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Undercover Video: Twitter Uses “Shadow Banning” to Censor Political Speech

Undercover Video: Twitter Uses “Shadow Banning” to Censor Political Speech

“they just think that no one is engaging with their content when in reality, no one is seeing it”

Thursday, undercover video outfit Project Veritas released a disturbing video featuring Twitter employees explaining a process they refer to as “shadow banning”, essentially suppressing content created by certain users from showing up in follower newsfeeds.

The video is a compilation of conversations with present and former Twitter employees, each discussing a different part of Twitter’s unofficial “shadow banning” policy.

Twitter is a private company and free to run their business as they (and shareholders) see fit, that said, based on the content of Project Veritas’ latest video, their unofficial rules are subjective and single out a very specific type of user based on their political ideology

Content managers and engineers explained how they filter out pro-Trump users and that those filters are subjectively applied, often letting liberal-leaning content through the filters.

A current Twitter employee described the censorship of conservative content as a way to “ban…a way of talking”

Watch the full video here:

Yeah, this isn’t helping:

Wednesday, Project Veritas released video footage of a Twitter network engineer discussing the company’s willingness to disclose Trump’s private Twitter record.


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To accomplish their ends the left constantly has to use deception.

    And of course, exploiting any ‘honor systems,’ like those that that exist in high office (obama, klinton, lois lerner, comey, etc.) or Fourth Estate frauds like the ny times.

    What is most galling is the willingness of those not on the left, to follow them (the Crying Boehners).

    The former should be on the gallows. The latter, tarred and feathered. And then, to the gallows.

      Can’t have nice things, like honor systems or temporary assistance for people having a rough time in their life, with liberals around to exploit and misuse them.

Wow! I first ran into “Shadow Banning” in 2009 with The State, a McClatchy owned newspaper in Columbia, SC. After the Tax Day TEA Party rally on the steps of the State House the newspaper reported a “small crowd of a few hundred” showed up to protest the Government, be racist and threaten anyone remotely on the left with violence. I commented on the article and posted a picture from the rally that showed the crowd of approx. 3500 that showed up to peacefully protest along with a photo that showed that the State House grounds were cleaner after the rally than before. I was immediately banned from commenting on articles. I contacted the Online Editor…..Gary Ward….and he returned my phone call and was somewhat agitated when I pointed out that the paper had a liberal bias. He wasn’t very nice and was a bit combative, and was adamant about the fact that The State had endorsed John McCain for President in the 2008 election. I asked to posting priviledge to be reinstated and he agreed. After I could post again (you had to sign up to post comments, prior to the Disqcus comment provider now) I noticed that no one would reply to my comments. I tested the waters by posting something totally off-topic and asking for a reply, none came. I then signed out of the comments and went back to read what I had commented and it was not there. When I would log into my account my comments were once again visible…..but only to me. Once again, I emaild Mr. Ward telling him of how cowardly that practice was, but got no reply. I totally mistrust the media thanks to that experience.

    4th armored div in reply to scooterjay. | January 11, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    no local fox affiliate that can research if this behavior is still there ?

    DaveGinOly in reply to scooterjay. | January 12, 2018 at 1:20 am

    I was present at three large pro-gun rights rallies at the Capitol Campus in Olympia, Washington. Each time, the media seriously under-reported the number of people present. At one rally, I spoke with the State Patrol’s media representative (I am a former employee of the WSP) and asked him for his estimate of the crowd size (he is the person the new media gets its numbers from). The figure reported in the news was half that. At another rally, I was present when a local news crew asked the Patrol PIO how many people were present, and I heard the PIO’s reply. So I knew that they had received the official estimate direct from the WSP, yet the media under-reported the number of people present and claimed the estimate came from the Patrol.

    artichoke in reply to scooterjay. | January 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    If shadow banning is for Nigerian scammers as O’Keefe says, well they are probably treating the Nigerians better than conservative Americans.

    Did anyone else get the impression that “Twitter engineers” aren’t the cream of the crop, watching this video? And they have so much power of people much smarter than they are!

    Walker Evans in reply to scooterjay. | January 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    “After I could post again (you had to sign up to post comments, prior to the Disqcus comment provider now) I noticed that no one would reply to my comments. I tested the waters by posting something totally off-topic and asking for a reply, none came. I then signed out of the comments and went back to read what I had commented and it was not there. When I would log into my account my comments were once again visible…..but only to me.”

    ABC News has done precisely the same thing to me. No explanation, just posts that are invisible to everyone … now including me. I questioned this with ABC News via their website and was first told that it was a ‘glitch’ and was later told there was no record of any such postings or exchange.

The web has become the dominant channel for the expression of ideas yet free speech has never been more threatened than it is today as those controlling content (FB, GOOG/YouTube, TWTR) are ideologically in lock step on the far left and any opinion even marginally left of center can be deemed “hate speech” and censored.

Activities like this illustrate that the whole “Net Neutrality” argument is a joke and is nothing more than a distraction. When it comes to having an open discourse in this country the power to control the message is being concentrated into the hands of a few dominant CONTENT providers, not ACCESS providers.

    I would just point out that “social media” are not the only venues from which we can draw news, particularly political news and opinion. There are websites, this site included, dedicated to political issues and the ability to comment is generally free of control (within the site’s guidelines regarding profanity, personal attacks, etc.).

    Personally I don’t participate in Facebook or Twitter, use Duck Duck Go for my searches and view YouTube videos infrequently (usually a technical/mechanical topic).

