The Republican National Committee chairman, Ronna McDaniel, on “Fox & Friends” back in May. She has fallen prey to a Twitter “shadow ban”?
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Twitter is taking heat for “shadow ban” certain prominent Republicans, the limit of their visibility in the search results.
The social media giant came under fire after the Republican y chair Ronna McDaniel, several conservative Republican congressmen, including Rep. Devin Nunes and Andrew Surabian, the spokesman of Donald Trump, Jr., failed to appear in Twitter’s auto-populated drop-down search results. The news was first reported by Vice News.
“The idea that social media companies would suppress certain political views, should concern every American. Twitter owes the public answers on what is going on,” tweeted McDaniel.
The idea that social media companies would suppress certain political views, should concern every American. Twitter owes the public answers on what is really going on. https://t.co/i9UtbxJrt0
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) July 25, 2018
McDaniel ‘ s account and then back in the search results.
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Trump Jr. also took aim at Twitter and the CEO Jack Dorsey. “@Jack it is time for you to #StopTheBias against the conservatives and Trump supporters, and solve this for once and for always, ” he tweeted.
So now @twitter is censoring @GOPChairwoman?
Enough is enough with this nonsense. @Jack it is time for you to #StopTheBias against the conservatives and Trump supporters, and solve this once and for all. https://t.co/JC6i6y01Ek
— Donald Trump, Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 25, 2018
Vice reported that the limit of the visibility in the search results must be the same technique that is used for reducing the reach of prominent racists on Twitter.
Twitter directed Vice-on May 15 a blog post that explains how the platform was on the embankment of the “troll-like behavior.”
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Looking for Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz were affected by the same problem. Vice noted that top Democrats were not in the same way “shadow banned.”
Hey @Twitter, you’re shadow-a ban on my twitter account?? It seems so. https://t.co/OWjChcuruw #Shadowbanned
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) July 24, 2018
Twitter told Fox News that the problem is due to an algorithmic glitch in the search function that is resolved.
“To be clear, our behavioral rankings do not judge on the basis of political views or the content of tweets,” Twitter tweeted product lead Kayvon Beykpour. “Some accounts will not be automatically enabled even when people search for their specific name. Our use of the behavior of the signal within the search was the cause of this event and making search results appear incorrect. We make a change that will improve.”
Dorsey also responded to anger about the search results. “It suffices to say that we have much more work to do to earn the trust of people about how we work,” he tweeted.
A short thread addressing some of the problems people experience as a result of our conversation, health work, in particular the perception of “shadowbanning” on the basis of content or ideology. It suffices to say that we have much more work to do to earn the trust of people about how we work. https://t.co/MN97l7w7RF
— jack (@jack) July 25, 2018
Social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook are more and more under control, in particular in the wake of a government probe of the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. Twitter, for example, recently removed from a variety of suspicious accounts of the platform.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers