Former President Donald Trump was so active on Twitter, he was been dubbed the “Tweeter-in-chief” and had more than 88 million followers before he was permanently suspended from the platform following the Capitol Riot in January 2021.
The Media Research Center (MRC) found in 2018 that when it comes to censoring conservatives on social media, Twitter was the clear leader. The same year, CEO Jack Dorsey claimed, in front of Congress, that it does not make decisions based on “political ideology,” and strives for impartial enforcement. Dorsey was CEO 2015-2021. Under his leadership, the platform morphed from a free speech free-for-all to a haven for the left and a censor of the right.
Parag Agrawal took over as company CEO in November 2021. Prior to his promotion, Agrawal said Twitter's role was "not to be bound by the First Amendment."
Twitter’s culture and workforce is so liberal that conservative staff members “don’t feel safe to express their opinions,” Dorsey said in an August 2018 interview. This liberalism also shows up in whom it suspends or bans, members of its Trust and Safety Council, who and how it fact-checks, and even how it defines hateful or violent content. Its fact-checking team is led by Yoel Roth, who has called the Trump administration “ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE.” Its Trust and Safety Council is also chock-full of liberal groups including GLAAD and the Anti-Defamation League.
Less than six months before the 2020 election, Twitter began fact-checking Trump tweets by citing pundits and Democratic politicians. Even WIRED acknowledged that’s not the way to fact-check. In June, Twitter flagged presidential tweets as “threat[s] of harm.” Trump had said the government would use “serious force” if protesters tried to create an autonomous zone in D.C. The administration complained that Twitter flagged the post while taking no action against Iran's Supreme Leader who calls for the “elimination” of Israel. Twitter defended its decision.
After years of calling out Twitter’s bias against himself and conservatives, in 2020 Trump asked the Federal Communications Commission to start limiting social media platforms’ legal protections under Section 230.
In 2019, Dorsey announced Twitter would prohibit running political ads from politicians, candidates and PACs. However, issue “awareness” advocacy by other groups would be allowed as long as it wasn’t for specific legislation.
Valued at over $4.4 billion, Twitter has 145 million daily active users. Conservative users beware, since Twitter censors and suppresses the content it considers “hateful,” violent or abusive. Numerous times it has applied policies unfairly by sanctioning conservatives and not liberals. The company also denies shadow banning, despite evidence that it engages in the practice.
- After Twitter added fact-checks to Trump’s tweets for the first time, CEO Jack Dorsey defended the decision and took responsibility. He tweeted: “There is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.” Adding, “This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.”
- In addition to flagging and fact-checking, Twitter has put a “sensitive content” filter on innocuous photos of Trump, and made his account disappear for 11 minutes.
- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany condemned Twitter in June saying, “Twitter labeled it 'abusive behavior' for the President of the United States to say that he will enforce the law” and "Twitter says it is 'abusive' to prevent rioters from forcibly seizing territory to set up a lawless zone in our capital."
- Twitter temporarily suspended Donald Trump Jr., for spreading coronavirus misinformation in July. He responded, “When the Chinese Communist government literally spread disinformation about coronavirus, Twitter literally said that is not a violation of their rules.”
- In May 2020, a court dismissed a lawsuit against Twitter and Facebook over alleged bias against conservatives.
- Twitter suspended Project Veritas’ account for posting a video exposé of bias at Pinterest. It considered a Slack message proving a Pinterest employee put Live Action on the porn domain block list to be “personal information.”
- Twitter has suspended or banned many people on the right including David Horowitz, actor James Woods, Candace Owens, Laura Loomer, Robert Stacy McCain and many more often for alleged harassment. However, no enforcement of hate or abuse policies was taken against black rapper Talib Kweli and his followers who harassed a black Breitbart writer and repeatedly called him a “coon.”
- Breitbart exposed other Twitter inconsistencies such as allowing liberals to call for killing George Zimmerman, express a desire to kill Trump, punch Milo Yiannopoulos, “#killallmen,” publish private information, insult or even support terrorism.
- Columbia University research fellow Richard Hanania studied Twitter for political bias and concluded, “My results make it difficult to take claims of political neutrality seriously. Of 22 prominent, politically active individuals who are known to have been suspended since 2005 and who expressed a preference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, 21 supported Donald Trump.” He also noted that Twitter’s move from free speech to using suspensions and bans against prominent individuals didn’t begin until 2015 — the same year Jack Dorsey took over as CEO.
- The head of Twitter’s fact-checking team has called the Trump administration “ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE,” Trump a “racist tangerine” and compared Kellyanne Conway to Joseph Goebbels.
- Former Federal Election Commission chair Ann Ravel criticized Twitter (and Google) over political ad bans. She took issue with Twitter’s ban on PACs and SuperPACS saying, “It is likely ... the ban will favor incumbents and establishment candidates with deeper pockets (who can afford television advertising) over smaller challengers.”
- Twitter considers the factual statement “men are not women” to be hate speech and prohibits “deadnaming” (using a transgendered person’s original name).
- In a 2018 interview, Jack Dorsey admitted conservative Twitter employees “don’t feel safe to express their opinions” at work.
- Twitter has a history of trying to suppress pro-life views, while allowing Planned Parenthood to prominently advertise. It hid a pro-life Trump ad behind a “sensitive content” warning in 2020. In 2018, it blocked Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., from running a campaign ad because it said she “fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts.” Twitter deemed it “inflammatory,” even though it was true. Public pressure forced the company to eventually allow the ad.
- Twitter told Live Action in 2017, it couldn’t buy ads unless it purged all “inflammatory” materials from its account. National Review said this included calls to pull taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood, undercover investigations of PP, and ultrasound images of the unborn.