Twitter whistleblower who spoke with 6 panel steps forward: WaPo

  • In July, the January 6 panel played a recording of an interview with an anonymous Twitter employee.
  • The whistleblower said the company was reluctant to take stronger action against Trump’s account.
  • The collaborator, Anika Collier Navaroli, spoke to The Washington Post about why she decided to testify.

The Twitter whistleblower who testified anonymously before the Jan. 6 panel and argued that her company’s leadership was reluctant to take strong action against Donald Trump’s account publicly stepped forward on Thursday.

Anika Collier Navaroli spoke to The Washington Post months after she testified before the committee. In her interview, she shared why she decided to talk to congressional investigators and the fears she had for the future of democracy after seeing the former president spread false claims about a rigged election.

“My fear within the American context is that we have seen our last peaceful transfer of power,” said Navaroli, whose identity was also unveiled earlier on Thursday by Rep. Jamie Raskin, told The Post. She added that Trump is not alone in spreading false claims about voter fraud and that leaders around the world are using “the same playbook.”

Navaroli was a policy expert for the Twitter team that created the platform’s content moderation rules. In July, the House selection committee investigating the riots played an interview with Navaroli while hiding her identity.

It was during the testimony when Navaroli revealed how Twitter executives “enjoyed the knowledge that they were also the former president’s favorite and most used service” and were reluctant to impose harsh penalties on Trump’s account.

When Rep. Raskin, a member of the Jan. 6 panel, asked Navaroli if Trump could have kept his account as long as he was another user, the former Twitter employee said “absolutely not.”

“If former President Donald Trump were any other Twitter user, he would have been permanently banned for a long time,” she said.

Navaroli also foresaw the violence of the uprising, which left five people dead and many more injured, months before January 6, 2021.

After Trump told the Proud Boys to “take a step back” in September 2020, Navaroli urged the company to implement a stricter content moderation policy, but to no avail.

“My concern was that the former president apparently spoke directly to extremist organizations for the first time and gave them guidance,” she told the committee. “We had never seen such direct communication before and that worried me.”

And when Trump tweeted in December 2020 about a “major protest in DC on January 6” and how it would be “wild”, Navaroli again sounded the alarm at her company.

“I had pleaded and anticipated and tried to bring out the reality that if we didn’t intervene in what I saw happening, people would die and on January 5 I realized there would be no intervention,” she told the panel.

Twitter executives have previously said Navaroli has failed to take “unprecedented steps” the company has taken during the 2020 election, according to The Post.

Navaroli left Twitter last year. She is now a fellow at Stanford University studying the effects of speech moderation.

Navaroli told the paper that she had several interviews for the Jan. 6 panel. A more complete report from the commission to be released this year could include full transcripts of her interviews, The Post reported.

“There’s still a lot to say,” she told The Post.