August 1, 2018

Twitter Accused of 'Shadow Banning' Republicans

Last week, Vice reported that “Twitter 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.” The story has since been updated to note that “Twitter appears to have adjusted its platform overnight to no longer limit the visibility of some prominent Republicans in its search results.” (Vice)

See past issues

The left does not think this is particularly newsworthy.

“The first thing to note about this story is that it begins and ends with which accounts are suggested when one begins typing in a name in the Twitter search box. That’s it. The very worst thing Twitter can be accused of here is, in some cases, making you spell out some people’s full names if you wanted to read their tweets.”

The Verge

It’s not one’s political views, but rather your behavior on the platform that determines the ranking: “If you are blocked a lot or tweet at a lot of accounts you don’t follow, for example, Twitter raises an eyebrow. Reading between the lines... it’s those users who are being flagged by the site’s ‘quality filter’ and, therefore, may be downplayed in search.”

Washington Post

The right is disturbed by the revelations and finds Twitter’s response underwhelming.

The right is disturbed by the revelations and finds Twitter’s response underwhelming.

“While social media giants like Twitter and Facebook insist that these are just misapplications of their algorithms, the algorithms themselves are completely non-transparent — and mistakes seem to universally hit just one side of the political aisle. There’s a reason for the lack of trust here, and transparency would help cure it.”

Daily Wire

“By looking to indicators like frequency of reports and connections to rule-violating accounts, Twitter has created a feedback loop that rewards its users for false ‘abuse’ reports. The more you report your political opponents’ tweets, and the more you get them and their friends suspended, the more Twitter will downrank their content in search results.”

Breitbart

“Twitter’s shadow-banning of Nunes, Gaetz, et al is a major problem. But it’s not a problem government should attempt to solve. It should be pointed out Twitter may have fixed the shadow-banning... because it was exposed by Vice, and people complained. That’s how the free market

and free speech) works.”

Hot Air

On the bright side...

Man puts out Southend Pier fire by peeing on it.

BBC

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