New document dump undercuts ex-Twitter execs’ repeated denials of viewpoint bias, shadowbanning
December 9, 2022
Twitter executives have for years denied that the platform shadowbans conservative users, but a recent document dump appears to undermine past public statements from company leaders and has called into question the platform’s truthfulness when dealing with user concerns.
Former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss on Thursday posted a series of internal documents from the social media giant to which new CEO Elon Musk had granted her and a team of reporters access on condition that they first publish their findings on the site.
After the new release, Musk himself confirmed the platform was shadowbanning and promised a new tool to help users detect if they were being affected so they could appeal.
“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.
Included in that dump was a detailed examination of a practice the company dubbed “visibility filtering,” a process by which the platform would reduce the prospective reach of a post with a “disfavored” viewpoint or the entire account without the user’s knowledge. This process is known colloquially as shadowbanning.