Elon Musk continues to make highly controversial revelations as the new Chief Executive Officer of Twitter on Thursday released the second part of “Twitter Files”. The latest revealings suggest that Twitter under the previous administration resorted to blacklisting tweets and accounts of conservative users on the social networking platform.
Bari Weiss, an independent Journalist revealed on Thursday through a series of tweets, how Twitter used to shadow-ban certain tweets and accounts of conservative users, which will reduce the viewability of such tweets and accounts. According to Bari Weiss, the social media network company built blacklists of conservative users to prevent disfavored tweets from trending.
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.
Twitter employees even controlled the visibility of conservative accounts and tweets without informing the users about the restrictions. One of the screenshots shared by Weiss showed how Twitter stifled the opinion of Stanford’s Dr Jay Bhattacharya on the COVID-19 lockdown.
3. Take, for example, Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a “Trends Blacklist,” which prevented his tweets from trending. pic.twitter.com/qTW22Zh691
According to various former and current Twitter employees. Former Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust, Vijaya Gadde, the Global Head of Trust & Safety Yoel Roth, and CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal are people who were part of a secret group making politically sensitive decisions.
Another screenshot shows that the Twitter account of Dan Bongino, a popular right-wing talk show host, was slapped with a “Search Blacklist”. It is believed that “Search Blacklist” ensures the account does not get promoted in search results on Twitter. The Twitter account of another conservative activist Charlie Kirk was set to “Do Not Amplify” by the social media company.
In 2018 the then Head of Legal Policy and Trust, Vijaya Gadde stated that the social networking platform does not shadow-ban any account or tweets based on their political ideology or viewpoint. But the latest revelations suggest that Twitter has been suppressing accounts and tweets of rightist conservatives for a long period of time.
The first part of the Twitter Files investigation was released by Journalist Matt Taibbi and Elon Musk last week in which they put out details regarding how Twitter used its content moderation tools to block stories related to the 2020 US Presidential election. The social media platform allegedly censored various tweets and information on Twitter related to the laptop scandal of Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden is the son of current US President Joe Biden.