Report Documents the Enabling of the January 6th Attack & Extremism
WASHINGTON – Six months after the insurrection, Twitter remains a major tool for far-right extremists, enabling and boosting their efforts. A new analysis released today by Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Hatewatch documents the company’s failure to address the use of their platform to spread disinformation and complicity in the movement by amplifying extreme far-right voices.
“Perhaps above any other platform, Twitter enabled the January 6 insurrectionists to organize their attack on the U.S. Capitol,” said Senior Investigative Reporter Michael Edison Hayden said. “This multi-billion-dollar company has clearly made the calculation that enabling and even promoting fascists like Nick Fuentes is good for their bottom line. There is little doubt that we will see similar violence again if they do not correct course immediately or are not forced to do so.”
The analysis reveals:
• Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and his team know there are far-right extremists who plot on Twitter because they verified them and watched them do it. Dorsey even actively “followed” election disinformation spreaders like Mike Cernovich, Ali Alexander and Tim Pool in the runup to the vote.
• SPLC warned Twitter about verified Stop the Steal extremists like Jack Posobiec and Nick Fuentes in the runup to Jan. 6. Twitter not only ignored those warnings, but has promoted tweets by Posobiec. Meanwhile, Fuentes brags openly that Twitter helps him retain his audience.
• Extremists exploit Twitter's algorithm to create chaos by rigging trending topics, but the company’s tools also “recommend” white nationalists and other extremists.
• Twitter moderators “are powerless” according to a source with inside information about the process. The company’s top brass is ideologically driven, the source said. Which explains why Twitter has enabled so many frauds and extremists to have verified accounts and big followings.
Read the full report here.