Members of Twitter’s 2020 election enforcement Slack channel considered removing a tweet from former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, including a joke about mail-in ballots, according to a new “Twitter files” thread.
“Stood in the rain for hour to early vote today. When I got home I filled my stack of mail-in ballots and then voted the ballots of my deceased parents and grandparents. They vote just like me! #Trump2020,” Huckabee tweeted on Oct. 24, 2020.
Substack writer Matt Taibbi revealed that in the Slack channel titled “us2020_xfn_enforcement,” employees at Twitter debated if the tweet should be removed.
“Hello <here> putting this tweet on everyone’s radar. This appears to be a joke but other people might believe it. Can I get your weigh in this?,” a Twitter employee wrote, linking to Huckabee’s tweet.
The revelation about Huckabee’s tweet was made during a “Twitter files” thread on Friday.
Twitter’s former Head of Trust & Safety, Yoel Roth, said in the Slack channel that while he agrees “it’s a joke,” Huckabee is “also literally admitting in a tweet to a crime.”
“Yeah. I could see us taking action under ‘misleading claims that cause confusion about the established laws, regulations, procedures, and methods of a civic process’ but it’s not one that we could really label in a useful way, so it’s removal (of a stupid and ill-advised joke) or nothing. I’m maybe inclined not to remove without a report from voting authorities given it’s been a while since he tweeted it and virtually all of the replies I’m seeing are critical/counterspeech,” Roth said.
The last message of the screenshot from the Slack channel shows a Twitter employee saying that the tweet should be left alone.
“The thrust of the joke seems to be that mail-in ballots are for the fraudulent votes, so I could see an argument for our mail-in voting label, but absent confusion I’d also be inclined to leave the joke alone,” the Twitter employee wrote.