Dave Rubin's Jaw-Dropping Walk Through Twitter HQ: Bans, 'Secret Labels', and What Elon Is Doing to Clean It Up

Britta Pedersen/Pool via AP

Dave Rubin, host of “The Rubin Report” got a great opportunity — to go behind the scenes with Elon Musk and walk through Twitter.

But first, he had to walk through San Francisco to get to the company’s headquarters–and that wasn’t a picnic, making his way through Nancy Pelosi’s city.


Rubin said he spent two days talking to engineers, product managers, and Musk. He discovered what a “Rube Golberg” contraption Twitter was, and how hard Musk and his engineers were working to clean up all the mess that had been left. He was told he could write anything he wanted about the experience, as long as it was true.

One of the things they found, after the engineers started diving into what was going on, was what a mess everything was and how much shadowbanning was going on.

Rubin said they found a lot of “secret labels” designed to reduce people’s traffic. His account had all three: “Recent abuse strike,” “Recent misinformation strike,” and “Recent suspension strike.” Rubin had “innocuous tweets” that were labeled NSFW or NSFA (not safe for ads) ,which would affect visibility in the timeline. He said there was a whole “keyword database” of words that could affect your visibility and make you not advertiser friendly, including the word “gay.” Rubin found out that the “recent suspension strike” came from July 2022 because he objected to the suspension of Dr. Jordan Peterson. Even though Peterson’s account has now been unsuspended, the strike on Rubin’s account was still there.


Rubin said that Elon was aware of virtually every issue and thought maybe the entire code needed to be “torn down and start from scratch”; it was like “a flaming dumpster rolling down the street.” “So I assure you they are aware of the problems and Elon and engineers are there all night trying to untie this crazy knot,” Rubin said.

One of the big takeaways from the visit, I think, is that Elon Musk is the person he appears to be: a guy who’s there for all the right reasons, trying to untangle the mess and stand in the breech for free speech.

“On a personal note, Elon is funny as hell, laughs a ton and it’s just really obvious he cares about Twitter because he cares about free speech and the bigger problems facing the world,” Rubin said. “He doesn’t need this headache, he chose it.”


Rubin also praised the effort of David Sacks, who is helping Elon “clean up this mess” because he also believes in free speech. Rubin thanked the engineers who he said showed him everything he asked for.

“Elon really lit up when we talked about the shifting political landscape and how anyone non-woke is now “far right.”” Rubin said. “That notion is deeply connected to how screwy thing got at Twitter and he’s working to fix it despite the huge challenges ahead.”

Musk weighed in on Rubin’s thread, declaring it “accurate.”

Although it sounds like a horrific nightmare they are trying to untangle, the wonderful thing here is that we do finally have someone in charge of Twitter trying to undo all the damage, trying to make it work correctly. It’s hard to imagine any other CEO who would be so receptive to addressing the issues and opening up to let people see what’s going on like this. Yes, they need to get it out of San Francisco, so they can get it into a more friendly and safe business environment. But it sounds so positive for the future.



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