James O’Keefe’s newest video uncovers how Twitter is planning to shut down right-wing speech through “shadow-banning,” which is a passive aggressive alternative to regular banning.
Basically, you keep posting stuff on social media, thinking people can see it, and they can’t. You just see your interactions fall off the face of the Earth – which some people have been reporting for years.
Here’s his complete 15 minute video:
O’Keefe’s undercover agent gets a former Twitter engineer to talk about exactly how someone who is conservative, or is a Trump supporter, can be shadow-banned on purpose, and even automatically through their algorithm.
Here’s a shorter version they’ve posted:
It looks like @Twitter responded again, "Twitter does not shadowban accounts. We do take actions to downrank accounts that are abusive, and mark them accordingly so people can still to click through and see these Tweets if they so choose." From @FoxNews: https://t.co/uI228CUJGU pic.twitter.com/nFPWJwDPgI— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) January 11, 2018
And another short portion:
Twitter Trust & Safety Manager: "we’re trying to ‘down rank’… shitty people to not show up,” “we’re working [that] on right now" pic.twitter.com/cXuek1qIrw— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 11, 2018
And it looks like he pulled a rope-a-dope on Twitter:
Yesterday @jack at Twitter issued the following statement, that it was just a rogue employee. What is Twitter's statement now that it's eight "rogue" employees on video saying they target political ideas they don't like? pic.twitter.com/2jUoDeZfXO— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 11, 2018
Some people are saying this is a “free speech” issue – they’re wrong. You have no right of free speech on a privately owned service. BUT Twitter pretends to be fair, when this video shows they’re likely to shut down more right-wing voices than not. And that is a problem, even though it’s not really a Constitutional rights issue.
The only way we can persuade them against this unfair action is to bring light to it, which O’Keefe has, and then light up Twitter with complaints. And that’s your job.
“Shadowbanning” is used on other social media platforms, like Reddit, so it’s been rumored to be used on Twitter for years. I thought I might be at least partially shadowbanned as far back as 2016:
I think Twitter isn't letting me post anyone's tweet anymore because people keep seeing them as blocked when I'm not.#ShadowBanned?— ¡El Sooopèrr! ن c137 (@SooperMexican) September 20, 2016