Tag Archives: twitter

Twitter admits that it "downranks"

Twitter admits it can “downrank accounts”, which is a modified from of shadow banning.

Source: Twitter Responds to Project Veritas’s Video Claiming It Shadow Bans
As I have noted, a shadow ban can mean only the poster sees their tweets, or only their current followers see their tweets – but their tweets may be displayed less frequently to their followers, or not at all to non followers – thereby making the tweets disappear from search results. That this goes on is apparent due to other oddities, like messages from Twitter saying a Tweet is unavailable, but when you click through, you can see the tweet that is “not available”.
A problem with secret censorship is the censor is eventually discovered.
As of 1 pm, PST, a search of Google News shows that not a single mainstream news outlet has reported on current or former Twitter employees admitting on camera to shadow banning tweets and users whose political messages they disagree with.
Update: Twitter is not denying that it engages in various forms of censorship. Twitter does say that it has privacy and other policies in effect. While denying it does shadow bans, it does acknowledge down ranking, which is a variation of shadow banning.

How Twitter's shadow banning system works

Here is some insight in to how Twitter’s shadow banning algorithm’s may be operating.
In addition to their “machine learning” (a good but significantly over-hyped technology) scanning of messages, their algorithms take in to account user reports, and the muting or blocking of accounts to decide if individual tweets or accounts should be shadow banned. The user that is shadow banned is not notified of the ban.
Once shadow banned, one’s Tweets may not show up in some follower’s Twitter feeds, may be excluded from search results, and generally made invisible. In the former, a shadow banned tweet (or account) might have Tweets appear only in news feeds of existing followers – thereby seeming to continue to have normal interactions so that you are not aware of the shadow ban. However, as I discovered for a 4 week period when I posted screen snap shots of HealthCare.gov actual price quotes – I gained zero new followers, although my existing followers continued to interact on the topic. The lack of new followers is a sign that my account likely had a partial shadow ban. I previously gained my largest influx of new followers when I had posted similar Tweets earlier in the year, giving more evidence that my account was partially shadow banned by Twitter because a Twitter employee did not want this public information to be disseminated.
Shadow bans are not necessarily permanent and in fact, may generally be temporary.
Update: Another way that Twitter controls the tweets you see is that Twitter curates your news feed. Twitter selects the content that Twitter believes you want to see and highlights those Tweets at top. Twitter also selects content from other people to display your news feed – content from people you do not follow.
The combination of curation, insertion of random tweets from people you do not follow, down ranking and shadow banning means that Twitter is George Orwell’s 1984, in real life, directly controlling the information you see. Twitter is basically a massive propaganda operation. If Twitter were based in Russia, North Korea or Iran, the U.S. would be loudly proclaiming Twitter as a tool of an evil regime.
 

Was I "shadow banned" by Twitter? #shadowbanned

For a little over a month last fall, I ramped up my daily use of Twitter. During that time, I posted many screen snapshots of actual price quotes from HealthCare.gov.
For 4 weeks, I did not see a single new follower to my Twitter feed. It was as if my account had vanished. Not one additional follower for 4 weeks.
With the news that Twitter actively censors political or policy speech that Twitter disagrees with, it seems likely that Twitter shadow banned my posts.”Shadow banning” can mean only the poster sees their own posts, but their posts are invisible to all others. Or, in the case of Twitter, it can also mean that Twitter still shows your posts, but at a greatly reduced rate, intentionally omitting posts from other’s Twitter feeds.
With no one – or few – seeing my posts, my account had gone dark. At the end of the 4 week period, my account began to receive new followers once again.
In December I chose to reduce my use of Twitter. My decision was influenced by the idiocy displayed after the crash of an Amtrak train in Washington State. Twitter had become a waste of time.
The main thing Twitter is good for is to find examples of social media propaganda methods!