Following the election of 2016, Twitter cofounder Evan Williams lamented that the forum he had helped create was instrumental in electing Donald Trump president.
“It’s a very bad thing, ” said Williams, “Twitter’s role in that.” Williams wondered whether it had been a mistake to launch Twitter given the results.
Williams’ regret was widespread throughout the San Francisco-based Twitter enterprise. As senior network engineer Clay Haynes revealed in an undercover Project Veritas video, Twitter seems prepared to make amends.
“We’re more than happy to help the Department of Justice in their little investigation,” Haynes told a female Project Veritas undercover reporter.
As to his rationale for volunteering to surrender even Trump’s private messages, Haynes said, “I don’t like being part of the machine that is contributing to America’s downfall.”
Haynes seems prepared to fight back. “What we can do on our side is actually very, very terrifying,” he acknowledged.
Haynes claimed that the company has “full access to every single person’s account, every single direct message, deleted direct messages, deleted tweets.”
Haynes continued, “I can tell you exactly who logged in from where, [with] what username and password, when they changed their password.”
He described Twitter’s intrusiveness as “very, very dangerous, also very, very creepy Big Brotherish.” And yet he seemed altogether eager to play Big Brother if it meant derailing Trump.
Haynes conceded that he was ” a bleeding heart liberal,” adding, “I think it comes with the territory.” By “territory” he meant social media in general and Twitter in particular.
Haynes claimed that Twitter had “internal reviews” in which the consensus was that Trump was a “terrible human being.” Said Haynes, “I want to get rid of him.”
Liberals like Haynes may still see themselves as the protectors of civil liberty, but if their own words do not betray their intentions, history certainly does.
To read the recently filed lawsuit by James Damore against Google is to get a good sense of how quickly the road to oppression can be paved by good intentions.
The screen shots in Damore’s suits of open conversations among the more “googley” employees are priceless.
In one instance, four employees, at least one a manager, discussed how they attempted to change the views of a conservative intern.
Had the intern said something overtly racist, sexist, or homophobic the four would not have scrupled over why he was unfit. He likely expressed ordinary common-sense conservative views.
The first employee says he had a “you have made serious mistakes” conversation with the intern but without success. He concludes, “I believe that intern is now on our ‘do not attempt to hire this person ever’ list.”
The second employee wished that someone would have made “a formal attempt to get this person the help that might have turned them around.”
A third wished that someone would have wised the intern up about Google culture. “That might have given him the motivation to change his beliefs – or at least to keep his mouth shut.”
The fourth, a female, assuaged her colleagues’ guilt, assuring them that “logical straight-talk” would be useless with someone who held such views. She urged her colleagues, “Throw that bad apple away with no regrets.”
This is the “territory” that Haynes proudly inhabits. Although he was not forthcoming on whether Twitter was currently cooperating with the DOJ, he seemed to relish the possibility of doing just that.
When asked how Twitter was prepared to help the DOJ, Haynes responded, “Basically, giving them every single tweet that [Trump’s] posted, even the one’s he’s deleted, any direct messages, any mentions, oh yeah.”
Project Veritas honcho James O’Keefe was unable to confirm whether Twitter was, in fact, cooperating with the DOJ. That its employees seem eager to is undeniable.
As O’Keefe pointed out, Twitter does not have to cooperate even if the DOJ asked. Just last year, for instance, Apple fought the request from the DOJ to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino terrorist. CEO Tim Cook called the request “chilling.”
Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, tweeted, “We stand with Tim Cook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership).”
Apparently, in Silicon Valley civil liberties are kind of, you know, like a situational thing.