Monday, June 17, 2024

Elon Musk reveals Twitter shadow banning is real, Twitter Files expose gives details

Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk has revealed that the company is working on a new update to let users know if they are “shadow banned.” Unlike an outright ban on content or profiles, a shadow ban refers to decreasing the visibility or partially blocking a user’s posts from appearing on searches and popular suggestions. In other words, the practice upholds freedom of speech to an extent, but it practically makes their posts redundant, since no one can see them. Musk announced the development amid allegations by Free Press founder Bari Weiss that Twitter employees “build blacklists” to “prevent disfavored tweets from trending.”In a tweet, Musk announced that Twitter is “working on a software update” that would show “true account status”. He added, “you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal.” A similar announcement was made by Instagram earlier this week. However, Musk’s tweet is particularly crucial as Twitter has denied shadow banning in the past. For instance, in 2018, former Twitter executives Vijaya Gadde and Kayvon Beykpour categorically denied shadow ban allegations in a blog post that reads, “People are asking us if we shadow ban. We do not.”

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