Twitter Internal Revolt Against Free Speech Exposed After Daily Wire Debacle?

June 2nd, 2023 5:16 PM

Twitter owner Elon Musk promised to make free speech essential to the platform’s brand. But after the platform botched The Daily Wire’s attempted re-release of the What is a Woman? documentary, it’s clear that Musk’s staff does not share his vision.

Thursday it came out that Twitter had not only backed out of a deal promoting The Daily Wire’s What Is a Woman? documentary but it even throttled the outlet’s post with warning labels when it posted the video without the promotion. After a confusing back and forth between The Daily Wire and Twitter employees, Musk “fixed” the issue and two Twitter employees mysteriously stepped down. The whole debacle confirmed the findings of previous MRC Free Speech America reporting which uncovered that censorship on Twitter is shockingly on the rise. 

“In our recent study showing Twitter’s censorship on the rise under Musk, MRC Free Speech America research suggested rank-and-file employees were maliciously undermining Musk’s pledge to protect freedom of speech,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “Continued censorship on the platform, their scheme to throttle the reach of What Is a Woman? and subsequent Twitter staff resignations following Musk’s pro-free speech intervention further demonstrate this point.”

Musk responded to the issue about an hour after the outlet had posted the video saying in a tweet that he had “[f]ixed” the warnings that prevented users from viewing the documentary. Musk even promoted the documentary to his 141 million followers, saying in a tweet: “Every parent should watch this.” However, Musk’s endorsement of the documentary did not come until Twitter’s employees had already censored the video under “hate speech” claims.

Shortly after Twitter uncensored the video, a “brand safety” employee announced his sudden departure from the platform. “[T]oda was my last day at the bird app,” Maie Aiyed said on her now private Twitter account, according to The Daily Wire. Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, also stepped down from the role after replacing anti-free speech Yoel Roth in November.  One Twitter user speculated whether the resignations were related to Musk un-banning The Daily Wire documentary. Musk responded that the issue was “Director related.”

Twitter slapped a “[v]isibility limited” label on the Daily Wire’s tweet sharing the documentary. “This tweet may violate Twitter’s rules against Hateful Conduct,” the warning read according to a screenshot shared by journalist Ian Miles Cheong. The warning is part of Twitter’s infamous “freedom of speech, not reach” policy on so-called hateful conduct and other content. Under this policy, Twitter blocked even The Daily Wire’s followers from sharing, liking or reposting the documentary. Some users were unable to even see the tweet.

However, the censorship had the opposite effect. “The Streisand Effect on this will set an all-time record!” Musk warned on June 1, the day before the What Is a Woman’s re-launch. The documentary has now amassed nearly 63 million views in less than 24 hours, marking a victory for free speech and common sense amidst a bevy of radicalized rainbow mafia propaganda sweeping across the United States and schools.

The Daily Wire podcast host Matt Walsh described the chaos in detail. “It's been a wild 24 hours.” He added that the whole debacle, “began with Twitter labeling our film hate speech and completely suppressing it, and ends with all suppression lifted and Elon Musk himself tweeting out the film and urging people to watch it. A huge win.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Twitter at (415) 222-9670 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hateful conduct and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.