The second installment, Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files,” sheds light on the company’s practice of secretly “blacklisting” certain tweets and users, a practice experts say is “a step away from George Orwell’s Thought Police.” “1984.”
“Now when people say, ‘Hey, I got banned for this, or I got banned for this, or this got removed, and I can’t prove it,’ now we know they’re not lying,” Datagrade said. said founder and CEO Joe Toscano.
Journalist Barry Weiss wrote on Twitter last week that “employees create blacklists, prevent inappropriate tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics — all secretly, without informing users,” and that the general term disclosed. The “shadow ban” is referred to as “Visibility Filtering” or “VF” by Twitter executives and employees.
According to Toscano, a former Google consultant and internet data guru who appeared in the hit Netflix documentary Social Dilemma, the term “shadow ban” has become commonplace and is no longer something that can be dismissed as an implausible conspiracy theory.
ELON MUSK’S SECOND ‘TWITTER FILES’ BREAKDOWN Reveals ‘Secret Blacklists’, BARRY WEISS REPORTS
“Shadow banning is the act of banning an account or removing items without any solid explanation as to why it happened,” Toscano said. “That’s what we’ve seen through the Twitter files, the behavior that’s happening on both sides of the aisle that’s been deemed illegal across Twitter, or that Twitter will take down whatever they want on their platform. The rules.”
Toscano, author of the 2018 book Automating Humanity, said Musk’s revelation could spell trouble for former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other big tech executives, who have long insisted their platforms don’t overshadow the group.
“Now, at this point in history, it’s clear that every platform is doing this in one form or another. What we’ve seen through the leaked files is that this is a large-scale operation that’s been going on for quite some time. Twitter and it affected a lot of people,” Toscano said.
“People are complaining about it and there’s no way to explain it, and that’s the most dangerous part of what’s going on,” Toscano continued. “There’s no way for people to fight it … they just disappear. The thought is distorted, the thought is erased, and we’re not allowed to deal with it, because we don’t even know how and why it happened. we don’t know. And those people. They can’t make any noise about it because now they’re not on the platform. It’s one step away from George Orwell’s thought police.
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Ultimately, Toscano believes, Musk’s Twitter posts should bring awareness to an issue that needs to be discussed more broadly.
“We’re seeing it on Twitter, we’re looking at the files right now. But you can be sure it’s happening on all the other platforms,” he said. “I think it’s time for the government to ask for reports from other platforms to confirm that this is not the case [shadow banning]if so, some measures should be taken to help protect people’s freedom of speech.”
The conversation on this issue doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon, as people argue over the rights of an independent company versus the First Amendment for the foreseeable future. One point Toscano believes everyone should agree on is that government officials and candidates for public office should not be dictating who speaks publicly on social media platforms. When it was put under the microscope during the first batch of The Twitter Files, it was revealed that the Twitter executive once said he had “reviewed” a poll from Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign team.
“You have government officials who are demanding that certain things be taken down and forced on the platform,” he said. “It’s very problematic.”
Musk confirmed Friday that political candidates in the U.S. and abroad have been “shadow banned” by Twitter from running for office or re-election.
Musk said the same thing last week upcoming changes Find out if someone has been “shadow banned” on the Twitter platform and what they can do to fix it.
“Twitter is working on a software update that will show your real account status, so you know exactly if you’ve been shadow banned, why, and how to appeal,” he tweeted.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wolfson and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.