Twitter Shadow Bans Republicans: Report

Is anyone surprised? VICE News on Wednesday reported that Twitter is “is limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans in search results — a technique known as ‘shadow banning’ — in what it says is a side effect of its attempts to improve the quality of discourse on the platform.” Uh huh.

According to the story:

The Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, and Donald Trump Jr.’s spokesman no longer appear in the auto-populated drop-down search box on Twitter, VICE News has learned. It’s a shift that diminishes their reach on the platform — and it’s the same one being deployed against prominent racists to limit their visibility. The profiles continue to appear when conducting a full search, but not in the more convenient and visible drop-down bar. (The accounts appear to also populate if you already follow the person.)

Democrats are not being “shadow banned” in the same way, according to a VICE News review. McDaniel’s counterpart, Democratic Party chair Tom Perez, and liberal members of Congress — including Reps. Maxine Waters, Joe Kennedy III, Keith Ellison, and Mark Pocan — all continue to appear in drop-down search results. Not a single member of the 78-person Progressive Caucus faces the same situation in Twitter’s search.

Twitter says they’re working on a fix. But don’t forget that shadow banning has been a problem for a while now.

Do you wonder if you’ve been shadow banned? Here’s a tool to help find out. And here’s a WikiHow article that’s a bit more involved.

Update: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted this afternoon:

“It suffices to say we have a lot more work to do to earn people’s trust on how we work,” he wrote. Trust, once lost, is almost impossible to regain.

About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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