The Entrepreneur Dan Price accuses social media platform Twitter of “shadow-muting” his account.
“Only people who follow me on twitter can see my tweets,” he tweeted angrily on June 7. “So once you retweet me, it goes into a region where it disappears. It goes into a black hole. I even created two other accounts to verify this.”
Shadow banning is when a social media user is partially or completely blocked from the Twitter app, in a way that makes it appear to other users that they haven’t been banned but it actually do ban. Price says his credit card process and financial services company, Gravity Payments, competes with Square, which is led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Price said he noticed a decline in new followers and said the overwhelming majority of his tweet interactions were coming from followers instead of non-followers. He tweeted screenshots showing 137 million tweet impressions in May, down to 12.1 million so far in June. Profile visits plummeted from 2.15 million to 140,000 and new followers dropped from 41,500 to 2,000..
Even though Price tweeted around 37% less per day in June compared with tweets per day in May, his profile visits are down about 71% per day so far this month.
I alerted Twitter multiple times to the problem which they said if I didn’t like it , I could pay them to advertise,” Price said. Twitter’s communications team did not respond to a request for comment.
Price gained national attention six years ago when he took a $930,000 salary cut to supply his employees a wage of $70,000.He commended that other chief executive officers (CEOs) slash their salaries to benefit their employees in his media appearances and tweets.
Now, he says Twitter is limiting his platform.
“Being shadow-muted sucks but the bigger concern is how tech companies have power to limit your voice,” he tweeted.
Conservatives have launched similar complaints against tech companies for some time, and especially over the past year. After the January 6 2021 Capitol riot, Apple, Google, and Amazon cut off the social media app Parler, which branded itself as a “free speech” platform and was popular among conservatives. Facebook and Twitter also suspended the accounts of ex-President Donald Trump, citing the violence at the Capitol.
In the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, Twitter suppressed a New York Post article that was disapproving of the future American president (then-candidate) Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. The New York Post Twitter account also was locked.