Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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‘Twitter Files II’ Exposes Blacklists, Shadow Banning, Targeted Censorship of Conservatives

'All I can keep thinking is that I must be doing something right for them to go to these great lengths to censor me... '

(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) A second explosive release of Twitter files that dropped Thursday exposed a concentrated campaign by avowed leftists at the social media titan to censor conservatives and suppress opinions contrary to the regime-approved narrative.

“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,” reported independent journalist Bari Weiss, who released a Twitter thread with the new information.

The egregious censorship was carried out by Twitter executives at the highest levels, who have all been fired from the company since Elon Musk became its Chief Twit. So-called “Trends Blacklist” that were created for suppression and censorship included a wide range of notables—among them: respected medical experts, politicians and conservative media personalities and outlets.

One example was Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, “who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a ‘Trends Blacklist,’ which prevented his tweets from trending,” Weiss wrote.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Twitter has consistently denied using any censorship tactics, with Vijaya Gadde, former head  of legal policy and trust, and Kayvon Beykpour claiming that “We do not shadow ban. And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”

In an Orwellian move, the Twitter chiefs simply rebranded “shadow banning” to something they called “Visibility Filtering” or “VF.” 

Twitter routinely used VF “to block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the “trending” page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches,” tweeted Weiss.

Beyond the euphemistic “visibility filtering,” Twitter had an even higher level of scrutiny for censorship and suppression that was known as “Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support,” known as “SIP-PES.”

The Libs of TikTok account, which Chaya Raichik began in 2020 and now boasts 1.4 million followers, rose to the top of the SIP-PES hit list, Weiss reported. Raichik was subjected to six suspensions in 2022 alone and blocked from posting for as long as a week.

While “Twitter repeatedly informed Raichik that she had been suspended for violating Twitter’s policy against “hateful conduct,” company executives knew that couldn’t be justified but continued to use it as an excuse to target the account.

By contrast, when Libs of TikTok’s Raichik reported that she had been the victim of actual harassment on the platform, violating its terms of service, Twitter responded with crickets.

“Compare this to what happened when Raichik herself was doxxed on November 21, 2022. A photo of her home with her address was posted in a tweet that has garnered more than 10,000 likes,” Weiss reported.

“When Raichik told Twitter that her address had been disseminated she says Twitter Support responded with this message: ‘We reviewed the reported content, and didn’t find it to be in violation of the Twitter rules.’ No action was taken. The doxxing tweet is still up.”

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