Twitter “Trust & Safety Council” “Shadowbanning” Policy In Effect

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Published on: February 21, 2016

For weeks, only certain users of the social media network Twitter have reported the disappearance of their tweets from their timelines. And it’s no accident or technological glitch.

Breitbart Tech reports that “shadowbanning” is another form of censorship policy being implemented by Twitter.

Originally, the term “shadowbanning” (also known as “stealth banning” or “hell banning”) refers to the method used by online communities to identify and block content posted by spammers without them knowing.

Shadowbanning doesn’t block and ban the spammer outright, in an effort to avoid notifying the spammer, who would then create a new account. Instead, the spammed content is hidden from public without notification.

However, Twitter isn’t targeting spammers. It is targeting users based on their opinions.

In essence, Twitter is eliminating tweets it doesn’t like. One way to do this is by maintaining two lists of Twitter users on a “whitelist” and “blacklist.” The whitelist accounts’ tweets are prioritized in search results, even if they’re not popular. Alternatively, blacklisted accounts’ posts are not just hidden from public, they are also hidden from search results and the very blacklisted user’s timeline.

Tweets are actually disappearing from a blacklisted user’s timeline if Twitter doesn’t like the tweet. The user isn’t notified and usually does not realize he/she’s been shadowbanned.

Those primarily blacklisted include the politically conservative, “alternative right,” cultural libertarian, and “anti-PC.”

Matt Barber also notes that Twitter assembled a new “Twitter Trust & Safety Council” to “ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.”

Twitter hopes to “strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power.” Twitter hopes to “ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter, we must provide more tools and policies.” And, “Twitter does not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice.”

Barber writes, “What, exactly, constitutes ‘abuse,’ ‘truth,’ and ‘power’ remains to be seen, but, based on Twitter’s long history of blacklisting and ‘unverifying’ conservatives from its rolls, I think we all know who gets shafted on this.

“Indeed, to the fragile liberal mind, any disagreement with its rigid, and decidedly one-sided, brand of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ constitutes ‘behavior intended to harass’ or ‘intimidate.’ To those who cannot win an argument on the merits, the path of least resistance is to silence all dissent.”

Barber suggests that Conservatives and Christians should enjoy “free speech” while they can because their “tweets are birds on a wire,” waiting to be shot down by a pellet gun.

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