Twitter Employees Admit to Censoring Trump Supporters
This morning Project Veritas released a damning video showing Twitter employees admitting to censoring the accounts of Trump supporters and other right-wing personalities.
In the video numerous Twitter employees detail the ways they censor right-wing content on the social media platform.
“One strategy is to shadow-ban so you have ultimate control,” former Twitter software engineer Abhinav Vadrevu said. “The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.”
Olinda Hassan, Twitter Trust and Safety Policy Manager, explained the practice of shadow banning by saying “we’re trying to down rank it, we’re trying to get the shitty people not to show up.”
Numerous right-wing personalities have accused Twitter of shadow banning right-wing accounts in the past, including Milo Yiannopolous and Scott Adams, but this is the first time that Twitter employees have actually admitted to it.
Pranay Singh, a direct messaging engineer at Twitter, explained how they profile users and find accounts to censor: “You look for Trump, or America, or any of, like, five thousand keywords to describe a redneck.”
In any other context, such profiling tactics would undoubtedly be called racist and bigoted – but when they’re applied to whites and patriotic Americans, Twitter and the partners they work with like the Anti Defamation League apparently consider this practice kosher.
In addition to shadow banning users, Twitter’s generally left-wing company culture made it easy for politically-motivated employees to ban pro-Trump accounts. “Let’s say if it was a pro-Trump thing and I am anti-Trump, I was like, I banned this whole account. It goes to you, and then it’s as your discretion and if you’re anti-Trump, you’re like, oh you know what, Mo was right, f*ck it, let it go” former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai explained.
Due to its size – Twitter has around 330 million active users every month – and its disproportionate impact on the public discourse, these revelations will likely increase calls for federal regulation and the application of the First Amendment to social media companies.