September 23, 2022 Editor

Jan. 6 Twitter witness: Failure to curb Trump spurred ‘terrifying’ choice

In an exclusive interview with The Washington Post, a former Twitter official explains what motivated her startling Jan. 6 committee testimony

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September 22, 2022

image above: Former Twitter employee Anika Collier Navaroli. (Marlena Sloss for The Washington Post)

WN: The terror unleashed by Donald TrumpThe Ultimate Ugly American, Supreme Liar Record Holder, World’s All-Time Most Dangerous Con Man, Humanity’s Greatest Ever (?) Public Enemy Number One–on the world knows no bounds.

Yet, many of my relatives love him!–not to mention multiplied millions of Americans . . .  To which my response: What the hell???!!!

The last two sentences of the article are deeply chilling:

But “the same playbook,” she added, is being used around the world, “teeing up the idea that if an election is not in someone’s favor, it’s been rigged. Without intervention we really are on this path to catastrophe.”


In an explosive hearing in July, an unidentified former Twitter employee testified to the House Jan. 6 committee that the company had tolerated false and rule-breaking tweets from Donald Trump for years because executives knew their service was his “favorite and most-used … and enjoyed having that sort of power.”

Now, in an exclusive interview with The Washington Post, the whistleblower, Anika Collier Navaroli, reveals the terror she felt about coming forward and how eventually that fear was overcome by her worry that extremism and political disinformation on social media pose an “imminent threat not just to American democracy, but to the societal fabric of our planet.”

“I realize that by being who I am and doing what I’m doing, I’m opening myself and my family to extreme risk,” Navaroli said. “It’s terrifying. This has been one of the most isolating times of my life.”

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t believe the truth matters,” she said.

Twitter banned Trump two days after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, citing fears he could incite further violence. By that time, he had sent more than 56,000 tweets over 12 years, many of which included lies and baseless accusations about election fraud. One month earlier, he had tweeted, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

“She has constantly had to say to herself: ‘This is important for the world to know, but it can compromise my safety.’ And she continually makes the patriotic choice,” Ronickher said. “The folks who do come forward and are willing to take these risks make such an impact for the rest of us.”

The hearings, which have been watched by millions, are expected to resume next week. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), said Tuesday that the hearing could feature “significant witness testimony that we haven’t used in other hearings.”

By 2020, Navaroli was working on a Twitter policy team helping the company design rules for one of the internet’s most prominent gathering places for news and political debate, according to congressional testimony revealed this summer.

By then, Trump had become Twitter’s inescapable force, capturing global attention and news cycles with a constant stream of self-congratulatory boasts and angry tirades.

Starting in 2011, he used the site as a major propellent for the racist “birther” claim that former president Barack Obama was born in Kenya. In one 2014 tweet, Trump asked cybercriminals to “please hack Obama’s college records (destroyed?) and check ‘place of birth.’ ”

During the 2016 campaign, his jotted-off insults helped undermine his critics and sink his political rivals as he captured the Republican nomination and then the presidency. And once in the White House, his tweets became a constant source of surprise and anxiety for even his own administration.

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.