On Friday morning, Twitter CEO Elon Musk made public “Part 2” of the “Twitter Files,” which describe “free speech restriction” by the social media giant. The report, which was first published by independent journalist Bari Weiss, was retweeted by Mr. Musk, who then divulged additional “dark” information about the social media site.
“A new #TwitterFiles investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics-all in secret, without informing users,” tweeted journalist Bari Weiss to introduce her thread.
“Twitter once had a mission “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Along the way, nevertheless, barriers were erected,” she wrote.
Ms. Weiss explained in a series of postings how Twitter employed “shadow banning” to reduce the appearance of tweets from users on the far-right.
She claimed, supported by screenshots, that a large number of right-wing intellectuals had been added to the “Search Blacklist” and the “Trends Blacklist,” prohibiting their tweets from trending on the microblogging platform.
As reported by Ms. Weiss “Twitter denies carrying such activities. Vijaya Gadde, who was Twitter’s Head of Legal Policy and Trust at the time, and Kayvon Beykpour, who was the Head of Product, declared in 2018: “We do not shadow ban.” And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political or ideological opinions, they continued.
Weiss claims that the practice of stifling conservative viewpoints is known internally as “Visibility Filtering” or “VF.” “What many people call “shadow banning,” Twitter executives and employees call “Visibility Filtering” or “VF.” Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning,” she tweeted.