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Twitter whistleblower slams Jan. 6 committee over social media

Anika Collier Navaroli denounced the House Jan. 6 committee for omitting much of her testimony about social media companies and the attack from its report.


Last week, The Washington Post published a draft memo reportedly produced by the House Jan. 6 committee that detailed social media companies’ failure to curb extremism, fomented by Donald Trump and others, ahead of the deadly U.S. Capitol riot in 2021. The memo was shocking — not only because it found significant institutional failures by companies like Twitter and Facebook, but also because much of those findings were not described in detail in the committee’s final report.

That decision remains, in my view, the most conspicuous and worrying failure by the committee. It suggests that even as Democrats these days rightly criticize Republican lawmakers for deliberately misinforming the public, they have their own intraparty issues with power, transparency and truthfulness.

Now, a witness who provided some of the details in that memo is speaking out. In an interview with CNN that aired Thursday, Twitter whistleblower Anika Collier Navaroli expressed dismay over the committee’s choice not to include much of the testimony from her and others in the final report.

“Social media companies are mentioned hundreds of times within the final report,” the former Twitter employee said. “However, their role or their responsibility within that day and the events of that day, and the violence that occurred, has not been fully laid out.” 

To her point, the report lays out several examples of social media users, including Trump, sharing extremist content about — and even plans for — overturning the 2020 presidential election. But unlike the draft memo, the final report doesn’t go into detail about internal deliberations at social media companies or how officials who worked for them may have helped the spread of this extremism through their decision-making.

Remember Anika Collier Navaroli when you, inevitably, hear Democrats tout the ways the Jan. 6 committee has held power to account.

The memo goes much deeper than the final report on the social media front, examining Facebook and Twitter officials’ refusal to enact policies that could have discouraged right-wing extremism; Twitter’s and Facebook’s weakened moderation protocols due to fears of conservative blowback; and extremists’ use of social platforms — such as Reddit, YouTube and TikTok — to spread misinformation and violent rhetoric.

Jacob Glick, who served as an investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 committee, recounted to CNN what Navaroli told committee members. 

“She described employees, including herself, coming forward to warn their supervisors,” he said. “In Anika’s telling, they were denied over, and over, and over, and over. And who knows what could have been avoided if they had listened to her and her colleagues sooner.”

And pushing back against powerful and politically connected companies can come at a cost. 

Remember Anika Collier Navaroli when you, inevitably, hear Democrats tout the ways the Jan. 6 committee has held power to account. 

Her story seems to undermine their story of success.

Watch her interview here: