Posted by Curt on 10 December, 2022 at 10:46 am. 1 comment.


by Rusty Weiss

A bombshell ‘Twitter Files’ drop on Thursday appears to show former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other top executives lied about “shadow banning” conservatives in his testimony before Congress in 2018.
“Shadow banning” is essentially the idea that a user’s account is being secretly throttled – hidden from other users – without the platform notifying the user that they’ve done something wrong to deserve it.
The evidence was presented on Twitter by journalist Bari Weiss as part of new owner Elon Musk’s attempt to get to the bottom of the censorship that was taking place on the platform. Internal company files show employees, not algorithms, built blacklists and filtered content without a user’s knowledge.

Most notably, Weiss revealed a process behind closed doors utilizing a system known as “Visibility Filtering,” which was for all intents and purposes a form of shadow banning.

She writes that “multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning.”
Visibility Filtering, or VF as it was referred to, was used 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.”
Twitter chief Elon Musk also confirmed that the shadow banning rules “were enforced against the right, but not against the left.”

Former Twitter CEO Lied About Shadow Banning, Including to Congress

High-level executives at Twitter, including former CEO Jack Dorsey, repeatedly denied that the social media platform engaged in any form of shadow banning, including in testimony before Congress.

Dorsey told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on September 5th, 2018, that Twitter does not shadow ban anybody based on their political leanings.
“Let me be clear about one important and foundational fact: Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules,” proclaimed Dorsey.
“We do not shadowban anyone based on political ideology,” he added. “In fact, from a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform.”

Dorsey repeatedly kept up the defense in public statements.
Prior to the aforementioned testimony, Twitter executive Kayvon Beykpour tweeted, “To be clear, our behavioral ranking doesn’t make judgments based on political views or the substance of tweets.”

Dorsey shared Beykpour’s tweet and added his own thread of explanation on the matter.

“We don’t shadow ban,” Dorsey said, “and we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints.”

He would later suggest any perceived shadow banning was based on algorithms, something he’d again use as a defense in September of 2018.
Representative Thomas Massie pointed that out and noted the new ‘Twitter Files’ drop from Weiss clearly shows it was human beings pulling the trigger on bans, blacklists, and filtered content.
“When testifying before Congress, [Jack Dorsey] made it sound as if algorithms were to blame for bias, and that these algorithms were fixed,” Massie said.
“What we learned tonight is people, actual human beings with undeniable bias, were, and still are, responsible for the biased filtering of voices.”

Enforced Against Conservatives
Dorsey also flat-out denied the shadow banning in response to a tweet by journalist Dave Rubin in October of 2020.
“Do you shadowban based on political beliefs?” asked Rubin. “Simple yes or no will do.”
Dorsey replied, “No.”

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