This is nothing new. People proved beyond any question literally years ago that Twitter shadow bans prominent conservatives. Nothing changed.

Twitter is just going to claim they’re either lying former employees or employees that are not acting in accordance with company rules and keep doing it anyway.

Surprised that Facebook and Twitter have an agenda? Look at their home location. They’re worth what you pay them

Twitter is a private company and free to run their business as they (and shareholders) see fit
So was the couple who baked wedding cakes until the court said they had to bake a cake for a gay couple.
Sue twitter on the same grounds.

    maxmillion in reply to 4fun. | January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Legally they’re entirely different grounds.

      SafeTea in reply to maxmillion. | January 11, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      True. Because FB and Twitter users sign a contract, so ALL are protected by that contract. Both companies clearly break that contract when they ban users – either overtly or covertly – with whom they disagree with ideologically.

      Litigation is in order.

This sort of behavior has been suspected for years, yet the “market” has never disciplined Facebook for it. I would guess that the market is incapable of disciplining Facebook, and the company must therefore be hit with government sanctions.

    Shane in reply to Matt_SE. | January 11, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Be careful the path that you are advocating. It doesn’t end in a good place.

    “The Market” is working just fine. I don’t use Facebook, nor will I ever. I suggest that you work with the market and do the same.

    The Packetman in reply to Matt_SE. | January 12, 2018 at 6:27 am

    The market is perfectly capable of disciplining Facebook (and Twitter) … it’s unwilling to do so.

4th armored div | January 11, 2018 at 8:56 pm

i neither use FB or Tweet are their Twitter like services more friendly to conservative POV that people don’t use ?

Shadowbanning is cowardly and passive aggressive. It also denies the victim the right to know what he’s charged with and to defend himself. It’s also fuck to play with his head that way making him believe that everyone is reading him and not responding.

Venturing political speech you disagree with is also wrong and actually evil.

Burn their villages to the ground then take off and nuke the site from orbit.

    Shane in reply to Fen. | January 11, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I agree with your statements about shadow banning, but the market isn’t a court of law. If someone doesn’t want to bake a cake for you move along, because if you force them to, you might like the result.

Censoring not venturing. We were promised flying hoverboards. Instead we got a sunpa4 voice to text program.

First, we discovered there were fake republicans.

Then we discovered there was fake news.

Now we’re discovering there is fake social media.

(Who’s worse, soros or zuckerberg?)

Pure evil. Absolutely no sense of community. Pure tribalism. Primitive tribalism.

“Free to run their business as they choose

With all due respect, Twitter is NOT free to run their business as they choose.

They are not allowed to ban blacks because they have the “wrong” skin color.

They are not allowed to ban women because they are the “wrong” gender.

They should not be allowed to ban conservatives for having the “wrong” viewpoint.

This is something (not directed at you Kimberlee) conservatives need to start making a stand against we wouldn’t tolerate it if Twitter was banning Jews for being Jews, and we certainly wouldn’t say Twitter has a right to run its business and ban Jewsm. So why do we do it with conservatives?

Why doesnt Trump dump twitter for a daily blog post? He’ll bk twitter.

Eliminate every Valley “Girlish” “like” in this video and it would be half as long. For a company supposedly founded on clarity and succinct communication, Twitter sure has a bunch of inarticulate goobers for employees.


This is the reason undercover videos from groups like Project Veritas are required.

Ten years ago multiple conservatives protested that they were being “banned” from social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook based upon bogus “complaints” that they were violating vague or even unstated usage standards – or that those standards were being enforced apparently only against non-liberal posters. Press and the companies tried dismissing the protests as paranoid fantasies – which might have worked except that it was easy to post (elsewhere) transcripts and documentation showing shenanigans on the part of the companies.

When calling conservative targets “cra-cra” over this fell flat (“who you going to believe – Twitter/Facebook/etc. – or your lying eyes?” goes the old joke.) those same targets noticed that their social media access seemed to be sometimes be rather hit-or-miss. They could post, and the posters appeared (to the posters) to have access, except that those who already had sizable numbers of followers heard from their followers that THEY couldn’t see the posts. Or it was obvious from the site’s own docs that a conservative with sizable likes or replies somehow was waaaaay down the list of “hot topics” than they should be based on the site’s own public standards for rankings. And so on. Again with the “you’re crazy, it’s not happening” defense, but even though harder and more steps to prove this was going on – it was still often possible to prove it. Next came the “software glitch” defense – except funny how the “software glitches” seemed to be happening to the same folks over and over – and be somewhat selective in the political leanings of the victims.

The term “soft banning” or “shadow banning” came into being to describe a situation where a poster apparently could still post all he/she wanted – but the poster’s posts were made in- or less visible than they should have been. All the benefits of banning speech you disagree with without the stress of having to publicly defend your infringement of someone else’s access to a theoretically public forum. AND the added possible bonus of wasting the shadow-banned poster’s time and effort without them having a clue that their voice has been muted or altogether silenced. Orwell would be so proud – you’ve managed to outlaw “bad think” without making it easily apparent that that’s what you’ve done.

And the bonus bonus that you get to pretend it’s not happening and the target is mental.

Except now here we are – with videos of social media employes fessing up to what they think are fellow travelers that the targets are NOT paranoid – because they really are being singled out based on politics and not some random non-existent software “glitches”.

The solution is very simple. Get the fu*k off of twitter!