Is Twitter “Shadowbanning” Conservatives?

 

I spoke with OAN host Liz Wheeler about the allegations that Twitter is silencing many of its users. Milo Yiannopoulos, editor of Breitbart Tech and frequent guest of Ricochet’s own Radio Free Delingpole, revealed that the financially troubled social platform is using a technique called “shadowbanning” to limit the reach of accounts that promote a non-PC message:

According to the source, Twitter maintains a ‘whitelist’ of favoured Twitter accounts and a ‘blacklist’ of unfavoured accounts. Accounts on the whitelist are prioritised in search results, even if they’re not the most popular among users. Meanwhile, accounts on the blacklist have their posts hidden from both search results and other users’ timelines.

Our source was backed up by a senior editor at a major digital publisher, who told Breitbart that Twitter told him it deliberately whitelists and blacklists users. He added that he was afraid of the site’s power, noting that his tweets could disappear from users’ timelines if he got on the wrong side of the company.

Shadowbanning, sometimes known as “Stealth Banning” or “Hell Banning,” is commonly used by online community managers to block content posted by spammers. Instead of banning a user directly (which would alert the spammer to their status, prompting them to create a new account), their content is merely hidden from public view.

For site owners, the ideal shadowban is when a user never realizes he’s been shadowbanned.

However, Twitter isn’t merely targeting spammers. For weeks, users have been reporting that tweets from populist conservatives, members of the alternative right, cultural libertarians, and other anti-PC dissidents have disappeared from their timelines.

This troubling news comes shortly after Twitter leadership announced an Orwellian “Trust and Safety Council,” which is stacked with leftist anti-speech activists. Instead of groups like the Electronic Freedom Foundation or the Cato Institute, the council invited Feminist Frequency and the Dangerous Speech Project. The latter organizations lead the growing movement to silence politically incorrect thought on campuses and online.

I close the interview with a discussion of FCC Commissioner Ajai Pai’s warning to freedom lovers everywhere:

“The text of the First Amendment is enshrined in our Constitution, but there are certain cultural values that undergird the amendment that are critical for its protections to have actual meaning. If that culture starts to wither away, then so too will the freedom that it supports.”

 

Members have made 19 comments.

  1. Profile photo of deovindice556 Member

    Funny, Jack Dorsey, the CEO currently driving Twitter into the ground, will only listen to the bloviating SJW grievance collectors like Randi Lee Harper. Google, Facebook, et. al. have ceded to “hate speech” crusaders and are delegitimizing their platforms as bastions of free speech and expression.

    I’m glad Milo is calling Twitter out on their progressive speech policing. They won’t even acknowledge why he was unverified. Meanwhile Harper, the professional doxxer, can tweet the CEO and get an immediate response.

    Couldn’t get the comment editor to embed the Tweet, so here’s the link instead of the embed code: https://twitter.com/jack/status/698586265361330176

    • #1
    • February 18, 2016 at 6:14 pm
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  2. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    There is another network:

    https://freezepeach.xyz/

    I’m @fourmilab there.

    • #2
    • February 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm
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  3. Profile photo of Whiskey Sam Inactive

    vBulletin message boards have long had this feature but called it “tachy goes to coventry” where the person didn’t know they were muted so that only admins could see their posts.

    • #3
    • February 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm
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  4. Profile photo of deovindice556 Member

    John Walker:There is another network:

    https://freezepeach.xyz/

    I’m @fourmilab there.

    Thanks, John. Just followed you!

    • #4
    • February 18, 2016 at 7:10 pm
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  5. Profile photo of James Gawron Thatcher

    John Walker:There is another network:

    https://freezepeach.xyz/

    I’m @fourmilab there.

    John,

    I am a very twitter illiterate person. I never wanted to limit myself to the short fast comment. However, considering the implications of this in an election year, you now have my attention.

    Could you please describe the alternate service v. twitter and how one get’s involved. Also, how many people are using the alternate v. twitter at this point.

