- 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 employee, Anika Collier Navaroli, spoke with The Washington Post about why she decided to testify.
The Twitter whistleblower who testified anonymously before the January 6 panel and argued that her company’s leadership was reluctant to crack down on Donald Trump’s account stepped forward publicly on Thursday.
Anika Collier Navaroli spoke to The Washington Post months after being reviewed by the committee. In her conversation, she shared why she decided to speak to congressional investigators and the fears she had for the future of democracy after seeing the former president spread false claims of a rigged election.
“My fear within the American context is that we have seen our last peaceful transition of power,” Navaroli, whose identity was also revealed Thursday by Rep. Jamie Raskin, he told The Post. He added that Trump is not alone in spreading false claims of voter fraud and that leaders around the world are using “the same playbook.”
Navaroli was a policy expert on the Twitter team who created the platform’s content moderation rules. In July, the House select committee investigating the riot played an interview with Navaroli while he hid his identity.
It was during the testimony that Navaroli revealed how Twitter executives “rejoiced to learn that they were also the former president’s favorite and most used service” and were reluctant to impose harsh punishments on Trump’s account.
When Navaroli was asked by Rep. Raskin, a member of the Jan. 6 panel, if Trump would have been able to keep his account for so long if he were any other user, the former Twitter employee said “absolutely not.”
“If former President Donald Trump was any other Twitter user, he would have been permanently suspended a long time ago,” he said.
Navaroli also anticipated the violence of the insurrection, which killed five people and injured many more, months before January 6, 2021.
After Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and wait” in September 2020, Navaroli urged the company to adopt a stricter content moderation policy, but to no avail.
“My concern was that the former president, for what seemed like the first time, was talking directly to extremist organizations and giving them direction,” he told the committee. “We hadn’t seen that kind of direct communication before and that worried me.”
And when Trump tweeted in December 2020 about a “huge protest in DC on January 6” and how “it would be wild,” Navaroli sounded the alarm at his company once again.
“I had been begging, anticipating and trying to bring up the reality that if we didn’t intervene in what I saw happening, people were going to die and on January 5 I realized I wasn’t going to intervene,” he told the panel. .
Twitter executives have previously said that Navaroli skipped “unprecedented steps” the company took during the 2020 election, according to The Post.
Navaroli left Twitter last year. She is now a fellow at Stanford University, studying the impacts of moderating speech.
Navaroli told the newspaper that he participated in multiple interviews for the January 6 panel. A fuller report from the committee to be released this year could include full transcripts of his interviews, The Post reported.
“There’s still a lot to say,” he told The Post.