New report claims Twitter has secret blacklists
Elon Musk says he wants to become more transparent going forward.
Twitter has reportedly blacklisted and limited the reach of certain influential profiles, according to a new report.
The new Twitter Files thread comes from Bari Weiss, founder of The Free Press.
In the thread, Weiss exposes instances where Twitter has limited the reach of specific tweets and accounts.
One example in the thread involves conservative activist Charlie Kirk. Twitter moderators tagged his account with “Do Not Amplify.”
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.— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 9, 2022
The LibsofTikTok account was also slapped with a blacklist tag called “Trends Blacklist.”
The thread says that this prevents the account from making it to the “Trending” section of the platform.
Twitter has long denied that it “shadow bans” users on the platform.
But the term shadow banning is vague, and some would consider these examples as shadow banning.
But Twitter executives call it “Visibility Filtering,” and high-level employees confirmed moderators do this quite a bit on the platform without users’ knowledge.
Elon Musk wants to change Twitter’s moderation practices
The Twitter Files is an effort from new management, Elon Musk, to shift the platform’s moderation direction.
But Musk isn’t planning on ending these Visibility Filtering practices. In fact, it looks like he’ll focus on them instead of suspending accounts.
“New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” he says.
However, he says he wants to be more transparent. Following the second Twitter Files, Musk tweeted:
“Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal.”
Weiss says that the authors of the Twitter files, including herself and Matt Taibbi, who released the first thread, have “broad and expanding access to Twitter’s files.”
She also confirmed that more would be coming soon, this time back on Matt Taibbi’s Twitter profile.
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