Elon Musk’s eventful tenure as the new owner and CEO of Twitter took on even greater public significance Friday evening with the release of the first “Twitter Files” report. Former Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann is among the notable people showing an interest in future reports on the questionable actions of Twitter’s previous management.
Musk outsourced the story to independent journalist Matt Taibbi, who detailed the collusion between former Twitter executives, the DNC, and the 2020 Joe Biden campaign to suppress the story about Hunter Biden’s infamous abandoned laptop.
Sandmann is now asking Musk to release any internal Twitter documents related to the social media company’s decisions to allow explicit death threats against him to remain on the platform while he was still a teenager.
As I’m watching this all play out, I’m wondering if @elonmusk has any hidden twitter files relating to what went on here. Let’s be clear: under the watch of @vijaya they allowed these illegal threats when I was 16 years old. https://t.co/j2bWEvpGsI
— Nicholas Sandmann (@N1ckSandmann) December 4, 2022
Sandmann tweeted Sunday, “As I’m watching this all play out, I’m wondering if @elonmusk has any hidden twitter files relating to what went on here. Let’s be clear: under the watch of @vijaya they allowed these illegal threats when I was 16 years old.”
He was referring to Vijaya Gadde, former general counsel for Twitter and the company’s chief of “legal, policy, and trust.”
He also shared screenshots he had saved depicting posts from several verified “blue-check” Twitter accounts that made various threats, including calls for readers to burn down Covington High School and “throw the MAGA kids into a wood chipper.”
Sandmann found he became an involuntary public figure in 2019 when he was part of a student group from his school that traveled to the March For Life in Washington, D.C. While waiting with his group outside the Lincoln Memorial, he was videoed wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap and smiling while being aggressively confronted by Native American activist Nathan Phillips.
Video of the event was reported by major media outlets and went viral on social media because accounts made it appear that Sandmann was part of a group of White teenagers harassing and threatening Phillips. However, when the complete video of the event was released, it became apparent that Sandmann and his group were standing calmly after being first confronted by Phillips, who appeared to be attempting to provoke a response.
Sandmann became the target of death threats and aggressive harassment nevertheless. He eventually brought defamation suits against several media outlets for their false reporting and secured private settlements.
Musk has promised more “Twitter Files” disclosures will be coming soon.