wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Twitter denies US President’s allegation that it ‘shadowbans’ conservatives

Twitter

“Twitter “SHADOW BANNING” prominent Republicans,” US President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday. “Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints.” Trump was referring to allegations by some conservatives that their tweets were not showing up on Twitter search results. In a blog post the same day, Twitter claimed that they don’t shadow ban users.

In the post, Twitter said that they don’t shadowban, but that they do rank search results for ‘conversational health’, which results in a shadowban-y situation for those whose tweets are ranked lower. “Tweets from bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate or divide the conversation should be ranked lower,” Vijaya Gadde and Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s safety & trust lead and product lead respectively, said in the blog post.

What is shadowbanning?

Shadowbanning is when a social media website diminishes the visibility of a user without deleting or deactivating their profile, and this is often done without informing the user. On Reddit, for instance, shadow-banning was official policy for the longest time, as the link aggregator site’s administrators determined that it was the best way to get rid of bot accounts without tipping their creators off.

In 2015, Reddit phased shadowbanning for human users out, and said they would start suspending human users with notice, and shadowbanning would be reserved for spammers and bots. On Twitter, shadowbanning — which until recently the company was not entirely clear about — consisted of users’ tweets disappearing from their search results, and their tweets no longer appearing on their followers’ timelines.

“We don’t shadow ban” accounts, the company said, adding the caveat that “you may have to do more work to find them”.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Twitter further said that the issue Trump and some conservative commentators were referring to was a bug in their search’s auto-complete, and that it affected “hundreds of thousands” of users. “The issue was broad-ranging and not limited to political accounts or specific geographies,” the company said. The company said that they have fixed this issue and will be doing more to improve their systems to detect situations like this.

Shadowbanning on Twitter in India

Some Indian Twitter users have been shadowbanned in the past. In September last year, for instance, James Wilson, a prominent government critic who frequently tweeted against demonetisation and the Aadhaar project, was not showing up on Twitter search results. With Safe-search switched off, only his profile card showed up in search, with tweets nowhere to be seen:

The conservative commentator Madhu Kishwar has also claimed that her account was shadowbanned, with follower counts stagnating and tweets not reaching followers:

 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

While the market reality of popular crypto-assets like Bitcoin may undergo little change, the same can't be said for stablecoins.

News

Bringing transactions related to crypto-assets within the tax net could make matters less fuzzy.

News

Loopholes in FEMA and the decentralised nature of crypto-assets point to a need for effective regulations.

News

The need of the hour is for lawmakers to understand the systems that are amplifying harmful content.

News

For drone delivery to become a reality, a permissive regulatory regime is a prerequisite.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