Twitter employees reportedly locked their accounts and scrubbed their online biographies over fear that they may be targeted by former President Donald Trump’s supporters in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to the New York Times.
The employees set their accounts to private after Twitter decided to ban Trump and tens of thousands of his supporters from the platform.
In addition, some executives have been assigned personal security teams.
Twitter suspended Trump from its platform on Jan. 8 “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
According to the report, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was not convinced that banning Trump was the right solution, and he even resisted demands to temporarily suspend the former president’s account on the day of the riot.
But by the time more than Twitter’s employees began circulating an internal petition, which more than 300 employees signed, demanding that the company take action, Dorsey had already agreed to ban Trump.
I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?
— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Dorsey had been previously hesitant to censor any of Trump’s material, believing it to be too relevant and newsworthy, the New York Times reported.
He favored labeling Trump’s tweets if they violated Twitter’s policies instead of removing them altogether.
But after Jan.6, Dorsey’s team of executives decided to suspend Trump without consulting Dorsey first.
When Dorsey found about the decision, he was not pleased, the New York Times said.
What convinced Dorsey to move forward with a permanent ban is the risk of further unrest, which he feared could come from Trump’s supporters.
He also approved expanded security for the company’s executives, who had made the decision to first suspend Trump, and he encouraged lower-level employees to set their accounts to private if they felt their safety was in jeopardy.