Twitter whistleblower warns Jan. 6 could happen again

Twitter whistleblower Anika Collier Navaroli, who provided testimony to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, spoke to CNN in an exclusive interview that aired Wednesday. The Signals Network supports Navaroli through its Whistleblower Protection Program.

In what was her first TV news interview, Navaroli told CNN that the Jan. 6 committee missed an opportunity to hold social media companies accountable for their roles in the insurrection.

When CNN journalist Donie O’Sullivan asked Navaroli if she thinks there will be a repeat of Jan. 6, Navaroli said yes.

“I think it’s really important for these findings from the committee about the roles that social media played within January 6 to come to light,” she said.

Navaroli was one of the most senior and tenured members of Twitter’s safety policy team at the time of the attack on the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.

Navaroli and social media companies’ role in Jan. 6 was also the subject of NPR’s Fresh Air interview Wednesday with Washington Post writer Drew Harwell.

Navaroli went public in an exclusive interview with Harwell in September 2022 as the Twitter whistleblower who gave evidence to the U.S. House Committee investigating the January 6th attack. Shortly after, she was awarded the Ridenhour Prize for her courage in coming forward to speak truth to the committee.

When asked how she felt as an American watching the insurrection, Navaroli told CNN she was “terrified.”

“It was horrifying to experience political violence happen within our country at such a grand scale,” she told CNN.

Jacob Glick, an investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 committee who deposed Navaroli, told CNN: “Who knows what could have been avoided if they had listened to [Anika] and her colleagues sooner?”

Navaroli was not satisfied with the Jan. 6 committee’s final report.

“Social media companies are mentioned hundreds of times within the final report,” she told CNN. “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.”

CNN obtained an unpublished draft copy of a report by a Jan. 6 committee team designated to look into social media and extremism. That report detailed social media’s role in the insurrection. But much of their findings did not make it into the committee’s final report.

“I risked a lot to come forward and speak to the committee and to share the truth about these momentous occasions in history,” Navaroli said. “I think it is really a missed opportunity that the committee did not include that information forefront and center within their report.”

Glick told CNN that the draft document included errors that should not have been released. He said social media companies’ lack of awareness in their own responsibility related to Jan. 6 is “stark.”

“By seeing this information, we’ll be able to understand better what happened on Jan. 6, in order to ensure that it doesn’t continue to repeat itself,” Navaroli said.

Read the CNN story here.

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