    Considering the viral nature of the very media we are discussing, I think a good offense is the best defense. If people start to seriously plug the alternate upon recognition of the shadow banning reality at twitter, this will put the maximum pressure on twitter to play it straight. If Milo and others start to make it their business to give the twitter alternate a plug we may see them back off.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • February 18, 2016 at 8:05 pm
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  6. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    Twitter is a business and free to conduct itself in that regard, without consideration of speech rights. Customers (I am not one) have the right to go to alternatives that don’t do this crap. The key is to make sure it is highly publicized.

    • #6
    • February 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm
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  7. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    This is in addition to the fact that whenever you do a search on Twitter these days, you are presented with the “Top Trends”, in which the highlighted trend is almost always some leftist talking-point.

    • #7
    • February 18, 2016 at 8:50 pm
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  8. Profile photo of David Deeble Member

    All this time I just assumed you were off Twitter to spend quality time in Tinder…

    • #8
    • February 18, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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  9. Profile photo of The Reticulator Member

    hokiecon:

    John Walker:There is another network:

    https://freezepeach.xyz/

    I’m @fourmilab there.

    Thanks, John. Just followed you!

    Metoo.

    • #9
    • February 18, 2016 at 10:41 pm
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  10. Profile photo of CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    The answer is yes, Twitter is.

    Here’s another interesting take on Twitter and censorship from Milo’s friends at TheRebel.media in Canada:

    • #10
    • February 19, 2016 at 2:57 am
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  11. Profile photo of Guruforhire Member

    David Deeble:All this time I just assumed you were off Twitter to spend quality time in Tinder…

    Tinder is having trouble with bernie bros.

    • #11
    • February 19, 2016 at 5:54 am
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  12. Profile photo of Tuck Inactive

    Yes, here’s Vox Day’s post on the subject, showing the data that indicates a shadowban.

    “Notice how despite the number of tweets being flat and the number of followers increasing, the number of impressions and profile visits dropped significantly at precisely the same time. As it happens, that’s right when I noticed my notifications declining and people began letting me know that they weren’t seeing my tweets.”

    P.S. If they did ban him, he’s unbanned. Just tested on Twitter by following him, and I see his tweet.

    • #12
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:15 am
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  13. Profile photo of Eeyore Member

    John Walker:There is another network:

    https://freezepeach.xyz/

    I’m @fourmilab there.

    You must have caused a Walkerlanche at freezepeach. Timed out in both Comodo Dragon and Chrome.

    • #13
    • February 19, 2016 at 11:01 am
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  14. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    Robert Stacy McCain, former assistant national editor and reporter for the Washington Times, who since 2008 has freelanced and blogged at The Other McCain, just had his Twitter account suspended.

    • #14
    • February 20, 2016 at 5:51 am
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  15. Profile photo of Titus Techera Contributor

    Has he said anything as to why? Does he have any ideas?

    • #15
    • February 20, 2016 at 6:09 am
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  16. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    Titus Techera:Has he said anything as to why? Does he have any ideas?

    It just happened, and McCain hasn’t yet posted anything on his blog about it. It may have to do with this post from yesterday about Milo Yiannopoulos’s speech at Rutgers.

    • #16
    • February 20, 2016 at 6:16 am
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  17. Profile photo of Titus Techera Contributor

    John Walker:

    Titus Techera:Has he said anything as to why? Does he have any ideas?

    It just happened, and McCain hasn’t yet posted anything on his blog about it. It may have to do with this post from yesterday about Milo Yiannopoulos’s speech at Rutgers.

    Makes sense. Thanks. Hopefully, Mr. Yiannopoulos will win. Either way, there is no going back-

    • #17
    • February 20, 2016 at 6:36 am
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  18. Profile photo of Concretevol Thatcher

    They’ve suspended Robert Stacy McCain now. If they aren’t going after them they sure are trying to make it look like they are. #FreeStacy

    • #18
    • February 20, 2016 at 9:39 am
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  19. Profile photo of ParisParamus Member

    I remember raising this concern a year or two ago in a question to the Law Talk podcast… Ace of Spades is doing a limited boycott of Twitter.

    Other than enjoying retweets for clever quips, I stopped caring about Twitter a while back.

    • #19
    • February 26, 2016 at 5:03 am
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