Twitter creates monitoring team to prepare for Capitol riot anniversary

Social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook were accused of enabling extremists to organize the siege on January 6, 2021.

A mob of supporters of then-US President Donald Trump climb through a window they broke as they storm the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, January 6, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS/FILE PHOTO)
A mob of supporters of then-US President Donald Trump climb through a window they broke as they storm the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, January 6, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS/FILE PHOTO)

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the storming of the US Capitol, Twitter Inc created a new team to review the social networking site for harmful content associated with the event, the company told Reuters on Tuesday.

Social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook were accused of enabling extremists to organize the siege on January 6, 2021, when supporters of Republican then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to block Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory.

Twitter said employees from teams across the company, including site integrity and trust and safety, will watch for risks related to the anniversary, such as tweets and accounts that incite violence. The company did not say how many people were on the monitoring team.

The company added it will continue to monitor trending topics and search results on the platform for harmful content.

 Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC) Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)

In March, the chief executives of Twitter, Google and Meta Platforms Inc, the company previously known as Facebook, testified in a hearing before Congress and were asked by US lawmakers whether their platforms bore some responsibility for the riot.

Then-Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey was the only executive who answered "yes," but said the “broader ecosystem” had to be taken into account.

"Our approach both before and after January 6 has been to take strong enforcement action against accounts and Tweets that incite violence or have the potential to lead to offline harm," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday.