The allegation was also made in a complaint filed in October by the nonprofit law firm Whistleblower Aid with the FTC, which is continuing to interview former employees. A congressional staffer shared the complaint with The Washington Post.
The company’s current head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, did not respond to an email seeking comment on the new claims. Parag Agrawal, the chief executive for a year before Musk fired him in October, did not respond to a Twitter message seeking comment.
Concerns about Twitter’s security soared after an incident in 2020 when teenagers breached Twitter’s internal systems and tweeted as Musk, Barack Obama and others. Twitter executives in 2020 said they had repaired the glitches, but the whistleblower disputes that.
“After the 2020 hack in which teenagers were able to tweet as any account, Twitter publicly stated that the problems were fixed,” the complaint says. “However, the existence of GodMode is one more example that Twitter’s public statements to users and investors were false and/or misleading.”
“Our client has a reasonable belief that the evidence in this disclosure demonstrates legal violations by Twitter,” the new complaint says.
The whistleblower spoke Friday with staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after meeting previously with the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the FTC. The whistleblower spoke with The Post on the condition of anonymity because other former employees have been threatened and harassed.
In that interview, the new whistleblower said that following internal objections about the program, engineers changed its name to “privileged mode.” The whistleblower said the purpose…