Twitter “Shadow Banning”

In March of 2018 Twitter announced a new approach “to improve the health of the public conversation on Twitter.”

@Jack has a whole thread from March to explaining Twitter’s role in developing “healthy conversations.”

This new approach came about after it was discovered that Russia meddled in our election. One way that Russia did in fact meddle was through social media, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms were infected with Russian accounts, or what the internet world calls “trolls,” or “bots.”

In response to the increase of accounts being reported, by other Twitter users, some of which had in fact not violated the user rules, Twitter, announced the changed policy.

Twitter Blog: In May of 2015 Twitter Vice President of Trust and Safety, Del Harvey along with Director of Product Management, David Gasca, explained in a blog post an update on what the company was doing to address “troll-like behavior” that “distort and detract from the public conversation on Twitter, particularly in communal areas like conversations and search.”

They continue explaining that while some reported twitter accounts for troll-like behavior are actually violating their rules, others accounts, “don’t but are behaving in ways that distort the conversation.”

In context the number of accounts that make-up reported abuse are “fewer than 1%,” but, “a lot of what’s reported does not violate our rules.”

They concluded in May that with the new approach, using, human review processes and machine learning to “help us determine how Tweets are organized,” from places like “conversations,” or “search,” they’ve seen a decrease of 4 percent in abuse reported from search and 8 percent fewer abuse reports from conversations.”

In May’s blog post Twitter did acknowledge that based on their new approach they would make mistakes, “This technology and our team will learn over time and will make mistakes,” they add, “There will be false positives and things that we miss; our goal is to learn fast and make our processes and tools smarter.”

Deadline reports that twitter has responded, “As we have said before, we do not  ‘shadowban’. We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box, and shipping a change to address this.” The profiles, Tweets and discussions about these accounts do appear when you search for them. To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn’t make judgments based on political views or the substance of Tweets.”

Those affected accounts according to Twitter users are, “RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, Republican Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, along with Andrew Surabian, Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman and former special assistant to the president,” Deadline explains that the information is based on a Vice article posted on Wednesday.

For those that don’t user twitter

Basically Republican’s are complaining that when someone searches for a user by their user name meaning the @ name of a user, for example @realDonaldTrump doesn’t appear in the drop down menu of choices, a user must go into advance search to find the “shadowbanned” user.

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About Tiff 1973 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.