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HomeAll Ch00 Ch00 NewsTHREAD: THE TWITTER FILES PART TWO.   TWITTER’S SECRET BLACKLISTS

THREAD: THE TWITTER FILES PART TWO.   TWITTER’S SECRET BLACKLISTS

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 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

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.
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.
4. Or consider the popular right-wing talk show host, Dan Bongino (@dbongino), who at one point was slapped with a “Search Blacklist.”
 
5. Twitter set the account of conservative activist Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) to “Do Not Amplify.”
 
6. Twitter denied that it does such things. In 2018, Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said: “We do not shadow ban.” They added: “And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”
 
7. What many people call “shadow banning,” Twitter executives and employees call “Visibility Filtering” or “VF.” Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning.
 
8. “Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool,” one senior Twitter employee told us.
 
9. “VF” refers to Twitter’s control over user visibility. It used VF to block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches.

 

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