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Is Twitter 'Shadow Banning' The Right? Some Conservatives Say They Have Proof

Is Twitter 'Shadow Banning' The Right? Some Conservatives Say They Have Proof
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President Donald Trump has accused Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) of "shadow banning" prominent Republicans. The president's remarks echo what multiple conservative commentators have been saying for some time: that social media platforms are knowingly silencing voices on the right.

What Happened

"Shadow banning" has multiple definitions, one of which refers to social media platforms not publishing a user's tweet to followers despite it being posted, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire told Fox News. Another definition of "shadow banning" is when Twitter doesn't automatically fill in the name of an account in its search bar.

Vice News reported that Twitter is actively "shadow banning" Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel, multiple conservative Republican congressman and the president's son Donald Trump Jr.

"This is one of the problems with social media," Shapiro said. "There is just no transparency from the user end. Sometimes they will change how exactly the information is accessed and they don't notify you about it. That sort of control from above should scare anyone who is engaging in social media."

Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter's product lead, tweeted Wednesday and said in a thread that Twitter began using behavioral signals and machine learning in May "to reduce people's ability to detract from healthy public conversation on Twitter." The platform's behavioral ranking does not make judgments based on political views or the substance of tweets, Beykpour said. 

'We're Trying To Get The S----- People To Not Show Up' 

James O'Keefe — a conservative political activist best known for undercover videos who once pleaded guilty to a criminal charge tied to his attempt to sneak into former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office — said he captured multiple Twitter employees openly stating the social media platform is active in silencing notable conservative users.

Olinda Hassan, Twitter's policy manager of trust and safety, said in a video posted by O'Keefe's Project Veritas in January: "we're trying to get the s----- people to not show up. I'ts a product thing we're working on."

What's Next

The topic of censorship in social media platforms will continue to be debated, but Twitter has adjusted its platform to address allegations of shadow banning, according to Vice. 

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Posted-In: Donald Trump Shadow Banning social media Vice NewsNews Politics Media General Best of Benzinga


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