Tag Archives: Shadow banning

The Fifth Estate, by Mike Solana

Who has been pulling Twitter’s strings? From Mike Solana at piratewires.com:

pirate wires #85 // summary and analysis of the twitter files, a dangerous alliance of powers, and technology’s nature brings the industry home

Dangerous alliance. In 1787, Edmund Burke said there were “Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there [sits] a Fourth Estate more important than they all.” The notion of some vital power beyond our government was imported to the New World, and today constitutes a core belief of the American liberal: there is no free people, we’re often told, without a free press independent of congress, the courts, and our president. But throughout the 20th Century thousands of media outlets gradually consolidated, and by the dawn of our internet era only a few giants remained. These giants largely shared a single perspective, and in rough agreement with the ruling class the Fourth Estate naturally came to serve, rather than critique, power. This relationship metastasized into something very close to authoritarianism during the Covid-19 pandemic, when a single state narrative was written by the press, and ruthlessly enforced by a fifth and final fount of power in the newly-dominant technology industry.

It was a dark alliance of estates, accurate descriptions of which were for years derided as delusional, paranoid, even dangerous. But today, on account of a single shitposting billionaire, the existence of the One Party’s decentralized censorship apparatus is now beyond doubt.

A couple weeks back, alleging proof Twitter acted with gross political bias, and in a manner that influenced U.S. elections (!), Elon Musk opened his new company’s internal communications to a small handful of journalists. They set immediately to breaking a series of major stories that have rewritten the history of Trump-era tech. Long story short, Twitter leadership lied to the public, relentlessly, for years, and everything the most paranoid among us ever said about the platform was true. “Trust and safety” is a euphemism for political censorship, with “expert” teams comprised almost exclusively of the most radical, joyless grievance studies majors you ever met in college. Their goal is to reshape American politics by dominating the bounds of what the public is permitted to consider American politics. In these efforts, they have mostly been succeeding.

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The Twitter Files Part Two. Twitter’s Secret Blacklists. By Bari Weiss

The second installment, by Bari Weiss at twitter.com:

1. A new #TwitterFiles investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users.



Quote Tweets




Bari Weiss
Replying to


2. Twitter once had a mission “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Along the way, barriers nevertheless were erected.

Bari Weiss
3. Take, for example, Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (


) who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a “Trends Blacklist,” which prevented his tweets from trending.




Bari Weiss
4. Or consider the popular right-wing talk show host, Dan Bongino (


), who at one point was slapped with a “Search Blacklist.”




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Twittered, I Think, by Eric Peters

The social media companies are banning or shadow banning a lot of conservatives and libertarians because they are afraid of their ideas. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Something interesting happened about a week ago.

While I don’t “Tweet” – per se – I do copy and past links to the articles; I do the same on ZuckerBook. Until about a week ago, when I posted links, both would show the URL and the picture that accompanied the article on the site. The “Tweet” would lead to an immediate increase in site traffic because – I assume – it was “Tweeted” (doesn’t the insipid infantilism grate?) to many people who then clicked and had a read.

On Zuckerbook, my “post” – also just copied-and-pasted links – would immediately display the link and the lead image. My “posts” were also displayed in the order published.

All of a sudden – in both cases – the copied and pasted links no longer automatically transpose the original image that accompanied the article and they seem to just vanish once I “Tweet” or “post” them.

With regard to the “Tweets,” the previously immediate surge in traffic on EPautos is way down. With regard to the “posts” on Zuckerbook, I can’t even find them anymore – and assume the people previously seeing them can’t either.

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Twitter appears to have fixed “shadow ban” of prominent Republicans like the RNC chair and Trump Jr.’s spokesman, by Alex Thompson

So far, no prominent liberals or Democrats have complained about being “shadow banned” by Twitter. From Alex Thompson at news.vice.com:

UPDATE: July 26, 10:00 AM: Twitter appears to have adjusted its platform overnight to no longer limit the visibility of some prominent Republicans in its search results. Read more here.

Original story:

Twitter is limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans in search results — a technique known as “shadow banning” — in what it says is a side effect of its attempts to improve the quality of discourse on the platform.

The Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, and Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman no longer appear in the auto-populated drop-down search box on Twitter, VICE News has learned. It’s a shift that diminishes their reach on the platform — and it’s the same one being deployed against prominent racists to limit their visibility. The profiles continue to appear when conducting a full search, but not in the more convenient and visible drop-down bar. (The accounts appear to also populate if you already follow the person.)

Democrats are not being “shadow banned” in the same way, according to a VICE News review. McDaniel’s counterpart, Democratic Party chair Tom Perez, and liberal members of Congress — including Reps. Maxine Waters, Joe Kennedy III, Keith Ellison, and Mark Pocan — all continue to appear in drop-down search results. Not a single member of the 78-person Progressive Caucus faces the same situation in Twitter’s search.

“The notion that social media companies would suppress certain political points of view should concern every American,” McDaniel told VICE News in a statement. “Twitter owes the public answers to what’s really going on.”

Presented with screenshots of the searches, a Twitter spokesperson told VICE News: “We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box and shipping a change to address this.” Asked why only conservative Republicans appear to be affected and not liberal Democrats, the spokesperson wrote: “I’d emphasize that our technology is based on account *behavior* not the content of Tweets.”

Twitter directed VICE News to a May 15 blog post that explained the company’s new approach to combating “troll-like behaviors.” After making changes to its platform, the company said that “[t]he result is that people contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search.”
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