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Elon Musk’s 2nd batch: Twitter lied, shadowbanned conservatives, blacklisted candidates

by WorldTribune Staff, December 11, 2022

The second batch of the "Twitter Files" confirmed what conservatives have long known but Twitter has denied, that the social media platform has been shadowbanning the accounts of prominent conservatives for years thus skewing reality for large swaths of Americans and interfering in U.S. elections.

Elon Musk released the documentation which shows that, under previous leadership at Twitter, conservative voices and political candidates were blacklisted and prevented from having their content amplified on the platform.

In 2018, Twitter executives went before Congress and testified that they did not engage in this kind of suppression.

The company also put out a blog post in July 2018, in which it claimed Twitter doesn’t shadowban “based on political viewpoints or ideology” and said users “are always able to see the tweets from accounts [they] follow.”

Released by Bari Weiss, editor of The Free Press, the new "Twitter Files" reveal that "teams of Twitter employees" did build blacklists, which they used to stifle those users whose content they did not want to see trending or amplified.

Musk confirmed that political candidates had been blacklisted when responding to a question from Ian Miles Cheong, who asked both Musk and Weiss: "were any political candidates — either in the US or elsewhere — subject to shadowbanning while they were running for office or seeking re-election?"

In releasing the new batch, Weiss wrote: "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."

Weiss reported after her review of the files that executives at Twitter were doing what they called "Visibility Filtering."

This was used to "suppress what people see to different levels."

There was a specific group of officials at Twitter who were engaged in this kind of invisible suppression, and they were the Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support group, called "SIP-PIES," Weiss reported.

"This secret group included Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, and others," Weiss said.

Related: Who is Vijaya Gadde? Twitter details suppression of Hunter Biden laptop story: ‘They just freelanced it’, December 2, 2022

High-profile conservative accounts that were directly targeted included Charlie Kirk and Dan Bongino.

Medical professionals were also censored, with Twitter putting the account of Stanford University’s Jay Bhattacharya, one of the authors of the “Great Barrington Declaration,” on a “Trends Blacklist,” which “prevented his tweets from trending.”

The officials in charge of suppressing content paid particular attention to the Libs of TikTok account.

“Twitter repeatedly informed [the account owner] that she had been suspended for violating Twitter’s policy against ‘hateful conduct,' ” Weiss wrote. “But in an internal SIP-PES memo from October 2022, after her seventh suspension, the committee acknowledged that ‘LTT has not directly engaged in behavior violative of the Hateful Conduct policy'” and “justified her suspensions internally by claiming her posts encouraged online harassment of ‘hospitals and medical providers’ by insinuating ‘that gender-affirming healthcare is equivalent to child abuse or grooming.' ”

When the Libs of TikTok account owner was doxxed and had a photo of her home “with her address” posted on the platform, however, Twitter Support declined to remove the tweet, claiming it didn’t violate Twitter rules.

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