Trump, Biden Admins Pressed Twitter to Moderate Content During COVID: ‘TWITTER FILES’ Part 10

The latest installment of the “TWITTER FILES,” a publication that sheds light on how tech giants moderate content, reveals that both the Trump and Biden administrations pressured Twitter to elevate certain content and suppress other content related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Independent writer David Zweig, who viewed Twitter’s internal files on assignment for The Free Press, stated that both the Trump and Biden administrations called “for help from the tech companies to combat misinformation” and had weekly calls with other companies including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft to discuss “general trends” on their platforms.

“Internal files at Twitter that I viewed while on assignment for @thefp showed that both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes,” Zweig writes.

These calls reportedly focused on conspiracies surrounding 5G cell towers, panic buying and behaviors, and runs on grocery stores.

When President Biden took office, his staff reportedly “focused on vaccines and high profile anti-vaxxer accounts, including Alex Berenson” and were “not satisfied with Twitter’s enforcement approach as they wanted Twitter to do more and to de-platform several accounts.”

According to a memo written by Twitter’s head of U.S. public policy, Lauren Culbertson, the Biden administration was “very angry” about this issue and requested more calls with Twitter.

While Twitter did not fully comply with the Biden team’s requests, Zweig reported that the company did suppress views, including those of doctors and scientific experts, that conflicted with the official positions of the White House. This resulted in “legitimate findings and questions that would have expanded the public debate [going] missing.”