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Trump thinks Twitter is ‘shadow banning’ Republican accounts but it was really a bug

This comes just a day after news broke that some Republicans were no longer showing up in Twitter’s auto-populated drop-down search box.

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Image: CNN

President Donald Trump is accusing Twitter of a technique known as “shadow banning.” He made the accusation, you guessed it, through an early morning tweet, and comes just a day after Vice News said some Republicans were no longer showing up in Twitter’s auto-populated drop-down search box.

In his Thursday tweet, the president said, “Twitter ‘SHADOW BANNING’ prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.”

Vice on Wednesday said that Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Matt Gaetz of Florida, as well as Trump Jr. spokesman Andrew Surabian, weren’t showing up in search results. Additionally, it said the verified account of Rep. Devin Nunes of California didn’t show up in the search box, only his unverified one.

Through a spokesperson, Twitter said, “We are aware that some accounts are not automatically populating in our search box and shipping a change to address this.”

By Thursday morning, CNET confirmed that all of the accounts showed up in searches once again.

As Buzzfeed reports, “The reason certain users’ names stopped autopopulating in Twitter search is due to a new initiative — the rollout started in May — that’s geared toward driving “healthy conversation” on the platform.” With these updates, bugs have been popping up with search results for not only right-leaning profiles but left-leaning, as well.

Although I support rooting out hate speech on social networking sites, and I hear what Twitter is saying, I’m growing tired of hearing yet another story about how Republicans are seemingly being treated differently on sites like Twitter and Facebook. We can only blame bugs and hiccups but so much.

Perhaps a better solution would be for Twitter and the like to say right-leaning users have no place on the service and ban them. At least that way, Twitter would be honest and admit that the powers to be there are biased.

And for those who are thrilled to see Republicans treated this way, keep in mind the same thing could happen to Democrats on another site. Indeed, two wrongs don’t make a right.

What do you think? Leave your comments below. 

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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