Former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss on Thursday released the second installment of the so-called “Twitter Files,” showing that some far-right accounts were blacklisted, The Hill reports.
Boosting conservative claims of so-called “shadow banning,” Weiss was given unfettered access to Twitter’s internal communications by Twitter owner Elon Musk and published messages showing former Twitter officials discussing various “blacklists.”
The images showed that Stanford health professor Jay Bhattacharya and the far-right Libs of TikTok, which accuses LGBTQ people of being “groomers,” were placed on a “Trends Blacklist.”
Right-wing podcaster Dan Bongino was placed on a “search blacklist.”
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk’s account was marked as “Do Not Amplify.”
Don’t call it shadow banning:
Weiss purported that the messages show that the network was “shadow banning” conservatives, which the company has previously denied.
Executives did discuss “visibility filtering.”
"'Think about visibility filtering as being a way for us to suppress what people see to different levels. It’s a very powerful tool,' one senior Twitter employee told us," Weiss tweeted. "'VF' refers to Twitter’s control over user visibility. 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. All without users’ knowledge."
Musk vows change:
Musk said Thursday that he will roll out a tool that will allow users to check if their account has been limited.
“Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal,” he tweeted.
But Musk has essentially said that Twitter would continue the practice.
Musk said last month that Twitter’s “new” policy is “freedom of speech, not freedom of reach.”
“Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter,” he wrote.