UPDATED 6:43 PM PT – Thursday, December 8, 2022
The Twitter files released Thursday Night highlighted how Twitter blacklists, and how employees chose who and what the platform users were able to see.
In the second series of Twitter files released by Journalist Bari Weiss, the investigation revealed that teams of Twitter employees had blacklisted, limited the visibility of certain tweets and users, as well as prevented certain things from trending. All was done “without informing users.”
An example given was that of Dr. Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford who argued that COVID lockdowns had negative effects on children. His account was placed on a blacklist which prevented users from seeing his tweets. Another was Charlie Kirk, a Conservative activist and Radio Talk Show Host, who had founded Turning Point USA. He was blacklisted by Twitter employees so that his tweets would not be visible.
Twitter had denied that it shadowbanned accounts, however it was revealed that one Twitter engineer admitted that they controlled visibility “quite a bit” without the public’s knowledge.
The employees that made these decision were a group of executives which included Head of Legal and Trust Vijaya Gadde, the Global Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth, subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal, among others.
An account, “libsoftiktok,” made it to those executives and was subsequently suspended six times in 2022 alone.
The suspensions were upheld because the group claimed that the account encouraged the harassment of certain people, in particular medical providers.
This was a clear contradiction due to the fact that when the Head of “libsoftiktok” account, Chaya Raichik had taken to Twitter to compare her suspensions against how her personal information was released, Twitter had taken no action.
The social media platform had deemed that no violations took place.
More files are set to be released on a future date by Reporter Matt Taibbi.