Twitter Files: Dorsey and Gadde Were in Top Secret Group That Blacklisted High Profile Conservative Users

New York Times columnist Bari Weiss posted the second installment of the “Twitter Files” Thursday night, exposing how Twitter used “visibility filters” to limit the scope of conservative content.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has given Weiss and independent journalist Matt Taibbi broad access to the Twitter files on the condition that they post the material on Twitter before they publish it anywhere else.

Among the revelations in the latest document drop, is that former Twitter officials Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde were in a secret top-level group that limited the visibility of content from high profile users. Accounts blacklisted by the group of moderators, included Libs of TikTok and Stanford School of Medicine Professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.

Twitter used a “visibility filter” (VF) to control the visibility of a user’s tweets, according to Weiss.

“It used VF to block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches,” she explained. “All without users’ knowledge.”

In other words, Twitter was shadow-banning conservatives—including conservative candidates—on a massive scale.

A  Twitter engineer told the reporters: “We control visibility quite a bit. And we control the amplification of your content quite a bit. And normal people do not know how much we do.” Two additional Twitter employees told them the same thing, Weiss said.

“Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool,” a top Twitter employee told the reporters.

A group called the “Strategic Response Team – Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET” decided which users to throttle, and handled up to 200 “cases” a day,” Weiss reported.

A higher level group called “Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,” known as “SIP-PES” determined the fate of high profile users like Libs of TikTok, Dan Bongino and Dr. Bhattacharya.

“This secret group included Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust, Vijaya Gadde; the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth); CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal; and others,” Weiss reported.

This is significant because Dorsey and Gadde have both preciously claimed that Twitter does not shadow-ban based on political viewpoints.

Dorsey and Gadde both denied on Joe Rogan’s podcast that Twitter engaged in shadow-banning of conservative viewpoints.

In testimony before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee in September of 2018, Dorsey claimed that a ‘bug’ had caused an algorithm to target more than 600,000 mostly conservative accounts—including members of Congress— for ‘filtering’ from news feeds, trending, etc.

Twitter’s SIP-PES group is where “the biggest, most politically sensitive decisions” on shadow-banning users were made, Weiss wrote.  “Think high follower account, controversial,” a Twitter employee explained. For these cases, “there would be no ticket or anything,” the employee said.

“One of the accounts that rose to this level of scrutiny was @libsoftiktok,” Weiss noted.

The account, which has over 1.4 million followers, was on the “Trends Blacklist” and was designated as “Do Not Take Action on User Without Consulting With SIP-PES,” the reporter added.

Libs of TikTok was reportedly subjected to six suspensions in 2022 alone, and was blocked from posting each time for as long as a week.

Twitter repeatedly informed Libs of TikTok that her account had been suspended for violating Twitter’s policy against “hateful conduct.”

But in an internal SIP-PES memo from October 2022, after her seventh suspension, the committee acknowledged that “LTT has not directly engaged in behavior violative of the Hateful Conduct policy.”

The committee justified her suspensions internally by claiming her posts encouraged online harassment of “hospitals and medical providers” by insinuating “that gender-affirming healthcare is equivalent to child abuse or grooming.”

Compare this to what happened when [Libs of TikTok] herself was doxxed on November 21, 2022. A photo of her home with her address was posted in a tweet that has garnered more than 10,000 likes.

When [Libs of TikTok] told Twitter that her address had been disseminated she says Twitter Support responded with this message: “We reviewed the reported content, and didn’t find it to be in violation of the Twitter rules.” No action was taken. The doxxing tweet is still up.

Twitter also secretly placed Dr. Jay Bhattacharya on a “Trends Blacklist,” which prevented his tweets from trending.

Bhattacharya co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration, which expressed “grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies,” especially the lockdown policies.

During his recent seven-hour deposition with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General/U.S. Senator-Elect Eric Schmitt, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci denied that he had anything to do with Big Tech’s censorship of Bhattacharya.

“I have a very busy day job running a six billion dollar institute. I don’t have time to worry about things like the Great Barrington Declaration,” he reportedly said

The account of conservative commentator Dan Bongino was also apparently placed on a “Search Blacklist,” and Turning Point USA President Charlie Kirk had his account marked as “Do Not Amplify,” according to the Twitter Files.

Weiss also shared screenshots of internal messages from Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of safety and integrity, in which he asked for research on “non-removal policy interventions like disabling engagements and deamplification/visibility filtering.”

The first installment of the Twitter Files, released by Taibbi last Friday, revealed an internal debate at the company over how to handle the New York Post’s explosive Hunter Biden’s laptop story in October of 2020.

Weiss said more details about the Twitter Files will be posted at her website, The Free Press.

Update:

Bhattacharya, Bongino, Libs of TikTok and Kirk responded to the new revelations on Twitter:

 

About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: (COMBO) This combination of pictures created on August 22, 2022 shows Elon Musk (L) shows his Texas belt buckle as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022, and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey (R) testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on September 5, 2018. - Elon Musk has served August 22, 2022 former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey with a subpoena in a hunt for material to help him get out of buying the giant social media platform for $44 billion as agreed. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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