Former Twitter employee said they tried to warn ‘people were going to die’ on Jan. 6th

Twitter’s role in the January 6 uprising is once again in the spotlight. During a Tuesday hearing, the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack played testimony from a former Twitter employee who said he tried to warn others at the company that violence was coming on Jan. 6 would.

The committee a Dec. 19 tweet from former President Donald Trump promising a “wild” protest in Washington DC on Jan. 6. The tweet, they said, “served as a call to action and, in some cases, a call to arms” to its supporters.

On Jan. 5, the former Twitter employee said it was clear the protest would turn violent, but that “no intervention is coming.” The committee did not identify the former employee, whose voice was obscured in the recorded statement. Representative Jamie Raskin said the former employee is “on the team responsible for the platform and content moderation policies” and has worked at the company throughout 2020 and 2021.

“I had been begging and anticipating, trying to address the reality that people would die if we didn’t interfere with what I was seeing,” the clerk said. “And on January 5, I realized that no intervention was coming.”

The staffer also explained that Twitter had considered changing its rules in early 2020 after Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during a presidential debate, but the company ultimately declined.

When asked if another Twitter user could have taken the same actions as Trump without being suspended, the employee replied “no.” They indicated that Twitter enjoyed the notoriety that came with being Trump’s preferred social media platform. “I think Twitter enjoyed knowing that they were also the former president’s favorite and most used service and enjoyed having that kind of power within the social media ecosystem.”

In a statement, Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Twitter’s VP of Public Policy, said the company was “clear-eyed” about its role in the events leading up to Jan. 6.

“We recognize our role in the broader information ecosystem regarding the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, and as we continue to evaluate how we can improve going forward, the fact remains that we have taken unprecedented steps and have made significant investments in resources to prepare for and respond to the threats that have emerged during the 2020 US election,” Herrera-Flanigan said. “On January 6, we leveraged the systems we built before the election to respond to the unprecedented attack in real time, and commit to replicating that work to counter violent extremism in the United States and around the world. “

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