The latest batch of Twitter Files, released on Friday by independent journalist Matt Taibbi, showed that Rep. Adam Schiff’s office repeatedly contacted Twitter requesting the removal of posts critical of Joe Biden and staff at Schiff’s office.
“Staff of House Democrat @AdamSchiff wrote to Twitter quite often, asking that tweets be taken down,” Taibbi wrote. “This important use of taxpayer resources involved an ask about a ‘Peter Douche’ parody photo of Joe Biden. The DNC made the same request.”
Taibbi said that Schiff’s office pestered Twitter to remove the parody photo after former President Donald Trump retweeted it.
“To its credit, Twitter refused to remove it, with Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth saying it had obvious ‘humorous intent’ and ‘any reasonable observer’ – apparently, not a Schiff staffer – could see it was doctored,” Taibbi wrote. “Schiff staffer Jeff Lowenstein didn’t give up, claiming there was a ‘slippery slope concern here.'”
The Twitter Files also revealed efforts by Schiff’s office to get content or accounts removed.
Taibbi explained: “Even when Twitter didn’t suspend an account, that didn’t mean they didn’t act. Schiff’s office repeatedly complained about ‘QAnon related activity’ that were often tweets about other matters, like the identity of the Ukraine ‘whistleblower’ or the Steele dossier.
“Twitter policy at the time didn’t ban QAnon, but ‘deamplified’ such accounts… Twitter execs wrote: ‘We can internally confirm that a number of the accounts flagged are already included in this deamplification.'”
Schiff’s aides were not satisfied with deamplification because “it might make it harder for law enforcement to track the offending tweets.
“We are curious whether any deamplification measures implemented by Twitter’s enforcement team – which we appreciate greatly – could… impede the ability of law enforcement to search Twitter for potential threats about … other HPSCI (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) staff.”
Schiff’s office also repeatedly contacted Twitter to get negative comments about members of its office removed.
“Twitter also refused requests for bans of content about Schiff and his staff, e.g. ‘complete suppress[ion of] any and all search results about … Committee staffers. “Twitter said this would not be ‘conceivable,'” Taibbi wrote.