive”, likely leading to an interjection of their own politics when interpreting Twitter’s Terms of Service. The Twitter Files imply that pressure from figures such as Michelle Obama and personal politics led to a violation of Twitter’s policies to ban Donald Trump.
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