The latest 'Twitter Files' reveal a culture of censorship and secret blacklists at Twitter

Just yesterday, Elon Musk released a devastating new installment of his Twitter Files series.  

The gist of the revelations was as follows:

  • Tweets that didn't stick to the narrative were prevented from trending.
  • Twitter accounts or trending topics that contradicted the groupthink were shadowbanned — i.e., their visibility was limited.
  • Twitter employees maintained blacklists.  The search blacklists caused certain users not to appear in search results.  Trends blacklists prevented topics that the user tweeted from being part of any trend.

To summarize, Twitter wasn't a forum that reflected public opinion, but instead a forum that manipulated public opinion.  Censorship of dissenting views was rampant.  What is more troubling is that all of this was done surreptitiously.

The details were revealed in a Twitter thread by journalist Bari Weiss, who has been granted access to company documents.

Weiss cited examples with screenshots of accounts that were suppressed.

Among them was Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who argued that COVID lockdowns would harm children.

Other targets were conservatives such as Dan Bongino and Charlie Kirk.

The shadowban wasn't merely a dark secret that nobody talked about.  There were blatant denials.

Back in 2018, Twitter's Vijaya Gadde (then head of legal policy and trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (head of product) co-wrote a blog post where they claimed the following:

We do not shadow ban. You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile). And we certainly don't shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.

We do rank tweets and search results. We do this because Twitter is most useful when it's immediately relevant. These ranking models take many signals into consideration to best organize tweets for timely relevance. We must also address bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate or detract from healthy conversation.

Weiss also revealed that there was a group within the organization of Twitter that decided what content should be suppressed and what should be amplified.

The group was called the Strategic Response Team — Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET.

There was a secret sub-group within SRT-GET that operated from the shadows and above Twitter's policies.  This group called itself SIP-PES.

The Members of SIP-PES were the then–global head of trust & safety (Yoel Roth), Jack Dorsey when he was CEO, Parag Agrawal when he was CEO, the then–head of legal, policy, and trust (Vijaya Gadde), and others.

Gadde seems to be the flag-bearer of this Stasi-fication of Twitter within the shadows.

One of the accounts that rose to this level of scrutiny was @libsoftiktok.

@libsoftiktok merely reposts content created by liberals, leftists, and LGBT people on TikTok and on other social media platforms and leaves its users to decide what they think about them.  There is no incitement or hate or derision.

Yet the account had a notification that said "Do Not Take Action on User Without Consulting With SIP-PES."

The account was suspended multiple times for hateful conduct.

An internal SIP-PES memo from October 2022 revealed after @libsoftiktok's seventh suspension, the committee acknowledged that "LTT has not directly engaged in behavior violative of the Hateful Conduct policy."

The goal behind the suspension was obviously to prevent the spread of content that exposed the vacuousness and the ludicrousness of groups that Twitter bosses hold in high regard.

However, there was a lack of consistency.

When the individual who ran @libsoftiktok was doxxed and her personal details, including her home address, were posted, Twitter Support responded with this message: "We reviewed the reported content, and didn't find it to be in violation of the Twitter rules."  No action was taken.  The doxxing tweet prevails.

Weiss also revealed that Twitter employees spoke about using technical reasons to suppress and restrict the visibility of tweets and subjects.

The revelations about suppression and shadowbanning will come as no surprise to conservatives; in fact, these revelations provide proof of what conservatives always suspected.

As a solution, Musk revealed that a subsequent version of Twitter will explicitly display the shadowban status for any given user and the reason for the suppression.  The user will also be able to appeal against this suppression.

So how will the Democrats and their P.R. wing that masquerades as the news media react to these explosive revelations?

They will ignore it completely. 

If they do cover it, it will be branded Russian disinformation.  They may even claim that these revelations are a violation of the privacy and confidentiality of former Twitter employees.

They may even interview former Twitter employees such as Vijaya Gadde who will claim she is the recipient of sexist, racist, and violent threats since these revelations were made public.  She could claim victimhood; so could other former employees. 

Musk and his team will be painted as the perpetrators and disruptors, while the former Gadde regime will be depicted as the custodians of justice and fairness. 

The former Gadde regime has the entire Washington, D.C. establishment behind it.  Hence, any display of remorse or issuance of apologies is quite out of the question.  The sanctimonious never think they have erred.  In fact, Gadde and her team may be invited to testify of how Musk turned their lives into hell and Twitter into a cesspool of misinformation.

Now for Elon Musk.

Musk deserves copious plaudits for exposing the tyranny of the former Gadde regime.

Like Trump, Musk is a target of the Democrats and their media.  It isn't a question of if, but when and how Musk will face retaliation.

They are already carrying stories of Musk's "inhumane" layoffs.  Some media outlets are publishing photos of Twitter office spaces being converted into bedrooms so that employees can remain within the building 24/7.  San Francisco's Department of Building Inspection is probing this as a possible building code violation.  There are reports of an ex-worker claiming that Musk has been staying at the headquarters since he bought the firm.

The goal is to portray Musk as a monster who is cold and inhuman and who physically and emotionally tortures his employees.

This creates a basis for the Democrats to conduct various witch hunts and set free various politicized government agencies on Musk to investigate everything he has ever done since he was born.  Nothing will be spared.

The ball once again is in the court of the GOP, "the party of freedom," which will soon have a majority in the House.  

Will they prove to be defenders of free speech, or will they remain spectators as Democrat hounds chase Musk?

Image: EFF Photos via FlickrCC BY 2.0.

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